Sunset Beach © Joli
The North Shore Surf Shop Pro Junior Went Off
SNN News, 23 January, 2012 : - - North Shore, Oahu -- The inaugural North Shore Surf Shop 4* ASP Pro Junior, lived up to the hype of being one the 2012’s best events on the schedule. Sunset Beach which is located in the heart of surfing’s Mecca, delivered epic 4-8 foot surf over the three day competition window. Competitors were graced by Mother Nature with clean swells out of the North-Westerly direction which were the perfect platform for the under 21 competitors.
The performances in the Boys and Girls divisions between Japan, South Africa, South America, Australia, Hawaii and the US Mainland surfers were amazing. From the trails rounds up to the finals the supporters and fans on the beach were blown away by the high performance levels of the next big names of our sport.
Thanks to the support of ASP Hawaii, the North Shore Surf Shop and the contributions by countless local businesses and professional surfers who stepped up to support Surfboardline.com, Da Hui, Steve’s Frozen Chillers, Jerry’s Pizza and North Shore Tacos. Along with the $26,000 in prize money on offer the finalists were gifted with an additional $15,000 in prizes in artwork, surfboards, and even a moped with surfboard racks.
The North Shore Surf Shop Pro Junior gave the groms a blast from the past with a tribute to our sport of surfing’s past with an expression session by legends Michael Ho, Buttons Kaluhiokalani, Kalani Foster, Dennis Pang, Reno Abilera, Ken Bradshaw and Bobby Owens. The history lesson that was on display of power turns, barrel riding mastery and perfect lines drawn by the legends could not be learned in books.
Along with the legends the mini-groms had their own expression session which was lead by Barron Mamiya, Noah Beschen, Finn McGill and Makana Pang. The minis charged the triple over head walls of Sunset Beach in which had commentators Rocky Canon and Kaipo Gurrerero at the edge of their seats. A last minute ride by North Shore Surf Shop’s Barron Mamiya scored 9.0 ride for a gnarly full rail slash to close out smash to steal the win from good buddy Noah Beschen.
“I rode my 5’4” step up board which helped me do bigger turns and I want to thank my sponsors and my Dad for bringing me to practice at Sunset” commented Mamiya on his victory.
In the Junior Woman’s final Kauai’s Brianna Cope surfed to victory by scoring a stellar wave score in the dying minutes of her 35 minute encounter. Cope saved her best for last by scoring an 8.17 which was the highest ride of the Woman’s final. She passed Sunset Beach local Mahina Maeda, California’s Meah Collins and fellow Kauaian Tatiana Weston-Webb.
“My strategy for the final was to sit wide and catch the West bows instead of sitting at the point. My sister Gabrielle and Kahea Hart helped me to prepare for this event and helped me to find that perfect spot for my winning wave!” explained an elated Cope.
The Boys Pro Junior division was stacked and saw huge performances by Makai McNamara, Kaimana Jaquias, Shaw Kobayashi, Parker Coffin, Tanner Hendrickson, Makana Eleogram, Isaiah Moniz and Ezekiel Lau. These 8 names were the favorites prior to the events start and ended up being the top 8 finishers of the event. Going into the final Ezekiel “Zeke” Lau and Kaimana Jaquias were the two odds on favorites who on paper held the top 5 of the events top 10 best average heat scores. Lau leading with a 16.87 then followed by Jaquias’ 16.17 and 16.07 heat totals.
The North Shore Surf Shop’s Boys Pro Junior final was open for the taking in which California’s Shaw Kobayashi drew first blood dropping a whopping 8.00 in the first minute of the 35 minute final. Kauai’s Kaimana Jaquias then smashed a 5.50 and 6.67 taking an early lead which his fellow finalist struggled to get a start. Right around the half way point the event favorite Honolulu’s Ezekiel Lau came out firing with an 8.83 and made his intentions known that he wasn’t one to be counted out. Just then North Shore Surf Shop’s Makai McNamara bagged back to back barrels posting a 6.07 and 6.27 to rocket from fourth to first in a span of 5 minutes.
Kobayashi and Jaquias struggled to to back up their early scores and the ocean currents shifted toward late starters McNamara and Lau. Just at the last 5 minute mark a two wave set rolled through which would in the end be the decider of who would walk away the winner of the North Shore Surf Shop Pro Junior. Lau stroked into the first set and slammed a frontside snap which would put him in the tube showing his technical skill to maximize his time in the barrel and came out with a huge frontside slash. Then McNamara dropped into the final’s biggest wave which he pulled in and pumped in a massive shack on his way to the highest scoring wave of the 35 minute bout.
As time counted down and the scores were in with Lau posting a 7.00 and McNamara a near perfect 9.23 score. Lau jumped from fourth to first and bumped McNamara down to second looking for a 6.60 to take back the lead. Unfortunately for McNamara time ran out and was unable to take down event favorite Lau.
Zeke was the event’s odds on favorite because of his recent win in the 2011 HIC Pro ASP 4* WQS event and the highest ranked WQS surfer of all of the juniors whom were entered in the event. Zeke lived up to the hype and proved that despite a rigorous academic work load at Kamehameha Schools he can balance competing and full time regular schooling and still perform at the highest level.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of time out here at Sunset and it helped me win the HIC Pro and now the North Shore Surf Shop Pro Junior. Jeff Bushman has been making really good boards and it helps to bring out my confidence to perform at my best. Uncle Kimo Middlesworth has been training me before school and my father Leonard has me on a program after school. I got David Riddle, Borg and Batz keeping me in tune with the waves and my performances which helps me to focus on my surfing and I am happy with the results” elated Lau.
The North Shore Surf Shop would like to send out a big MAHALO to ASP Hawaii, Surfobardline.com, Da Hui, North Shore Tacos, Jerry’s Pizza, Steve’s Chillers, Jamesons, Brett Boards, Pyzel, Tokoro, T&C, Firewire, Schaper, Makani, Monstah Glassing, Arakawa Designs, Nixon, Volcom, Sambazon, Haleiwa Bowls, Coco Water, Waialua Coffee, Xcel, Bubble Gum, Triple Crown, Sun Bum, Blue Lava, Banzai Sushi, Tropical Rush, Dakine, Planet Sun, Watermans, Famous, Breakers, Armored.com, Futures, Target, Joe at Moped Direct Kapahulu, Steve Powers, Clark Little Gallery, Fox, Surftech, Arnette, OAM, Globe, Solarez, Quiksilver, Reef, Hurley, SurfCo, Vans, Rip Curl, Lei Leis, Cafe Haleiwa, Breakers, Waialua Bakers, Friends of Alii Beach. Also the Professional Surfers, Pancho Sullivan, Sunny Garcia, Joel Centeio, Jason Shibata, Sean Moody, Kekoa Bacalso, Danny Fuller, Julian Wilson, Reef McIntosh, Tonino Benson, John John Florence, Nathan Fletcher, Dane Reynolds, Dane Gudauskas, Tanner Gudauskas, Bede Durbidge, Jordy Smith, Nathaniel Curran, Sean Hayes, Adriano DeSouza, Jeremy Flores, Jadson Andre, Kierren Perrow, Luke Egan, Mark Occhilupo, and Michele Bourez for all the support to make this event happen for the youth of our sport!
North Shore Surf Shop Boys Final
1. Ezekiel Lau 15.83
2. Makai McNamara 15.50
3. Kaimana Jaquias 12.17
4. Shaw Kobayashi 10.00
Check the Full Results
North Shore Surf Shop Girls Final
1. Brianna Cope 14.77
2. Mahina Maeda 12.74
3. Meah Collins 10.26
4. Tatiana Weston-Webb 5.23
Check the Full Results