Written by: Shannon Marie
A picture-perfect weekend of peeling right-handers and sunny skies welcomed international longboarding teams to Malibu’s First Point this weekend, September 7-9th, for the 51st annual Malibu Classic Invitational. The Malibu Surfing Association puts on the public event every year at the iconic First Point of Surfrider Beach, gathering the worlds best noseriders for a historic event that seems to gain in popularity and dignity with every year. The MSA non-profit organization also welcomed the SurfAid Cup on Saturday, a tag-team specialty event filled with surfing legends like world champions Tom Curren and Lisa Anderson, who collectively were able to raise over $60,000 to benefit SurfAid International, a humanitarian effort providing mosquito nets and other much-needed forms of health care to communities in remote surf destinations.
After three days of competitive longboarding, it was the Windansea Surf Team that swept the podium with a first place finish. The elated team took the stage after numerous members claimed victories in idividual events for both mens and womens categoried. Named for the premier La Jolla reef break frequented by our earliest members, the Windansea Club was organized in 1963 largely by Chuck Hasley. They have had a strong showing at the MSA’s Classic Invitational over years past, and 2012 proved to be their moment to shine.
”The best part about the MSA Classic is definitely surfing Malibu,” said competitive longboarder, Tory Gilkerson. She won her division in Sunday’s final of the MSA Classic between the 14-19 year-old women. The San Clemente native has been winning competitions up and down the Pacific Coast, and is hoping to have a Chinese podium finish this year when women longboarders gather for ranking points in China. “I love coming up here to Malibu; its the most epic break, a wave absolutely every longboarder needs to experience. It’s awesome to surf it without the crowd.”
The Malibu Surfing Association (MSA) was founded in 1961 by members with a shared love of surfing, of surfing Malibu, and commitment to public service. More often, MSA works collaboratively with organizations, agencies, and governments on issues and programs related to surfing and to the management, protection, and enjoyment of Surfrider Beach. The MSA is proud to be the only US surfing club chartered to pursue both the fellowship of surfing and the stewardship of its home break.
A special edition to the MSA Classic Invitational this year was the SurfAid Cup, a team event of surf-tag that welcomed big names such as Tom Curren, Lisa Anderson, Shaun Tomson, Nathaniel Curran, Courtney Conlogue, Jennifer Smith and Simon Anderson to participate to raise money for charity. The legendary surfers and their teams were able to raise over $60,000 for SurfAid International, which will benefit the health of communities in isolated regions with surf traffic.
“Like everyone else, I’ve seen the images and videos of the long walls of this break in the old days with surfers on longboards being pushed off, or dropped in on by Miki Dora,” Simon Anderson said, looking forward to surfing Malibu for the first time. The legendary surfer and shaper was the inventor of the Thruster three-finned surfboard. His participation added to the funds raised for this charitable cause.
“I first heard about Malibu directly from Rick and Paul Neilsen at the 1972 World Titles in San Diego. They had taken the drive up the coast freeway and surfed it. Rick said it was better than Burleigh, which struck me as a huge statement from a staunch Burleigh local as the point barrels there are every surfer’s dream.”
“SurfAid brings health and hope to isolated people in a surfing icon that is Indonesia, the Mentawai Islands and beyond,” Simon said. ”This is an area opening up for surfers globally which is fine. SurfAid can put a lot back into this poor region that is prone to earthquake and tsunami devastation, malnutrition, malaria and other diseases on behalf of us in the name of surfing.”
“Malibu is a really great wave with a lot of history. It’s very unique to be able to be part of an event for like this one for SurfAid,” stated four-time world champion, Lisa Anderson. “Health care is much needed in isolated regions like the Mentawais, a surf destination for so many of us. The local people there need our support.”
Two-time world champion longboarder, Jennifer Smith, dazzled the Malibu crowd with her smooth style and beautiful noseriding during the SurfAid Cup. She had plans of venturing off to another incredible wave in Baja Mexico shortly after supporting the event to benefit SurfAid.
“We are so stoked to have such a huge response from the local community in support of our inaugural SurfAid Cup event,” Schober said.
The mission of SurfAid, a non-profit humanitarian organization, is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing. SurfAid‘s health programs involve education in nutrition, hygiene, healthy environments and disease prevention – including mosquito net distribution. SurfAid has built an award-winning capacity in emergency preparedness and has delivered five emergency response programs following major disasters, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2010 Mentawai tsunami.
MSA Malibu Classic Invitational 2012 Podium, Images by Surf Channel/Shannon Q:
For complete results, visit www.msaclassic.com/results.
Be sure to check out the video coverage from the MSA Malibu Classic 2012 on The Surf Channel Television Network.