Hawaii teens top USA Surfing Championships

Updated: Jun. 18, 2019 at 6:13 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The 2019 USA Surfing Championships wrapped up on Saturday and the birthplace of surfing is now home to a few national champions.

Journey Regelbrugge, 14, claimed the top place in the 14 & Under Girls Longboard National Title Race, while fellow Hawaii residents John Michael Vanhohenstein and Mahina Akaka claimed the 18-and-over titles in the boys and girls longboard division this past weekend in Oceanside, California.

“I took the win and I was just so happy and proud to be from Hawaii,” Regelbrugge said. “Well I was hoping to at least make the finals and I made the finals and I was like OK that’s a good start, so then my second goal was to either take the win of at least place top three.”

The Hawaii Kai native had to deal with the unfamiliar waves of the California coast, but despite that she surfed her way to her first national championship, surrounded by the people closest to her.

“All my friends came down running and cheering me up the beach with the Hawaiian flag in the back, and it was just awesome.” Regelbrugge said.

Even now, the feeling still hasn’t sunk in that she represented the 808 on the national stage.

“I’m still in shock and so happy,” Regelbrugge said. “I'm so happy to be home, even more stoked to come back with the title, it was the best feeling ever.”

Regelbrugge thanked all of the people that helped along the way to a national title, but this is just the beginning for the young surfer.

“Well my goals have always been to win a national title,” she said. “To win a world title and to be sponsored by Roxy, those are my next few dreams I hope to accomplish.”

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