William S. Gilbert once wrote in one of his musicals..."This sort of thing takes a great deal of training." Certainly this must ring true for the great sport of competitive surfing as well. If one should chance upon their daily training drills, it's ever a relentless drive towards perfection. Even when training conditions falter because of frigid waters, radical currents, or sleepy waves it's still a practice they all seem to do three to five hours a day. Sometimes it appears they sustain themselves on dogged emotions alone. The success they achieve has never been handed to them. It's all plain hard soul searching work for most of their glory. It is here, if you watch, that the great ones catch your eye although it is seldom planned that way. Exceptional surfers display that look of silent eloquence as they float lightly along each wave, often causing even the most unconcerned of beach joggers to pause, stare and quietly admire this classic display of surfing perfection.
Anyone can enjoy watching their surfing almost daily at Trestles, Calafia, T-Street, or the Pier. Still, our Australian surfing friends prefer training using three-a-day workouts. With ocean conditions changing so dramatically during the day, they say it allows them better adjustments to varying types of conditions. Whatever the surfer's choice, it's mostly intelligent, hard purposeful work. Experienced surfers understand the one basic rule for continued success in surfing... "One tends to surf, as one trains his mind and body daily."
Happenings among San Clemente surfers: The Quicksilver California Cup team championships saw the Orange County Octopus team dominating again for high point honors, outstanding surfing honors and most radical maneuvers. Many of these honors were earned by San Clemente team members during the three day weekly contests. The team of Shane Beshchen, Chris Ward, Nate Yeomans, Mike Losness, Dino Andino, the Gudauskas brothers, and Chris Drummy was coached by Mike Parsons. Meanwhile, big wave rider Greg Long was riding towering high 32 footers off the western shore breaks of Cape Town, South Africa. Greg's goals kept him searching for that elusive 90 footer.
While surfing off Jefferey's Bay, Kelly Slater, Pat O'Connell, Mike Losness, Benji Weatherly and others were putting together one colorful, adventurous, surfing safari film titled “A Drive Across South Africa”. It should be a most interesting tale when published, with that well-known crew of surfers. In Bahia, Brazil, it was strong Nate Yeomans and the Gudaskas twins, Dane and Patrick, winning multi heats in their eye-opening trip. Interesting to note here, while busy tracking San Clemente Surfers across the globe, their honors seem to increase as their ages grow like the Triton Surfing Team winning their sixth NSSA national championship in an exciting close contest against a very challenging Huntington Beach High. (Now if the NSSA would just eliminate the pressing six man heat.)
Congratulations to John Dowell on being selected as San Clemente High School's new surfing coach. Come this fall, he will find an ocean filled with impressive young surfers all seeking new challenges under his guidance. Lord Tennyson expressed similar thoughts when he wrote fittingly, “When every morning brought a noble chance, And every chance brought out a noble knight.” Gone will be Dane Ward, Max McEllwee, Kevin Smith, and that talented female surfer Colleen Mehlberg. Yet, along comes a skilled Tanner Gudauskas, Christian Wach, Troy Mothershead, Trevor Saunders and another top woman surfer, Lexie Papilion. So good waves to you John. Go for it!
Changing to swimming for a moment, the Los Angeles Times in choosing its annual All-Star California swimming team elected San Clemente High ace swimmer Scott Spansail for top honors. The times chose him as the best competitor in two CIF Championship events...the 500 yard freestyle with the second fastest high school boy’s time in America, and his victory in the 100 yard backstroke...ALL CIF HONORS - ALL AMERICAN HONORS - SOUTH COAST LEAGUE CHAMPION HONORS - Scott Spansail.
Now most coaches fully understand that youth thrive on praise. Sometimes we can’t give them enough credit for all they have accomplished. They really do find it pleasing to be pointed at and hear others exclaim, “You did that? Cool dude!” Whether it be for surfing, swimming, water polo, football, or cross country. Wrapping up, a salute to young surfer Kolohe Andino for winning an NSSA individual national title plus Billabong's trip to Fiji this October. It seems as though competitors keep getting younger and younger. b