What do you get when you mix over 500 surfers, booze paid for with company corporate cards, past and present world champs, and a beautiful hotel?
The 2005 SIMA Waterman’s Ball, of course!
This year’s event, which was the 16th annual, raised money for ten different environmental organizations including the Surfrider Foundation, the Ocean Institute, Wildcoast, the Save The Waves Coalition, the Seymour Marine Discovery Foundation, Algalita Marine Research Foundation, Alaska Wilderness League, Heal The Bay, the Surfing Education Association, and the Orange County Coastkeeper.
In total, over $400,000 was raised to support the various causes via a silent auction and then a very non-silent auction that followed a tasty dinner and cocktails hour. The biggest spender of the night would have to have been Fernando Aguerre, who shelled out $25,000 for a George Downing ten-foot gun, which was a replica of the board his son rode to victory in the 1990 Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational.
Three awards were given out as well to celebrate the heroes, legends and guardians of our sport:
The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Larry “Flame Moore for his thirty years of leading Surfing Magazine. Moore has been diagnosed with brain cancer and clearly moved the crowd with his resolve and fighting spirit.
Waterman Of The Year was given to three time World Champion Andy Irons. The TransWorld crew consisting of brother, Joel Patterson, and myself hung out with Andy and his girlfriend Lyndie before the auction and sipped champagne and Corona’s–all on Billabong’s tab! Andy was pretty nervous about giving a speech, but his nerves didn’t get the best of him and he gave a fine speech. Well done AI!
Environmentalist Of The Year was given to Chris Evans–the head of the Surfrider Foundation. I was dragged out of the room and missed his speech, but suffice to say, Evans has done wonderful things to protect and serve our ocean.
Congratulations to all winners and thanks to SIMA for putting on such a wonderful evening. The surf god’s must have been watching, too, because the next morning was the best day of the entire summer–good things come to good people! See you all next year…