Surf Industry To Honor Three-Time World Champion Andy Irons As 2005 Waterman Of The Year

Chris Evans and Larry “Flame Moore Also To Receive Awards

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (February 22, 2005) – The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) announced that it will honor three-time world champion Andy Irons as Waterman of the Year, former executive director of the Surfrider Foundation, Chris Evans, as Environmentalist of the Year, and legendary surf photographer Larry “Flame Moore with the Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the association’s annual Waterman’s Weekend environmental fundraiser, August 26-27, 2005, at The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa.

“The SIMA Board of Directors has selected an amazing group of honorees that will really hit home with the industry and bring excitement and authenticity to the 2005 Waterman’s Ball, said Dick Baker, president of SIMAand CEO of Op. “Andy, Chris and Flame have made incredible, admirable contributions to the world of surfing. They are each truly deserving of the honor they have been selected to receive. Andy Irons has been the dominant figure in competitive surfing in 2002, 2003 and 2004, solidifying his place in the record books of surfing and becoming an idol for a new generation of young groms to admire. Irons holds the distinction of being the 2002 and 2003 Pipeline Master, Triple Crown and ASP World Champion – the only surfer to ever win all three titles two years in a row. By winning his third consecutive world title in 2004, Irons joins the elite ranks of Kelly Slater and Mark Richards as the only people in history to win three consecutive world titles. Irons’ focused and determined spirit has helped drive attention to competitive surfing, captivating audiences in 2003 when he pushed six-time world champion Slater to the very last heat of the year in the intense title race. Irons is continuing to raise the bar on the sport of surfing and usher in a new era of surf heroes…and he shows no signs of slowing down. “It’s common knowledge that Andy has been the one to beat on the tour recently – the name on everyone’s lips, said Baker. “His performance has revived interest in competitive surfing and attracted a new generation of fans. Andy is a deserving Waterman of the Year, not only for his accomplishments as a competitor, but for elevating the overall appeal and visibility of the industry as a whole.

Chris Evans led the Surfrider Foundation into a new era while serving as executive director for five years. A surfer himself, Evans’ passion and leadership helped grow Surfrider’s national influence as an environmental lawmaker, introducing groundbreaking legislation like the BEACH (Beaches Environmental Assessment and Clean Health Act) Bill, which mandates water testing across the country, and creating the world’s first marine protected area on a famous wave – Rincon, Puerto Rico.

Under Evans’ guidance, the Surfrider Foundation also emerged victorious in more than 150 key regional environmental victories across the nation. His vision also included institutional changes such as establishing more chapters, adding thousands of new members and increasing the size of the staff to ensure the Surfrider Foundation will continue to become an even more powerful force in the years to

“Chris was phenomenally successful as the executive director of the Surfrider Foundation, said Paul Naudé, chairman of the SIMA Environmental Fund Board of Directors and CEO of Billabong USA. “As a passionate environmentalist, he took his mission to heart and as a result expanded the reach and influence of the Surfrider Foundation. For his diligent efforts to help advance ocean conservation and encourage environmental activism through Surfrider – and for leading the Surfrider Foundation to new heights – SIMAis proud to honor Chris with the Environmentalist of the Year Award.

Larry “Flame Moore is respected as one of the surf industry’s leading and legendary photographers whose drive to achieve perfect lighting has altered the course of surfing. Flame’s industry comradees credit him with paving a road to success for many surf photographers, as well as the success of Surfing Magazine. Flame was the first photo editor at Surfing, and held the position for 26 years. Throughout his amazing 30-year career, Flame captured more than 43 cover shots. His personal mission, however, was conquering Cortes Bank – a mission that he also considered his crowning achievement. The endless hours of research Flame conducted on Cortes Bank during the course of 11 years paid off in January 2001 when he led a team of photographers, video crews and tow-in surfers in a monumental session that challenged the boundaries of big-wave surfing. Flame’s drive and courage has been even more evident in recent years as while battling a brain tumor he continued to show tireless and admirable dedication to his work and the sport of surfing continuing to inspire his industry colleagues and friends.

“Flame is the ideal recipient for the Lifetime Achievement Award, said Naudé. “He has had a profound impact on surf photography and the way we look at and share the ‘art’ of surfing. Flame has captured countless phenomenal images, but more so, he has captured our respect as an individual. He is easily one of the most courageous, inspirational and admirable figures in the industry. The SIMA Board of Directors in honored to recognize Flame with this award.

The Waterman’s Weekend is a two-day fundraising event that benefits the SIMA Environmental Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation that awards grants to various environmental groups based on their dedication to preserving and protecting the world’s oceans, beaches and waves. Last year’s event attracted more than 850 people and raised a record $350,000 for ocean conservation groups. The 2005 Waterman’s Weekend, which returns to The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa, begins Friday, August 26, with the Waterman’s Classic Golf Tournament and culminates on Saturday, August 27, with the Waterman’s Ball and Auction.

Sponsorship packages for both the 2005 Waterman’s Classic and Waterman’s Ball will be on sale in May. Individual tickets for the Waterman’s Ball are scheduled to go on sale in July. To reserve a sponsorship package or for more sponsorship information, please contact Melinda Carter at SIMA by calling (949) 366-1164 or by e-mailing melinda@sima.com.

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the official working trade association of more than 300 surf industry suppliers. Founded in 1989, SIMA is a non-profit organization that serves to promote awareness of the surf industry and participation in the sport of surfing through public relations efforts and a variety of services, educational programs and research. In addition, SIMA actively supports oceanic environmental efforts through its 501(c)(3) charitable environmental foundation, the SIMA Environmental Fund. In the past 16 years, the SIMAEnvironmental Fund has raised more than $2.3 million for environmental groups seeking to protect the world’s oceans, beaches and waves.