HSA Invitational State Championship
By Kresta Painter & Chris Latronic
Great waves and sunshine helped to create an awesome setting for Hawai’i Surfing Associations (HSA) Invitational State Championship at Ala Moana Bowls on Oahu. For three days steady sets continued to roll through, giving ample opportunity for competitors to charge through their heats with waves in the 3 to 4ft. range on Thursday and Friday and dropping to 2 to 3ft. on Saturday. The invitation-only event is highly competitive and offers some of the best board riders from the Hawaiian Islands a chance to compete for the “State Champion” title. Spectators also had a chance to witness surfing legends like Koapaka Brown, Malcolm Ing and Roger Kinnamon, who competed in the 70 and over category, still shredding waves with style.
Originating in the early 1960’s, the event is Hawai‘i’s longest running surfing championship and offers fans a peek at some of the youngest up-and-coming stars of Hawai’i, potentially preparing many of them for a career in professional surfing. Although the event is competitive, the vibe is mostly one of camaraderie. Anya Shockley (age 11) found it easy to describe one facet of what makes a great surfer. “It’s about having a good attitude, supporting others and cheering them on”. This was most certainly the case among all of the youth and adult participants both in and out of the water. Robert Grilho Jr. stood proud and nervous on the shore as his 11-year-old son competed. When asked what it is like to be a parent of a kid who wants to be a competitive surfer, he smiled and said, “It’s all about enjoying the ride with him and hoping he has a smile at the end of the day”.
A big congratulations to all the winners, including Ocean Macedo, Brodi Sale, Kaulana Apo, Finn McGill, Brisa Hennessy and Kahanu Delovio, to name a few. Ocean Macedo of Maui, although the smallest competitor in his final, carved the biggest turns and ripped his way to a State Championship title. Brodi Sale of the Big Island gave us a glimpse of future endeavors as he sliced his way through a challenging division final. In disbelief till the very announcement, Brodi was all smiles in defense of his title. Kaulana Apo of Oahu used his experienced goofy foot technique to fend off heavy hitters like Imaikalani deVault and Taichi Wakita to state championship glory, while Finn McGill charged his way through to the finals and added a nice State Championship trophy to the mantle. Kailua’s Brisa Hennessy was in unbeatable form throughout the comp, well deserving of a state championship title in the Girls Shortboard U16 division while Big Island’s Kahanu Delovio took the trophy for 1st in Girls Shortboard U18 division.
A big heartfelt mahalo to the HSA event coordinator Wendell Aoki and crew. Their tireless efforts are inspiring many promising youth surfers. A special thanks to the Beach Marshall Raymond Shito, Hawaiian Water Patrol Terry Ahue, tabulators Patty Harada and Ivy Bloomfield-Foster along with the judges Jack Shipley, Bernie Baker, Eric “Jr.” Matsui, Don Dubie, Lane Inouye, Milo Murguia, and Dave Blanot for their roles in making it all happen. The event sponsors included Quicksilver, MOKU, XCEL, T&C Surf Designs, Surfco, Hurley, Phix Doctor, HIC, Surfer, Penske, Vissla, and Kanaka Solutions.
BOYS S.B. UNDER 12 YEARS OLD – GIRLS S.B. UNDER 12 YEARS OLD
1- BRODIE SALE 1- SAVANNH STONE
2- ROBERT GIRLHO III 2- GABBI KNUDSON
3- DIEGO FERRI 3- LUANA SILVA
4- LUKE SWANSON 4- ANGELINA YOSSA
BOYS S.B. UNDER 14 YEARS OLD -GIRLS S.B. UNDER 14 YEARS OLD
1- OCEAN MACEDO 1- KAI MATSUMOTO
2- KAINEHE HUNT 2- NOA MIZUNO
3- WYATT MCHALE 3- ALEX PENDLETON
4- COTE FRYE 5- MARC KOGA
BOYS S.B. UNDER 16 YEARS OLD -GIRLS S.B. UNDER 16 YEARS OLD