Getting ready for the swells; aloha John Kelly

Gary Kewley
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Friday - October 12, 2007
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John Kelly (1919-2007) saved our surf for decades
John Kelly (1919-2007) saved our surf for decades

Howzit, surfers!

It’s been a below-average October, that’s for sure. This month needs to redeem itself with that first high-surf advisory swell of the season ... then we’ll be jolly.I think waves could time it better (earlier) with Macy’s Christmas decorations - which are already up. At any rate, the big ones are coming - they always do. It gets me pumped and a little nervous. Are you ready?

Looks like Dustin Quizon and Ned Snow were ready - to win their divisions in the Macy’s E-Series last Saturday at Kewalos.Dustin was ripping on short boards and Ned on long boards for the fourth and final event of the season.

This is a unique style of surfing competition, targeted to the elite surfers age 17 to 28 years old. The Macy’s E-series is a good stepping stone for young surfers to make their way up to the professional ranks.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a professional contest series in Hawaii for young local surfers since the early ‘90s. Most of the professional contests are held on the North Shore of Oahu, and a lot of the new up-and-coming local surfers are unable to get into those events, forcing them to travel to the Mainland to compete. This contest series will help our young up-and-coming surfers gain valuable contest experience in a professional format, without having to travel outside the state of Hawaii. But be ready to lose like a good sport because you may have talents like Dustin and Ned in your heat.

Hawaii lost one of its treasures Wednesday,Oct.3 - John M.Kelly. The 88-year-old was a surf activist, inventor,sailor,writer,musician and surf savior. John Kelly has been responsible for saving more surf spots than anyone in our state’s history (140) - and likely the world. What an honor that Hawaii called him her own. I’m sure John felt like the honor was his. He gave back so much.

John suffered from Alzheimer’s for nearly 20 years, but his memory and love of the ocean were clear. He founded the ocean-based environmental group Save Our Surf in 1961 and fought to prevent offshore development around the Islands. How many reefs,surf sites and other ocean resources would have been destroyed without John Kelly?

Who will dare to continue his legacy?

“He was probably the greatest humanitarian I’ve ever met in my life, and I’ve looked around,”

said longtime friend and fellow surfer George Downing, 77.

“You couldn’t buy John, you know what I mean? And people tried.You just couldn’t budge him ... I can’t imagine what this place (Hawaii) would be without him.”

Floating and ripping at Kewalos
Floating and ripping at Kewalos for the fourth and final contest at the Macy’s E-Series Pro Oct. 6

Bill Paty,86,chairman of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources from 1987 to 1992 and a longtime surfer, had this to say: “He was a pain in the neck sometimes, but I had to admire the guy because he was a leader in protecting and preserving the greatest natural resource we have here. ... He was willing to go to the mat with anybody. ... I tip my hat to him. He kept us on the right track.”

John passed away quietly and peacefully, his family said, in his bed on Wednesday afternoon, his 64th wedding anniversary.

To keep it going,go to http://digicoll.manoa.

I’ll keep you posted on SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM as well.

Events coming up: The HASA contest at Queen’s Surf in Waikiki all weekend, Oct. 13-14. Hey, check out the new SNN Waikiki surf cam - what a view for you!

Last but not least,we have a “peoples"event for Jeannie Chesser coming up Saturday Oct. 20.

Come down to the Treetops Restaurant in Manoa Valley (inside Paradise Park) to show your support and enjoy a night of the best island music, entertainment (featuring Josiah Kekoa of Ten Feet) and ono pupus galore! This is a non-alcohol celebration open to everyone and is a great family night event! Tickets are on sale at T&C Surf shops at Ala Moana, Kahala, Pearlridge, Ward Center and Windward Mall. Cost is $22 for adults and $14 for keiki, and includes food, entertainment, slide show and great door prizes.

For more information, please contact Tony Agao (Photos from da Heart) at 834-3733.

Thanks to Jamie Ballenger for the great photo angle at the Macy’s E-Series.

Till next week ... pray 4 surf! GQ ... Dropping in 4 U!


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