(new pictures added at bottom of page)
USATT Sanctioned Table Tennis Tournament
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF HILO
Wow! Solid gold trophies!
OK, where do I begin! More than 55 players, juniors to seniors, male & female, low & high level, coming from near & far! Players descended into Hilo, Hawaii, on the Big Island of Hawai'i for a great USATT Sanctioned Table Tennis Tournament; 3 days of action, fun, food, sun (rain), friendship, all with the Exclusive Aloha Spirit. Players from Japan, California, Oahu, Maui, & the Big Island played the great sport of table tennis at the Boys & Girls Club of Hilo gymnasium. Don, Karen, Joe & others cleaned up the gym & set up all the tables & barriers in perfect order, as usual (they are too cool). Saturday's dinner was fantastic, as the weather was nice & the food tasted great; a mix of Asian cuisine, Hawaiian cuisine, salads, and delicious numerous desserts. Leis & gifts were given out to all visitor players before the dinner, courtesy of the Big Island Table Tennis Association & it's President, Sunder Young. The dinner was coordinated by Lory & Jamie, doing a better than superb job...especially, considering that Lory was also playing most of Saturday in a few events. Free snacks were given out to all players as well as ice cold water & drinks available to them throughout the tournament. Courtesy of Kim Gilbert & DIAL800, we also had some chocolate candy on Sunday to snack on. And, courtesy of Tommy Yonamine, we had so much fresh fruit from his farm to consume including oranges & tangerines. In fact, there was so much food left over on Saturday evening that the food was there all day Sunday for the players to eat. Also, thanks to generous contributions by Tim Woollard & John Romoa, we were able to give cash prizes to the Juniors, Seniors, & All Divisions of Super Round Robin winners; mahalo.
The 1st event Friday afternoon was the Juniors, with a few juniors coming from the Island of Maui to enter, coached by up & coming player Noah Clark. Almost 20 juniors entered & played some great table tennis. There were many juniors playing from the table tennis program at the Boys & Girls Club of Hilo. Karen & Don secured some tremendous prizes for the kids, including fishing poles from KTA, McDonalds Certificates, BITTA T shirts, Macy's hat & cap, & gift certificates, dvd, & stickers courtesy of Orchidland Surf Shops. Also, there were trophies & some cash given to the 1st 4 finishers. After some exciting matches, Maui's Makanui Anzai defeated Hilo's Vikram Best in the final. Next, in the women's event, Kim Gilbert from California took the Women's Championship by defeating Hilo's own Ryoko Kimura, going into deuce in one game. The next event, Seniors U-1000, had Hilo's Stewart Miyashiro defeat newcomer Frank Miller of Kona in a hard fought battle. And, in the Open Seniors, Kurtistown's Stephen Freedman beat long pips player, Jeffrey Cumes of Captain Cook. Afterwards, a large group of players went to the famous Ken's Restaurant to eat. This picture of Oahu's Billy Kanae eating a chocolate sundae for dessert will play heavily later in the tournament. (Suffice to say now that Billy indicated that this was the secret weapon needed to defeat Adam Bobrow). Food was great, but service was a bit slow, as the place was packed, even though it was late on a Friday night in Hilo.
Saturday brought the Super Round Robin event with cash & trophies at stake. There was continuous nonstop playing from the 9am start until the last match finished at 3pm. The "C" Division final had Jeffrey Cumes defeat Stewart Miyashiro. The "B" Division final had Japan's (Oahu) Hiroshi Ono defeat Honakaa's Lesi Sekona. And, in the "A Division, a 3 way tie was created with California's Adam Bobrow, Maui's Noah Clark, & Oahu's Desmond Moriwaki. It was so close, in fact, that Adam won the event with 5.13 over Desmond with 5.10 & Noah with 5.07. This shows that you must fight for every point in every game. Congratulations to Adam Bobrow. Incidentally, in this event, 14 year old Noah Clark defeated Adam Bobrow & Billy Kanae, the 2 top seeds in the event! Congratulations to all. In the U-3400 Doubles final, Adam Bobrow teamed with Oahu's Toshimi Cho to defeat Hilo's team of Stephen Freedman and Stewart Hunter in a very close match where 2 of the games went duece. In the U-1450 event, Jeffrey Cumes defeated Russel Oshiro.
Immediately following the events on Saturday, a delicious Hawaiian buffet was served, hosted by the Tournament and many of the members of BITTA. Approximately 50 people were well fed with leftovers served all day Sunday.
Watch the Buffet Video
Sunday brought the Elite Open event. One of the most exciting matches was Noah Clark against Japanese player Tomomi Shimbo. It went 7 tough games for a big win for Tomomi. The final match was Oahu's Billy Kanae against top seed Adam Bobrow. In last year's tournament, Adam didn't make the finals as he was upset before the finals, but this day was different. Adam won 4 games straight even though Billy put up a good battle. Adam's loops were devastating this day with less of his lobbing happening against Billy. Adam walked away with the big trophy and the pile of cash! Afterwards, Billy was asked about his loss this year to Adam and he said he did something wrong, VERY wrong. Do you recall the above picture of Billy eating the chocolate sundae in order to defeat Adam? Well, it happens that Billy's mistake was that you eat the chocolate sundae AFTER the match, not the night before, per Billy. Watch this short video below for the secret to beat Adam.
In the Unrated/Recreationals event, North Kohala's Roy Carley beat Makanui Anzai from Maui. In the U-1000, Oahu's Alex Berganio defeated Hilo's Pete Petersen. And finally, in the last event, U-1600, after an extremely exciting and hard fought semi finals match that Lesi Sekona lost to Nathan Derstine, Japan's Tomomi Shimbo defeated Nathan Derstine in the finals.
A special THANK YOU to my organizing genius, Clyde Young for behind the scenes, getting all the odds & ends together to make sure the tournament would run smoothly. Sadly, due to a family emergency, Clyde could not play in the Open Elite, but as my friend and tournament co-director, he worked hard to get all the volunteers, making sure everything was going as planned, and continued to check with me that all plans were falling into place. Without Clyde, I'm not sure this tournament or any other tournament in Hilo would have ever happened. A very strong personal thank you for Clyde's help to me.
A huge mahalo to all the volunteers that helped make the tournament a tremendous success. Special thanks to Lory & Jamie for making the dinner the best yet! Thanks to Don & Karen & Joe for setting up the tables, taking them down, cleaning the floor, and everything else, too numerous to mention. Thanks to Russel, Pete, Sunder, John Romoa, all the adults that helped keep score for the juniors, BITTA for their support, The Boys & Girls Club of Hilo for their support and fantastic facility, Old Hawaiian Bed & Breakfast in Hilo for their great accomodations, and all the players for making this the best tournament ever on The Big Island of Hawai'i. Aloha!
Video of the 2011 Hawai'i Island Tournament
|EVENT||1st Place||2nd Place||Pictures|
|Juniors||MAKANUI ANZAI||VIKRAM BEST|
|Women's||KIM GILBERT||RYOKO KIMURA|
|Seniors U-1000||STEWART MIYASHIRO||FRANK MILLER|
|Seniors Open||STEPHEN FREEDMAN||JEFFREY CUMES|
|Super Round Robin A||ADAM BOBROW||DESMOND MORIWAKI||
Watch the acceptance speech
|Super Round Robin B||HIROSHI ONO||LESI SEKONA|
|Super Round Robin C||JEFFREY CUMES||STEWART MIYASHIRO|
|U-1450||JEFFREY CUMES||RUSSEL OSHIRO|
|U-3400 Doubles||ADAM BOBROW/TOSHIMI CHO||STEWART HUNTER/STEPHEN FREEDMAN|
|Unrated/Recreational||ROY CARLEY||MAKANUI ANZAI|
|Open Elite||ADAM BOBROW||BILLY KANAE||
Watch the Elite Open acceptance speech
|U-1000||ALEX BERGANIO||PETE PETERSEN|
|U-1600||TOMOMI SHIMBO||NATHAN DERSTINE|