LAHAINA – Maui is particular on account of the spirit of ohana and group. It is a position the place you notice acquainted faces on the marketplace, colleagues on the seaside, pals at the highway. Maui is the Goldilocks island – now not too large, now not too small. It is excellent.

West Maui is additional particular, as a result of it is an island unto itself. Bring to an end from the remainder of the Central Valley by way of the West Maui Mountains, the citizens and individuals of West Maui are tight knit.

Inside of our broader West Maui group we now have myriad ocean-loving sub-communities: paddlers, divers, snorkelers, sailors, windsurfers, loose swimmers and my very own tribe, surfers.

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Makoa Akana of Lahaina gained the Juniors (age 11-13) Department. PHOTO BY DAYANIDHI.

Within the West Aspect surf group, there are a couple of surf contests every yr that deliver everybody in combination: grommets, masters, children, spectators, households. All are welcome.

First is the Kimo’s Mala Longboard contest that Jack Starr and his crew placed on each summer time, celebrating single-fin oldschool forums with out leashes. This yr used to be the 40th annual contest, retaining alive a West Aspect custom since 1979.

2nd is the Legends of the Bay contest at Honolua. It is a Hawaii Surf Affiliation contest that has had extensive make stronger from the Willard circle of relatives, Kiva Rivers and Honolua Surf Co. over the yr. This contest has been working for many years, and the names of native legends like Mark Anderson enhance the trophy. It is a loved annual contest at Maui’s maximum unbelievable surf spot.

In any case, the Bob “Ole” Olson longboard contest occurs at Launiupoko on the finish of every summer time, simply because it has annually for 26 years. Of the 3 contests, that is probably the most a laugh for households. Coloration, grassy parks, a safe lagoon, quite a few parking; this contest inevitably becomes an all day seaside birthday celebration.

Kim Ball, the Ball Circle of relatives and Kim’s team at Hello-Tech Surf Sports activities are the name of the game to the entire operation. They come earlier than daybreak to arrange tents, audio system and tables. They paintings exhausting all day pronouncing, judging and posting rankings. They usually end within the night with prizes and celebrations and breakdown. This can be a complete day operation, and Kim and his crew pull it off each time.

Key individuals of the crew come with Seashore Marshall Bryan Goodnight, Announcer Ricky Ryan, Head Pass judgement on Al Sagon, Pass judgement on Tasha Jahrmarkt, Scorekeeper Momi Ball, web site arrange by way of Lindsay Ball and timekeeping by way of Kainalu Ball. Past this, a complete of 12 judges stored scoring simultaneous six-man heats all over the day. Even Ole’s spouse, Bev, labored as a pass judgement on, giving prime rankings for traditional nostril rides. (Ole is not allowed to pass judgement on, or everybody could be a winner on his scorecard!)

Maui surf group elder Kim Ball put it absolute best: “We began the competition in 1994, when Bob “Ole” Olson used to be best 64…. he’s going to be 90 in November! It used to be began as a a laugh contest to deliver households, older surfers, more youthful surfers and households in combination for an afternoon of a laugh longboard festival. Now we now have two complete heats of 60 and older, and there may be communicate that guys desire a 70 and older department!”

The Ole contest is a meeting of the Maui surf tribe. Bob is a real West Aspect legend, and he galvanizes the group. Now an octogenarian, Bob has been hand-shaping vintage longboards in his Lahaina Shapers Bay for many years. The blank, actual strains of his longboard shapes are coveted by way of each longboarder on Maui, and this contest is a pageant and exhibit of board craft and surf taste.

I entered for my first time this yr. Truthfully, I am not an match winner. I am a browsing yeoman, doing the most productive I will be able to with my slide and waft to the tip of the journey. After I compete in opposition to guys like Eric Casco, Mau Ah Hee or Kalei Kauhane, I do not end in most sensible place, as a result of the ones guys can fly and dance, shuck and jive, cross-step and cling ten. I will be able to do a little of the ones issues infrequently, however the world-class native team dominates for just right reason why.

In my first warmth, which used to be the primary warmth of the day at 7 a.m. sharp, I paddled out with 11 different competition. We cut up up into two peaks, and the morning glassy, calm ocean endured to be simply that. All folks scratched for waves, and I picked up a couple of mini rides, simply sufficient to earn 5th position in my warmth the Males’s Open Department. No longer sufficient to advance.

I had a 2nd probability within the age 30-39 Department, and I grew to become up my aggressive spirit. I checked my time, paddled robust, rode a couple of waves to the seaside or even attempted to surf into the lagoon proper in entrance of the judges’ stand. It paid off with a 3rd position end by way of a whisker – simply sufficient to advance me into the semifinal. For me, that used to be victory sufficient. I surfed exhausting within the semifinal, and got here inside of one level of advancing, however that used to be it for me.

However what an excellent surf carnival filled with stoke, taste and ohana! Everybody used to be there, and everybody used to be having a laugh in combination. Those group contests are particularly necessary in surf tradition. Surfing is usually a very particular person, egocentric game. Those contests remind us how lucky we’re to he’e nalu in combination on West Maui as a surf tribe, and so they deliver us in combination as a bunch.

This contest is a daring tribute to Ole. I will be able to’t assume of a higher technique to honor Lahaina’s grasp shaper than yearly to deliver in combination an entire group and experience browsing in combination in paradise. I will be able to’t watch for subsequent yr!

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