Competitors and officials were greeted to epic conditions for the DKS Challenge and Pipeline Trials at Makapuu today with clean offshore winds and glassy 3-5 footers for the one-day event.
With limited positions in the main event up for grabs, a solid turnout signed up to get one of four spots for Men and three spots for the women remaining in each division. Riders competed for the $1000 prize purse, APB points up for grabs for the DK riders as qualifying for a super heat at Pipe for the four the finalists.
Dropknee: Maui’s Mack Criley narrowly edged out 2x DK world Champion Sammy Morretino followed by Kawika Kamai and Dayton Wago.
“I had to surf smart and consistent every heat to make the finals” said an excited Mack Criley.
“When I got put in the finals all I could think was I have to beat the champ… I can’t let him win again! Sammy is so hard to beat and it always seems to be a different with the same ending: Sammy Morretino wining! . For me to take Sammy out in epic conditions in Hawaii, even if it was just by a hair felt so satisfying and really grounded me back in track for the next events! I was worried about all the riders in that final. Kawika Kamai is one of the most dangerous bodyboarders around the world to compete with in any division! Dayton Wago is a Hawaiian drop-knee god! He even as his own board model! It’s gonna be an amazing heat out at Pipe, I know all the boys can agree on that! We all grew up surfing and competing with each other! Even though we are all great friends, that doesn’t mean we don’t make great rivals!! It’s a battle between the goofy and the regulars now with a chance to beat the world champion and claim the most prized trophy of all time Mr pipeline
Women’s Trials: After a number of low scores to start the final, Sarii Ohhara from Japan scored the highest points of the final and while Karla Costa Taylor 2nd chased, she could not quite match Sari. Traci Effinger placed 3rd and Valentino Diaz had a see saw battle until the end wiith Traci narrowly beating out the Chilean rider for the coveted Pipeline seed.
Men’s Trials: Hawaii’s Kahekili Labatte and Chris Hodges from the East coast (and riding with a pace maker) were the first riders to qualify for Pipe. Chris launched the biggest air of the event on the right hand bowl, but shortly after was beat out by Lebattes large flip on a similar section. Veteran and former South African National Champion Alistar Taylor beat out the youngest competitor of the trials, a super excited Santiago Kirchner 14, from Kona. to make up the other two to qualify.
Mike Stewart was stoked with the event.
“For Makapuu, conditions were good and the level of riding today was exceptional”, said Mike.
“We could only secure a one-day permit at Pipe this year but we have secured a multi-day permit next year and will be able let more people into the main event”, he added.
The successful trialsists were as follows:
That leaves three divisions now full the contest in on-hold until the waiting period begins on February 24th until March 8th and the best day of this period will be utilised for the main event.
At this point March 1-5 is looking potentially epic but an official call with be made shortly.
This year the Men’s main event will feature the Top 4 Women’s trialists competing in a Battle of the Sexes clash against the guys.
APB World Tour manager Teza Mckenna explains.
“It’s a first for us at APB and I’m not sure if this has never been done at a world tour event in the past, but we are all really excited to see how the girls go against the guys”, said Teza.
“I can only imagine that the other three guys in the heats with the women will be anxious to say the least”, laughed Tez.
The Men’s, Women’s & Drop-Knee draw are all available in the STACT App.
Stay tuned for more info soon.