Stand Up Paddle Updates
Kai Lenny champ already, but heated action will still go down at Honoli'i Beach Park
The Stand Up World Tour is once again proud to be returning to the Big Island of Hawaii for the 2011 Hawaii Island Finals that will start this weekend at Honoli'i Beach Park.
It all starts this Saturday with the prestigious opening ceremony and registration at the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort, looking back at Coconut Island and Hilo Bay. Stay tuned to standupworldtour.com and the Stand Up World Tour facebook for the latest information, news and highlights.
Even though Kai Lenny has already secured his unprecedented 2nd World Title at just 19 years old, the rest of the field are right on his heels and vying for position before the close of the 2011 season. From Brazil's Leco Salazar who is coming off his impressive win in front of a home crowd in Brazil and Frenchman and winner in California, Antoine Delpero, to the battling Hawaiians, Robin Johnston, Zane Schweitzer and Aaron Napoleon, the competition will be fierce and the stadium of Honoli'i will provide the backdrop to one of the most competitive showdowns in the sport's history.
As always, you can never count out the local talent, partiularly here in Hawaii, where the roots of the sport can be found, as well as some of the most formidable surfing talent in the world. Names to watch out for are Pahoa's very own Kainoa Hauanio, not to mention, 4th place finisher at the Hawaii Island Finals in 2010, Ikaika Kalama, who will be looking to reassert his presence on Tour. You can also never count out Tour regular and Big Island ambassador Kalani Kahalioumi, who will be looking to put his unsurpassed local knowledge to use at Honoli'i.
Founder of Na Kama Kai, 2010 longboard World Champion and world number 5 on the 2010 Stand Up World Tour, Duane DeSoto makes a very welcomed return to competition here on the Big Island after 4 events off Tour, so watch out for this Hawaiian who will be looking to make up for lost time.
After a year off, former front runner Ekolu Kalama also returns to competition here on the Big Island, looking to reassert his presence on Tour and of course provide music entertainment for the Closing Concert and Party at the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort on Saturday 3rd December.
From the Salazar family of Leco, Picuruta and Matthieu, to young talents Ian and brother Caio Vaz, not to mention an on form Luis Saraiva, who recently finished 4th in the Brazil event, the Brazilians will be looking to make their presence felt here at the Hawaii Island Finals in conditions that will most likely well suit their riding styles. Definitely athletes to look out for....
Led by legend Arsene Harehoe, the Tahitians will be well represented here on the Big Island, with the regular faces of Patu, Tama Audibert and Serge Carabasse all in attendence for the finals, as well as Thierry Domenech. Happily returning from injury at the Sapinus Pro back in June is Waterman League representative in Tahiti and Sapinus local, Guillaume Bourligueux. After pulling into one of the heavier barrels of the contest, Guillaume then got clamped and dislocated his shoulder and injured his knee. Fortunately he is back with us for the Big Island and will be looking to reassert his presence on Tour.
Coming from a 2nd place finish at Huntington, Colin McPhilips will be looking to strengthen his position on Tour before the end of the year, as will Sean Poynter, who has had flashes of brilliance this year, but suffered a couple of disappointing results, not placing him as high as he could be in the overall ranking. The two front runners will be joined by several trials candidates, all looking to earn their place on Tour with the very best athletes in the world. Stay tuned as the action unfolds.
The now famous Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge will once again challenge the very best U16s in the world at Honoli'i, with an international cast of young athletes attending. From the winner in California, Mo Freitas and Sunset winner Bernd Roedigger from Maui, to last year's winner at Honoli'i and brother of the World Champion, RIdge Lenny, the competition will be intense. Also competing in the youth event will be Brazilian Yuri Daberkow and of course, the people's choice and ever entertaining, Riggs Napoleon.
Na Kama Kai is a non profit founded by Duane DeSoto to provide opportunities for the underprivileged youth of Hawaii: attaching this name to the youth Challenge is of real significance for the Waterman League, as it highlights and showcases the future of the sport, providing a platform for them to be seen....stay tuned to standupworldtour.com.
The Schedule of events at the Hilo
• Friday 25th November: 5pm: Movie night and Surfer's Healing presentation: Palace Theater, Hilo
• Saturday 26th November: 9am - 2pm: Surfer's Healing Clinic
• Saturday 26th November: 4pm: Blessing, Kahu Billy Mitchell at the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort
• Saturday 26th November: 4.30 - 6.30pm: Press Conference and welcome drinks at the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort
• Sunday 27th November - Saturday 3rd December: 7am: Call / First possible start: 7.30am
• Wednesday 30th November: 6pm: Movie Night
• Saturday 3rd December: 9am: Race to Fitness: Waiuli to Hilo
• Saturday 3rd December: 6pm: Closing Ceremony, Crowning of the World Champion & Waterman Concert at the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort
So stay tuned to the very latest news, information and highlights from the 2011 Hawaii Island Finals at standupworldtour.com and the Stand Up World Tour Facebook page.