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Surfing - 25. June 2007.

World’s Top Tandem Surfing Teams Return to Waikiki in August

The World Title of Tandem Surfing, Presented by Tsunami’s Waikiki
Part of the Duke’s OceanFest Celebration

Honolulu – (June 21, 2007) - . Sanctioned by the International Surfing Association (ISA), and produced by the International Tandem Surfing Association (ITSA), the event will also be a feature of the annual Duke’s OceanFest Celebration.

Tandem surfing began at Waikiki in the 1920s, back in the days when Duke Kahanamoku and the famous Waikiki Beachboys would take out young ladies who would like to try their hand at surfing. Finding it easier to manage the surfboard and the weight of two by hoisting the women up on their shoulders to ride, the sport of tandem surfing emerged.

Today, the sport is a highly athletic one that demonstrates great style, grace and skill – akin to couples dancing or figure skating, only on the waves. Teams consist of a man and a woman, with the woman being lifted to perform a series of intricate poses on each ride while her partner maneuvers the board and rides the waves to shore.

The World Title of Tandem Surfing will feature a mix of youth and experience, and traditional hoists and contemporary styles. Surfers competing in the World Title of Tandem Surfing range in age from 19 years (Sarah Burel, France, who partners with Rico Leroy), to 54 years (Blanche Benson, Hawaii, who will partner with David Vierra). In all, a dozen teams from Hawaii, France, Australia, Brazil, Florida and California will compete, including defending world tandem champions Brian Keaulana & Kathy Terada, of Makaha.

“We are stoked to have the best teams in the world back here in Waikiki, the birthplace of modern tandem,” said Bear Woznick, co-founder of the ITSA and currently ranked third on the World Tandem Tour. “Twice as many teams surf in this elite sport today than did 18 months ago when Rico Leroy and I first called for last year’s world title.

“Tandem surfing stuns everyone who sees it, whether they surf or not. It’s big, it’s visual, it’s daring, and it’s beautiful.”

Along with the competition, there will also be tandem clinics, open to the public, from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon, August 22nd through August 25th at Waikiki Beach. Evening events will include autograph sessions with the original ‘Gidget’, as well as a Hall of Fame party at Tsunami’s Waikiki (7 p.m., Aug. 23); a luau (Aug. 24); and an awards ceremony and tandem surfing movie at Sunset on the Beach (7 p.m., Aug. 25).
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