Swimming around Oahu for a cause

Gary Kewley
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Friday - September 19, 2008
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Ace Cool raises his arms in victory after a long swim around Oahu

Aloha, surfers and beach-goers! Someone flicked the surf switch - it’s fall, and it’s game on for the North and West shores! Just this week we had our first real NW swell of the season, peaking 5 feet solid Sunday and Monday. Then Thursday it was even bigger. There’s a smaller pulse this weekend and another overhead swell Tuesday, Sept. 23. How’s that for a switch? Yet, town still has waves, too, with more next week. This is evidence far beyond a reasonable doubt that we live smack dab in the middle of paradise. As Lex Brodie says, “Thank you very much!”

Thank you very much to Alec Cooke,aka Ace Cool.SNN reporter, big wave pioneer, Ace finished swimming around Oahu last Sunday at around 5 p.m. He started 10 days prior out of Haleiwa harbor and swam counterclockwise; he ended up at the same spot - blisters, bloodshot eyes and all. I was there and gotta say he had more energy than anyone - and I had a nap! He was pumped as usual, talking story a mile a minute. A little slow moving and sentimental, but most of us would be still - or dead. How many people do you know can swim about eight hours a day for 10 days straight? This was an amazing feat for any athlete, any age.


I thought Ace was just a surfer, you know? But I was wrong. I was shown the map and the areas he swam and the areas he boated (shark and military zones). I was blown away trying to picture myself trying such task. I would-n’t even want to try. But Ace is bold, brash and a big dreamer; he backed it up with a grueling successful adventure - for a good cause. The crew was camping out at various locations - once in the pouring rain under a park bench. Ace literally slept one night in a puddle! Then he got up at dawn and swam all day - all day!

Why? To raise awareness of our coastal conditions and get her cleaned up. As you might already be aware, we have problems. Our precious coastline and near shore reefs are hurting here and there. And they’re getting worse.

Hey, if Ace takes in a little or a lot of self-promotion, who cares? He deserves it.No one has ever even tried what he just did. It is a big and beautiful idea, and it demanded a ton of sacrifice. So if Ace Cool can swim 100-plus miles in 10 days around Oahu, you and I can pick up a piece of trash on our way to or from the water.We can write our local congressman or woman. We can vote appropriately.We can donate money, and our time. And we can leave the monster marathon man to do what he does best: Promote and be in the water.


Thank you, Ace, for always dreaming big and going for it! You’re a true character and an inspiration to many. Log on to acecool.org for more details.

Also,thank you to Capt.Na’ilima Ahuna and first mate Chris Collins for watching over Ace the entire way. Also, big mahalos to Matt Buckman of Buckman Boats for all his support and help. And to Banzai Betty Depolito for her video coverage and PR. Log onto banzaibetty.com if you need any sports promo. Lastly, to Joe Green and the Surf n Sea ohana for letting us play in their back yard.

Elsewhere, on the Foster’s World Tour, event No. 7 at Trestles, guess who won his fifth contest of the year? More on him here next week, or go to surfnewsnetwork.com. Now the crew’s in France for the Quiksilver pro Sept. 19-28.

GQ, dropping in 4 U!

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