16 to boogie it down at Obyan
Sixteen of the CNMI’s best surfers will all mosey down to Obyan Beach on Dec. 11 and Dec. 12 after event organizers of the first Boogie Down at Saipan surf contest held an orientation and announced the competitors last Saturday afternoon at Obyan Beach.
In the orientation, the 16 surfers in attendance were Michael Johnson, Herman Guerrero, Joey Tudela, Austin Benavente, Jacob Yamagishi, Masaki Kitami, Abbas Shakir, Frank Ramon, Ian Fleming, Maverick Itibus, Tony Atalig, Sidney Camacho, Solomon Castro, Shuji Takanobu, Vincent Villagomez, and J.R. Villagomez.
The organizing committee of Boogie Down at Obyan led the orientation which included venue director Joe Villacrusis, co-owner of Salty Skin Pacific; tournament director Edward Manibusan, who is the owner of Saipan Surf Company; and beach marshal David Cabrera, owner of the local shop Local Bones.
Surf’s up from 10am to 2pm, with eight different heats of 30 minutes each for all 16 competitors. Each competitor will have the chance to go twice.
On Day 1, there will be four heats in the morning and four heats in the afternoon. On Day 2, the Top 8 scores will boogie it down in the semifinals in the morning, which will then narrow it down to the Top 4 for the finals in the afternoon.
Points will be based on the following major elements: choice of wave, commitment and degree of difficulty, combination of major maneuvers, minimum rides scored of 3, and maximum rides scored of 5.
The judges for the event are Joe Guerrero, Eddie Johnson, and Antonette Labausa.
Also discussed in the orientation is the clothing and equipment rules, safety measures and etiquette, and code of conduct.
Takanobu, a 40-year-old surfer who has been surfing since middle school said, “Since I started, I’ve been dreaming of an event that will pop up one day. This is it. So, I’m really stoked about this event and I’m really surprised that all the guys put it together to try and make a really successful event for all the competitors and whoever is going to be out here in Obyan. For safety, pretty much I know the ins and outs of this water, the style, the current and how the direction you should go after every wave you catch. You should avoid the braking zone and just go further in the wings of the waves. It’s the safest beach to swim and do any of those watersports.”
James Lee, a sponsor of the event from MarPac and Kona Brewing, said, “we’re definitely excited to sponsor this first annual bodyboard event. Knowing these guys, they really put a lot of heart into it and we definitely have that [community] with watersports.”
Manibusan reiterated the importance of safety after the orientation, saying “thank you to the [Department of Public Safety] Boating Safety and [Department of Fire and Medical Services] because they’re giving us their patrol boat, they’re going to have jet skis here.”
“There’s actually a very good and growing surfing community out here. I’m really happy and so proud of these 16 guys that decided to come out here and join this competition,” aded Manibusan.
Cabrera said with the competition less than a month away, “we’ve come a long way and the reception from the surf community has been amazing. Everybody’s super excited to finally have an event where we celebrate the surf community.”