O’Rourke advances in early Red Eye

POIPU — A large throng of body boarders took advantage of a rising south bump Friday morning as the first International Bodyboarders Association Tour opened at Shipwreck’s beach in Poipu.

“We’ve got some real good waves,” said Micah Domingcil, a volunteer with the Red Eye Clothing/Science challenge. “And the waves are predicted to get better for the weekend.”

Meghann Matsuda, owner of Red Eye Clothing which is being sold at the surf meet, said this is the fourth event, but the first as being part of the IBA Tour.

The tournament featuring Amateur, Pro, and DK Division runs through Sunday at the Shipwreck’s break with prizes totaling more than $5,000 for the amateur division including boards, clothing, hats, gift certificates, skateboards, and a Go Pro from Da Life Outdoor Gear which also has a booth where various items are available.

Nick Wehrly is registered to participate in the Pro and Amateur division.

“It’s good to be able to surf with pros who fly in for this event,” Wehrly said. “Normally, we are the ones flying out to surf in these types of events.”

Surfing starts at around 8 a.m. and continues until around 5 p.m.

“This should be a good contest,” said Trevor Singer, registered to compete in the divisions. “This is my home break and we have good waves. There should be some action.”

Opening round action saw Matthew O’Rourke hit the water with Kainoa Lono and Kaulupali Makaneole, O’Rourke being the last of the trio to catch a wave.

But it was a doozey and O’Rourke launched into the lead, holding off a concerted effort by Lono late in the wave to capture the heat, 14.3 points to Lono’s 11.33 points. Makaneole, needing four points to stay in the chase, timed out and settled for 9.9 points.

Matsuda said Red Eye Clothing works with all of the sponsors to help kids pursue their passion instead of drugs.

“We would rather see them get red eye’d from surfing all day, skating all night, or even hitting the books, instead of drugs,” Matsuda said. “All Red Eye Clothing and body boarders are giving a better reason for having all red eyes. Continue to pursue your passion, not drugs!”

The Red Eye challenge is sponsored by Hawaii Media, Da Life Outdoor Gear, Puka Surf Hawaii, Mike Stewart and Science.

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