Vierra, Apeles-Erickson capture world title

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island file

    In this June 27, 2018, file photo, Krystl Apeles and Kalani Vierra go through some of their poses during dry land practice at the Kauai Gymnastics Academy.

HONOLULU — Kauai tandem surfing team of Kalani Vierra and Krystl Apeles-Erickson captured the 2019 Pakaloha Bikinis Tandem Surfing World Championships, Friday during the meet that was held at Kuhio Beach, Waikiki.

According to Jack Leonard, the team’s coach, Vierra and Apeles-Erickson finished the meet topping the field of 10 teams, including teams from France, Africa, the US mainland, and Hawaii.

Vierra and Apeles-Erickson opened the meet by copping high scores in the preliminaries at 15.25 points in the 20-minute heats. Runner-up scores went to the team from France of Rico Leroy and Sarah Burel, and the No. 3 finishing team of Leleo Kinimaka and Lauren Oive of Hawaii who posted 11.03 points.

Advancing to the finals, Vierra and Apeles-Erickson again topped the field, finishing with top scores in all three lift routines over the runner up team of Kinimaka and Oive.

Lift Routine, No. 1 that includes Front Arch Split, Pike, Arm-to-Arm saw Vierra and Apeles-Erickson pull in 8.567 points to Kinimaka/Oive’s 7.70 points built on Split Acro and Flat. The Kauai team continued to build on its lead in the Lift Routine, No. 2 that included Contosion, Acro, and Scorpion moves.

Vierra and Apeles-Erickson tallied 13.20 points in that routine category to 11.667 points by Kinimaka and Oive who worked through Americano, Acro, Arm-to-Arm, and Shoulder Sit.

The new world tandem surfing champions locked up the meet in the Lift Routine, No 3, settling on 8.70 points on Split Acro and Flat while Kinimaka and Oive finished with 11.667 points on Scorpion.

The overall points gave the world tandem surfing championship to Vierra and Apeles-Erickson in the 5-star International Tandem Surfing Association event.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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