KUAU - Imai Devault captured the open male title at the 23rd annual Alpine Stars/Hi-Tech/Lopez Surfbash on Saturday at Hookipa Beach Park.
The first Hawaii Surfing Association-Maui contest of the 2012-13 season drew 131 competitors in nine divisions, with wave faces of eight to 10 feet.
Devault won the biggest division, defeating 29 other surfers. The Kamehameha Schools Maui sophomore sealed the title with his third ride, the second-highest-scoring wave of the final.
Imai Devault competes in Saturday’s Alpine Stars/Hi-Tech/Lopez Surfbash at Hookipa Beach Park.
Logan Bediamol won the under-14 division championship Saturday at the Alpine Stars/Hi-Tech/Lopez Surfbash.
"It was a medium-sized wave, it had a lot of wall," Devault said. "I blew tail on the outside, then did two carves."
Chaz Kinoshita had the highest-scoring wave of the final, but failed to get a solid second wave and finished second.
Devault and Kinoshita had to surf the under-16 final before the open final, with no break in between.
ALPINE STARS/HI-TECH/LOPEZ SURFBASH
At Hookipa Beach Park
Under 10-1. Jackson Bunch, 2. Ty Simpson-Kane, 3. Seth Thompson, 4. Luc Guidroz, 5. Finn Bediamol, 6. Chase Anderson.
Under 12-1. Ty Ty Kirby, 2. Cole Alves, 3. Jackson Bunch, 4. Axel Rosenblad, 5. Connor Prados, 6. Tony Nunez.
Under 14-1. Logan Bediamol, 2. Cody Young, 3. Pace Duryea, 4. Marco Rista, 5. Col Alves, 6. Conan Gentil.
Under 16-1. Ean Kimmel, 2. Chaz Kinoshita, 3. Imai Devault, 4. Logan Bediamol, 5. Kala Willard, 6. Cody Young.
Open-1. Imai Devault, 2. Chaz Kinoshita, 3. Dylan Aoki-Walsh, 4. Kain Daly, 5. Tyler Larronde, 6. Shade Hurdman.
* * *
Under 14-1. Summer Macedo, 2. Aloha Lopez, 3. Sophia Johnston, 4. Daize Kinoshita, 5. Ashley Nielson, 6. Anela Durbin.
Open-1. Lani Doherty, 2. Sierra Lerback, 3. Tasha Jahrmarkt, 4. Serene Gunnison, 5. Summer Macedo, 6. Kawai Devault.
Bodyboard-1. Jason Sacapania, 2. Noa Auweloa, 3. Brandon Shine, 4. Mack Crilley, 5. Elliot Collier, 6. Don Charles Thomson.
Longboard-1. Zane Schweitzer, 2. Mack Crilley, 3. Ronaldo Macedo, 4. Will Auweloa, 5. Sierra Lerback, 6. Axel Rosenblad.
"I like it when it's bigger," Devault said, "but it took a lot of energy as you're moving the whole time. It was pretty tiring, but fun."
Two days earlier, Devault was named to the Hawaii 16-and-under team that will compete in July's International Surfing Association Junior World Championships in Nicaragua.
He will be joined by another Maui surfer on the Hawaii team, either Kain Daly of Kuau or Kaimana Kinimaka of Lahaina - they will meet next week on Oahu for a spot in the 18-and-under division. Daly, a Kihei Charter senior, has been on the past three Hawaii ISA teams, competing in New Zealand, Peru and Panama.
In a prelude to their duel, they were together in an open repechage heat that also included Devault and defending open champion Joao Marco Maffini, and proved to be the closet and most exciting heat of the day.
Tyler Larronde won the heat with Daly second and Devault third. Kinimaka and Maffini placed fourth and fifth and did not qualify for the final.
"It felt like (a warm-up for next week) a little bit," Daly said. "It was just more having fun, just surfing out here."
Kinimaka, a senior at Lahainaluna, said, "We're just all having fun. We're good friends, growing up surfing the same breaks. He pulled it off today, maybe next week I'll get him back."
Lani Doherty made a triumphant return to Maui, claiming the open female championship for the second time - she also won the title in 2008.
The 19-year-old graduated from San Clemente (Calif.) High School in 2011, and now lives in Waiehu.
"I've been gone for too long, over three years," Doherty said. "I'm the old one of the group now."
The other champions were Jackson Bunch (under 10), Ty Ty Kirby (under 12), Logan Bediamol (under 14), Ean Kimmel (under 16), Summer Macedo (under 14 girls), Jason Scapania (bodyboard) and Zane Schweitzer (longboard).