Another sweet summer south swell rolls in

Gary Kewley
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Friday - July 11, 2008
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Candice Applebee
Candice Applebee not only won the women’s SUP, but placed overall in the Fourth of July paddleboard race

Aloha, surfers!

This whole work week we’ve been in a lull ... till now! It felt weird not having much surf in town for five days. June spoiled us - it was one of the best months in a decade. Well, the wait is over, my friends. If you’re reading this late on Aloha Friday and prepping for your weekend, you’ll need a new bar of wax for this new Tasman Sea swell. It’s not as big as the last couple of ones, but, hey, I’ll take it.

This one is the start of another long run of South Shore energy as the storm moved east of New Zealand. This is the best clear shot up to Hawaii. Again, nothing overhead is expected, but it will last awhile. The “fetch” (area over which wind of nearly constant direction and speed has blown) lasted for more than three days - stoked! So maybe three bars of wax?

Last Friday, Fourth of July, had the biggest paddle board race Hawaii has ever seen. I heard that about 360 people joined in the 3.5-mile competition from Sunset Beach to Waimea Bay. Sure, the SUP (stand up paddle) craze is part of it, but still - what an event!

I heard from Franko of (see photo) that the bay was blanketed with paddle boards - even the beach was packed with bodies and boards. He also shared about a girl named Candice Applebee who not only won the women’s SUP but also placed 10th overall ... including men. That’s seriously impressive when you consider the names up there in that league.

Another spooky competitor is Australia’s Jamie Mitchell. He’s the world’s greatest paddler of all time. Jamie wins everything he enters. He did the thing in 29:27 - more than 2 minutes ahead of his closest world-class competitor, Brian Rocheleau. This may not sound like a long space of time, but consider the distance is only 3.5 miles. Take, for example Chas Beasley, a new outstanding paddler who won the Military Division in a super-fast 37:53.

This ranks tops in most categories. Yet Mitchell is about 8 minutes faster than fast! How does he do it? To look at him, one wouldn’t guess he’s so strong and powerful. He just knows how to paddle, period. The art of paddling includes reading the ocean, big time. Geez, this madman so dominates the sport I’m shocked he has yet to get the cover of Sports Illustrated.Why don’t we hear his name when sports fanatics talk about Woods, Armstrong, Jordon, Gretzky, Hawk and Slater? Oh, those last two are skate-boarding and surfing, for those who may not know. But you knew.

Anyways, if the Hui He’e Nalu Independence Day race gets much bigger, we may need a bigger ocean. See you in 2008 for more record attendance.

Speaking of records, how about local talent Kai Sallas? He won both the Pro Am Long Board and SUP divisions in the Steinlager Shaka Longboard Series event No. 3 on July 5 at Kewalos. He had to beat guys like world champ Bonga Perkins and Duane Desoto, no easy feat. The waves were 2-3 average, and all the surfers were ripping. Kai was simply on a roll. Knowing just when to fly over the lip or bash it, hang five or cut back. He owned the rights and lefts and picked great waves, too. If you want a lesson on winning, check him out at SURFNEWSNET-WORK.COM. I have a video clip loaded from YouTube in the upper left SNN slide show.

Last, but certainly not least ... Guess who not only wins on short boards but now on long boards? It’s the same youngster who holds the world record of nine NSSA Championships. The same person who’s beaten not one, but two world champs on the Women’s World Tour (Layne Beachley and Stephanie Gilmore). The same 15-year-old whose smile brightens everyone’s day? Carissa Moore ... but you knew that, right?

Ms. Moore won the Junior Women’s Amateur Longboarding in the same contest above on Sunday, July 6. She likes to mix it up and as always have some fun - while coming in first as often as possible!

And I love to write and tell you about it!

See you in the lineup and back here in MidWeek next week.

GQ, dropping In 4 U!


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