Miyamoto, Hardy seize Pipe titles


POSTED: Wednesday, February 25, 2009

For the second consecutive year, Kauai's Bud Miyamoto captured the Turbo Pipeline Pro drop-knee division title in 6- to 12-foot wave faces yesterday.

Miyamoto, 25, dedicated his win to his daughter, Journey, and hailed this event as “;the biggest victory on Earth”; for drop knee.

“;This win is the best feeling ever because this contest is the biggest you could win ever for drop knee,”; Miyamoto said. “;The best guys in the world are out here. Pipe with six guys out is the best feeling. Stoked!”;

Miyamoto used excellent wave selection in the final heat, narrowly beating fellow Kauaian and runner-up Dave Hubbard. Australia's Mat Lackey claimed third place and Maui's Damien Boone finished in fourth.

Hawaii is one of the few places in the wave-riding world that embraces bodyboarding and Miyamoto's performance yesterday was a testament to that.

“;(Bodyboarding) is big,”; said Miyamoto of the sport's presence in the state. “;This is what we live for ... to be in the ocean.”;

Miyamoto made the drop-knee style of bodyboarding look effortless and easy, but this form of wave riding is notoriously difficult.

“;No skegs, fins not in the water and you're on your board is pretty much the hardest thing you can do at Pipe,”; Miyamoto said.

While Miyamoto and the Hawaii contingent dominated the DK division, it was a different story for the local boys in the prone division of the Turbo Pipeline Pro.

“;Too bad, my friend D- Phil (David Phillips) from Kauai made it to the (semifinal), the last Hawaii (contestant),”; said Miyamoto. “;But, never make the final. But, still holding it down.”;

The Hawaii favorites to win the prone division, former bodyboard world champs Mike Stewart and Dave Hubbard, went down in the quarterfinals. This left the door wide open for visiting competitors to charge Pipe's gaping barrels in the final.

Australian Ryan Hardy, 29, won the division. Although there were overcast skies and scattered showers, it didn't stop two dozen Aussies from watching Hardy annihilate the world-class competition at the first event of the 2009 International Bodyboard Association World Tour.

Double the ratings points were on the line in the Grand Slam event, so Hardy is now sitting in the IBA's No. 1 spot.

“;This is up there with the best wins,”; said Hardy. “;I want to go to all the Grand Slam contests and do the same thing I did here: give it my all and if the world title comes after, that would be a dream come true.”;

Hardy has been coming to Hawaii for the winter swells for the past 12 years and showed his Pipe experience. He caught the wave of the final, a deep Pipe tube with two rollos at the end and capped it off with a 360 on the end section. The judges gave the ride a 9.43 and the Aussie cheering squad erupted in chants of “;Hardy, Hardy!”;

Finishing behind Hardy was France's Pierre Louis Costes. Former world bodyboard champ Guilherme Tamega from Brazil was third and Australia's Dave Winchester finished fourth.