This year, should it run, there are a few characters who really peak my interest.
Firstly Takayuki Wakita from Japan. I used to live in Japan and whilst there is a considerable amount of Japanese Hawaiians (settling after huge migrations around the turn of the 20th century sugar boom), I believe that Takayuki is the real deal with a reputation for being a Kamikaze type...a word that shouldn't be banded around too lightly. Japanese society is so neat, to be Japanese for so many is to live in a society that can be a straight jacket. But Japanese people know determination, they know dedication, and humility....it's an event for Hawaiian big guns and household heavy weights...lets see how Takayuki goes. Ganbatte ne!
I think the white one is a 4ft 6 inch thruster and the big one is a 6 foot gun.
Ramon Navarro from Chile. One word "Legend". Son of a fisherman, chargers massive Chile all the time with not a camera in sight. Loves big waves. When he was first surfing Waimea he used to make and sell empanadas (sort of sandwiches) on the beach to pay the rent.....as you can probably see by now, I love a yarn and an underdog...oh yeah and he got a 100 perfect ride score last time and got wave of the day. Legend with tache issues. Suerte.
How can you make cheap Chinese laundry tache jokes when you surf waves like that
Chile hit world news with its Conception based quake and miners in 2010. Ramon Navarro at home.
Last but never least is Eddie Aikau's brother Clyde. Anyone whose prepared to paddle out in 30ft plus surf at the age of 61 for his brother who died in 1978, deserves a moments thought. No one would bat an eye lid if he ducked out....hell he's up against Bruce Irons and Jamie O'Brien....hope he makes them stop and think for a second. Pomoikai
I don't have a brother, I can't imagine losing one, let alone one who I surfed giant Waimea with and saved lives lifeguarding with. If I did have a brother I would want to have some lapels and fros captured of us both like this.
Clyde with their dad aka "Pops" by more than just his blood family, after their loss.