Buder Finishes First With One Last Ride : Bodyboarding: The Hawaiian took one last wave despite thinking that he had come up short. That decision earned him a victory in the National Bodyboard Championships.
In baseball terminology, Jacky Buder’s final ride in the 12th annual Morey Boogie National Bodyboard Championships was a game-winning, check-swing single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Buder, in last place midway through Sunday’s 20-minute final, rallied magnificently and then managed to catch one last wave with three seconds left.
It wasn’t a great wave, nor did Buder think it would amount to much. It seemed to be more of a what-the-heck, I-gotta-come-in-anyway gesture.
It proved to be the difference as Buder avoided a major upset by beating Ramona rookie Randy Shohara, 171-170.
Without that ride, only his fourth-best of six in the final, Hawaii’s Buder would have finished third with 162 points. And Shohara would have pulled off a major upset.
As it was, Shohara, 20, took second in only his second pro contest and won $1,200, increasing his career earnings 100 %.
Huntington Beach’s Mike Stewart, 27, a seven-time world and two-time national champion, finished third with 166 points. Hawaii’s Kainoa McGee, 20, the national champion in 1989, placed fourth with 155.
With the victory, Buder, 20, became the first pro to win consecutive national championships since Stewart won here in 1986 and ’87. Buder also took home $2,000 and his third major title in the past 18 months, the other being the 1990 World Amateur Championship.
“I’ve just got to thank God for that last wave,” Buder said. “I’m totally stunned. I didn’t think that last wave was going to do it.”
Buder’s comments immediately following the final proved that point.
“Right now, I would settle for second,” he said. “I tried to defend the title, but I don’t think I did. I think Randy got me. If so, he deserves it. He was ripping.”
Shohara was surfing well, and he had won here last year as an amateur (17-29 division). But he needed a minor miracle just to get into this select draw of 24 pros.
In July, Shohara thought he had been eliminated in a qualifying tournament at Huntington Beach. Later, he was told there had been an error in the scoring and that all heats would be run over.
However, it was too late. He had already gone home. He would have to settle on being an alternate, which he was until last week when one of the qualifiers withdrew.
On Sunday, Shohara led through most of the final. Staying closest to the shore and using an impressive combination of drop-knee rights and lay-down lefts, Shohara scored well on all six of his rides. However, only the top four count in the final tally.
Buder, meanwhile, sat waiting on the outside of the break for the first eight minutes and had nothing to show for it. Finally, he moved toward the shore, and began his comeback.
His third wave--with about six minutes remaining--was his best. Moving to his left, he dropped down the face of the wave and then powered upward. Borrowing a common surfing maneuver most bodyboarders only dream of pulling off, he floated on the crest for a second or two, then soared down the face again while completing four consecutive 360-degree turns.
That one was a home run.
Also on Sunday, national championships were determined in seven amateur divisions. The winners were: Brian Press of San Pedro (AAA class); Vince Lazo of San Diego (AA); John Shearer of Hermosa Beach (30 and older); Aka Lyman of Hawaii (17-29); Brian Wise of San Clemente (13-16); Tom Landucci of Ventura (12 and under); and Carol Phillips of Hawaii (women).