Sometimes, dreaming on Google Earth can become a reality. That’s the case for Laguna Niguel software developer Brian Gable, who spent “50 to 60 hours” on this year's Google Earth challenge, determined to get that all-expense paid trip to the wave he deemed worthy of exploration. After creating a folder called “google_win,” he went to work, scouring the depths of Chile, every nook and cranny in the South Pacific and the hidden corners of the Indian Ocean. Finally, after putting together an excel spreadsheet and a “point system” for each potential entry (based on danger factor, swell frequency, cost, access, etc.), he finally settled on a left sand point somewhere in Africa.
Why not be a little more explicit? Well, because this past week we’ve been camped at that left sand point, the place that Gable has been monitoring for the better part of the year and wondering, wondering, wondering just how good it really is. Well, he can now rest well knowing that his chosen setup could quite possibly be one of the best and longest sand points in the world. It’s so promising, in fact, that we have a crew of shredders (Cory Lopez, Pete Mendia, Hank Gaskell, Mitch Coleborn) and photographer DJ Struntz on hand, ready to jump when it comes to life. In the meantime, they’ve been finding plenty of other waves in the area: mini-slabs, rippable left points and a weird spot with a shipwreck running through it. The left we came here for gave us a hint one morning - five hours of a dirty Superbank in reverse - but it was just up from the proper point and not even the actual wave.
So, we wait. We eat kudu and kingclip, drink large drafts and check the scenery. Brian Gable and his cousin Mike are here, comparing his satellite images to the real thing and kicking back in pure bliss. “I can't believe I'm actually seeing this place in real life,” he said when we first pulled up on the break.
Hopefully, this week, he can pinch himself knowing that he’s actually surfing it.
[Stay tuned to SurfingMagazine.com as we bring you more updates from the Google Earth Challenge 2 presented by Nike 6.0. A feature on this trip will appear in our December 2008 issue.]
Cory Lopez reaps the rewards of the challenge