November 29 was one for the record books on the North Shore of Oahu. The day before at the Gidget Pro Sunset Beach, women’s surfing made a huge leap forward which perfectly prefaced a special night dedicated to Rell Sunn; the Queen of Makaha, the first woman pro surfer from Hawaii, Hawaii's first female lifeguard, keeper and guardian to a legion of future pro surfers and the female counterpart to Duke Kahanamoku.
The Rell Sunn Aloha Jam was all about Rell Sunn.
The reason for this gathering was to raise funds for a bronze statue of Rell on Oahu, to bring light to her foundation, and to perpetuate her legacy. The amazing venue of Waimea Valley mixed with the magic of musicians Cyril Pahinui, Henry Kapono, Kaukahi, Rob Machado, and Jake Shimabukoro. A highlight of the evening was the incredible performance by Paula Fuga—it was truly a magical performance. The chicken skin part of the evening was when Jan Sunn-Carreira and (birthday boy) husband Tony got on stage for an all musicians jam. Top pro surfers like Sunny Garcia, Andy Irons, Joel Parkinson, Megan Abubo, Dustin Barca, Fred Patacchia and others donated boards to the silent auction that took in over $5000.00 alone. Fred Patacchia was the high bidder on the special Pat Rawson/Clark Little fish/photo board at $4000.00. That along with the over 600 guests made for a very successful fundraiser.
Billabong, Quiksilver, Barefoot Wine, Smart Water, Longboard Lager and the Triple Crown all provided the sponsorship for this event. Thanks to everyone who helped out and attended. For those who missed it and want to donate please go to RellSunn.com.—Pete Hodgson