Stewart: Mr. Pipe

Gary Kewley
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Friday - April 08, 2005
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Howzit, surfers and beachgoers?!


Mike Stewart won the North Shore Lifeguard
Association’s Quiksilver Pipeline Bodysurfing Experience

Yep, just one look at the week before (March 28-April 2) and you know things have changed wave-wize … We had small 2- to 4-foot surf average with winds @ 15-25+ creating less-than-ideal conditions. There were even high-wind warnings … And Makapu‘u was equal in size to the North Shore … Ouch! As of this writing many are praying for more sunshine as well as surf. This is a huge contrast to the first three weeks of last month, which is in the history books as the biggest and best March in recent memory. Oh well, what Mother Nature wants … Mother Nature gets … This makes surfing all the more precious when it’s “on” … Still, don’t worry! April can still deliver plenty of great northwest swells. The average April surf height the past three decades has been about 3-6 feet overall (one day of 10-15, seven days of 6-10, 18 days of 3-5 and five days of 1-2 feet) … not bad compared to summer surf heights.

Wednesday, March 30, was cool … know why? The North Shore Lifeguard Association put on its own goodwill event … The Quiksilver Pipeline Body Surfing Experience … there are 48 of the best watermen around competing “body against wave” on the most notorious wave in the world … Now, I don’t know about you, but when I hear North Shore and lifeguard in one sentence, I feel respect and awe. You will not find any shoreline on the planet that requires more skill and courage from its Ocean Safety personnel than Oahu’s own North Shore lifeguards. The waves this day were a tame 3-5 feet and clean. Every trick in the bodywhomper book was executed. And the result? No. 1: A great day of comradeship and competition. No. 2: The top five were Kenny Rust, Pete Johnson, Steve Kapella, Kai Santos, with Mike Stewart winning at the Pipe for the first time ever … Not! … Mr. Stewart has won well over twice as many competitions at Pipe as anyone, ever … on his body board and on his belly! Look how he planes on the wave … and he’s not cheating, honest! … Congrats, boyz, and thanks for all your brave work helping others…


Rip Curl Pro runner up
Andy Irons (left) and
winner Trent Munro
celebrate at Woolamai
Beach, Phillip Island,
Australia

Let’s jump off Island and do that ASP World Tour update thing … because we are in for a race to remember! Andy Irons — defending two-time champ champ — finished second in the second of 12 contests … The Bells Rip Curl Pro in Australia. That puts our favorite pal in third place for the time being. The top 44 will hit Tahiti next month, May 5-17 … Andy’s ability at d e a t h - d e f y i n g “Teahupoo” is almost as scary as the wave itself! He’s won there. But then again, Andy’s won most everywhere on the circuit. If Andy wins his third consecutive world title, he’ll tie Australia’s Mark Richards run from ’79- ’82! The only “human” to beat this feat is Kelly Slater with five straight years on top (’94-’98) … but then again, surfers have often debated whether Slater is really “human” after all … This is where that “Freak” phrase applies … And now Kauai’s Child could be nearing this “impossible” feat.

I’ll see you back here next week for more surf stuff!

I’m GQ droppin’ in for you!

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