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Sunday, August 22, 2004



[ SURFING ]


art
COURTESY OF MARK HANCOCK
Joel Tudor won both the open men's division and the men's noseriding event at the Queen's break in Waikiki yesterday.


Tudor takes 2 events
at Queen’s

The Californian's good fortune
continues at the Hawaiian Open
longboarding contest


The Duke would be proud.

At the very spot where the father of modern surfing rode and taught others in an effort to spread the sport beyond Hawaii, two Californians and a Hawaiian woman who's surfed "since I was in diapers," ruled the waves on the final day at the Converse Hawaiian Open.

A three-day longboarding contest at the Queen's break in Waikiki, the Hawaiian Open started a week's worth of festivities for the Duke Kahanamoku Ho'olaulea, a celebration of his birthday and life.

It was also the third of four contests in the U.S. Professional Longboard Surfing Championships series, and the richest pro event on Oahu's south shore in 15 years.

"Thank the Duke for getting us all surfing," said San Diego's Joel Tudor, who won both the open men's division as well as the men's noseriding event. "To win at this spot ... I'm stoked."

The 28-year-old Tudor is currently on a roll.

Last month in France, he picked up his second world longboarding championship. Yesterday he picked up $4,000 after emerging from an open final that included two other former world champs, and also nabbed another grand for his noseriding (most cumulative time spent riding on the front, or nose, of the board) victory.

And he'll be a father for the first time in just over a month as well.

"I'm on autopilot now," Tudor said. "I'm gonna pick and choose different events, but I'll never stop competing."

Of impending fatherhood, "maybe it has made a difference" with the high results, he added.

Known for his grace and technical skill, Tudor had both on full display in the waning 1- to 3-foot face surf in both of his 30-minute finals.

In his open final, Tudor scored 17.5 points (out of 20 maximum) for his top two rides, and even received a perfect 10 from one of the five judges for the last of the two -- a wave on which he went from hanging five toes off the nose, to all 10, then did three consecutive top turns before getting back on the nose in working the wave to the inside.

In the six-man noseriding final, Tudor logged 14.10 seconds of total time on the nose during his top two rides, to beat second-place Rusty Keaulana (13.94) of Makaha. Third through sixth were: Josh Baxter (13.30), Ben Kealoha (8.71), Dane Peterson (8.37) and Ben Lempke (5.11).

Finishing second through fourth in the open final were: 1996 world champ Bonga Perkins of Haleiwa, three-time former champ Colin McPhillips of California and Maui's Noah Shimabukuro.

"That was great, wasn't it? Joel, Colin, the sleeper from Maui, which is Noah," Perkins, 32, said. "All the guys were super-talented. ... One away from the top -- that ain't too bad. I'll take it."

Indeed, as 64 men and 32 women competed at the Hawaiian Open.

Honolulu's Pinoi Makalena -- a working mother of three -- used her knowledge of Queen's to total 12.46 points in the all-Hawaii four-woman open final, and also win $4,000.

While the 43-year-old Makalena doesn't travel on the U.S. circuit, she grew up surfing at this spot while her dad worked as a beachboy, and is a seasoned local competitor. She managed to catch a heat-high-tying seven total waves in the dying swell, and made the most of them with deft noserides and strong turns.

"I guess I lucked out," Makalena said. "You just had to find it. When it's small out there, that's the whole trick -- to find the right ones. ... I have a good time, no matter what, and I guess that pays off."

Second through fourth for the women were: Joy Magelssen, Desiree DeSoto and Amy Lawson.

Winning the women's noseriding event and $1,000 was 39-year-old Julie Whitegon of California.

The two-time defending U.S. women's champion went down in the quarterfinals of the open portion of the event, but recovered to log 10.39 seconds on the tip in the noseriding final, and beat runner-up and fellow Californian Summer Romero (6.16).

Third through sixth were: Crystal Dzigas (4.49), Geodee Clark (4.03), Jill Hanson (2.75) and Kristy Murphy (2.41).

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