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Sallas wins 1 for Waikiki


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POSTED: Saturday, August 29, 2009

Waikiki locals Kai Sallas and Kelia Moniz won the Pro/Am longboard divisions of the Duke's Ocean Fest yesterday.

Sallas, 28, captured victory in the Men's Toes On the Nose World Longboarding Classic. This contest is a tribute to legendary surfer Rabbit Kekai, who, like Sallas and Duke Kahanamoku, grew up surfing in Waikiki.

“;It's an honor to take after Duke (Kahanamoku) and Rabbit (Kekai) because I'm from Waikiki, too,”; said Sallas. “;To win while Rabbit is here, during the Duke Fest is real Waikiki-ish.”;

It wasn't easy for Sallas, who just came off a foot injury that dry-docked him for 10 weeks. Furthermore, the high tide peaked just before the final heat, and what should have been a surf contest turned into a wave-catching contest. Out of the four finalists in the men's division, three of them, including Sallas, received interference calls because of the excessive paddle battles and lack of contestable surf.

“;The waves were really small. When it gets high tide out (at Queens) the waves are really hard to catch,”; Sallas said of the 2-foot wave face heights. “;So, being from here and being that it's my homebreak I knew I needed a bigger board to have the advantage over the other guys. Noseriding was the key. The noserides and big board did it for me.”;

While this victory at Queens was one of many for Sallas, it was the first Waikiki win for Kelia Moniz in the Women's Gidget Pro. Kelia is the daughter of former pro surfer and surf instructor, Tony Moniz.

“;I was really happy to finally win a pro event (in Waikiki),”; said Kelia, who took home $2,000 for her first-place finish. “;Now I'm going to buy some shoes and a purse.”;