HONOLULU, Hawaii (Saturday, Aug. 25, 2007) - Old enough to be the mother of each of the other three finalists, Whitegon proved there’s no short-cuts to experience when it comes to surfing and competition. Whitegon won $2,000. Second place was Kelia Moniz, the youngest surfer in the event at 14 (Honolulu, $900); third was Lindsay Steinriede (California, $600); and fourth place was Crystal Dzigas (Honolulu $500). Kauai surfer Maikalani Martinez was awarded the Schick Quattra For Women Style Award to pocket $3,000.
While conditions were challenging today, given the light on-shore winds that made the ocean surface bumpy, wave size and consistency was there, making for highly contestable surf. Known for her powerful surfing and strong rail-to-rail turns, Whitegon commandeered the 20-minute final to bring home the win. It was a satisfying result given that this was her first competition in nine months after undergoing orthoscopic knee surgery last November.
"I’m pretty happy to come back all the way and win (after surgery)," said Whitegon.
"I love surfing Queens, it’s such a great wave. This is my third win in the Duke’s OceanFest. Hawaii’s a good place for me.
"I’m stoked to still be going strong. I hope I’m out there when I’m 70.
"I guess they were looking for big turns, hard turns, and that’s pretty much all I can do. I wasn’t on top of my game in the final and you lose one inch with these girls out there and they’ll just take it over, so I’m feeling pretty lucky."
Indeed, Kelia Moniz put on a riveting performance in the final, as she has done consistently through the rounds of this competition. The youngest, smallest and lightest competitor in the final, Moniz was like an angel on the waves, lightly stepping her way to lengthy nose-rides, cruising past challenging white-water sections, and floating through critical turns.
"I’m definitely satisfied," Moniz said after the final. "I’m really happy for Julie, she deserved it. I did better than I thought I would. I’ve made finals before, but I haven’t done this well in them."
While competition usually results in one winner, Maikalani Martinez received the surprise of her life today when she was called to the stage as the recipient of the Schick Quattro For Women Style Award. Martinez might have lost in the quarter finals to finish =13th in the event overall, but her classic longboarding style was rewarded with a $3,000 check - more than Whitegon made for her win.
Style is regarded as the most important component of surfing and the most difficult element to master. Many can take to the waves and even execute the maneuvers, but to be able to do it with flawless style is what every surfer aspires to in their life. For that reason, the Style Award was always meant to be the most substantial reward of the Roxy Jam Honolulu.
"I love watching old school surfing," said Martinez. "I think style’s a big part of surfing. I’m so shocked. I didn’t expect this. I thought I was going to be winning the biggest wipeout award or something. "
This week’s event was deemed a major success by both Roxy and Schick Quattro For Women.
"This is an incredible venue and an incredibly important event to us," said Roxy’s Marketing Director Danielle Beck. "To be here, at Waikiki, with the opportunity to embrace so many visitors and supporters is a dream come true for our brand. The Duke’s OceanFest is an amazing event - so historic and so important to the surfing story. We are really excited about the future of this event and of women’s longboarding. It’s such a natural."
For more information, go to www.roxy.com