First Point lights up for the 7th Annual SurfAid Cup Malibu
On Saturday, September 8th Malibu lit up with a head high south swell at the perfect angle for first point. The level of surfing was off the charts with longboarders perched on the nose and shortboarders throwing buckets of spray. Hoots were even heard from the judges tent as one epic performance after another fired up the beach.
In partnership with Malibu Surfing Association (MSA) and the Classic Invitational, 11 teams competed and raised over $74,000 for SurfAid’s Mother and Child Health Programmes. Foam Ballers Team Captain Zen Gesner and his teammates David Chokachi, Jon Mone, and Tom Triggs earned the prestigious Fundraising Cup after raising an astonishing $20,569 for SurfAid. Funds will help ensure SurfAid partner communities have access to clean water & sanitation, basic healthcare, and improved nutrition. Each of these factors have been proven to reduce maternal and child mortality rates by as much as 70%.
Zen shared this about their win, “An amazing day, shared with a fine group of amazing people, brought together for a true humanitarian effort…it just doesn’t get any better than this!”
It did get better for the Foam Ballers, as they were one of six teams who made it to the finals. Joining them were last year’s SurfAid Cup champs Team Becker, Team MSA, Malaria Sucks, Vote Pierson for City Council, and first-time competitors and the 2018 SurfAid Cup Malibu Surf Champions, The Relik Groms!
Sponsored by Danny Errico and coached by John Welch, the all grom dream team included up and coming longboarders Brooke Carlson, Haley Otto, John Michael Van Hohenstein, and Kevin Skvarna. Joining the Relik Grom team as their pro was Reilly Stone who as an 18-year-old out of Santa Cruz relied on his classic footwork to help lead the team towards an impressive final score of 368.
John emphasized having the kids work together and they adopted an acronym that John learned a long time ago; TEAM - Together Everybody Achieves More. Their goal was to simply have fun and then everything else would fall into place. John was stoked with the teams results, “We were super blessed to have taken first place in light of the amazing teams we surfed with. On behalf of each and every Team Relik Grom member, we would like to congratulate all the teams that competed. You were all amazing!”
SurfAid takes a similar collective approach when working with our communities. Funds raised through the SurfAid Cup directly translate to transformational change in our communities. SurfAid’s hand up – not a hand out philosophy is built to ensure lasting sustainability and the SurfAid Cup gives surfers a chance to work together to save the lives of mums and babies in places they love to surf.
The last honour of the day was given to Chris Parr, team captain of Malaria Sucks. Chris earned the Wildcard Trophy recognizing his Pure Stoke for SurfAid. Chris is a steadfast member of the SurfAid Tribe and has surfed in every SurfAid Cup Malibu event since its inception, as well as acting as a volunteer for both the Santa Cruz and Encinitas comps. Congratulations to Chris and all the competitors of the 2018 SurfAid Cup Malibu for an epic weekend of surfing and saving lives.