Children of the Sea

The 7th Annual Keiki O Ke Kai (Children of the Sea) Surf Classic surfing contest is scheduled for Sunday, February 15, 2009 at “S-Turns”, Pohaku Park in Kahana on the upper west side on the island of Maui.

The Hui O Pohaku Park surf club is very proud to put on this annual event for the keiki’s of Maui and Hawaii to perpetuate and keep alive the ancient sport of Hawaiian Kings, the art of He’e Nalu or Wave Sliding.

This free event has a very important place in our island community and Hawaiian culture to help the Keiki O Ke Kai, Children of the Sea carry on the tradition of surfing in its purest form.

The totally free event is open to keiki from 8 to 17 years of age and is open to the first 100 entries only. There will be trophies, goody bags and lucky number drawings handed out during the entire 1-day contest.

Breakfast and lunch will also be provided as well as refreshments during the meet. The drawings will include free surfboards in the girl and boy’s divisions.

Entry forms are available at most local surf shops and may also be downloaded at the Surf Clubs website. The annual contest has been rated as one of Maui’s premier surfing events.

Benjamin Sanchis 

Unusual weather patterns in the North Pacific have produced the hottest January on record in much of California, and have left West Coast big wave surfers largely starved for waves for the last two months.  Likewise, the normally battered Hawaiian coastlines have suffered through a similar drought of extreme high surf warnings this winter season.  But at the same time, the Atlantic Ocean has produced a bounty of massive storms and swells, becoming a key focus of the 2009 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards as the event heads into the final six weeks of its yearlong event period.

Among the most spectacular images to emerge from the barrage of high surf is a shot of Benjamin Sanchis (Hossegor, France) at Belharra, an outer reef located in the Basque Country near the French/Spanish border.  The photograph by Stephane Salerno is reminiscent of several other massive rides at the break which earned XXL Biggest Wave nominations in 2003 and 2008.

While some of the Atlantic storms lashing the European coastline have arrived with unfavorable weather, there have been many days where the conditions have come together for the surfers who have been on the prowl for the right window of opportunity. Isla Pancha, in the Cantabria region of Spain, has produced some excellent entries for Basque surfers Asier Muniain, Ibon Amatriain and Aritza Saratxaga along with Cantabrian Oscar Gomez.  To view these images along with hundreds of additional entries from around the world, visit the event website at

According to Surfline, the official surf forecast of the XXL, the trend continues.

"The North Atlantic has been in a very active pattern over the past few weeks producing a series of large swells," said the Surfline forecast team. "We continue to remain in a very active pattern with plenty of solid swell due for the region over the coming days. The North Atlantic storm track is expected to remain fairly active over the next couple of weeks which means potential for even more XXL swell."

A number of top International surfers have heeded the call and gone "Across the Pond" to fill their need for winter power.  Perennial XXL finalists Greg Long of San Clemente, California and Grant "Twiggy" Baker of Durban, South Africa gave up their lengthy vigil at Northern California's Maverick's and flew to Ireland some weeks ago.  The pair connected with locals Fergal Smith and Tom Lowe and the group has been treated to what Long described as, "Crazy barrels...kinda like cold water Teahupoo," in reference to the deadly Tahitian break.  Look for some Monster Barrel entries from those sessions to appear on the XXL event site in the coming days.

Additional new video clips and still photos continue to arrive from around the world week after week in all key categories of the event including the Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Award, Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Award powered by Honda, Monster Tube Award and Monster Paddle Award.  Also featured are the Surfline Best Overall Performance Award and the Billabong Girl's Performance Award.  In total, over $130,000 in prize money will be awarded in the ninth annual edition of big wave surfing's top event.  The competition is open to all qualified, invited surfers at any surf break around the world over the course of a full year and is based on the photographic evidence.


Inilek Wilmot 

The first event of the Jamaica Surfing Association’s 2009 National Open Series kicked off at the Lighthouse surfing beach along the Port Royal Main Road on Saturday 31st of January. Top Jamaican surfer Inilek Wilmot, Brother of 2008 National Open Champ Icah Wilmot, walked away with the 1000 points on offer for the win and now leads the points race in the five event series which climaxes in December.

Twenty one surfers registered for the event which saw 4 first round heats that narrowed the field to the top twelve for the semi final round where two heats of six determined who would go on to the 6 man final.

The first semi-final was stacked with hot surfers. Luke Williams, Icah and Inilek Wilmot, Jason Pusey, Michael Panton and Ronley Lewis paddled out to try and get the two best waves in the fifteen minute heat. They managed to ride 32 waves between them with the highest scoring wave given by the judges being 8.1 out of 10. When the time expired Luke Icah and Inilek advanced to the final

The second semi final saw an equally impressive line up paddle out to do battle. Ackeam Phillips, Shane Simmonds, Eneson Lightbourn, Garren Pryce, Conrad Smith and Dwayne Tracey all paddled out into the 5’ waves. The Judges had their work cut out for them as the surfers caught and rode 38 waves in the 15 minute heat with the highest scoring wave being 8.5 out of 10. The spray settled and Ackeam. Shane and Eneson advanced to the final.

The final was a nail biting affair with all the surfers doing very well. Forty one waves were ridden in the heat with a 9.0 being awarded for one of the ridden waves. The lead changed hands a number of times with the crowd on the beach voicing their obvious approval for every well ridden wave. The Judges were under pressure as Jamaica’s best surfers went at it for twenty minutes. The final horn sounded and it was left up o the judges score cards. Inilek First, Shane second, Icah third, Luke fourth Ackeam fifth and Eneson sixth.

“The waves were excellent….” Said JSA President Billy Wilmot, “… and the standard of surfing displayed by the competitors was truly impressive.”

The next event in the 2009 series will be held on Saturday February 28 2009 at the MAKKA surfing Beach, Southaven Yallahs Saint Thomas beginning at 9:00am. The public is invited.

Below are the final results of the first event of the National Open Series