Hawaii Beat

Star-Bulletin Staff

Keala Kennelly has won four times in Tahiti in six starts.

Kennelly rips
to another win

Teahupoo, Tahiti >> Keala Kennelly won the battle of Kauai when she defeated fellow Kauai surfer Rochelle Ballard to win the 2003 Billabong Pro Teahupoo women's World Championship Tournament yesterday.

Kennelly, the undisputed Queen of Teahupoo, clinched an amazing fourth event title at the life-threatening venue. Having won the first World Qualifying Series tournament staged at the shallow reef break in 1998, the 24-year-old has continued to dominate each year, and now holds a stunning record of four victories from six starts.

Against Ballard in the 35-minute decider, Kennelly remained the clear favorite. Unfortunately the ocean failed to produce the goods, and both barrel-riding maestros sat for the majority waiting for bigger set waves that never came. After a couple of low scores, the goofy footer held a slender lead, then locked in the final's best single score of 6.0 with a small tube and committed re-entry over the exposed inside reef.

Kennelly pocketed $10,000 and created a strong ratings lead after her second consecutive win in as many weeks.

"What a shame it was an anti-climatic final," Kennelly said. "It just stopped (breaking) and was a real nail-biter. We were waiting for the bombs and the ocean didn't co-operate. Going up against Rochelle -- she's one of my heroes and inspires me. I wish it could have been more of a barrel contest, but she surfed insane all the way through the entire event, so I was stoked to come up against her in the final."

Nitta gets Leahey award

George "Manju" Nitta is this year's recipient of the Chuck Leahey Memorial Award that is presented annually to a person dedicated to the game of baseball in Hawaii.

The ceremony was held prior to the Hawaii-Louisiana Tech game at Murakami Stadium with Chuck's son Jim making the presentation.

Nitta played baseball at Waipahu High School, in the U.S. Army and professionally in Japan. He then played for the Asahi and managed the Ujimori Hawks of the Hawaii Baseball League.

For the past 25 years Nitta, a retired City and County building inspector, has conducted free baseball clinics every Sunday at Beretania Community Park.

In addition, Nitta and his associates conduct three-day clinics on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.

Future Rainbows speaking at QB Club

Hawaii basketball coach Bob Nash and his son, Bobby Nash, will be the featured speakers at tomorrow's meeting of the Honolulu Quarterback club.

Joining them will be Roosevelt baseball coach Kerry Higa and pitcher Kaimi Mead.

Hawaii swimming and diving coach Mike Anderson will also speak at the event, which begins at noon at the Pagoda restaurant.

Iolani seeks coach for girls volleyball team

Resumes are being accepted for the head girls volleyball coaching vacancy at Iolani School created by the retirement of Ann Kang.

Interested coaches should call Raider athletic director Carl Schroers at 943-2208 for information. The deadline is May 20.

See line scores and results in
the [Scoreboard] section.

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