The inaugural SurfAid Cup Santa Cruz, hosted by Big Stick Surfing Association (BSSA) was held Saturday April 23, 2016 in pumping 6-10 foot conditions at Pleasure Point.
The tag-team-style event saw eight teams of four compete for the fundraising and surfing trophies. Over $63,000 was raised to support SurfAid’s Mother and Child programs in remote villages close to iconic surfing locations in Indonesia: Nias, the Mentawais Islands, Sumbawa and Sumba.
Local legend and longtime SurfAid Ambassador, Robert (Wingnut) Weaver surfed with the fundraising winners, Benchmark Property Group. “How can you not support an organization that has such a great vision and is able to act on it so effectively? It’s nice to see so many members of the community come together on the various teams for such a good cause.”
Benchmark Property Group, led by Jason Lewis, raised over $16,000 in donations.
Non-stop sets stacking up out the back helped local team, the Santa Cruz Syndicate, carve their way to victory in the Surfing Cup. Captain Alistair Craft led big wave charger Adam Replogle, and a crew of local rippers including Bud Freitas and Noe Kaulukakui.
Alistair was stoked at the opportunity surf in the event: “A chance to surf the point with just a couple friends and get to support such a great cause…couldn't think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.”
The final was tightly contested, but the Santa Cruz Syndicate narrowly edged out Benchmark Property Group. The Pleasure Point Malaria Fighters, led by local shaper Michel Junod, finished with third place. SurfAid US Board Chair, Karl Luber, was impressed by the level of surfing from all teams throughout the event.
The official contest kick-off was hosted by Surftech Santa Cruz, and set the tone for an amazing weekend at Pleasure Point.
“We’re incredibly grateful for the Santa Cruz community’s hospitality. It was epic to see everyone pull together behind the SurfAid cause. To know that translated into lives saved in the remote communities we serve left everybody stoked," said SurfAid Founder, Dr. Dave Jenkins. “To be so warmly welcomed in Santa Cruz and to know that so many more kids will have a chance at a better life in Indonesia is a wonderful way to start to our partnership with BSSA.”
1st Santa Cruz Syndicate
2nd Benchmark Property Group
3rd Pleasure Point Malaria Fighters
1st Place - Benchmark Property Group - $16,070
2nd Place - Team Ola Grande - $11,895
3rd Place - Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders - $10,250
Event photos by Nikki Brooks. More event photos coming soon...
Event artwork by Daryn Mcbride