Familiarity spurs Hubbard to win
|||Athlete enjoys trials of stunt bike riding|
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Dayton Morinaga
In an unfamiliar country, Kaua'i's Jeff Hubbard took advantage of familiar conditions to win the Mike Stewart Arica Chilean Challenge professional bodyboarding contest on Monday.
Hubbard was the only Hawai'i competitor to enter the contest, which was held in barreling waves of 4 to 8 feet at Arica, Chile.
He defeated former world champion Guilherme Tamega of Brazil in the one-on-one final, 17.9-17.0, to win the $4,200 first prize.
"Tamega had a near-perfect ride to start in the first 15 seconds of the final, so I was losing all heat," Hubbard said. "Then in the last 30 seconds, I caught a medium-sized wave and went for it."
Hubbard completed two aerial maneuvers on his final wave and received a score of 8.9 to win the heat.
"It was the best finish to a contest I have seen and I was in it," he said.
It was the second consecutive year that Hubbard won the Chilean Challenge, and he said his familiarity with the conditions in and out of the water helped.
"I knew how the wave broke and how to focus with all the crazy fans around every day," Hubbard said.
It also helped that the contest was run in "Hawai'i-like" waves.
"It was the best surf I had since surfing Pipeline (last winter)," Hubbard said. "It is the perfect bodyboarding wave — really steep and thick. It gives you lots of speed, which lets you fly real high."
Former world champion Mike Stewart of the Big Island sponsored the contest, but could not enter because of a scheduling conflict.
Hubbard moved up to No. 2 in the IBA World Tour rankings with the victory. Australia's Ryan Hardy is No. 1.
BOARDRIDERS AWARDED SHOP CHALLENGE WIN
The Boardriders Club-Honolulu was awarded first place for the Hawaiian Region Quiksilver Surf Shop Challenge after an error was discovered in the roster of the original winning team.
The contest was Aug. 4 at Kewalo Basin. Hi-Tech Surf Sports posted the highest scores and was declared the winner on that day.
However, it was later discovered that Hi-Tech used a part-time employee, when contest rules required that participants be full-time employees.
Boardriders Club-Honolulu will represent Hawai'i at the national Surf Shop Challenge at Oceanside, Calif., on Sept. 11.
Members of the Boardriders Club are Brennan Boudreau, Dege O'Connell, Tory Titcomb and Mick Ventresca.
Reach Dayton Morinaga at firstname.lastname@example.org.