Kalani Vierra and Krystl Apeles win 2019 Tandem Surfing World Championship

July 1, 2019 | Surfing
Kalani Vierra and Krystl Apeles: the duo has already won three world tandem surfing titles | Photo: ITSA

Kalani Vierra and Krystl Apeles Erickson claimed the 2019 Tandem Surfing World Championship, in Waikiki, Hawaii.

The event was sanctioned by the International Tandem Surfing Association (ITSA).

The duo from Kauai collected their third world title, after having won in 2015 and 2017. Vierra holds an additional four ITSA world champion crowns with previous partners.

This year's event was held in conjunction with the John "Pops" Ah Choy Surf Fest in the heart of Waikiki, at the iconic Queens surf break.

Conditions were challenging with inconsistent, small one-to-three-foot surf. In addition to surfing ability, the winning team had to rely on their acrobatic skills to maximize their scoring capacity throughout the competition.

Tandem surfing is a very specialized discipline within the sport of surfing because it consists of two surfers on one surfboard, riding a wave while simultaneously performing acrobatic lifts and stunts.

Scoring is based 50/50 on surfing and acrobatics combined.

This year, there were teams representing the USA, Hawaii, South Africa, and France competing in the annual world championship contest.

In addition to Vierra and Apeles, three other teams advanced to the final round of the day.

2019 Tandem Surfing World Championship | Finals

1. Kalani Vierra/Krystl Apeles (HAW) 13.73
2. Alika Willis/Leslie Sanchez (HAW) 10.83
3. Rico Leroy/Sara Burel (FRA) 10.63
4. Leleo Kinimaka/Lauren Oiye (HAW) 10.00

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