Guilherme Tamega won the highly competitive Men’s Pro division of the Dave & Buster’s Sandy Beach Pro yesterday. The 37-year-old Brazilian capitalized on the extremely contestable 4-to 6-foot wave face heights offered at Half Point. Tamega was stoked on the launch ramps and barrels that were produced at Sandy’s for the second event of the United States Bodyboard Association tour.
"I’m telling everybody that we’re so lucky because every time we have a contest here (at Sandy Beach) we’re so blessed," said Tamega, who is a six-time world bodyboard champion. "The waves started pumping for the finals — it was such a blessing and to go out there with only three other guys is so fun."
The Men’s Pro final started off quickly with a nice set of waves, allowing the four finalists to put scores on the board. Tamega and current International Bodyboard World Champion Jeff Hubbard, 34, got the best rides in that first exchange.
1. Guilherme Tamega, Brazil
2. Jeff Hubbard, Hawaii
3. Spencer Skipper, Hawaii
4. Trevor Kam, Hawaii
"It was really high performance out there today and the caliber of guys riding was extreme," said Hubbard, who is originally from Lihue, Kauai, and is part owner of Bodyboarder Magazine. "Right when the heat started there was a full flurry of us catching waves, then it died out and at the end there was another pretty good exchange."
Hubbard’s strategy was to catch right and left breaking waves in the final. It earned him a second-place finish. The lefts from Half Point were longer rides into the Pipe Little’s section, but the rights jacked up a lot more and offered more opportunities to get barreled. Hubbard and Tamega flipped, rolled, boosted and spun throughout the final, exchanging the lead multiple times.
Tamega nailed two good waves right off the bat and prevailed by catching right-breaking waves, getting tubed and capping off his rides with Rollos and Air Roll Spins.
"I got two good ones in the beginning and I’m stoked on the rides I got," Tamega said. "Hawaii is the roots of bodyboarding and I feel so blessed to be here and thanks for the support."
The final heat was a battle between the two former world champions. The Big Island’s Spencer Skipper put down good scores, but couldn’t find the bigger set waves and finished in third place. While Skipper, Hubbard and Tamega are no strangers to big events, fourth-place finisher Trevor Kam made his pro bodyboard final debut.
Kam is an 18-year-old Sandy Beach local who was a crowd favorite and garnered new respect from his fellow finalists.
"(Kam) made 10 finals today and that kid’s on a roll," said Tamega. "I was impressed and he had a lot of energy for a kid."
Hubbard echoed Tamega’s praises for Kam, who is on the tail-end of his amateur career with pro bodyboard aspirations.
"Trevor Kam surfs out here everyday and he’s unreal," said Hubbard. "I was stoked for him and it’s great to see guys like that coming up in the sport."