This past weekend the inaugural Red Bull Rivals took to the sand of -- well, Sandy Beach, and all told, the event was an amazing success. With over 3,000 people on hand to see the best surfers from the South Shore go head-to-head against the best surfers from the North Shore, it was the can't-miss event of Labor Day weekend in Hawaii. And believe us, folks, it didn't disappoint.
With the likes of Jamie O'Brien fronting the North Shore team and young phenom Carissa Moore saddled up with the South Shore team, as well as ringers like Derek Ho and Kolea Fukumitsu adding a little extra power to the North and South, respectively, the talent level was amazing. Besides Carissa's amazing contribution, both Keanu Asing and Kekoa Cazimero blew doors all event long, and definitely showed why they're a couple of the brightest up-and-comers from Town.
For as much youthful talent as Town had, the North more than made up for in veteran experience, with guys like Kalani Robb, Sean Moody and TJ Barron rounding out their roster. In fact, MVP honors went to Country's Mason Ho, who won skydiving lessons from the Red Bull Air Force for the effort.
But experience can only get you so far. Town's froth factor was off the chart and the South Shore got out of the gates early. The North rallied back with a 13-4 run at one point, but in the final heat the South was able to pull it together, hold them off, and ride to victory. And with a judging panel comprised of KaiBorg Garcia, Dave Riddle, Brock Little and Jason Hackman, who was going to argue?
And just what was the winning prize you may ask? Well, initially the losing team was going to have to give the winning team their surfboards, but thanks to team captains Jason Shibata (South) and Kalani Robb (North), it was decided that whomever won would donate the boards to be auctioned off, and then use the money to donate to several local Oahu charities. That's what you call Aloha in action.
All told, it was a hell of an event and not one that's going to be forgotten anytime soon. The South may have won this round, but we have a feeling that's it's not the last we've heard from the North Shore.