A stoked July, Slater rips, Joy goes long

Gary Kewley
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Friday - July 25, 2008
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Joy Monahan
Joy Monahan celebrates her win at the world longboard contest in France, a first for a Hawaii wahine

Aloha, surfers and beachgoers! July has been doing its best to keep up with June’s record consistency. Now that the latest forecast is in, I must salute summer’s middle month. She’s doing just fine, thank you - month seven can take a bow! Right now (Friday), we’re in a declining near-advisory swell.

July’s last week will find us in the middle of yet another overhead Tazman Sea-generated swell. There’s also a southeaster coming in the last couple days. Shall I count the ways we love July? How about eight single swells?This is the stuff of record, I figure. I’ll double-check with the guy who actually does the “figuring” - Pat Caldwell (NOAA Data Center liaison and all-round great surfer, forecaster and friend).

Of course, now’s about the time to begin worrying about August. This is my B-day month (39 again) ... and if it “falls on its face,” I shall be very angry. I can accept far fewer swells in September, but not August! It’s our last great hope for a summer to beat all summers.

And, no, we cannot forecast a month out. We can guess, but last I checked, that’s not the definition of “forecast.” Better yet ... grab any and all old or new surf-boards you wish to sacrifice. Give them to me. We do know that this works ... somehow. Again, I’ll ask Pat.

A lot has happened since last week. We have a Billabong Pro champ win at Jeffries Bay. The infamous Honda U.S. Open kicked off at Huntington July 18. Locally, T&C Surf won the Quiksilver Surf Shop Challenge - a repeat! Last, but not least, we have a special talent who just broke a record for Hawaii Nei by becoming its first-ever women’s world longboard champ - Joy Monahan! At 22, that’s not a bad title to take home. Wow!

First, Kelly Slater won his fourth straight event on the WCT right out the gates - never been done. It’s his 38th career win. The 36-year-old veteran is so far out in front, folks are basically vying for No. 2 ... before the halfway mark! He’s further cemented his rep as the greatest surfer of all time - and one of the greatest sportsmen of all time.

Now the angry and hungry field is heading “somewhere” in Indonesia for the Ripcurl Pro Search. It starts July 30 and continues through Aug. 10. There are four unreal Australian talents in the No. 2-5 positions. The Americans better step up before Kelly calls it quits. Anyway, with six more events to go, don’t be surprised if K.S. wins here, too ...

Next, the U.S. Open is happening through July 27. It is about the biggest six-star WQS (World Qualifying Series) event around. It boasts some of the sports greatest pros to ever stand on a wave: Slater, Garcia, Irons, Machado, Burrow ... and the same with the women: Lisa Andersen, Layne Beachley and Sofia Mulanovich. In fact, since it started in 1994, 26 out of the 28 men’s and women’s world titles have been won by U.S. Open Champs ... crazy. Log on to USOPENOFSURFING.COM. Yes, Hawaii’s all over it.

Next, I’m not sure what T&C Surf is feeding its team riders, but I want some. Ala Moana Bowls cranked out some ... well, bowls, as this team competition between surf shops caught fire. T&C won last year, too, and will head up again to the Nationals Sept. 8, this time to take top honors for Hawaii’s no ka oi surf shops.

Next, Joy Monahan returned from France July 20 as Hawaii’s first-ever female world long-board champion. She won top honors July 16. Men have seen plenty titles with the likes of Rusty Keaulana, Bonga Perkins and Dino Miranda. But she stands alone - proud! I’ll shoot for an interview for us all.

Last, we have a ton of great SURFHAIKU submissions from our inaugural community contest. I had a feeling Hawaii was brimming with writing talent. Surfing is so inspirational. You should try it. Google HAIKU and send me some of your own at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Mahalo for being here ... stoked!

GQ, dropping in 4 U!


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