Kailua Shorebreak Classic To Host 100-plus Keiki Saturday

Giving back to youths in the community has been on Kailua resident Sean Yano’s list of priorities for a long time. But nothing rallies Yano to action more than the Kailua Shorebreak Classic. The event will mark its 10th anniversary this Saturday.

“There’s something very personal about it — there’s no event like it,” said Yano, who is involved in all aspects of the planning and running of the event. “Just to see the joy from the kids touches everyone. Everyone is a winner there.”

Hosted by Kalama Beach Club, the amateur surf contest is expected to attract as many as 150 young competitors this year to five divisions: 16-and-under, junior (16-13), boys (10-12), groms (9-7) and super-groms (6-and-under).

“We hope to make this the most spectacular event for the kids we’ve ever had, but we also want to still have a hometown feel,” added Mike Miller.

For Miller, Shorebreak Classic’s success is a huge source of pride, as it also celebrates the memory of his late brother, Peter, as well as friends and fellow surfing fixtures in the community Jason Bogle, David Aluli and Jeff Barbieto. The foursome passed away in recent years.

“The first thing that comes to mind is how crazy it is that so many years have already passed since we lost them (Peter Miller, Bogle and Aluli),” said Mike Miller. “We were all competitors, and this contest gives the kids in Kailua their first chance (to compete).”

The Miller brothers were born 27 minutes apart and were always close. Sadly, Peter lost his life in a plane crash while piloting a Hawaii Air Ambulance.

The twin-engine Cessna 414 lost use of an engine and crashed into a BMW dealership on Maui in March of 2006.

Peter Miller had helped to start the Kailua Shorebreak Classic in 2004.

The Millers, Bogle, Aluli and Barbieto always had bonded through surfing at youths. “Life was simple then, and Sean (Yano) and Matt Mondragon were our influences,” Mike recalled. “They were two of the better surfers in Kailua. We wanted to be just like them, and Matt was always considered to be Peter’s best friend.”

When Peter died, the Peter Miller Surf Foundation for the Kids of Kailua was set up. Last April, Mike opened Twin Islands Clothing Store on Hekili Street as another way to honor his brother’s memory.

Hawaii Island Creations, run by Kailua residents Jimmy and Stephen Tsukiyama, has been among the classic’s biggest supporters. Miller also cited the contributions of Bert Ishimaru as one of his partners and a key piece in the success of the event.