Landshark Invitational 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009 (All day)

For more pictures see
Oct. 24, 2009 at Bowls

The rare and elusive Hawaiian Landshark (Carcharodon lex sandwicencis lui-kwanis) made an unusual appearance at Magic Island and Bowls on Saturday, October 24, 2009 that coincided with a lawyer and law student surf contest and potluck picnic sponsored by the WRSLAA. Known for its unusual markings resembling a suit and tie, or in even rarer phases, a tuxedo and bow-tie, its population is sadly declining. Scientists who study the Hawaiian Landshark speculate that the decline is caused by a number of factors, including habitat fragmentation (e.g., moving the family courts to Kapolei), global warming (which has increased the popularity of aloha attire and severely affected the Landshark's ability to "blend in" and camouflage its appearance), and "by-catch" (where companies trolling for talent lure lawyers away from law firms).

While the lawyers and law students buzzed excitedly about the astounding appearance of the Hawaiian Landshark in its exceedingly rare tuxedo/bow-tie phase (was it a blessing? a warning? all of the above?), the surf contest and potluck picnic safely proceeded from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 and fun, sun, and surf were had by all. The surf contest was sponsored by the WRSLAA, the law student surf club, Chris Bouslog and Surflite (gift certificates), Lexis-Nexis (food), XCEL (contest rashguards), Everpaddle (extra stand up paddle equipment and stickers), Surf & Sea (big tent), Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing (tent and tables, dolly), Defend O'ahu Coalition (stickers, wristbands, buttons), The Trust for Public Land (folding chairs, hats, books), Marcus Oshiro (Duke Kahanamoku stamps), Kupa 'Āina (stickers), and Lea Hong's mother (See's Candies gift certificates, golf balls). A costume contest in honor of the late ICA associate justice John Lim was held for the second time (first held in 2007). Justice Lim participated in the first Landshark Invitational, dressed in a suit, tie and carrying a briefcase.

Organizers included Lea Hong ('91), Sunny Erline Greer ('09), Doug Cole (2L), Blake McElheny ('99), and Mark Fox. Volunteers included Breann Swan (WSR Ka Huli Ao fellow, tabulator), Joe Nose (registrar), Jeff Kent ('07, spotter, set-up, take-down), Carmen Rodrigues (spotter), and Asami Miyazawa ('09) and Ben Williams ('09, food run). Expert water patrol and judges provided by Ku'au Rescue ( and Bryan Amona.

Over 40 lawyers and law students participated with the following results:
Men's Makule Longboard - David Nakashima ('77)
Men's Loio Longboard - Kent Pelt
Men's Opio Longboard - Napali Souza ('09)
Women's Longboard - Lea Hong ('91)
Women's Standup - Mele Coleman (1L)
Novice - Mihoko Ito (in stand up)
Men Stand Up - Blake McElheny ('99)
Women's Shortboard - Maile Shimabukuro ('00)
Men's Shortboard Makule - John Nishimoto
Men's Shortboard Loio - Kent Pelt
Men's Shortboard Opio - Kumau Pineda (1L)
Men's Bodyboard - Makia Minerbi ('08)
Women's Bodyboard - Dawnie Ichimura
Costume Contest - Greg Lui Kwan ('82, aka, the Landshark)
Best Wipeout - Doug Cole (3L)
Aloha Spirit Award - all day tabulator Breann Swann (WSR Ka Huli Ao fellow) and all day registrar Joe Nose

Although the Hawaiian Landshark faces ever mounting challenges for the recovery of the species, the 2009 Landshark Invitational shows that there is hope. The promising new crop of juvenile landsharks present at the event show all the marks of a successful next generation -- adaptive, agile, smart, fun-loving, and friendly, and nurtured by the William S. Richardson School of Law -- under these conditions, populations of the Hawaiian Landshark are sure to rebound and thrive.