Oh Buoy!

Gary Kewley
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Friday - June 10, 2005
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Aloha, surfers and beachgoers!

How you doin’? We’re well into June now and have seen two safe-size summer swells in town. There isn’t anything much bigger than 4 feet on the horizon. Country is giving us its last 3-foot gasps before really settling into summer slumber … Yet I must quote videographer extraordinaire Larry Haines and proclaim: “It’s all good!” Temperatures are high 80s, the trades are steady 10-20 and our ocean is a refreshing 74 degrees. Go now … and enjoy our blessings of nature!

ASP world No. 2 Rochelle Ballard
(North Shore) won her opening round
heat at the Rip Curl Venus Festival
in Hossegor, France

Hey, have you heard it through the surf-wire? We have two new buoys in our Hawaiian waters … the main new feature is “direction” of incoming swells for the new northwest buoy now 50 miles closer to us than Station 51001 … She served us well, but it’s bye-bye to Buoy 1. We will see enhanced surf forecasting for all. It will help keep us safer, especially during the big winter months … amateur and pro surfcasters will now be more able to say when, where and how big with greater accuracy — stoked! These buoys have always done lots more for us beyond surf … 1) wind speed. 2) wind direction and 3) atmospheric pressure, humidity — shoots, these buoys even give air and water temp, in case you go for long offshore swims … The Coast Guard cutter Kukui also replaced our southwest, or No. 3 buoy, which is about 200 miles southwest of Oahu. Sorry, no direction here, but you have everything else … including vital weather info and early hurricane warnings! Technology and surfing … who’d have thought?

Gotta send kudos out to our top state surfing amateurs — they “went off” last weekend at Ala Moana Bowls in sweet 2- to 4-footers. Keep in mind there were 200 wave warriors in 27 divisions! One serious standout was 16-year-old Dusty Payne from Lahaina, winner of the prestigious Junior Mens Division. These are the ones who are most likely to turn pro over the next few years. Also of special note were two talents from Kauai — Alex Smith, winning his first state title in Boys Division 13-14, and Alana Blanchard from Hanalei, winning the Girls Division. Alana was the brave young friend surfing with Bethany Hamilton when Bethany lost her left arm in a near-death shark attack on the North Shore of Kauai back in October 2003. Alana also won the Inaugural T&C Womens Pipeline Championship back in March … What is it about Kauai that produces these special athletes? One thing for sure … they’ve got great futures if they persevere. More on our state champs next week …

Remember our Hawaiian ladies chasing the No. 1 Peruvian, Sofia Mulanovich, on the world tour? They’re at it again. So far Rochelle Ballard and Keala Kennelly are looking tops, advancing on … they’re all in France for event No. 6. They’ve got great waves and great expectations. I’ll keep you posted …

As of this writing (June 6) we will have great waves for the ninth annual China Longboard Classic this weekend, June 10-12! Perfect timing and a perfect cause … China benefits the Sex Abuse Treatment Center at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. Come on down and hop on in! You’ll be glad you did.

I’ll see you there and back here next weekend … I’m GQ dropping in for you!

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