Hanalei Bay Rides Wave To World Gym 12 Goal Victory0

Posted on February 11th, 2013 in News, Uncategorized

For the third time in as many tournaments, Ron Bonaguidi’s Hanalei Bay surfers caught another big wave and rode it to a final game victory. This time, on Sunday, February 10, it was the 12 Goal World Gym Tournament, sponsored by Mike and Claudia Uretz.

Going into the final undefeated  in qualifying play, Bonaguidi and his pack went up against Ben Soleimani’s Mansour foursome – a team they beat in the qualifier – and landed on the beach with a 9 – 8 overtime win. By most accounts, it was one of the most exciting games played at Eldorado in the last several years.

The Hawaiians grabbed a very quick lead from the opening throw-in as Mariano Fassetta, from the line-up, sent a perfect pass to a running, and very open, Jared Sheldon and within the first 19 seconds, it was 1 – 0 Hanalei Bay – just like that. Not fazed at all, Mansour’s Santiago Von Wernich scored twice and all of a sudden, with less than 150 seconds gone, the lead belonged to Mansour. A penalty four conversion by Von Wernich later on in the first gave the rug salesmen a lead of two, but Joseph Stuart scored from the field and a wild first period ended with Mansour up by one at 3 – 2.

The fast pace continued in the second, but goals were hard to get, as long runs, by both sides, were stopped by great defensive efforts by both sides. Fassetta finally broke through and scored on another long run and it was tied at three going to the third.

Jessica Bailey, substituting for an injured Soleimani, scored on a very impressive and aggresive effort from 100 yards out and Mansour had the lead once again. However, the always lurking Sheldon grabbed his second and it was tied going to the half – this time at four.

Mansour went up by one early in the fourth on Santiago Wulff’s first goal of the game, but Hanalei Bay came back strong and quickly with relentless pressure that led to a pair of open goal coversions by Sheldon and singles by Stuart and Fassetta to give the surfers the largest lead of the afternoon  at 8 – 5.

The fifth was scoreless and gave everyone the impression that the World Gym Trophy would belong to Hanalei Bay as all they had to do was ‘hang on’ in the final frame.

It appeared as if the Bonaguidi pack was thinking the same thing as the rug guys came out in the sixth and sold product – lots of product as they overwhelmed the islanders with relentless pressure which led to a pair of counters from Von Wernich and another from Bailey and all of a sudden it was a tie game going to extra time.

The overtime period was, if nothing else, draining as both teams were afforded penalty opportunities that were not converted. With the big crowd starting to wonder when a winner would emerge, Fassetta was able to set-up a wide open Stuart with a perfect pass and it was over with Hanalei Bay winning the 22nd renewal of the World Gym Tournament.

23rd Annual World Gym Tournament – 12 Goal

Hanalei Bay (12) – Ron Bonaguidi, Mariano Fassetta 6, Jared Sheldon 3, Joseph Stuart 3.

Mansour (11) – Ben Soleimani, Santiago Von Wernich 5, Santiago Wulff 5, Remy Mueller 1, Jessica Bailey 1 (sub. for Soleimani).

Tony Gregg