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Honolua Surf Company Presents “Legends of the Bay”

By Kiva Rivers   Photos Erik Aeder

With another amazing Hawaiʻi winter surf season behind us, there was no shortage of big surf rolling onto our shorelines. It was only a matter of time before our annual “Legends of the Bay” event got called on. With the trade winds blowing lightly, the warm sun shining, and the waves looking absolutely incredible, the dual-day event was given the green light one epic late January weekend.

For well over twenty years, Honolua Surf Company has had the honor of hosting the “Legends of the Bay” surf contest held at Honolua Bay on the western side of Maui. Honolua Bay has a long-standing reputation for being one of the world’s best waves. With its perfect point break set up, crystal clear blue waters, and the consistent offshore trade wind breezes, it’s an outstanding wave for good reason. This contest has been an incredible opportunity for Maui’s local surfers to surf in a competitive format at Honolua Bay with only a few other surfers in the water. This gives all of the competitors a chance to showcase their surfing skills without having to negotiate picking off a wave with the usual crowded lineup – a typical scene on any given day that Honolua Bay has nice waves rolling through.

This year the “Legends of the Bay” surf contest kicked off with an increasing northwest swell, that started filling in during the early morning heats in the 2-3ft range. By mid-day, the swell continued to build and the waves started absolutely pumping, with light trade winds in the 4-6ft range and continued until the sun went down, making for perfectly groomed waves with perfect offshore conditions! Once the swell filled in, its consistency provided ample scoring opportunities for all of the competitors. The Open Men’s division contestants were all shredding it up, with countless great tube rides, powerful, stylish turns, and progressive maneuvers! Ian Gentil was able to find his rhythm early in the day, getting several impressive rides and applying tons of speed, power, and flow with his surfing talents; talents that ended up being unmatched by anyone else throughout the day! The level of surfing was at its peak as each competitor hoped to head home crowned as the 2020 “Legends of the Bay” champion. At the end of the day, however, of a field of 96 competitors, only Ian Gentil was able to carry his momentum all the way into the final and ended up taking the overall win in the Open Men’s Division!

Luckily, when day two of the 2020 “Legends of the Bay” event came rolling around, the waves lined up again, this time in the 3-5ft range with just a touch more north direction in the swell. The waves were super epic and kept rolling in non-stop, which allowed for some great tube rides and incredible surfing maneuvers, allowing all of the other divisions’ surfing talents to explode on the empty, peeling walls of Honolua Bay. Maui’s up-and-comers put on an incredibly smooth and futuristic display of surfing. In the boys’ divisions, it was names like Kingston Panebianco, Rylan Beavers, Levi Young, and Kai Paula, which ended up taking first place in their highly contested divisions. In the women’s divisions, it came down to Stella Valdez and Summer Macedo, taking the overall wins in their respective divisions!

The Open Longboard division saw Mau AhHee connect a smooth ride all the way through the ‘cave’ section with multiple tricks and great footwork to end up taking the overall win. In the newly added bodyboard division, with a super long barrel ride, it was Maui’s own Jimmy Hutaff who ended up with the win!

During day two there was a break in the contest action, for a 30-minute expression session held for some of the long-time surfing local legends of Honolua Bay. Honolua has always had a deep surfing history, rooted with many surfing talents whose surfboards have glided over the perfectly groomed walls of Honolua Bay for many decades in years past. It was great to watch some of Honolua Bay’s all-time best surfers come together for a surfing exhibit in an uncrowded lineup. During their heat, the waves seemed like they wanted to celebrate having so many long time friends all surfing together in the lineup, they didn’t stop pumping during their entire heat, allowing them all to put on an incredible show of their timeless styles and approaches while all riding perfect waves at Honolua Bay together.

This contest has always taken a lot of coordinated efforts and kōkua starting months before the event and without the help of our community sponsors, along with the HSA Maui organization, this contest would definitely not have been the overall success that it was this year. This two-day event is the closing surf contest of the season for the HSA Maui organization and it was certainly an amazing way to end the HSA Maui season! We are so grateful that Honolua Bay greeted us with amazing waves and picture-perfect weather during both days of surfing competition.

 

2020 “Legends of the Bay” contest results

Open Men’s Final
1 Ian Gentil
2 Eli Hanneman
3 Granger Larsen
4 Dege Oconnel

Open Women’s Final
1 Summer Macedo
2 Bettylou Sakura-Json
3 Erin Brooks
4 Chrislyn Simosomkane
5 Sierra Larsen
6 Carissa Moore

Open Longboard Final
1 Mau AhHee
2 Zachary Newton
3 Ty Simpsonkane
4 Travis Alexander
5 Makoa Akana
6 Slater Fleck

Boys Under 12 Final
1 Kingston Panebianco
2 Marley Lopaka Franco
3 Keone Roitman
4 Ethan Mangat
5 Memphis Brown
6 Nahuel Messera

Boys 12-13 Final
1 Rylan Beavers
2 Nikoa Gazzola
3 Nalu Deodata
4 Justin Roberson
5 Tosh Stratton
6 Cannon Carr

Boys 14-15 Final
1 Levi Young
2 Kai Martin
3 Kanoa Kaiwi
4 Diego Ferri
5 Shion Crawford
6 Leo Olson

Boys 16-17 Final
1 Kai Paula
2 Ocean Macedo
3 Tony Nunez
4 Lucas Reed
5 Axel Rosenblad
6 Jacques Monchau

Open Bodyboard Final
1 Jimmy Hutaff
2 Jon-Michael Delkma
3 Kaleo Delatori
4 Kona Kuailani
5 Jonah Kitajima
6 Beau Paleka-Borden

Legends Final
1 Wendell Payne
2 Mark Anderson
3 Dino Miranda
4 Albert Jenks
5 Toliver Beebe
6 Eric Totah
7 Dexter Green
8 Russ Kuamoo
9 Mike Crow
10 Roy Yamada
11 Judd Lau