Google Earth Challenge 2 Update

posted by / News / July 17, 2008

Right now, Irvine-based software developer Brian Gable is downstairs in the bar, singing an unplugged version of “Paradise City” with Pete Mendia, Cory Lopez and a crew of hospitable locals. He’s put down more “Jager-bombs” than we can count and he has that look in his eye like something special happened today.

And it did.

No, we didn’t quite score “somewhere in Mexico” in reverse. At least not yet.

But today, the wave Brian Gable painstakingly assessed, measured and estimated for 10 months – all via the internet – finally became saltwater under his fins today. The morning started out slow enough. Low tide. A little hazy. A little lump. But as soon as the tide turned, things started happening at our lonely lefthand point. By mid-morning, the occasional chest to shoulder high set started rifling through, prompting the entire crew to do cartwheels and jigs in the sand.

Keep in mind, this isn’t your typical chest- to shoulder-high wave. This wave starts spitting, grinding and peeling way up top – and doesn’t let up for another solid {{{90}}} seconds. It’s a mesmerizing, hypnotic setup – almost more enjoyable to mindsurf than actually surf. Why? Cause it’s like a reverse Maalaea on speed. “This could be the fastest wave in the world,” I said to Brian this morning after failing to make my umpteenth wave. “Yeah,” he replied. “Maybe even faster.”

Of course, that didn’t stop Cory Lopez from flying on a couple waves he called “longer than J-Bay.” Best of all, Gable got his share tonight, too, with his best wave bowling and bending all the way into the bay. It was enough to kick off a celebration tonight in the bar downstairs. And enough for Gable to declare, “This trip is even beyond my expectations.”

But that didn’t stop him from re-thinking his itinerary. Originally, Brian had planned to leave tomorrow and head to J-Bay for the conclusion of the Billabong Pro and to catch a few waves after the event. But then he saw the swell charts and envisioned what we were surfing today a few feet bigger. “You know what?” he said. “J-Bay can wait until next trip. I’m staying.”

And so are we. High hopes for the last swell and riding high from today. I can hear them right now as write – Redemption Song at full volume. Brian’s already found his, but there’s no harm in asking for a little bit more.

[Stay tuned for more updates from SURFING Magazine’s Google Earth Challenge 2 presented by Nike 6.0. For the full feature, be sure to check out SURFING’S December 2008 issue.]

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