Big Again

Gary Kewley
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Friday - October 21, 2005
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The keiki were ripping at Haleiwa
The keiki were ripping at Haleiwa

Alright, wave riders!

Talk about action! The North Shore showed us who’s boss with some thick 10-footers toward the end of last week. Those big ones took some getting used to. Although we had one 6-8-foot swell on Sept. 13, this last swell made the Big Wave Fall Season “official” - and just in time to warm up for the XCEL PRO (presented by No Fear) at Sunset Beach. This 3-star WQS (World Qualifying Series) event begins - surf permitting - Oct. 27 and has ‘til Nov. 5 to run three days worth of competition.

Xcel Wetsuits is a Hawaii-based company and owner Ed D’Escoli is now holding his banner contest for the 22nd year. With more than $50K up for grabs, you can bet that many of the world’s top pros will be there ... along with local boy Fred Pataccia, the current Xcel Pro Champ! Fred also brings with him the honor of being rated No. 13 in the world in his first year on the WCT (world championship tour)! This equals the prestigious title of “best new kid on the block.”

Another exciting element for this year’s Xcel Pro will be the three video cameras - including a water-cam - delivering live action to the world via the Internet. This service, provided by, provides instant replays and closer coverage than ever before. You’ll be in the water with ‘em! The official surf line is 596-SURF to tell you “on or off” by 7 a.m. for the entire event! See you there! Stoked!

Hooray for the kids who ripped the waves at Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach Park last weekend during the Menehune surfing championships! It’s so awesome to see the families come out in full force for our future surfing generation. Saturday had waves averaging three feet, which is overhead for many of the competitors.

Then Sunday the surf dropped to one to two feet, which allowed for fearless shredding. The faces lit up with pure stoke, parents included. I’ll give you more on the event next issue. An interesting coincidence: three local surf-oriented companies are all the same age,29 years - the Menehune Surfing Championships, Da Hui and Surfnewsnetwork. Cool!

Hawaii brought home the gold at the ISA’s (International Surfing Assoc.) World Junior Championships at Huntington Beach last Sunday! For their talents, our team gathered 5,904 points over Brazil’s 5,321 during the nine-day event. Individual gold medals went to 15-year-old Tonino Benson from Hawaii, Stephanie Gilmore of Australia and Jeferson Silva of Brazil. That’s impressive when you realize the field included 300 surfers from 28 countries - and over 5,000 waves tallied in 270 heats! Hawaii’s Carissa Moore and Lani Hunter secured the bronze and copper medals, respectively. Hawaii rocks the surfing world. Andy Irons would be proud.

Well, the surf forecast isn’t anything big for this weekend, but we do expect a boost. Looks like light trades continue to give us clean surf conditions. Now do the right thing, and go get wet!

See you back here in a week! I’m GQ, dropping in 4 U!

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