More than 60 of Hawaii's best amateur surfers – from all islands – gathered on Oahu's south shore, at Kewalo Basin reef this past weekend, revved for 48 hours of non-stop competition. The final "award" at Sunday's end was selection to represent Hawaii in the International Surfing Association's World Junior Championships, scheduled for October 8-16 at Huntington Beach, Calif.
The 2-day elimination-rounds format was chosen for the selection event so that surfers and their parents could focus on one specific weekend only for the competition, rather than have multi-events that would have stretched out over a number of weekends and have been substantially costlier to everyone. Surfers went through one round of heats after another, winners against winners, "losers" against losers in repechage (2nd chance) rounds. In the end the numbers were whittled down to positions for everyone competing in the three divisions: Boys 16 and younger, Juniors age 17-18, and Girls 18 and younger.
In the weeks ahead there will be training sessions, then Hawaii's HASA State Championship results and other events for coaches and officials to draw their insights from in working with the junior team members.
Selected for the Hawaii Team:
John John Florence