France, Virginia, Waikiki. Future KimYe baby names? Possibly. Current surf competition locations? Definitely. They’re surfing everywhere this week, so let’s get all caught up with how the Kauai rippahs are doing on this Aloha Friday.
Starting closest to home, the 12th annual Duke’s OceanFest is ongoing at Waikiki (Aug. 17-25) and the Hawaiian Islands Creations (HIC) Pro Junior events took place Tuesday and Wednesday. The girls final featured Anahola’s Maluhia Kinimaka, who finished in fourth place. It was the second straight year that Maluhia reached the final, taking second place at the inaugural 1-Star competition in 2012. Sister Mainei also reached the final last year, taking third.
This year’s HIC Pro winners were Oahu’s Moana Jones on the women’s side and powerhouse Ezekiel Lau on the men’s side.
We’ll take the scenic route and head northwest (North West?) to the French town of Seignosse for the Swatch Girls Pro France, which features both a 6-Star ASP contest and a junior event.
Just a pair of heats have been completed in the junior competition, which features 48 of the best young women surfers in the world. Kauai’s Tatiana Weston-Webb and Nage Melamed each await their turn for their opening heats, but both were entrants into the 6-Star event, as well.
Of the 96 who began the main draw hoping to gain valuable World Ranking points – not to mention a piece of the $40,000 prize pool – just 18 surfers remain. That group does include Weston-Webb and Wailua’s Malia Manuel, a World Championship Tour member.
All three Kauai girls gained entry directly into the Round of 48. Manuel has since won both of her heats and is into the Round of 12.
Weston-Webb still has to get through her Round of 24 heat in order to join Manuel. She advanced through the Round of 48 with a second-place finish.
Melamed had one of the best performances of the event in the Round of 48, totaling the second-highest score of the round with an 8.00 and a 9.00 for a 17.00 total. Amazingly, she was overshadowed in her own heat by WCT pro Courtney Conlogue, who had a perfect 10 on her opening ride and backed it up with a 9.05 for the heat win. Though she advanced with the second place, Melamed then fell in a stacked Round of 24 heat that included three WCT women – Manuel, Paige Hareb and Rebecca Woods.
The Swatch Girls Pro France is scheduled to run through Sunday.
Hopping over the Atlantic to Virginia Beach, Va., the 4-Star Vans Pro and Vans Pro Junior events got underway Tuesday. Kauai’s Chris Foster and Koa Smith each advanced through their early heats in the Round of 128 in the men’s event. Foster then nabbed a second in the Round of 96, though Smith was eliminated by just a third of a point.
In the Round of 64, Foster joined Kauai’s Kaimana Jaquias and Dylan Goodale, who each gained direct entry to that stage. He was the only one of the three to advance, picking up another second place for a spot in the Round of 32. Foster will hope to continue his impressive week when action resumes, though that will likely not be until a new swell arrives on Saturday.
Smith and Jaquias each worked overtime shifts, also entering the junior event. Smith easily won his Round of 64 heat and Jaquias took a second place, so each will be in the water for the Round of 32 when the waves again cooperate.