Haupu snags four-pound, 11-ounce tako to win Libres title

Shane Haupu holds his winning tako. Jimmie Hepp photos

The Maui News

Shane Haupu of Wailuku joined his younger brother Sherman as a tako champion at the 32ndannual Larry Libres Fishing and Diving Tournament on Saturday at Kanaha Beach Park.

Shane Haupu caught a four-pound, 11-ounce tako to beat out 248 other divers. In 2010, Sherman Haupu won with a four-pound, 11.5-ounce octopus.

Fifty divers brought 75 tako to the scale. Last year Fernando Pagampao, won with a three-pound, one-ounce catch – that would have been only good for 15th-place this year.

Shane Haupu was smiling after he was announced the winner.

Competitors fishing for oama.

“I feel good, every time I enter, I never place,” he said. “I got lucky, coming inside I pick him up. I saw the head with the blowout, see all the white rocks go out.”

Randy Hillen, the 2017 champion, was second with a tako just under four pounds. The Kanaha lifeguard was third last year.

He was the first to the scale, weighing a two-pound, 10-ounce octopus just 25 minutes after the shotgun start.

“I got that one right here by the small tower, about five minutes into the dive,” Hillen said. “Then I jumped in the swim zone and swam all the way down. I head out that way, hardly any (dive) flags that side.”

Hillen was rewarded for his long swim. In addition to his runner-up catch, he also caught a two-pound, two-ounce tako.

Kalai Chong, a King Kekaulike sophomore, was the youngest to place, finishing ninth with a three-pound, five-ounce catch.

“I got lucky, two holes I seen were down there, down the wall by the sewage plant,” he said. “I worked for that tako today.”

James Elizares, the 2015 champion, finished third with three-pound, 12-ounce tako.

The youngest to place was 15-year-old Kalai Chong. The King Kekaulike High School sophomore who was diving with his grandfather Jeff Chong placed ninth with a three-pound, five-ounce catch.

The contest also drew 285 competitors in the oama fishing. There were 111 fisher-men and -women who brought fish to be measured.

Darrell Barauiban of Wailuku won the oama 13-and-over age division competition with a 12.2-centimeter catch. Elijah Acidera, a 1st-grader at Emmanuel Luthern School, took the 12-and-under division with an 11.7-centimeter fish.

Billy Caliva placed seventh in tako, and also holds an Awa that he speared at the contest.

LARRY LIBRES FISHING AND DIVING TOURNAMENT

Tako–1. Shane Haupu, Wailuku, 4 lbs. 11 oz., 2. Randy Hillen, Wailuku, 3 lbs. 15.5 oz., 3. James Elizares, Kahului, 3 lbs. 12 oz., 4. Junior Carvalho, Makawao, 3 lbs. 9.5 oz., 5. Erick Acidera, Pukalani, 3 lbs. 9.5 oz., 6. John Twist, Makawao, 3 lbs. 7 oz., 7. Billy Caliva, Kahului, 3 lbs. 6.5 oz., 8. Larry Dagdag, Kihei, 3 lbs. 5.5 oz., 9. Kalai Chong, Paia, 3 lbs. 5 oz., 10. Carlton Salsido-Wailuku, 3 lbs. 4.5 oz.

Oama–13-over–1. Darrell Barauiban, Wailuku, 12.2 cm.m 2. Race Hozaki, Kahului, 12.0 cm., 3. Kevin Shinjo, Wailuku, 12.0 cm., 4. Tiare Arruda, Haiku, 11.9 cm., 5. Garrick Hinaga-Pukalani, 11.9 cm.

Oama–12-under–1. Elijah Acidera, Pukalani, 11.7 cm., 2. Calan Frederick-Haiku, 11.5 cm., 3. Kaio Menelau, Makawao, 11.5 cm., 4. Makoa Cayan, Kahului, 11.4 cm., 5. Leah Nguyen, Wailuku, 11.4 cm.