Known as the Queen of Makaha, Rell Kapoliokaehukai Sunn was a world surfing champion and pioneer for women in the sport. With her cool and composed riding style, she shaped unity in the surf community by establishing a pro women’s competitive surfing circuit for her peers and future generations. In 1975, she became Hawaiiʻs first female lifeguard presiding over her favorite beach on the North Shore.
Sunn, affectionately called Aunty Rell, is also remembered for her long courageous battle with breast cancer. She was diagnosed in 1983 and given only a year to live. She overcame that prognosis by 15 years. She surfed every single day.