The women rule at Duke’s OceanFest

Gary Kewley
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Friday - August 29, 2008
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hanks to Bernie Baker
Thanks to Bernie Baker for this beautiful shot of a beautiful surfing talent, Candice Appleby, winner of the C4 Waterman, Honolua Surf Co. and Blue Planet stand up paddle board event at Duke’s OceanFest

Aloha, surfers and beachgoers, Here we are, last week of August, last week of summer. The good news is we’re heading into some fun surf on all shores for a while. The North Shore continues to prove we are past our summertime minimums, and South Shore swells prove to be long-lasting into September. By this Friday, the surf should be near three feet into early next week, if all goes well. So stay waxed and ready, wave warriors.

Duke’s OceanFest scored fun waves all week - even with a disappointing SW swell. Yes, the sun, sand and surf were plentiful in this “Gold Medal” ocean sports festival. The energy is always high, win or lose. But I have to tell you about one winner, at least, because she is special.

Congratulations to Candice Appleby for her victory not only in the women’s amateur SUP (stand up paddle board) division, but also the Pro Men division!

Watch out for this woman as she busts down the barriers between the sexes. I mean, you try to beat Brian Keaulana!

“Today was a total dream come true,” says Appleby, 23, a student at UH-Manoa, where she studies tropical plants and soil science. “I live right down the street and I surf here every day. I’ve just been really focused and training hard. I can’t really say I was nervous. I felt honored to be in a heat with them. All those guys (in the final), I learned from watching them, and they have inspired me to do what I do.

“Given the conditions, I think it’s whoever really wants it the most. You’ve got to be 100 percent with your mind, your body and your spirit. The ocean conditions did play a part, but it takes your personal strength to get you through.” (from Jodi Wilmot and

Thanks to C4 Waterman, Honolua Surf Co. and Blue Planet for sponsoring this great new addition to Duke’s OceanFest. Here’s a thumbs up for the resurgence of an old surfing tradition, combining canoe paddling’s paddle with long-boarding’s surfboard.

OK, here’s another talented pretty woman who also can take the guys down in competition. But Joy Monahan (22) decided to give us boys a break and only surf the Roxy Jam in Duke’s OceanFest. “It has been an amazing summer, one of my favorites for sure,” says Monahan, who now heads back to college in Utah.“I was more nervous for this contest than I was for the world title, just because I think I put a lot of pressure on myself. But once I just told myself that I proved everything in France and this is for fun, I was able to relax. (Joy is the first-ever women’s world longboard champ from Hawaii)

“I grew up surfing here, so I consider it one of my home breaks. It was awesome to be back here, it’s been a while since I was in an event here.”(from George Mojo:

Now check this out: The girl who came in second was 15-year-old up-and-coming (I should say arrived already) Kelia Moniz, daughter of Hawaii surfing legend Tony Moniz. Wow, what a surfing family! Kelia was the best nose rider of the event. If she had grabbed just a couple “set” waves outside, she might have beat the world champ - go figure.

“I was stoked to make the final and get to surf with all my friends,” says Moniz. “I was just trying to catch the little ones that had a wall to them, because I could just nose ride them, but it didn’t really work in the final.”(from George Mojo)

Well, all I can say is, boys beware - the girls aren’t going anywhere but up. Good luck keeping up.

That’s what I’ll be doing this week in the sun, sand and surf. Hope to see you out there and back here next week in MidWeek.

GQ, Dropping in 4 U!


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