Wahine Rule

Gary Kewley
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Friday - June 09, 2006
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Bethany Hamilton competing at the 10th annual China Wahine Classic at Queen’s
Bethany Hamilton competing at the 10th annual China
Wahine Classic at Queen’s

Aloha, surfers!

Here we go again ... more waves on all shores. As if last week’s epic south wasn’t enough. Town should have back-to-back swells from this Thursday until next Thursday! Stoked! Even the North Shore is getting into the action. Indeed, the northern Pacific looks more like winter than summer. The storms came off Japan and are tracking unusually low or 45 degrees in latitude. The closer to us the better ... especially this time of year. So the crowds should be spread out from Saturday through Wednesday. With light trades and hot sun you can bet we’ll be out there. Stay waxed and ready.

The timing for the past swell in town was great for the 10th annual China Uemura Wahine Surfing Classic at Queen’s Surf every year. More than 250 females entered this weekend, making it one of the largest all-female contest in the United States. All the proceeds from the event are donated to the Sex Abuse Treatment Center at Kapi’olani Medical Center, so Uemura likes to call every contestant a winner. “If you enter this contest, you get to go out and surf only with a couple other girls out there,” he said. “Plus your entry fee goes to a good cause, so you win no matter what.” Agreed ... and so did Mother Nature.

Here are some results: Short boards 10 and under division was won by Kulia Doherty; 11-16, Alessa Quizon; 17-29, Yukiko Whiteside; 30 and up, Jeanne Chesser; Long boards 10 and under, Kulia Doherty (again!); 11-13, Kelia Moniz; 14-17, Geodee Clark;18-29, Ashley Quintal; 30-39, Chie Matsuoka; 40-49, Darlene Mamiya-Oshea. In the Pro Division we had Megan Godinez taking the No. 1 spot. This year these competitors along with the entire staff of hardworking volunteers raised about $10,000 for the cause! This makes each and everyone involved No. 1 in my surf journal! Mahalo to all of you!

Guess what else is cool? At about the same time China was getting ready for his event in Waikiki, his son Kekoa was competing at an event sponsored by the Japan Surfing Association. In fact, he won the Hang Ten Longboard surfing contest at Kugenuma Beach in Shonan. Uemura Junior got $6,000 for his skills. Kekoa is currently Hawaii’s top-ranked pro longboarder. Next up: Kekoa Uemura and several other Hawai’i surfers are expected to compete in the 13th annual Rabbit Kekai International Longboard Classic, June 21-29 at Boca Barranca, Costa Rica. The winner of that contest will be crowned the 2006 world champion of longboard surfing. All surfers must ride boards at least 9 feet long. They must also be able to surf these big things like a short board and also hang 10 for a long time!

Hey, did you hear about the world’s best big wave rider, Laird Hamilton’s latest “feet”? He paddled across the 26 mile stormy English Channel and then - as if this weren’t enough - he “biked it” to Paris! That’s another six hours of pumping! That’s 265 miles in two days! That’s Laird.

Why? Well, ultimately it’s a personal decision, but Laird Hamilton wanted to do more than push his body to new heights of athletic prowess. Donations were made for each kilometer he went to a project called Beautiful Son. It’s a film about healing autism. The film is produced by legendary surf photo-cinematographer Don King, who has an autistic child. The movie will launch in the fall. Check out the details at beautfulson.com or surfnewsnetwork.com.

That about wraps up another MidWeek of surf in Paradise! Thank you for being here! I’ll see you in the lineup and back here next week.

GQ, dropping in 4 U!

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