China Uemura´s 19th Annual Longboard Surfing Classic
China Uemura´s 19th Annual Longboard Surfing Classic.
Queen´s, Kuhio Beach, Waikiki
25 - 27 July 2003
Bonga Perkins wins Pro Am division
The event featuring more than 250 competitors, concluded on Sunday in 1- to 3-foot waves. Male and female competitors of all ages were eligible to enter, under two conditions: longboards only and a $30 entry fee.
Uemura, a former national champion, has been running the contest every year since 1985. He said it is his way of "giving back to the community" that supported him when he was a competitive surfer. It has become one of the largest longboard-only surfing contests in the world. Entry fees are donated to a local cause or charity.
"It´s an awesome contest every year," said girls competitor Joy Magelssen. "It´s really neat that this contest is not all about making money and everybody being competitive. It´s more about having fun and donating to charity."
Magelssen and her sisters have been competing in the contest for at least five years. Yesterday, Joy won the girls division (for ages 14 to 17) and her younger sister Kristen placed second. "It´s the first time we ever got first and second," Kristen said. "But she´s nice to me and she helps me out."
Uemura has already started planning for the future. His son Kekoa — who is one of Hawai´i´s top professional longboard surfers — and daughter Kanoelani performed administrative duties for the contest this year. "I want them to learn so that they can run it if I´m not around," China said.
Word of Uemura´s contest has spread across the state, and many longboard surfers come from other islands to enter. Roger Aka Pai of Makawao, Maui, entered the boys division for the first time this year. Pai wound up taking home a first-place trophy and a bag full or prizes.
First-place surfers get the biggest trophies, but the lower-placing surfers get better prizes. Surfers who do not make the finals can enter drawings for surfboards and other prizes. "I want everybody to go home happy," Uemura said.
For the first time in the history of the contest, Uemura created a professional division, complete with prize money. The pro final was completed Friday, but Uemura did not announce the winner until yesterday´s awards presentation. Former world champion Bonga Perkins was declared the winner of the pro final and received $1,200. Jye Byrnes of Australia placed second and received $600.
Other standouts from yesterday´s amateur finals were Jon Okamura in the senior men´s division, Zane Aikau in masters men, Desire DeSoto in women, and Maka Pua´a in grandmasters women.
Official results available here
Compilation by O´Board
Longboard-Contests - Surfersvillage