SIMA Honors Surfing’s Best At Waterman’s Weekend

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) has announced its choice to name surfer Shane Dorian as Waterman of the year, Jean-Michel Cousteau as Environmentalist of the Year, and to honor the lat Sean Collins with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Waterman’s Weekend environmental fundraiser.

“The SIMA Board of Directors and Environmental Fund are extremely proud to honor Shane, Jean-Michel and Sean at the 23rd annual Waterman’s Ball,” said Paul Naude, Chairman of the Waterman’s Weekend Event Committee and President of the SIMA Environmental Fund Board of Directors. “Each honoree’s achievements in and out of the water, dedication to protecting our ocean, and commitment to the sport of surfing is an inspiration to us all. We look forward to this year’s Waterman’s Weekend as we will raise funds and support for the 20 deserving ocean-related organizations, as well as celebrate the impressive accomplishments of our three honorees.”

Learn more about the event and its honorees below:

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. (April 12, 2012) —Switching to a Friday and Saturday format, the 2012 Waterman’s Weekend will be held August 10-11, and will raise funds for 20 ocean conservation organizations. The weekend begins Friday, August 10, with the Waterman’s Classic Golf Tournament at the Monarch Beach Golf Links, and culminates on Saturday, August 11, with the 23rd annual Waterman’s Ball and auction to be held at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Waterman of the Year, Shane Dorian, is known as one of the most influential names in big-wave riding today. To see Dorian push over the ledge at Waimea, fearlessly haul into massive waves at Pipe or sky-dive into the maelstrom at Teahupoo is to see the kind of commitment, spirit and surfing that takes one’s breath away. Since turning up on the surf media map in the late ‘80s, he has won a Hawaiian state title, pushed the paddle-in limits on the North Shore’s outer reefs, redefined deep tuberiding at spots like Backdoor, helped spearhead the “New School” of surfing, contended for a world title, towed in at spots like Jaws and continues to be on the frontier of cutting-edge, high-performance surfing. As not only a wave slayer who fears nothing, Dorian also gives back to the Hawaiian community annually during the Shane Dorian Keiki Classic, which spreads the love of surfing for free to Hawaiian youth and collects food for charity.

“As one of the most universally respected big-wave surfers, Shane Dorian is a pioneer in the world of surfing who is constantly chasing the dream of surfing the world’s biggest wave,” said Doug Palladini, SIMA President and Vice President of Marketing for Vans. “As a well-seasoned athlete, Shane’s skill level, methodical planning and long-term goals for big-wave surfing are all qualities that are constantly pushing the sport of surfing to grow. A true waterman, it is an honor to call Shane this year’s Waterman of the Year.”

For more than four decades, Environmentalist of the Year Jean-Michel Cousteau has dedicated himself to communicate to all nations and generations his love and concern for our water planet. Since first being thrown overboard by his father at the age of seven, he has been exploring the ocean realm. The son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel has investigated the world’s oceans for much of his life. Honoring his heritage, Jean-Michel founded the Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on pioneering work. Ocean Futures Society, a non-profit marine conservation and education organization, serves as a “Voice for the Ocean” by communicating wise environmental policy. As Ocean Future’s spokesman, Jean-Michel serves as a diplomat, reaching out through a variety of media. He has produced more than 80 films, received the Emmy, the Peabody Award, the Sept d’Or, and the Cable Ace Award. As one of the world’s leading ocean activists, it is a privilege to honor Jean-Michel with the Environmentalist of the Year award.

“It is truly our honor to celebrate someone as renowned and distinguished as Jean-Michel who has educated many cultures on the preservation of our world’s oceans thus making an impact on a global scale,” commented Naude. “Jean-Michel’s passion for the ocean is contagious. As the founder of the Ocean Futures Society, Jean-Michel lives his life as the perfect example of the organization’s motto, ‘the voice of the ocean.’”