The youths are making waves

Gary Kewley
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Friday - September 05, 2008
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Local boy Keanu Asing
Local boy Keanu Asing is on a roll, winning the Billabong Pro Jr., Bali, and two events at the SIMA USA Champs - all in the month of August

Welcome to September, surfers! Looks like town takes the front seat and country takes the back seat for now. This current beauty from the south is going to be felt into early next week. But it’s only a matter of time before town goes to sleep and country starts waking up. It’s the season of transition ... and for now, we get to traverse the extended summer swells.

Last Sunday (Labor Day weekend) the fun 5-miler “Haleiwa Joe’s Paddle Board Race"went off from Waimea Bay to Haleiwa. Of course, they had a SUP (stand up paddle) division - 40 percent of the total! The thing I like about it is how it’s getting people out there who wouldn’t otherwise be getting as much exercise. The thing I don’t like about it is it’s getting people out there catching too many waves ... that I could catch. Seriously, though, most SUPs have been extra respectful of their paddling advantage and don’t push it like many long boarders do. We can all get along - imagine that!

Getting along wasn’t hard at all for more than 100 competitors in the Haleiwa Joe’s Paddle Board Race. In fact, everyone just had a blast. Especially the youths, who are now making waves for the older paddlers!

Check this out: Riggs Napoleon (Aaron’s 10-year-old son) beat 20-year-olds! This was the first time contest director Mike Takahashi has seen so many youngsters going for it.“They’re completing the course and in good time ... the second generation is really strong.And for the really young kids ... it’s a sight to behold since they’re so small ... it almost looks like they’re knee paddling.”

Another up-and-comer, who could end up in the Olympics some day if he desires it enough, is 15-year-old Chris Fong (Dr. Fred and Bonnie’s son).This athlete also took down 20-year-olds while winning the 15-19. Mike Takahashi’s son Holden won his 14 and under, but also passed all the 20-year-olds. Talk about holdin’ his own (I had to write that).These kids are lucky to have inspirational parents, too. Dads like Aaron Napoleon, Mike Takahashi and Fred Fong are great paddlers and have passed on their genes and love of the ocean. Mike and Fred just took the kids to Bali and surfed at least four hours a day. Hey, it’s training, dude!

Congrats to the overall winner Brian Rocheleau, who did it in 41:53, and to SNN’s account executive Chas Beasley for a fifth over all! Complete results will be posted at

In the final analysis,everyone was a winner who came out to play and have fun. Like Mike Takahashi said, “it’s all about community.“Mahalo to Haleiwa Joe’s ... Why am I hungry all of a sudden?

Well, gang, get ready for the Foster’s seventh WCT event at Trestles starting this Sunday. The forecast looks good, too. This California wave is definitely one of the best high-performance waves on the entire world tour. Expect a packed house, packs of flying water and surfers.

Hey, I have to tell you about the new Diamond Head surf cam coming up this week! The view will be sweet. Just log on and you’re in. Chun’s Reef is up, too, and serving you!

I’ll see you in the lineup and back here next week in MidWeek!

GQ ... Dropping in 4 U!

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