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San Clemente Journal

Down Along the Sunset

Feb 02, 2007 10:36PM ● By Don Kindred
Looking back on San Clemente’s surf scene, there are some twenty adventuresome years of surfing travels and contests. Magazines, local surf shops and the continuously balmy oceans have assisted surfers in laying the foundation for San Clemente’s upsurge in this popular sport. Surf action photographers have covered contests and team surfing games, bringing publicity to our not so sleepy little town. Perhaps this is what George Teeth and Duke Kahanamoko envisaged long ago while demonstrating the ‘sport of kings’ to our Southern California coastlines.

Today, grom’s and gremmies surf the ocean waves, emulating those dreams while displaying their own new found goals. One asks, do they not grow tired? Do they not grow old? Being young is cool, I suppose. But to be a surfer, too, and from San Clemente - that must be a heaven!

Surfing Accolades
Tributes are in order once again to our Triton surfing team for winning the South Coast League title in 2006. Coach John Dowell has done so well, his team’s surfing honors acknowledge this as do each member’s individual surfing skills. Gifted surfers like Trevor Saunders, Chase Brady, Nick Hagen, James Parkland, Jeff Lukasik, Troy Motherheads, Christian Wach, Riley Metcalf, David Price, Drew Erichson, Try Gilkerson, Maggie Dunn, and Marissa Shaw are all strong athletes who could be ranked one day amongst that caliber of classic surfers coming out of San Clemente High School. It appears hardwork does things!

Swim Plaudits
With a new coach, swimming is now underway at San Clemente High School posing a big threat to Mission Viejo High School. MVHS will have to defend their duel meet, league and California CIF championship titles. Loaded once again with talent from their club teams’ La Tourette in the 500 Freestyle and another Sorge brother in the sprints, those Natadore club swimmers are something else. Clubs with year-round training programs may seem unfair to other schools, yet they do spell victories for college, national and Olympic honors. High school coaches make sound use of these off-season training camps as well they should. 

Setting Examples
The world swimming championships in Melbourne, Australia this spring might forecast the competition for USA swimmers in the summer Olympics in Peking, China ... however, with the retirement of the great Australian, Ian Thorpe, will anyone stop the USA and the likes of Michael Phelps? 

He stated, “you can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream the further you get.’’

Meanwhile, rising as Europe’s challenge to Phelps, might be that Flying Dutchman, Pieter Hoogenband with his power swims of the 2004 Olympics. Pieter has an impeccable bloodline for swimming. His mother was a European swimming medal winner and his father, Cees-rein Hoogenband, was a leading Dutch water polo player. Their son has already laid down his own dauntless challenge. 
“I was made for the sport, I train hard and I’m built to swim fast, that’s my talent.” 

He is also a contender for a possible world record in both the 100 meters Freestyle and the searing 200 meters Freestyle. Both swimmers, Hoogenband and Phelps, love to win and train just for that. They know in today’s swimming and surfing world if you wish to perform well, you have to practice for your event with maximum effort. You do not have to swim miles in hopes of improving quality of speed, you practice intelligently with rational planning to be successful. Some call it luck, I like to call it planning ... 

Proving this truth is San Clemente’s remarkably gifted Chris ward. He came from behind to score a stunning 7th place in that test of tests. He surfed the hammer smashing Pipeline Masters off Oahu’s north shore, defeating other world class surfers with his strong dynamic efforts. Chris is now ranked 21st on the World Championship Tour. This was a most challenging past year for him, but his injuries did not daunt his intense competitive spirit. His pipeline showing was a strong surfing effort, and last Fall’s WCT showing at trestles demonstrated what a truly astonishing competitor he is. The San Clemente Journal’s outstanding surfer’s award for 2006 goes to Chris Ward.

Closing Thoughts
… honors to these Triton all South Coast League team water-polo players - Aaron Rivadenerya, Antonia Dominquez, Scott Yeilding, Kyle White and Andian Pruitt. Wild riders of the morning sea. b