The Santa Cruz Syndicate, with three-time ASP world champion Tom Curren on board, has won the SurfAid Cup at Malibu.
The Santa Cruz team (Curren, CJ Nelson, Michel Junod, Reilly Stone and Cheyne Renner) defeated the Firewire team (Sebastian Williams, Daniel Thomson, Pascal Stansfield, Taylor Jensen and Chuy Reyna) by only 7/100ths of a point, 49.37 – 49.30.
Surfaiders placed third (47.20), East Coast Bias fourth (32.47), North County Surf fifth (26.03) and the Socal Soul Searchers sixth (21.10). Equal seventh were Legal Right and Frank-n-Riders, equal ninth Surfing For Lives and The Inertia, and 11th place went to Team Malaria Free Mentawai.
In one-foot conditions, Tom Curren surfed a 12-foot paddleboard and caught some long runners down First Point. “It's a great spirit and it's really great to be a part of this event. Thank you,” Tom said on the presentation stage.
Eleven teams raised $72,730 for SurfAid and the Surfing For Lives team, co-captained by Rick Peters and Karl Luber, and with Jen Smith, Gordy Dunfee, Tim Senneff and Ozstar De Jourday, won the fundraising cup with $9,780, just ahead of Santa Cruz Syndicate ($9,600) and East Coast Bias ($8,785). Surfing For Lives cracked the $10k mark with later donations, for a total of $10,055.
With a big smile, Santa Cruz Syndicate captain Steve Beck said: “I’m proud the Santa Cruz boys came down to Malibu and showed the guys how it works.”
Then he got serious: “I go to Indonesia and surf. You’re surfing paradise and a few hundred yards from the dream you are living a family is experiencing their greatest tragedy – the death of their child from malaria. I believe it’s the least we can do is to take a shaving from the tremendous resources we’ve been given and help save some lives.
“And it’s really an honor. I don’t feel proud to be doing what we’re doing - I feel humbled.”
SurfAid USA Chairman, Karl Luber, said it was hard to believe that this was only the second SurfAid Cup at Malibu. “It feels like it’s been going on forever,” Karl said. “Bottom line it’s hard to believe we can have this much fun and save lives at the same time. SurfAid is the humanitarian arm of the surfing community and we remain humbly grateful for its support.”
The tag-team SurfAid Cup is part of the MSA Classic Invitational, which was presented by the Malibu Surfing Association from September 6th - 8th.
Competitors got the chance to surf the classic Malibu pointbreak, with a pro surfer/legend on their team, and only a few people in the water.
Each team aimed to raise at least $5,000 for SurfAid and, in order of their fundraising total, they picked a pro/legend surfer to join them, for a total of five surfers per team.
The pros who donated their skills and time were Tom Curren, two-time ASP world longboard champion Jen Smith, big wave rider Greg Long, ASP world tour surfer Travis Logie, Strider Wasilewski, Colin Giles, Allen and Colton Sarlo, Pascal Stansfield, Jo Jo Roper and Reef McIntosh.
Former pro surfer Chuy Reyna, on Team Firewire, won a special award for a series of lip hits followed by a faceplant.
For the first time in SurfAid Cup history (five events have also been run in Australia) a team was called for an interference.
Team North County Surf captain Bruce Bekkar said in the final their team’s mouths “collectively cratered like the suckout in front of a Teahupoo macker as the judges flagged our own Tad Keyser with the dreaded Yellow Triangle. So much distance separated ‘Tomo’ Tompson and Tad at the time of the alleged ‘incident’ that the sun was actually setting in Tad's location, partially obscuring his view.
“We of Team North County Surf stand solidly behind our mate, believing that the most grievous infraction he could be accused of was simply being in the same ocean as Tomo, and therefore guilty not of ‘interference’ but simply being a ‘hanging Tad’."
An Expression Session was held at Malibu on Friday 6th September as a warm-up for the competitors and a Benefit Night was held that evening at Duke’s Malibu.
You can still donate to the teams here
Thanks very much to everyone who was involved in this year’s event.
Photos by Steven Lippman