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North Shore: Day Five

December 11, 2006

North Shore: Day Five

Already five days are gone. At the start of this trip, when people would ask how many days we would be in Hawaii, it seemed that twelve days would be a lifetime. It never is. Time here, although full, goes so quickly.
The strange part is that for most people, and I mean most people around the world, twelve days away from work, from home is a long time, far longer than the average person is “allowed.”
The Koreans get five days of vacation per year.
Day one of the Rip Curl Pipeline Masters is in the books. I walked the perimeter from eight to about one in the afternoon then bailed for a lunch and swim in the lagoon near Turtle Bay.
Sixteen heats, each with four men, droned on and on in average to above average surf. Pipeline is a unique beast, and even on days that are not maxed out reef days, the place is really amazing to watch.
The swell would one minute appear as if it was dying, then suddenly, white water on the horizon would indicate a monster looming on the second reef. Cleanup waves would ROLL through, chasing tourists up the beach and sending the water photographers diving for lobster.
The Hawaiians have such an advantage, wearing the fingerprint of those who have spent days, weeks, months or years in the lineup at Pipe.
One observation: There are WAY MORE people here than ever before. Traffic on the North Shore stretches from near Haleiwa to north of Sunset Beach. The next week will tell just how much things have changed. Today was a Sunday, with the marathon happening in town, as well as the U2 crowd still being around.
If this coming week is as crazy then next year could be like Los Angeles.
It appeared as if most of the favorites had moved on, but there is uncertainty about the contest running tomorrow.

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