LAHAINA - Brothers Nick and Tony Nunez each claimed individual longboard titles and finished third in their shortboard divisions at the 19th annual Pohai Na Keiki Nalu (Gathering of the Surf Kids) on Saturday at Launiupoko Park.
Over 160 entries in nine divisions surfed clean waves of 1-3 feet. The contest proceeds, over $1,500, went to Olivia Bianco, a Lahaina 7-year-old who has brain cancer.
Nick Nunez, a Lahaina Intermediate School 7th-grader, took the 10-12 longboard title, defeating defending champion Noah Hill of Venice, Calif. Nick Nunez also finished third in the 11-12 shortboard.
Nick Nunez competes during the Pohai Na Keiki Nalu on Saturday at Launiupoko Park. Nunez won the 10-12 longboard division and placed third in the 11-12 shortboard.
Tony Nunez, a King Kamehameha III 4th-grader-to-be, won the 9-and-under longboard division and placed third in 9-10 shortboard.
It was the first time the brothers had won titles at the Pohai. Both defeated 23 other longboard surfers.
"That's cool," Nick Nunez said. "We both could win together, I was cheering for him."
Pohai Na Keiki Nalu
At Launiupoko Park
6 and under-1. Leo McGuin, 2. Eric Roberson, 3. Makoa Akuna, 4. Keegan Hart, 5. Kekoa Kiesling, 6. Cash Berzolla.
7-8-1. Jackson Bunch, 2. Luc Guidroz, 3. Seth Thompson, 4. Chase Anderson, 5. Ben DeWilde, 6. Ty Simpson-Kane.
9-10-1. Noah Hill, 2. Eli Hanneman, 3. Tony Nunez, 4. Axel Rosenblad, 5. Ocean Macedo, 6. Cole Alves.
11-12-1. Marco Rista, 2. Payce Duryea, 3. Nick Nunez, 4. Alexander Strand, 5. Jack Bowers, 6. Ethan Anderson.
Girls-1. Sophia Johnston, 2. Summer Macedo, 3. Alyson Kar, 4. Emma Gomez, 5. Tatiana Ringsby, 6. Skyla Adelano-Howard.
9 and under-1. Tony Nunez, 2. Jackson Bunch, 3. Ocean Macedo, 4. Ty Simpson-Kane, 5. Axel Roseblad, 6. Kai Jenkins.
10-12-1. Nick Nunez, 2. Noah Hill, 3. Payce Duryea, 4. Dante Silva, 5. Jack Bowers, 6. Summer Macedo.
9 and under-1. Caden Granum, 2. Stryder Olsen, 3. Max McKuin, 4. Leo McKuin, 5. Waikili Chappell, 6. Jaedan Correll.
10-12-1. Cordon Stapp, 2. Mark Garnaas, 3. Tani Kuluhiwa-Kim, 4. Michael Pszyk, 5. Dante Silva, 6. Aukai Storer.
Both boys also placed second in their weight classes at the AAU Wrestling State Championship last month.
Tony Nunez said he likes competing with his brother in the water and on the mat.
"Ninety percent of the time, I'm practicing with him," he said.
Hill defended his 9-10 shortboard title, edging Eli Hanneman of Lahaina in an exciting heat that was not decided until the last 60 seconds of their 15-minute final.
Hill was taking mostly lefts while Hanneman was going right almost every time.
"Going left, you get a good vertical outside turn, then a flat section of a few carves, and then the last little end section, you can do anything," Hill said.
Hill and Hanneman could meet up in three weeks at the National Scholastic Surfing Association championships in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Another surfer who impressed the judges was 8-year-old Jackson Bunch, a Doris Todd 3rd-grader. Bunch was named first by every judge in all of his 7-8 shortboard heats, and was second to Tony Nunez in the 9-and-under longboard.
"I pretty much surf every day," Bunch said. "But not when I'm sick."
Sophia Johnston of Lahaina won the girls shortboard a day after her 13th birthday - this year is the last in which she will be eligibile for the Pohai. Summer Macedo, last year's champion, was second.
"I had a lot of fun," Johnston said. "This was my last year, so winning it was awesome."
Caden Granum of Wailea also repeated, winning the 9-and-under bodyboard.
The other winners were Leo McKuin (6-and-under shortboard), Marco Rista (11-12 shortboard) and Cordon Stapp (10-12 bodyboard.)