HONOLULU, August 26, 2009 – The 14th Annual Toes on the Nose Rabbit Kekai Longboard Classic came home to Waikiki today after 13 years in Costa Rica. The event’s namesake, “Rabbit” Kekai, 90, was on hand to greet competitors and share his words of Waikiki wave-riding wisdom as day one of the annual Duke’s OceanFest got underway.
Kekai is an original Waikiki Beachboy, regularly sharing the lineup with “Uncle Duke” Kahanamoku. These days “Rabbit” is the uncle, guiding countless young surfers on a safe course both in and out of the water.
Former world longboard champion Dino Miranda, 45, grew up here surfing Waikiki and navigating life alongside the energetic tourist buzz that abounds on the beachfront. This week he’s proud to be surfing in the Toes on the Nose at the Queen’s break that has been Kekai’s saltwater home for almost a century.
“If not for Uncle Rabbit and the Waikiki beachboys, I hate to think where I would be today,” says Miranda. “I remember hanging out with the other kids, making trouble, and Uncle Rabbit would give us slaps and tell us ‘go grab a board and get in the water’.
“I never got to meet the Duke, but Uncle Rabbit was our Duke, our legend, as Duke was for him.”
Miranda is one of the top 32 seeds in this event and will take to the water tomorrow, coming up against successful qualifiers from today’s competition. Miranda will surf his first heat against Waikiki’s David Carvalho, Venton Siliado, and Mainland surfer Troy Mothershead.
“As for bringing the event to Queens from Costa Rica, it’s the best thing the folks at Toes on the Nose could have done,” said Miranda. “You really couldn’t do any better than this for world class longboarding and nose-riding.”
The Rabbit Kekai Longboard Classic is a rated PLA- and ASP-sanctioned world-class event. As a Grade 2 LQS event, it offers a $12,000 purse and is a featured event of OceanFest, bringing authentic surfing roots to the celebration. The event will run through to its final on Friday.
The event is running live online at DukeFoundation.org.
For more information:
Jodi Wilmott, OCEAN PROMOTION
Round of 56: 1st, 2nd advance
H1: C Handley (HI); K Sarsh (HI); J Crittenden (CA)
H2: M Ah Hee (HI); N Ciotti (CA); K Sumer
H3: D Carvalho (HI); C Williams (CA); T Larkin (CA)
H4: L Davis (HI); M Thomas (HI); A Ybarra (CA)
Round of 48: 1st, 2nd advance
H1: C Handley (HI); L Barrow (CA);
H2: K Auwae (HI); K Sarsh (HI); D Ryder (CA); J Kepoo (HI)
H3: N Ahina (HI); M Ah Hee (HI); C Ulrich (CA); E Lloyd (HI)
H4: S Fong (HI); N. Ciotti (CA); S Alter (HI); A Castro (CA)
H5: A. Howard (CA); D Carvalho (HI); M Faulkner (HI); D Bourg (CA)
H6: T Mothershead (CA); C Williams (CA); G Wong (HI); B Robbins (CA)
H7: R Johnston (CA); L Davis (HI); R Farrow (CA); E Marin (CA)
H8: M Thomas (HI); G Nascimento (CA); J Marouse (CA); R Perez (Jpn)
Draw for Round of 32 (tomorrow)
H1: T Silvagni; J Baxter; C Handley; K Sarsh
H2: K Sallas; J Aaron; K Auwae; L Barrow
H3: K Auwae; K Uemura; N Ahina; N Ciotti
H4: D DeSoto; D Eudaly; S Fong Jr; M Ah Hee
H5: K Edwards; K Nahina; Z Howard; C Williams
H6: V Siliado; D Miranda; T Mothershead; D Carvalho
H7: T Jensen; E Gillis; R Johnston; G Nascimento
H8: C Robbins; S Newton; M Thomas; L Davis