Jimmy Blears at Sunset. Photo: Divine
Longtime North Shore Lifeguard and former World Champion James "Jimmy" Blears passed away this week in Honolulu, Hawaii, at the age of 62. A 20-year veteran guard at Sunset, Blears was also a standout competitor in his younger days. He was the Hawaiian Surfing Association ratings leader in 1969 and 1970, as well as a regular invitee and finalist at events such as the Duke Kahanamoku Classic and the Smirnoff. His most notable competitive highlight came during the 1972 World Surfing Championships in Ocean Beach, which he won. A member of a deep and richly talented surf family (Blears' father, brother, and sister were all anchored in the competitive and pro scenes between the 1950s and 1990s), Blears was widely known, and liked, in the islands and beyond. Our condolences go out to his friends and family.