This past Sunday, a chest to head high south swell wrapping through first peak provided perfect conditions for the 3rd Annual SurfAid Cup Santa Cruz. The tag team competition was hosted by Big Stick Surfing Association (BSSA) as part of the annual LogJam Classic and saw six teams of five compete for both the Fundraising and Surfing Cup.
Over $34,000 was raised to support SurfAid’s Mother and Child Health Programs, which help provide clean water & sanitation, basic healthcare, and improved nutrition to extremely remote villages.
The winning Fundraising Cup went to team Ola Grande led by SurfAid Board Member Stuart Gasner who had this to say about the event, “It’s easy to fundraise when you get to surf an empty first peak on a day that brings out the best of the tribe for such a great cause. Surfing is such a luxury for people who have access to the basic necessities of life and the ability to enjoy the ocean. It’s important to give back and help others who are living in some of the most extreme conditions while fighting malnutrition and high rates of mortality.”
Stuart used his first-place fundraising positioning to pick none other than the legendary Joel Tudor as his pro rider. Joel was joined by local big wave surfers Shawn Dollar, Ken “Skindog” Collins, and Tyler Fox. This was Tyler’s second year supporting the event as a pro and media sponsor with Santa Cruz Waves. “This event is one of my favorites of the year. The SurfAid team format is a blast and knowing that we are competing to save lives makes it that much more special!”
Joining the pro lineup for the first time were two local rippers, Autumn Hayes and Ashley Held. Ashley helped her team The SurfAider’s bring home the Surfing Cup with an impressive final score of 318. This was the SurfAiders first time competing in the SurfAid Cup and included local talent from Jenny Bennet, Keenan Shaw, JP Garner, and making the trip up from Santa Barbara, Evan Casciatto.
Event artwork was provided by renown surfer, shaper, and artist Tyler Warren. Sticky Bumps Wax and Accessories used Tyler’s art to create a custom contest series wax for all the competitors. Event media was provided thanks to generous support from Tranparensea Media and Nikki Brooks Photography. The generosity of all the event partners helped set the tone for an amazing weekend at Pleasure Point.
SurfAid Founder, Dr. Dave Jenkins expressed the significance behind the event, “The SurfAid Cup gives people a chance to give back. Many of us have been lucky enough to travel the world in search of perfect waves. Along the way we find that life isn’t so perfect for our local hosts. The SurfAid Cup events enable us to partner with communities and make a positive and lasting impact on the health of women and their families. We are humbled and grateful for all of the people in Santa Cruz and around the globe who surf to save a life.”
Congratulations to Team Ola Grande and The SurfAiders on their dual SurfAid Cup wins and well done to all the teams for surfing and saving lives.
PHOTOS- NIKKI BROOKS
Next up SurfAid Cup Encinitas on May 12 – there’s still time to sign up. Contact Erin @Surfaid.org for more info
1st – SurfAiders
2nd – Adams Rippers
3rd – Team Ola Grande
4th – Verve Coffee
5th – Pleasure Point SurfAiders
6th – Riptide
FUNDRAISING CUP RESULTS
1st Place – Team Ola Grande
2nd Place – Verve Coffee
3rd Place – Pleasure Point SurfAiders
4th Place – Riptide
5th Place – SurfAiders
6th Place – Adam’s Rippers
SurfAid’s core mission is to save the lives of women and children in remote areas of Indonesia – areas connected to us by surfing. We specialize in working in very isolated villages where the maternal and child mortality rate is extremely high.
Many in our communities suffer from preventable causes. SurfAid implements a “hand up, not a hand out” philosophy toward aid. Local staff provides advice, training, and expertise, but it is up to the community to implement and embrace change. SurfAid’s Mother and Child Health Programs involve education in clean water and sanitation, improved nutrition, and access to healthcare.
SurfAid’s EHOWU program which serves a population of roughly 9,000 in Nias has proven results in reducing infant and maternal mortality rates. SurfAid has helped to reduce maternal deaths from 8 annually to zero for two years in a row. During the same timeframe, the mortality rate for children under five has all but disappeared with only one death reported last year. That is down from an average of 22 per year at the start of the program in 2012.
In the past sixteen years, in addition to building award winning health programs, SurfAid has helped communities re-build their lives after five major natural disasters – earthquakes and tsunamis in the area.
For more information contact: