Miller’s Surf Big Island Challenge ‘Totally Awesome!’
Jeff Hubbard won his third consecutive title at the Kellogg’s Hawaii Bodyboarding Tour in Hilo this weekend for the Miller’s Surf Big Island Challenge.
An international field of competitors took the lineup to Honoli‘i to compete in the fourth stop of the 2016 Tour on Nov. 19 and 20.
The Miller’s Surf Challenge featured over 100 competitors competing for $6,000 in cash prizes in the Men’s, Women’s, DropKnee, Junior’s, Stand Up and Masters Divisions.
Hubbard previously won the men’s division at the Ala Moana Bowls Challenge in August and the Sandy Beach Challenge in September.
“A big thanks goes out to Norm Skorge, the staff and Mike Stewart for making sure this event happened,” said Hubbard after his win in Hilo.
“It’s so awesome to have a tour here in Hawai‘i, and we’re so blessed to have such good riders come out of all areas of the state,” he continued. “In this final, we had young gun Peyton from the Big Island and Sammy Morretino from Kaua‘i. Mike and I held it down for the older boys. Thank you, everyone, for coming out. What a great day we had in Hilo!”
Both Morretino and Peyton Oda, who were pitted against two icons of the sport in the final, battled their way through the heat, flipping, spinning and carving until the final horn sounded.
Peyton came in fourth, and Sammy was edged out by .3 of a point by second-place finisher Stewart.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Sammy said after being told that he was the 2016 Hawaii Bodyboarding Pro Tour Champion in the DropKnee Division. “I’m stoked, so thank all you guys for putting the event on. Another thank you to my sponsors, thank all you, guys. It’s been a great year.”
“I’m just stoked to mix it up with these guys,” said surf legend Stewart. “The wave doesn’t see your age, your skin color or your gender. It’s like you’re out there in the ocean and it kind of erases all of that. It’s more about trying to get a rhythm with the ocean, applying your technique to the waves you can find.”
The Men’s and DropKnee divisions ran on Sunday and the Women’s, Stand Up, Junior’s and Master’s Divisions ran Saturday.
Tanner McDaniel from Kaua‘i won the Junior’s Division at Honoli‘i and was crowned as the Junior Champion for the 2016 Tour.
Karla Costa finished first in the Women’s Division and Mack Crilley, after coming in second to Sammy Morretino this weekend, was named the Stand Up Champion for the year.
“Hawaii as a state and region has tremendous talent,” explained Norm Skorage, Hawaii Bodyboarding Pro Tour organizer. “What our tour is all about is developing that talent to compete on the world stage.”
“This contest allows me to give back to this island,” explained event sponsor Mark Waldo of Miller’s Surf in Kona. “Today’s been awesome. Honestly, I love this place.”
Miller’s Surf Big Island Challenge Results
Men’s Division Final
1 Jeff Hubbard 15.63 – 2016 Kellogg’s Hawaii Bodyboarding Tour Men’s Champion
2 Mike Stewart 14.8
3 Sammy Morretino 14.5
4 Peyton Oda 11.34
1 Sammy Morretino 16.17 – 2016 Kellogg’s Hawaii Bodyboarding Tour DropKnee Champion
2 Bud Miyamoto 14.27
3 Kaleo Huddy 12.6
4 Daylan Saniatan 9.34
Stand Up Final
1 Sammy Morretino 13.34
2 Mack Crilley 12.67 – 2016 Kellogg’s Hawaii Bodyboarding Tour Stand Up Champion
3 Rob Keyser 8.73
4 Colby Alcos
1 Jimmy Hutaff 13.33 – 2016 Kellogg’s Hawaii Bodyboarding Tour Masters Champion
2 Marshall Orr 8.8
3 Peter Cosgrove 8.33
4 Eric Tachera 5.33
1 Tanner McDaniel 13.34 — 2016 Kellogg’s Hawaii Bodyboarding Tour Junior Champion
2 Peyton Oda 10.50
3 Kellen Yamasaki 8.73
4 Cordon Stapp 3.17
1 Karla Costa 12.83 – 2016 Kellogg’s Hawaii Bodyboarding Tour Women’s Champion
2 Sandra Silva 8.37
3 Mahina Gerrity
3 Alana Dickens
The 2017 season will run April to November and expects to have to Big Island events with one at Honoli‘i and one on the west side of the island.