Gizo surfer Junior Kareba has been crowned the Solomon Islands national surfing champion at the 7th Annual Surfing Championship held in Gizo.
Competing against other local surfers in the event’s main event, the 2023 Titianas Challenge which takes its name from the famous left-hand reef break, Kareba went one better than his 2022 result when he clinched the number two spot.
Kareba, who hails from Titiana Village, turned in what Western Solomons Surfing Association President, Jeremy Baea said impressed the judges with his speed on the wave and style, in the process edging out his main competition, Kauriri Peter and Tautau Taumeria, who placed second and third, respectively.
In the Junior Division, PJ Peter placed first followed by Popu in second and Roland, third, their ability on the left-hander prompting president Baea to remark how overall, across all divisions surfed, there has been a huge improvement in talent compared to past competitions.
Accepting his winner’s prize, a return Gizo/Honiara air ticket provided by main sponsor Solomon Airlines, Kareba said it was an amazing feeling to win the event.
“I love this sport and the community is like family,” he said.
President Baea paid tribute to national carrier Solomon Airlines which he said had helped take Solomon Islands surfing to new heights.
Coinciding with the championship, the Solomon Airlines ‘Big Air’ Award was presented to the surfer who showcased the biggest and best aerial manoeuvre.
Senior Division second -placed winner, Kauriri Peter doubled his winnings taking out this innovative event.
Baea praised the wider community for its enduring hospitality and its support.
“We’re so grateful for our sponsors Solomon Airlines, Solomon Breweries, Tourism Solomons, Oravae Cottage, Gizo Marine Services, GRP, Papatura Island Retreat and JN Petrol Depot for making this event the best one yet,” he said.
“ We are extremely grateful for the backing of sponsors for this sport in the country”
‘’It was also great to see everyone here enjoying our event. More than 200 spectators from Gizo and also Honiara cheered our 40 athletes on – everyone has been so engaged leading up to the event.”
2023 Titiana Challenge Results
1st Junior White
2nd Kauriri Peter
3rd Tautau Taumeria