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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 7:17 p.m., Sunday, July 8, 2007

Bodyboarding: Stewart 3rd, Hubbard 4th in Australia

Advertiser Staff

Mike Stewart of the Big Island placed third and Jeff Hubbard from Kauai placed fourth in the final of the Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge professional bodyboarding contest today.

The final day of the contest was run in 4- to 5-foot waves at Shark Island, Australia.

Stewart and Hubbard both had high-scoring waves, but it was not enough to overcome a perfect heat by Ben Player of Australia.

Player received two perfect 10s from the judges for an unbeatable total of 20. Mark McCarthy of South Africa placed second with a near-perfect total of 19.5.

Stewart's two best waves received scores of 9.5 and 8.0 — scores that would normally win a contest.

"It basically got down to who got the waves and like the gentlemen that we are, we all took turns," Stewart said. "Whoever got the winning wave would win and Ben had two of them."

Hubbard, the defending world champion of bodyboarding, received scores of 9.0 and 7.0.

His younger brother, David Hubbard, was eliminated in the semifinals and tied for fifth place.

The contest was the first of eight stops on the International Bodyboarding Association's 2007 World Tour. The next event is scheduled to run Aug. 1 to 13 at Arica, Chile.