Sunny days and keeping the country country

Gary Kewley
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Friday - September 12, 2008
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Sunny Garcia
Sunny Garcia won his heat at the Boost Moblie Pro by Hurley Sept. 8 at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, Calif.

Howzit, surfers!

No, wait ... I know how you’re doing - awesome! This last south swell was among the best all year - and in September! I feel lucky, don’t you? That massive storm east of New Zealand in late August had some 60-knot winds and up to 40-foot seas and tracked near-perfect for the Hawaii swell window. She generated easily 4- to 6-foot sets for three days - a rare event. I’m exhausted, but couldn’t be happier. This week added some overhead SSE swells along with a tiny NNW, spreading stoke around every shore on every island.

Wave No. 1: California catches our south swells a few days later and therefore scored heavily for the Boost Mobile Pro at Trestles. Day one kicked off in 3- to 6-foot perfection on Monday, Sept. 8. Wild card Sunny Garcia (who’s been hanging out in France) came to town ... then went to town, beating Taj Burrow and Chris Ward! These two are full-time, top-touring (younger) pros: Burrow is No. 4 and Ward is No. 19. In fact, Trestles is “Wardo’s” home break, and he surfs it more than anyone on tour. It just goes to show why Sunny was No. 1 back in 2000 and owns more Vans Triple Crown titles than anyone. When he sets his mind to it ... watch out! He hopes to qualify for the 2009 ASP World Tour, and he’s real close. If Sunny pulls this off, he’ll be the oldest surfer to ever qualify for the “Dream Tour.” Pancho Sullivan holds the record at 34; Sunny will be 38! It would be one of the great comebacks in surfing history.

Wave No. 2: I recently spoke with my surfing buddy and long-time North Shore resident Gil Riviera. Gil’s always been involved with preserving the North Shore’s blessings of nature. He’s a happily married dad of two and all-around great human being. Now he’s stepping up his game on behalf of the community and values we believe in: Keeping the country country - for us and our future generations. He wants to represent his rural district from Kunia Camp to Laie.

The difference with Gil is what the word “represent” means for him. It means getting things done - for us and the land. He’s naturally a doer and a mover. That’s why his friends, associates and campaigners say “Gil gets it done.“This propensity comes from a good place.“It’s the people, the place, the community ... the waves, the weather. My passion has been built on my work over the past years such as the Turtle Bay expansion crisis and the traffic problems we experience every day here (like Laniakea). I also want to help lower or remove taxes from food and medicine to help the less fortunate struggling with our high cost of living. Also, we’ve got to revitalize agriculture if we are to ‘keep the country country’ ... I want to give farmers the infrastructure they need to farm. There’s not enough leadership in the Legislature for this goal. Also, I’m not anti-development, I’m anti-‘inappropriate development.’ Let’s proactively build instead of letting it happen by default. We’re at a serious crossroads for this island; what balance do we want between our rural and urban areas? I’d much rather get up and get something done about it.”

As for me, Gil is an inspiration.

The least I can do is put down my vote in the primary election next Saturday, Sept. 20. No matter what party, no matter where we live in Hawaii, it’s still our Hawaii. It doesn’t happen often. This is when the set is rolling in for you and I to make change and create influence. Let’s drop in and ride this wave all the way to shore.

I’ll see you at the voting booths, in the lineup and back here next week in MidWeek. I’ll be telling you about Ace Cool’s (Alec Cooke) swim around Oahu to raise our ocean and coastal awareness.

GQ ... dropping in 4 U!

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