Kahanamoku Surf Tournament Successful
More than thirty surfers braved high winds and rain to compete in Saturday’s Duke Kahanamoku Surf Tournament. With over a hundred spectators and ten competitive categories event organizers are calling this year’s tournament a success.
"Even with the bad weather we had a great turnout," said William Acosta owner of the Tsunami Surf Shop. "We’re looking to make it an annual event."
While most of the participants were Rockaway and Long Beach locals, the competition had an international flare with surfers from Brazil, South Africa, Australia, and Puerto Rico.
Competition categories included Longboarding, Ladies, Body boarding, Menehune’s and others. Best surfer honors were given to Barbara Ott, Shane Ward and bodyboarder Angel Prieto.
The competition is named after the ‘father of modern surfing,’ Duke Kahanamoku. (Legend has it that Kahanamoku visited Rockaway in 1917 to give a surfing demonstration.)
Participants were judged on the length of the ride, maneuvering & movement. The best two waves counted and drop-ins were penalized.
Proceeds from the event were donated to the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department and the 100th Precinct Explorers program.
"It’s nice to see a local shop-owner giving back to the community so soon after starting his business," says Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Chief Craig Boyle.
"This competition brought together a lot of people," said City Councilman Joseph Addabo. "It’s great to see so many great surfers in the Rockaways."
Addabo also brought good news to the surfers. "We’re working with the state legislature to make Beach 90th street an official surfing beach. If it works here we’ll try one on the east end and one on the west end of the Rockaways."
Local surfers were positive about the weather for the tournament. "All we need is a low pressure and we’ll be out there," said bodyboarder Mike Foley.
Despite the bad weather for the competition, longboard competitor Sean Gerty says, "September and October are always the most consistent for waves in Rockaway."