Campbell makes Ole history
Kekaula Campbell re-established his supremacy at Launiupoko Beach Park by winning his sixth Ole Longboard Classic open men’s title Saturday, and became the first triple event winner in the 21-year history of the contest.
Campbell was so dominating that he won all eight of his heats in the pristine six-foot wave faces in Lahaina, and ended the two-year reign of Eric Casco in the open men’s competition. Campbell also won the 30-39 age group, and the “Ole” division, in which where competitors surfed on boards shaped by the contest’s namesake, Bob “Ole” Olson.
“I’m grateful we got some swell, it was busy,” Campbell said. “It was one of the best days for the Ole contest in quite a few years.”
Campbell’s three final heats were back-to-back-to-back.
“It was so tough,” he said. “I was so tired (in the open men’s final). I thought, ‘I just need two good ones.’ “
Campbell, a Kamehameha Schools intermediate school counselor, only rode three waves in the open men’s final, but his second ride was a great one. After catching a head-high wave, he quickly cross-stepped to the nose and hung 10 toes over the board for two seconds, then smoothly linked turns to the inside section, where he hot-footed to another hang 10.
One judge rewarded Campbell with the only perfect 10 of the contest.
“I thought Mau (Ah Hee) had won that one. I wasn’t expecting to win this to be honest,” Campbell said. “I knew that one wave was a good one. It gave me a little boost.”
Casco, who also won the Ole title last year, was in the same three final heats as Campbell this time. He ended his 30-39 final early when he rode a wave in and sat on the rocks until the start of the Ole final.
“My legs gave out on me,” said Casco, who had surfed five heats before the finals. “My leg locked up, cramping on me, probably from my hip surgery a year and a half ago. I was real tired, over-exhausted.”
Mahea Ah Hee won a split decision over Sierra Lerback to claim a third straight open women’s title. She also edged Lerback last year.
Ah Hee was happy to win, but a little saddened that her father wasn’t competing in the contest. Snake Ah Hee is a crew member on the Hokule’a voyaging canoe.
“I really miss my dad; dad’s been here every year,” Ah Hee said. “I haven’t talked to him since he left on July 6. He’ll be real happy I won.”
Lerback, a member of Lahainaluna High School’s first MIL champion surf team, won the junior women’s title. She will compete in her first professional contest this week at Duke’s Oceanfest in Waikiki.
“I’m just stoked to surf with girls who were super good,” Lerback said.
Augie Constantino and Charissa Kimura, the tandem winners, will also compete in their first pro event at Oceanfest.
“We killed it,” Constantino said. “We pulled off two moves we’ve never pulled off before in competition, the ‘grass shack’ and the ‘one-arm back.’ “
Gayle Miyaguchi defeated 11 men with stylish nose riding and drop-knee turns to claim the 50-59 age group. She missed her open women’s heat, an indirect result of Tropical Storm Iselle.
Miyaguchi raises asparagus, and sells it at a farmers market in Pukalani on Saturday mornings. The market was canceled Aug. 9, meaning she had a larger-than-usual inventory on Saturday, and a longer stay.
“I still had five to go, but I said, ‘I gotta go,’ ” Miyaguchi said. “I was so lucky, the waves came to me when I was out there. I was a little intimidated, but everyone was so nice.”
The other champions were Ty Simpson-Kane (menehune), Noah Hill (junior), Rhett Wiseman (junior men), Matt Pasamonte (19-29), Marco Molina (40-49) and Nathan Moody (60 and over).
OLE LONGBOARD CLASSIC
Saturday’s Results * At Launiupoko Beach Park
Open men-1. Kekaula Campbell, 2. Mau Ah Hee, 3. Kazuma Saita, 4. Matt Pasamonte, 5. Eric Casco, 6. Alika Apo.
Open women-1. Mahea Ah Hee, 2. Sierra Lerback, 3. Kana Saita, 4. Jasmine Bustamante, 5. Tara Tran, 6. Dustin Tester.
Ole-1. Kekaula Campbell, 2. Mau Ah Hee, 3. Johnny Pitzer, 4. Eric Casco, 5. Keoni Duey, 6. Matt Pasamonte.
Tandem-1. Augie Constantino and Charissa Kimura, 2. Garret Wiseman and Delaney McLaughlin, 3. Rhett Wiseman and Lily Hill, 4. Kailer and Taitum Jones.
Menehune (11 and under)-1. Ty Simpson-Kane, 2. Slater Peck, 3. Kai Claydon, 4. Angelo Constantino, 5. Zolton Paulsen, 6. Tylor Cho.
Junior (12-14)-1. Noah Hill, 2. Landen McLaughlin, 3. Itai Holland, 4. Kyra Duldulao, 5. Taitum Jones, 6. Madison Runyon.
Junior men (15-18)-1. Rhett Wiseman, 2. Travis Baptiste, 3. Kailer Jones, 4. Kyle Davis, 5. Dustin Pitzer, 6. Davis Pitzer.
Junior women (18 and under)-1. Sierra Lerback, 2. Ciara Boggs, 3. Haleigh Berko, 4. Madison Runyon, 5. Kyra Duldulao.
19-29-1. Matt Pasamonte, 2. Mau Ah Hee, 3. Johnny Pitzer, 4. Kazuma Saita, 5. Garret Wiseman, 6. Bridget Dunnion.
30-39-1. Kekaula Campbell, 2. Justin Lemire, 3. Eric Casco, 4. Mahea Ah Hee, 5. Cade Dudulao, 6. Tassio Silva.
40-49-1. Marco Molina, 2. Ken Goring, 3. Augie Constantino, 4. Paul Michaelson, 5. Maria Kingi, 6. Mark Shammon.
50-59-1. Gayle Miyaguchi, 2. David Stoeck, 3. David Wilson, 4. Glenn Fukushima, 5. Doug Pitzer, 6. Fernando Juan.
60 and over-1. Nathan Moody, 2. Mickey Ester, 3. Kevin Eide, 4. Barry Brown, 5. Marvin Mitchell, 6. Jeff Lackey.