Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, June 18, 2001


Surfer Joy Magelssen won the junior wahine division in yesterday's
Hawaiian South Shore Open at Kewalo Basin.

Valentin breaks
through on South
shore in HSS Open

The 32-year old father of
two improves on an
already special day

By Brandon Lee

Longboarder Joey Valentin could not have imagined a better day off from work than the one he experienced yesterday.

As the proud daddy of two girls, Father's Day was already special for the 32-year-old Valentin. But topping the day off by winning his first professional surf contest in some time at the Hawaiian South Shore Open at Kewalo Basin made it that much better.

"Winning a contest on Father's Day ... it doesn't get any better than that," Valentin said. "I haven't made a final in awhile, so (to win) feels really good. I'm getting older now, so a lot of my focus is with work and the family. It's not really surrounded with my surfing, but I still love to compete."

The HSS Open was the second in the six-event Hawaiian Longboard Federation 2001 Steinlager Series. Keegan Edwards took second place in the four-man professional final, while Kekoa Uemura -- the winner of the series opener -- placed third. Kapono Nahina finished fourth.

Valentin, the series overall champion in 1998 and 1999, started the day off strong by winning his semifinal heat and advancing to the final. In the 1- to 2-foot surf that got more consistent and clean as the day progressed, he routinely picked off the best waves and smoothly transitioned from maneuver to maneuver.

At the midway point of the final, the biggest set of the heat came through with Valentin snagging the second wave. He pulled into the barreling section of the wave, was completely covered up, came out the other side and went right into a knifing roundhouse cutback.

Valentin received the highest wave score of the final for that ride, securing both a 9.5 and 9.0 (out of a 10-point maximum) from two of the five judges.

"I tried to catch the better, bigger waves," Valentin said. "The competition level is high. Everybody is capable of winning the contest ... I was just trying to mix it up, maybe do something the other guys weren't doing."

Uemura caught the first wave of the same set and also went for a tube ride. Unfortunately for him, he didn't manage to come out of it and lost his board in the wipeout.

In a true gesture of sportsmanship, Edwards grabbed Uemura's board for him as he was paddling back out from the inside. His good deed was rewarded -- Edwards was able to nab two nice waves toward the end of the final that helped him to his second-place showing.

"We grew up together, that's my good friend," Edwards said of Uemura. "I don't want to win like that (making Uemura swim for his board). We're all not wearing leashes, so I would hope someone would do the same thing for me."

Uemura still maintained his overall series points lead with a 1,730 total after two contests. Valentin is in second with 1,610, and Edwards, third, with 1,530.

In the Wahine final, four-time defending overall series champion Pinoi Makalena won her first contest of the year. Maka Puaa took second after winning this year's opener.

The next contest in the series will be the Toes at the Bowl, July 14-15 at the Ala Moana Bowl.

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