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San Clemente Journal

Down Along the Sunset

Nov 01, 2007 05:34PM ● By Don Kindred
After observing various surfing contests this fall and passing summer, I find it remarkable the surfing talent now prevailing among our local gremmies and groms. Many have the desire of becoming names added to the list of skilled surfers San Clemente continues to send forth like Nate Yeomans and Mike Losness, who were invited to spend a month long photo shoot off romantic Bali. It helps to have surfing skills and showmanship abilities, as well as an equally gracious sponsor. These two surfers have done well within the NSSA and their high school surfing team. Now they are busy reaping the benefits of years of repeated practice, paragon awards, and long hours of pressured competition. Thus, for those many younger gremmies perhaps there can be that surfing connection for them, too. An exciting colorful world of varied cultures, filled with surfing personalities to learn from as they traverse the ocean breaks…

Advice to Newcomers
Take the time now to improve your surfing skills and bind them with positive actions. Know in surfing that you do not surf with your board alone, but with a keen sense of feeling of what you are working to accomplish. You will find surfing styles that appear as the trend of the times, yet seldom do they last. For example, watching this summer’s US Open Championships at Huntington Beach, pressing heats fell upon glassy lake-like waters. That presented an enigma of anxiety for surfers, even more so among surfers dead-set in trendy styles. Those surfers with varied maneuvers managed to prevail, and even to win! It’s here that you have to admire the talents of those surfers who thrive on bold chancy actions and love doing as much in front of the awe struck beach crowds. They master the elements and trendy surfing styles by managing to introduce their own bold radical moves which others all too soon duplicate. Some surfers totally missed their quick ‘twitch ’movements, but, if they did watch their varied maneuvers they felt a strong sense of feeling and self-confidence! Some failed to notice, because they were complaisant with their mode of the day, simply rejecting any radical changes. Winners sensed a feeling towards necessities of a change, an acquisition the truly gifted surfer seems to possess. It has allowed them to follow the course of their personal drives with their surfing, even making an enriched living by it. 

Dexterous Chris Ward, Nate Yeomans, Mike Losness, the Gudaukas twins, Greg Long, and Collin McPhillips all started young. They took advantage of modern surfboard designs, adding their own artful styles with the absorption of the quality techniques of others and accelerating these into their own personal style. You can’t help but notice this as they execute their surfing movements with an eye catching balance of timing and speed, fed by an athletic individualism that appears to be so much a part of them. Meanwhile, they love the fun and exciting challenges that come with the great sport of surfing.

The Body-Mind Component

Outstanding San Clemente athletes show this in their athletic individualism and never more prevalent than with young distance runner Alex Dunne as she employs her spirited feelings in her gift for running. That determined drive under sound coaching moves her talent beyond the ordinary. So it goes with the qualities of gifted skateboarder Ryan Schekler, as it does with individuals within our outstanding Triton sports teams--football, surfing, water polo, cross-country and volleyball. 

More so with surfing as it is such an individual sport like swimming, track, tennis and golf. These athletes condition their bodies and minds for the competition ahead in the league and CIF championships. Coaches consider the athlete’s body structure and set training goals for the coming performances. I’ve known outstanding men and women tennis players who workout some six hours daily, with much the same being said for star basketball players, swimmers, football players, water-polo players, golf, baseball players, tennis, wrestling, track stars and some surfers as well.

(Wolfgang Mozart did not sit around playing cards during his daily nine-hour piano practice sessions!) Frankly, it comes down to working out enough for YOUR desired athletic goals, providing you’re fit enough! Your coach and family doctor can help assess your fitness level. Hard work does things, but it must be intelligent work with a purpose… 

Those four factors I wrote about several months back might be worth reviewing again with fall and winter sports now fully afoot. 

MENTAL ATTITUDE - Wanting to learn and a keenly felt self-motivating desire to do well to succeed. 

ORGANIC CONDITIONING – Russian, USA and China are countries who publish tables for healthy workloads and a value list of dietary vitamins, minerals and soft  oils that can aid the body when facing stress from power swims and speed runs. 

STROKE MECHANICS - Foundation for success in any sport includes patience to learn and even a change in your style if need be. 

STRUCTURAL APTITUDE - Large bones, heavy bones, small bones, body bulk, weight, size, height, flexibility and certainly ‘twitch’ speed. 
The young snow boarders and skateboarders of today are opening new frontiers for these colorful, boldly skillful sports. Look at where surfing was some 25 years ago! Walt Emerson, American philosopher must have been addressing all such youthful dreamers, when he wrote ----“Life is too short to waste, 
Twill soon be dark; 
Up! Mind thine own aim, and
God speed the mark!” 
Thinking Out Loud 
Note the Olympics are coming to Peking China on 08/08/08. Leave it to the Chinese to pick this auspicious date. Maybe they will kick-off the whole colorful Olympic program with an 8 pm fireworks display as well. 

Speaking of the Olympics, it might be interesting to see who earns the most medals for the USA. Our swimming and track stars are so strong, they could almost have a duel meet among themselves for the most medals. Certainly this was displayed at the world championships this past spring and summer. Did anyone else notice we won the world’s 1500-meter run for the first time since 1908. Bernard Lagat from the USA won. He was a former great 5,000-meter and 10,000 meter runner while attending Washington State University. Also, this is the first time any nation has won ALL the ‘Relay’ gold medals for USA runners, both men and women. Then of course there is that USA swimmer Michael Phelps, a one man Olympic swim team by himself.

Speaking of swimming, I noticed that long distance open water swimmers from San Clemente Tim Springer and Ernie Polte were at it again. Springer placed 9th in a field of 62 swimmers in his age division while Ernie placed a blistering 2nd in the 80 years and older division. A total of some 2,674 swimmers took part in this world famous La Jolla Cove open water race . The top distance swimmer was Chad Latourette of Mission Viejo. He won the men’s open water three-mile swim in record time. Mentioning this, as it will be a new Olympic event in 2008, some 10,000 kilometers open water racing for both men and women is added to the program.

Closing Thoughts 
In closing, someone asked me what in the heck was a three-eyed peacock feather. I mentioned this award in last summer’s column. In China, up until the overthrow of the Imperial family and the “Ch’ing” dynasty in 1912, most officials wore formal dress, or court dress with a hat decoration of a deep blue plume or peacock feather. Shang Kung was an honorary award for high merit and military leadership of note---just as we give a letterman’s award to our own athletes of merit to be worn on an awards sweater or jacket which one seldom sees anymore!

The honor award of the peacock feather, ‘kung ch’iao ling’, had three grades, with the feather grade of three eyes. The ‘shuang yen hau ling’ was the distinction conferred on Imperial princes or honors bestowed upon those with highest military victories or achievements. Sometimes a deed of great valor or military skill was awarded the ‘lan ling’or dark Blue Plume. Thus, our first place ribbons even to this day are generally blue … so much for a free history lesson. It will be interesting to note the colors attached to the Olympic medal ribbons in the Olympics of China in the summer of 2008…

Now, after watching San Clemente surfer Chris Ward perform so well at Trestles against the world’s very best speaks only too well of what I mentioned in this column earlier. He is an outstanding surfer with that keen sense of feeling and skill towards what he wants as an international surfer of note. Chris placed 9th in that power packed division of 48 of the world’s best proving he was most deserving of last year’s San Clemente Journals honor, ‘Surfer of the Year’. Maybe this coming spring we will find Nate Yeomans, Patrick Gudaukas, Mike Losness, Greg Long, Trevor Saunders or Riley Metcalf bringing our city and themselves additional honors. 

Last but not least, in swimming we have Michael Chamoures, and Brady Mosk carrying the load, having lost to college Scott Yeilding, butterflier Kris Moore and Sean Sabins, and water-polo has two additional Rivendeneyre brothers along with Tucker Arth and Tony Dominguez for power players.