Valentin captures South Shore Open longboard title
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
In a fitting Father's Day victory, Joey Valentin won the Hawaiian South Shore Open longboard surfing contest yesterday at Kewalo Basin.
Paul Teruya photo
Joey Valentin, 32, beat out three "kids" in the final of the Hawaiian South Shore Open yesterday at Kewalo Basin.
Paul Teruya photo
"This makes it special," Valentin said while holding the hand of his 8-year-old daughter, Briana. "I'm easy to please, so the main thing I wanted today was to be with my family. To win a contest on Father's Day is extra."
Valentin needed extra maneuvers during the final to edge three other "kids" for the $600 first prize. Keegan Edwards, 19, placed second, followed by Kekoa Uemura (18) and Kapono Nahina (21).
"Before the heat started, it felt strange because I knew I was going up against all these young kids," said Valentin, 32. "They made me feel old, but at the same time, I felt like I had to hang in there for the old-timers."
Not only did he hang in, Valentin gave the younger surfers a lesson in barrel-riding. Late in the heat, Valentin maneuvered into one of the rare hollow waves of the day and rode through the barreling section.
The judges rewarded him with the highest score of the final, an 8.7 (out of 10) that all but secured his victory.
"Just getting lucky, I guess," is how Valentin explained it. "You need good timing and good rhythm, but mostly you need luck to find a wave like that."
Still, Valentin has emerged as a consistent force in contests at Kewalo Basin, winning three of the last four longboard contests held there.
"For some reason, I just click in with the waves at this spot," said Valentin, who also earned a Father's Day victory at Kewalos in 1999. "It's not an easy wave, but I seem to get it going."
Edwards, a 2000 graduate of Kaiser High, also surfed an impressive heat, and wound up percentage points behind Valentin (23.7-23.4) in the final tally.
"This is my best result ever," said Edwards, who is in his final year as an amateur. "I kept falling on some of my early waves, so I'm actually happy with second."
Uemura, who won the opening event of the Steinlager Series last month, made a late charge but fell on a potentially high-scoring wave.
"The waves were a little inconsistent, but it was fun," said Uemura, a 2000 Kalani graduate. "We all had our chances, Joey just did the best."
Nahina added: "I think it's pretty cool that the only father out there won. I have no complaints about that."
The victory was also a perfect Father's Day gift for Briana. "I wanted to get him surf shorts," she said. "But I didn't have time because I had to watch my dad surf."
Finals in 11 amateur divisions were also completed yesterday. All competitors had to surf on boards at least nine feet long. The next contest in the series, the Toes on the Nose at the Bowl, is scheduled for July 14-15 at the Ala Moana Bowl.
Professional: 1, Joey Valentin. 2, Keegan Edwards. 3, Kekoa Uemura. 4, Kapono Nahina. 5 (tie), Kai Sallas and Mikey Gordon. Menehune: 1, Kainalu Froiseth. 2, Makamae DeSoto. 3, Chad Villanueva. 4, Ben Kealoha Jr. 5, Aaron Abbey. 6, Kaimana Beauford. 15-19: 1, Patrick Fukuda. 2, Keoki Saguibo. 3, Jordan Hart. 4, Kekoa Auwae. 5, Kahone Speed. 6, Job Ishiki. 20-29: 1, Kamu Auwae. 2, Kanai Sharsh. 3, Atilla Jobbagyi. 4, Kekaula Campbell. 5, Kaliko Keahilihau. 6, Randy Paulino. 30-39: 1, Virgil Sisiam. 2, Gary Montira. 3, David Carvalho. 4, Hizon Lin-Kee. 5, Corbin Wong. 6, Sean Hepfner. 40-49: 1, Gary Senaga. 2, Daniel Stein. 3, Rodney Nakasato. 4, Jamie Ballenger. 5, Mel Kinney. 6, Tommy Asing. 50-59: 1, Buster Kellum. 2, Bob Kim. 3, Glenn Rayno. 4, Gilbert Dano. 5, Stephen Katayama. 6, Soyu Kawamoto. 60-over: 1, Bob Brown. 2, Kimo Austin. 3, Malcolm Ing. 4, Rabbit Kekai. 5, Tom Bionde. Junior Wahine: 1, Joy Magelssen. 2, Teddi-Lee Sipe. 3, Tiare Thomas. 4, Miku Uemura. 5, Geodee Clark. 6, Kristen Magelssen. Wahine: 1, Pinoi Makalena. 2, Maka Puaa. 3, Tyra Freitas. 4, Becky McPeek. 5, Char Iida. 6, Patricia Tannahill. Over 225 pounds: 1, Kimo Miranda. 2, Jamie Ballenger. 3, Michael Sisiam. 4, China Uemura. 5, Robert Davis. 6, Kaleo Kealoha. Weekend Warrior: 1, Dean Nakamura. 2, Herb Pruse. 3, Tom Reyes. 4, Nathan Totman. 5, Kirk Pifer. 6, Kaleo Baybayan.
Brotherly charge: Brothers Andy and Bruce Irons of Kaua'i advanced through two rounds of the OP Pro yesterday off the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia.
In barreling waves of 6 to 8 feet, Andy Irons won $5,000 as the top performer of the second round. C.J. Hobgood of Florida won the first round.
Only six surfers were invited to compete in the unique contest. After each round, the last-place surfer from that round is sent to the consolation bracket.
When only two surfers remain from the main rounds, the others will compete in a consolation heat for one spot in the three-man final.
Shane Dorian of Kailua-Kona was sent to the consolation bracket after yesterday's second round.
The women follow a similar format, but with only four competitors. Kaua'i's Keala Kennelly won the second round and $2,500. Another Kaua'i surfer, Rochelle Ballard, remained in contention.