Dropping In

Gary Kewley
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Friday - August 04, 2006
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Mason Ho, son of former surfing champ Michael Ho, advanced to the round of 12 at the Honda U.S. Open of Surfing last Saturday (July 29). The event was won by California’s Pipe Master, Rob Machado
Mason Ho, son of former surfing champ Michael Ho,
advanced to the round of 12 at the Honda U.S. Open of
Surfing last Saturday (July 29). The event was won by
California’s Pipe Master, Rob Machado

Aloha, surfers and beach-goers!

As forecasted long in advance, the southern swells have swept our hearts away ... From Sandy’s to past Makaha we’ve been enriched with diets of high-powered juice. Last Monday and Tuesday, we saw waves over 6 feet at the top breaks like Diamond Head. There was a problem with the winds however, which blew “onshore” from the Southeast: Onshore = mushy, while offshore = clean conditions. Normally we would have had offshore trades, but alas we had a large troublemaker in the neighborhood at the same time.

The culprit was a big nearby upper level “low” spinning nearby, which caused an unstable atmosphere (remember Monday’s rain?). It was about 750 miles across at one point. When your hear low (air pressure) think rising, unstable air with clouds and rain vs. high pressure areas or dropping, stable air with dry, sunny effects. The good news was the morning hours were still good enough and the “onshores” weren’t so bad ... plus, we had big waves!


The forecast is looking good as MidWeek comes to your door this weekend. Plenty of well-overhead surf for Thursday through Sunday. We can also expect normal offshore trade textures. So stay waxed and ready.

Guess who didn’t have to wax up to be ready last weekend? The “soul surfing crew” in the Redwings Memorial World Championships of Hand Boarding and Paepo Boarding! Everyone scored the great 4-7-foot surf at Point Panic. It was definitely world-class skills in heats that lasted up to 90 minutes. In the very competitive Senior Men’s Division (31-40 years) Kai Santos and Wyatt Tillotson battled it out, with Kai narrowly winning in a split decision. Wyatt made it back strong with a near-miraculous recovery after a very serious leg injury at Panics last year; he came back to just outscore Kai and win the Pro Division ... both took home a share of the $500 purse. But, at the end of the grueling two-day meet, it was Point Panic’s homeboy Pedro Refuerzo whose stamina, athletic gracefulness and stunning spinners prevailed to win the Grand Championship Division. Young gun Kaneali’i Wilcox surprised us all by winning the Junior Men’s Division and placing fourth in his first time out at Panics ... and at the other end of the age scale, Panics’ great old-timer Nigel Robertson easily won the Dugong’s Division with multiple long rides from Dougie Land all the way to the wall! See!? The older we get, the better we were ... I mean are!

A million mahalos to the sponsors and the protectors of our precious place by the sea: the Kaka`ako State Waterfront Park (HCDA) and Point Panic Ocean Waters (DLNR, Divisions of Boating and Ocean Recreation and Conservation and Resource Enforcement).


Lastly, don’t miss out on the great film documentary about a classic waterman and inventor, Woody Brown! Of Wind and Waves: The Life of Woody Brown is an award-winning hourlong documentary on our 94-year-old legend in the worlds of surfing, sailing and soaring! It will premiere at the Waimea Valley Audubon Center at 7:30 p.m. this Monday, Aug. 7. Admission is only $8. Maui resident Woody Brown will attend each premiere to answer questions along with filmmaker David L. Brown, who directed the award-winning Surfing for Life. Woody has lived a life full of remarkable adventure and accomplishment - including inventing the modern catamaran, setting world gliding records, and surfiving Hawaii’s 25-foot surf in the early 1940s. Woody has done so with self-lessness and generosity which have made him a role model for three generations of Hawaiians.

Surfer Joe Teipel and I had the wonderful chance to meet and interview Woody on Maui in 1989 for a film project called World Surf News Network. This guy is so sweet, yet has an abundance of energy and enthusiasm. I remember the sparkle in his eyes as he spoke of his life. I also recall being deeply touched by his story about how he and teenager Dicky Cross got caught in a rising swell up to 40 feet in 1949. This is a story (and its sad ending) I must save for another issue. It is in Woody Brown’s own words one of his “most impressive memories” ... stay tuned here and to SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM

GQ, dropping in 4 U!

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