Practice pays off with title for Hawaii duo

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This article was originally published by the Honolulu Advertiser – http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080824/SPORTS01/808240378/-1/RSS03

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

A lot of practice in little waves led to a big victory for Chuck Inman and Tiffany Rabacal.

nman and Rabacal won the Waikiki Sandbox Bar World Title of Tandem Surfing contest yesterday at Kuhio Beach, Waikiki.

The event is considered the world championship for the sport, and the best international teams competed this week.

“This is huge,” Inman said. “We practice right here in Waikiki just about every day. All that practice was basically in preparation for this day. It shows that hard work pays off.”

Inman and Rabacal both live in Waikiki, so they practice there regardless of the conditions.

As Rabacal put it: “We’re out here when it’s good and we’re out here when it sucks. The waves kind of sucked today, but we’ve been in this before. We were prepared for it.”

The waves yesterday were in the 1- to 2-foot range, and inconsistent.

Inman is a personal trainer, and Rabacal is a former cheerleader at Hawai’i Pacific University. Their athleticism was on display in the final, as they completed some of the most difficult maneuvers in the sport.

In tandem surfing, scores are based on several variables, including style, completion of the maneuvers, and degree of difficulty.

“It was a wave-starved heat,” Inman said. “It could have been anybody’s game, so we just did everything we could when ever we did find a wave.”

Inman and Rabacal placed second last year to Kalani Vierra and Blanche Yoshida.

“We were in the water practicing the very next day,” Inman said.

It was the third year that the World Title contest has been staged in Waikiki, and Hawai’i tandems have won all three.

Rico Leroy and Sarah Burel of France placed second yesterday, but clinched the 2008 world tour championship.

Brian Keaulana and Kathy Terada of Makaha placed third. They won the title in 2006.

Appleby beats the men to win SUP pro event

Candice Appleby made history in the C4 Waterman/Honolua Surf Stand-Up Paddle contest at Kuhio Beach.

She beat the top men to win the pro division, then beat the top females to win the women’s division.

The sport was revived in competition form in 2006, and Appleby is the first female to beat the men in a professional contest.

“Today was a total dream come true,” said Appleby, 22. “God was with me all the way on every wave.”

Noland Martin of Makaha placed second, Noah Shimabukuro of Maui was third, and Brian Keaulana of Makaha was fourth.

Appleby’s two best waves received scores of 6.05 and 6.0 for a total of 12.05. It was enough to edge Martin’s total of 11.65.

“I felt honored to be in a heat with them,” Appleby said. “All those guys … I learned from watching them. They inspired me to do what I do.”

Appleby resides in Waikiki, and is a student at the University of Hawai’i.

Keaulana, one of the leaders of the SUP revival, said Appleby deserved the victory.

“She did her thing and everything fell her way,” he said. “I have no complaints about her winning.”

After winning the 30-minute pro final, Appleby stayed in the water and won the 20-minute women’s final.

Kai Lenny won the junior division and Slater Trout won the amateur division.

Rocheleau repeats in paddleboard race

Brian Rocheleau won the C4 Waterman/Honolua Surf Hawai’i Paddleboard Championship race for the second consecutive year.

Rocheleau completed the 10-mile course from Maunalua Bay to Kuhio Beach in 1 hour, 27 minutes, 21 seconds.

“I really look forward to this race,” said Rocheleau, who is 32 and a member of the Honolulu Fire Department. “Usually the beach is empty when we finish our races, so to come in to all these people on the beach, it’s really neat.”

Mikey Cote placed second in 1:29:35. Kanesa Duncan won the women’s division in 1:41:49.

Rocheleau’s race was mostly against Guy Pere from the stand-up paddle (SUP) division.

“Guy was in front of me most of the way, so he was like my carrot I had to chase,” Rocheleau said. “When the water calmed down (just before Waikiki), I was able to move in.”

Pere won the SUP division, and came in just behind Rocheleau at 1:29:16.

“I knew he was there, but I didn’t want to turn around,” Pere said. “Sure enough, when I turned the corner by Outrigger (Canoe Club), he was on the inside and I saw him switch gears and go right by me.”

Roller wins AccesSurf challenged athlete final

Rodney Roller of California won the inaugural AccesSurf Challenged Athlete Division event at Kuhio Beach.

The event was for surfers overcoming muscular dystrophy, quadriplegia, paraplegia or amputation.

Roller, 41, had his right leg amputated below the knee after an industrial accident in 1990. He has been surfing as an amputee for 10 years and is a co-founder of the Association of Amputee Surfers.

“It was quite fun out there,” he said. “It was an honor to be a part of this event for the first time. I plan to be back next year and bring more surfers with me.”

notes

All of yesterday’s events were part of the Duke’s OceanFest. The OceanFest will conclude today with a surf polo tournament at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Lagoon.

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