Jimmy Blears 1948 — 2011 North Shore Lifeguard, World Champion Surfer & Friend to All Who Knew Him

By |March 30th, 2011|Jimmy Blears 1948 -- 2011, Surf Happenings|0 Comments

The world surfing community suffered a loss in February when we learned of the passing of former world champion James “Jimmy” Blears. Jimmy was best known on the North Shore for his 25 plus years of service as a City & County lifeguard at Sunset Beach Tower 25. It was in the waters at Sunset where Blears saved the lives of several hundred tourists, military and locals from its treacherous currents. In 1972 Jimmy won the World Surfing Championships held in San Diego, California, making him one of five world champion surfers to represent Hawaii. (Fred Hemmings, Derek Ho, Sunny Garcia and Andy Irons are the other four.)

Jimmy was born in 1948 in Los Angeles and moved to Waikiki in 1950. He was raised on the waterfront near what s near the Duke statue and surfboard racks. His family occupied the upstairs of the Steiner building and spent all their free time surfing and diving in this idyllic setting. Jimmy’s father, the legendary “Tally Ho” Lord James Blears had Jimmy and his mother Lee tandem surfing in front of their house when Jimmy was still in diapers. He attended Washington Elementary School in Waikiki and later Punahou, graduating in 1967. […]