Seven from Hawaii remain in surf event
Kaua'i surfers Malia Manuel and Koa Smith remained undefeated at the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship yesterday at New Zealand.
The sixth day of the prestigious contest was completed yesterday in 4- to 6-foot waves at Piha Beach, Auckland, New Zealand.
Hawai'i has seven surfers remaining for the final two days of competition. In the team standings, Hawai'i is in third place, behind the USA and Australia.
The eight-day contest is considered the world championship for surfers age 18 and younger.
Manuel advanced to the sixth round of the winners' bracket of the Girls 18 division with a last-second win in the fifth round yesterday. She trailed the entire 20-minute heat, but won it with a score of 5.35 as the final horn sounded.
"All the girls are the best of the best right now, so it was tough out there," said Manuel, 16. "The tide was changing. I was not in perfect position the whole heat, and then this little miracle wave came in and I got the score. I was telling my teammate s I was so nervous ... luckily everything worked out."
Alessa Quizon of Wai'anae suffered her first loss of the contest yesterday, but is still in contention in the Girls 18 division. She lost in the fifth round of the winners' bracket.
However, the contest follows a double-elimination format, so Quizon will continue in the repechage bracket.
Smith advanced through the fourth round of the winners' bracket in the Boys 16 division.
Two other Hawai'i surfers — Ian Gentil of Maui and Isaiah Moniz of Honolulu — are still in the repechage bracket of the Boys 16 division.
Gentil suffered his first loss of the contest yesterday to drop to the repechage bracket. Moniz advanced through two repechage heats yesterday.
In the Boys 18 division, two Hawai'i surfers remain in the repechage bracket: Keanu Asing and Tanner Hendrickson. They both advanced through two repechage heats yesterday.
"We're all just proud to be representing Hawai'i as ambassadors of aloha at this contest," said Hendrickson, who is 17 and from Maui. "The waves were really good (yesterday), so I just hope it stays like this."
Asing, who is from 'Ewa, won the Boys 16 world championship last year.
"Just glad to get one more day out of the way," said Asing, 16. "Hopefully we can keep it going."
Five Hawai'i surfers were eliminated yesterday: Kaimana Jaquias and Ezekiel Lau were eliminated from the Boys 18 division; Leila Hurst and Nage Melamed were eliminated in the Girls 18 division; Kain Daly was eliminated in the Boys 16 division.
More than 200 surfers representing 21 countries/regions are participating in the event.
Hawai'i is recognized as its own region by the International Surfing Association because of its rich history in the sport.
A separate United States team is currently in first place in the team standings, and has nine surfers remaining in the competition.
Australia is the four-time defending team champion.
VOLCOM PIPELINE CONTEST ON HOLD
The Volcom Pipeline Pro men's surfing contest was postponed yesterday due to insufficient conditions at the Banzai Pipeline.
The three-day contest will likely start later this week, when a large swell is expected to arrive on O'ahu's North Shore.
Many of Hawai'i's top professional surfers are entered, including Andy Irons, Bruce Irons, Sunny Garcia, Pancho Sullivan, Fred Patacchia Jr., Roy Powers, Jamie O'Brien and Joel Centeio.
The contest is offering $120,000 in total prize money, and will also award qualifying points toward surfing's World Tour. The top Hawai'i finishers can also earn points toward qualifying for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing at the end of the year.
On the days that the contest runs, a live television broadcast will be available on Oceanic cable channel 250. A live Web cast is also available at www.volcompipelinepro.com.
For daily status of the contest, call 596-7873.