HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Co-Founder of the Hui O He'e Nalu, Tony "Squiddy" Sanchez, Jr., has died.
"Squiddy" has been a huge force in the North Shore surf scene since the 70's.
Surfers tell Hawaii News Now that Sanchez has been the 'official cook' for the Eddie Aikau Opening Ceremonies for more than 10 years. He also recently took a leading role opposing the development of a hotel in Haleiwa.
CHECK THE FORUM
Sanchez, 58, died overnight of an apparent heart attack, he is survived by his wife and three daughters. Services are pending.
I never met Squiddy - but he provided a great passage in my book, courtesy of Brian Keaulana - at least I think so (from the Eddie contest, 1990 - the day of Brock Little's "Pressure Drop"):
Another incident went down that day, one far less celebrated but no less
important. Brian Keaulana caught what he thought was a makeable monster, but he too fell. Brian has a phenomenal lung capacity and the ability to slow his heart rate at will—enabling relaxation under cataclysmic conditions. Still, this was as heavy as it gets. Until he cleared the maelstrom of choking white water in the impact zone, he would be fighting for his life all alone. Of course, that’s just how it was. Aside from the occasional helicopter basket rescue, no one had yet devised a means of rescuing a surfer in the absolute bull’s-eye of a breaking wave. Then, with a four-story slab of water about ten seconds out, an angel appeared above Keaulana.
“I was getting ready to get pounded,” says Keaulana. “Then my friend
Squiddy comes right up to me on one stand-up Jet Ski—right in the impact zone. He just zooms in and looks me straight in the eye and says, ‘You all right, Brian?’ I was just amazed. I was like, ‘Yeah.’”
Sanchez zoomed away the instant before the wave detonated, pile-driving
Keaulana. But that no longer mattered. “I was just goin’, ‘That was f'ing amazing. Someone actually came into the impact zone at Waimea. If I survive this beating, I’m going straight to the dealer, and I’m going to buy one Jet Ski.’
“The next day my wife goes, ‘What you do today, honey?’ I say, ‘I put down five grand on one Jet Ski.’ She goes, ‘You did what?’ I go, ‘But honey, I’m gonna change lifesaving with this thing.’”
However, when Keaulana tested it out, practicing pickups and rescues with
fellow guard and best friend Terry Ahue, he found that lifting someone onto the wobbly machine was very tough. Then Keaulana’s mind lit on an old boogie board at home. He poked holes along the board’s perimeter and then wove an old garden hose along its length for grab handles before tying it to the back of his ski. “That was the first rescue sled,” he says, chuckling. “But it had no stabilizers or anything. I’d rescue people, and they’d be flipping over and over and half drowning. But at least I could get ’em in.”
---Nuf respect to Squiddy Sanchez for changing lifesaving forever...