SUNDAY JOINT, 2-2-2020: MAKAHA CONTEST, BLADES OF GLORY, LARRY BERTLEMANN

Hey All,

The Makaha International put up a good fight but I wrestled it down this morning into a leg-trap camel clutch and the month-long match was over, victory EOS. What this means is, for the first time anywhere, full results for each and every Makaha contest from 1953 to 1974 are now in one place—and that includes sundry video clips and pix, eyewitness accounts, etc. I won’t overwhelm our shared Joint with links, but here are a few highlights.

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Fred Hemmings and Nat Young dueling in the ’66 event. Watch the death-ray look Nat shoots at Fred after they kick out in the shorebreak. No love lost with these two. Fred for the win, by the way.

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Point Surf action for the ’62 event, with Paul Strauch absolutely schooling the field in the prelims.

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Super-junior Larry Bertlemann zapping the Makaha bumps and bowls in 1970 in Five Summer Stories, with ironic circus music on the soundtrack and Greg MacGillivray’s VO calmly damning the whole enterprise.

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My own Makaha International postmortem. Is there anything harder in the world of sports—or life in general—then knowing when to quit? Makaha sure didn’t. Out with a whimper in 1974.

There are another two-dozen new Makaha-related pages on the site. Just type “Makaha” into the search bar and dive in.

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Meanwhile, as I raced hither and yon across the digital vastness of newspapers.com, net raised, ready to swoop on all things Makaha, I stumbled onto a trove of semi-weekly newspaper columns by one “Gerry Ken Lopez: Honolulu Advertiser Surfing Writer.” This was Lopez’ side-hustle before he went full-time legend, and he churned out 50 of these breezy all-things-surf columns between 1969 and ’71. I grabbed this one, have a look.

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Finally, I can’t say goodbye to Makaha without sharing this amazing Blades of Glory pic (above) of 11-year-old Michael Ho competing in the tandem division of the 1969 event, and if somebody out there can get this to Mason and Coco and have them recreate the moment, would that not send a tremor of joy throughout the sport?

Thanks for reading, everybody, and see you next week!

Matt