DAVID HUBBARD SWEEPS THE USBA AT SEASIDE PIER
Drama was the name of the game today with a change of events that stunned the solid bodyboarding crowd on hand. August 30, 2011 started off like any other bountiful late summer day in New Jersey, however the one major difference was that the Bubbakoo's Jenks Pro was in town and David Hubbard flew in to Newark with one thing on his mind, take home the national title. Jeff Hubbard, his brother and seven times USBA national title holder, was not about to hand it to his younger brother and had flown in the day before from Portugal to protect not only his national title but his Jenks Pro 2010 title.
The heavily Hawaiian field of pro's were greeted with a mix of swells with left over's from hurricane Irene and a new groomed swell from Tropical Storm Jose which was camped out just off of Bermuda. The Jenks Casino Pier surprised the riders and crowd with 3-5 foot groomed lefts and rights with heats starting at 8am. With Jeff Hubbard leading the tour at the start of the Jenks Pro it seemed an uphill battle for Jacob Romero and David Hubbard his brother as Jeff's momentum on the world tour seemed to carry over to the Jenks Pro (Jeff currently leading the IBA World Tour). Jeff had won his first heat hands down as did David and Jacob, making things interesting heading into the quarter-finals. East Coast locals such as New Jersey's Chuck Guarino (Monmouth Beach) and Jason Bitzer (Manasquan) alongside Florida's Dan Worley all used local knowledge to keep the traveling pros on their toes and progressing into the later rounds. Also, newcomer, Kahelili Labatte (Maui) was on fire, blazing through the early rounds.
Now into the main event, it was in full effect pressure and points towards the final USBA standings is what was on all the riders' minds. Jeff Hubbard opened up the quarters strong with a set wave spin to air roll combo. However, Kahelili Labatte turned up the heat with a dark horse performance using clean back flips to take out Hubbard, the seasoned vet. Jacob Romero eased through his quarter final as did David Hubbard and with Jeff out of the event it was David and Jacob with the two highest chances for the USBA 2011 Title. However, Trevor Kam (Oahu, Hawaii) had been quietly building a campaign heat by heat and realized that if he won the Jenks Pro and if David and Jacob placed anywhere but first or second in the event, he could still win the title. This meant the semi finals were to be treated as finals and every second was more pressure filled than the next.
Kahelili , David, Jacob and Trevor all progressed making it an all Hawaiian final at the New Jersey Shore. Seaside Casino Pier held into the afternoon with light winds and peaking conditions. David Hubbard, aka DHUBB, went to work off the bat and even though all the riders put in valiant efforts, Dave's lowest score was marginally higher than even the second place rider's best score. DHUBB seemed to leaving nothing to chance and bettered his chances every wave he caught with three separate amazing combos using the criteria of outside maneuver to inside maneuver to really please the judges. 360's to back flips were his weapons of choice and the competition was left deflated, with David to be chaired up by brother Jeff and fellow Kauaian ripper David Phillips. When David finally landed in front of the cameras for an interview, he knew he had made the history books to be the only one to ever take out his own brother in seven years.
To cap things off, DHUBB sealed his 4th national drop knee title placing second in the Bubbakoo's Drop Knee division. Dan Worley narrowly beat DHUBB making The Bubbakoo's Jenks Pro his second Drop Knee win in 7 years entering the event. Brian Stoehr was happy with his result, taking second in the USBA National tour and third at the Bubbakoo's Jenks Pro with David Phillips rounding out the Jenks Pro final.
All athletes please see the USBA site for more info.
The USBA would like to thank all of our sponsors for the 2011 tour with a special thanks to OCEAN CURRENT clothing for years of support and our new local NJ support Bubbakoo's who have the best food and hospitality on the New Jersey Shore.