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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, June 13, 2005

Females rule surf at China Uemura event

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

China Uemura's reputation as a gentleman of surfing continued to grow over the weekend.

Joy Magelssen of 'Aina Haina won two divisions at China Uemura's Wahine Surfing Classic, including the $1,200 top prize for winning the pro-am longboarding division.

Bernie Baker • Special to The Advertiser

With prime waves of 3 to 6 feet rolling in to Waikiki all weekend, Uemura opted to stay on the beach to hold the surfing door open for females.

"It's not about me — this is for the girls and the women," said Uemura, a former national champion in longboard surfing.

About 250 female surfers of all ages participated in China Uemura's ninth annual Wahine Surfing Classic over the weekend at Queen's Surf, Waikiki. The three-day contest is run by Uemura and his family, and all proceeds are donated to charities.

Uemura said he expects this year's contest to raise around $10,000 for the Sex Abuse Treatment Center of Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children.

"I never thought it would get this big," Uemura said. "When I started this contest, my whole intention was to give the girls a chance to have their own contest and win more prizes."

Finals were held in 16 divisions yesterday, and all the finalists walked away with a trophy and a bag of prizes.

Jeannie Chesser won the "kupuna" division, which was for women 50 and older. Uemura encouraged women to enter that division by waiving the entry fee.

"We all love China for doing this contest," Chesser said. "This has become one of the best contests around because you actually get to surf against girls your age, and because you get to surf at Queen's with only a few other friends out there."

Chesser said she can remember when female surfers were all put into one division at amateur contests.

"It was just called 'females' and you could be any age, and there was only one winner," Chesser said. "A lot of women come out for this contest just because there's so many divisions."

Shark-attack survivor Bethany Hamilton of Kaua'i won the junior girls longboard surfing division and placed second in shortboard surfing.

Bernie Baker • Special to The Advertiser

Another division winner was shark-attack survivor Bethany Hamilton of Kaua'i. She won the junior girls longboard division for ages 14 to 17.

"This is always a fun competition," said Hamilton, 15. "And it helps the sex-abuse center, so that makes it even better."

Hamilton also placed second to her close friend, Alana Blanchard, in the junior girls shortboard division.

"The waves were really good," Blanchard said. "And it's all girls, so it's not as competitive as some other contests, but it's still fun."

Joy Magelssen of 'Aina Haina took the top prize for winning the longboard pro-am division — a check for $1,200. It is one of only a handful of contests around the world that offers prize money for female longboarders.

"Uncle China is doing a lot for this sport," said Magelssen, 19. "Even if I didn't win, I would have been happy just to surf in this contest."

Magelssen also won the girls longboard division for ages 18 to 29.

"I've been doing this contest since I was 13," she said. "There's a lot of camaraderie and it's exciting to see all the other girls. It's growing every year, so you just make more and more friends."

Uemura will also host the China Uemura's 21st annual Longboard Surfing Classic at Waikiki, July 21-24. For entry information, call 833-9406.

Final results

Longboard surfing

Pro-am: 1, Joy Magelssen, $1,200. 2, Clark, $700. 3, Desire DeSoto, $400. 4, Visha Bungo, $200. Pee Wees: 1, Tita Manuel. 2, Kalee Krebs. 3, Cayla Moore. 4, Kealohi Sabate. 5, Kelly Graf. 6, Honolua Blomfield. 7, Kulia Doherty. Menehune: 1, Megan Godinez. 2, Maili Enos-Branigan. 3, Leila Hurst. 4, Kalia Moniz. 5, Erika Steiner. 6, Lani Doherty. Junior girls: 1, Bethany Hamilton. 2, Geodee Clark. 3, Kristen Steiner. 4, Camille Brady. 5, Alana Blanchard. 6, Marissa Eveland. Girls: 1, Joy Magelssen. 2, Maki Vernon. 3, Crystal Dzigas. 4, Sanoi Peahu. 5, April Glover. 6, Ashley Quintel. Women: 1, Helen Villena. 2, Chie Kato. 3, Renee Harada. 4, Lynn Blomfield. 5, Maki Yamamoto. 6, Gail Honda. Senior women: 1, Pinoi Makalena. 2, Darlene Mamiya-O'Shea. 3, Char Iida. 4, Midori Katayama. 5, Lee Barraclough. 6, Susie Kekai.

Shortboard surfing

Pee wees: 1, Kalee Krebs. 2, Kulia Doherty. 3, Kealohi Sabate. 4, Kelly Graf. 5, Cayla Moore. 6, Tita Manuel. Junior girls: 1, Alana Blanchard. 2, Bethany Hamilton. 3, Leila Hurst. 4, Camille Brady. 5, Jackie Brady. 6, Kristen Steiner. Girls: 1, Katherine Van Dyke. 2, Crystal Dzigas. 3, Joy Magelssen. 4, Renee Watkins. 5, Michelle Watkins. 6, Megan Apo. Women: 1, Joan Fukumoto. 2, Jenny Crusat. 3, Jeannie Chesser. 4, Mariela Acosta. 5, Gail Chang. 6, Lynn Blomfield.


Pee wees: 1, Kalee Krebs. 2, Kulia Doherty. 3, Cayla Moore. 4, Kelly Graf. Junior girls: 1, Rebecca Fonoimoana. 2, Liane Chang-Remular. 3, Maili Enos-Branigan. 4, Kiana Kaiwi. 5, Kuulei Beauford. 6, Leila Hurst. Girls: 1, Nani Ping. 2, Amber Wong. 3, Marissa Eveland. Women: 1, Amy Rice. 2, Brooke Holt-Froiseth. 3, Lynne Wood. 4, Midori Takahashi. 5, Gwen Mole. 6, Aya Juan.

Kupunas (any board)

1, Jeannie Chesser. 2, Yolanda Valiente. 3, Suzanne Walker. 4, Elaine Watkins. 5, Franny Palama. 6, Sharon Lum Ho.

Reach Dayton Morinaga at dmorinaga@honoluluadvertiser.com or 535-8101.