Day 1 Highlights Include Womens, Youth, and Legends Event
Stormy conditions have been covering the North Shore for most of the previous week. This morning saw the conditions improving as the wind began to settle down and the waves cleaned up to provide consistent 5-7 foot faces at the "Pool Bars" break at Turtle Bay Resort.
It was a fun day of competition and exhibition today as we saw the first two women's heats, competition between under-16 youth and a special exhibition from some living surfing legends. Na Kama Kai also held a youth clinic to teach the next generation the necessary skills to excel in the ocean.
Women Complete Round 1 and Repercharge
24 women from around the world competed today in the first event of the 2014 Women's Stand Up World Tour, the Turtle Bay Women's Pro. The women were challenged with inconsistent sets and variable conditions throughout the day which added to the challenge of this right-hand point break.
The first round had no major upsets as the top two ladies from each heat advanced to round three. All was not lost for the competitors who did not win their first heat as the repercharge round gave them a second chance to make it to the third round.
At the end of the day, 18 women advanced to round three which will run later in the week as conditions allow.
Under-16 Youth Impress In The Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge
The next generation of stand up paddlers competed in two divisions for the Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge in the same venue as the women at Turtle Bay Resort.
Sacha Kuhane took the top spot in the 7-11 co-ed division.
Ridge Lenny dominated the competition for the 12-16 division, impressing the crowd with some big floaters and cutbacks. He is obviously learning much from his older brother, three-time Stand Up World Champion Kai Lenny.
Olukai Tribute to the Legends Expression Session
As part of the ongoing weekend festivities honoring some living legends, the crowd at Turtle Bay was treated to a special exhibition heat between three men who helped pioneer the modern waterman culture. Alika Willis, Titus Kinimaka, and Buzzy Kerbox competed in the water for the Olukai Tribute to the Legends.
In the end Buzzy Kerbox took the title of "Legend Amongst Legends", adding a SUP medal to his long list of surfing accolades.
Also part of the tribute was a team battle heat on inflatable SUPSquatch boards for a very entertaining display between the "Young Guns" and the "Old Dogs". Kai Lenny, Connor Baxter, Zane Schweitzer, Matt Schweitzer, Kody Kerbox, and Riggs Napoloean faced Archie Kalepa, Brian Keaulana, Kala Alexander, and Mel Pu'u's two daughters. The old dogs ended up winning the heat by a score of 15.34 to 10.66, proving that perhaps you can teach old dogs new tricks!
Na Kama Kai Youth Clinic
Saturday also saw the passing of the torch to the next generation of ocean advocates with the Na Kama Kai youth clinic. Building on the Waterman League's five pillars of passion, respect, versatility, tradition, and innovation; an important component to our culture is to positively give back to the ocean sports community.
Partnering with the Na Kama Kai organization, tour athletes as well as the "Living Legends" helped teach local children important fundamentals in a variety of ocean sports including SUP, canoeing, traditional board making, Hawaiian storytelling, and the aloha spirit.