Amazing amateurs of the Haleiwa Open
Friday - January 09, 2009
Happy New Year, surfers! First Wave: 2009 is doing fine with a sweet double-plus overhead WNW swell midweek. Then we get some not-so-sweet weather and Kona winds this weekend from a front moving through into next week.
Oh, well, you can’t expect perfect surf and sunshine every day. What fun would that be? Hmmm, let me think about that.
At least Sunday there’s a new sizable NW swell and an even bigger North due Monday. Hard-core surfers will score because they know where to go. And if it’s raining, who cares? We’re going to get wet anyway!
Second Wave: We just finished the world’s longest-running amateur surf contest, the 39th annual HIO or Haleiwa International Open. Can you believe this year, 2009, the contest will hit 40 years straight? That’s definitely a record and one worthy of praise.
Photographer Gary Miyata says contestants were ripping this year. Indeed, the talent pool is as healthy as ever - from male to female, younger to older, shortboarder to longboarder. Overall, it’s a relatively low-key community event but boasts world-class waves and amateurs (with a few pros thrown in for good measure and inspiration, such as Jason Shibata).
There were plenty of divisions, but just to mention a few winners: Sheldon Paishon won Boy’s Shortboard, and Kaimana Jaquias took Junior Men’s. I have to mention ever-young Jock Sutherland, who took second in Senior Shortboard and first in the Grandmaster’s Longboarding. And just in case you didn’t know or were wondering if the surf spot called Jockos has any relation to Mr. Sutherland ... it does.
Some women’s victories went to Yukiko Whiteside (short-board) and Ashley Ahina (long-board). I tell you, I don’t know what the wahines are eating for breakfast these days, but we men better find out if we want to keep competing in the lineup.
This upcoming December, the 40th HIO should prove to be incredible with the biggest turnout ever. I’ll keep you posted at SNN.
A special mahalo to Surf N Sea for its ongoing loyal support, and to Vertra Suncare and Matsumoto’s Shave Ice - all those who helped keep it going all these years in historic Haleiwa town. Stoked!
Thanks also to Gary Miyata of garymcreations.com for always being on location and generous with his talent and time.
Two of mine are to surf a handful of spots I’ve never surfed and to have more “I didn’t know I could do that"moments. Wish me luck.
See you back here next week in MidWeek!
GQ…Dropping In 4 U!
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