Diocese of Orange will bless waves at Huntington Beach 

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange will, in solidarity with other faith traditions, host the second annual "Blessing of the Waves" at the iconic Huntington Beach Pier (400 Pacific Coast Highway) October 4, 2009, 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. The goal of this Diocesan sponsored prayer service and blessing is to bring together surfers and ocean-minded people, regardless of their faith tradition, to show spiritual appreciation for the ocean and all that it gives the planet and its population. This gathering demonstrates concern for a cherished environment already compromised by the effects of climate change, toxic emissions, and other pollution.

"In Orange County our beaches are more than simple geography; they are a cultural and spiritual center of our community. It is important that we recognize this common element in all our lives, regardless of faith tradition. Pope Benedict XVI and other spiritual leaders have called on all people to commit to the protection of the gifts of nature and preserve them for future generations. As we give thanks for this natural gift we must recognize that climate change disproportionately affects the economically disadvantaged. Environmental protection and curbing climate change is a matter of social justice that demands immediate action," said Most Rev. Tod D. Brown, Bishop of Orange. Pope Benedict recently commented during his 2009 Easter message; "Before it is too late, it is necessary to make courageous decisions that can recreate a strong alliance between humankind and the earth. A decisive ‘yes’ is needed to protect creation and also a strong commitment to invert those trends which risk leading to irreversibly degrading situations."

Southern California is home to many world-class surf breaks and the majority of these are in Orange County. Many people, including Catholics, spend much of their time surfing and enjoying the natural beauty of our coast line and recognize the spiritual importance of this natural asset. California’s coastal region is under significant threat due to pollution and global climate change. California will lose an estimated 41 square miles of coastline due to erosion by 2100, according to the California Climate Change Center. Wave height and wave shape – requisites for surfing are adversely affected by sea floor conditions influenced by silt and other detritus entering the ocean. Our beach water quality is already dangerous to the health of swimmers and others – between April 2008 and March 2009, 130 beaches in California were closed because of the presence of toxic waste and other hazards.

The Diocese of Orange organized this first of its kind interreligious event in 2008 drawing more than 400 participants to the Huntington Beach pier to take part in this community activity lead by Catholic clergy, Diocesan youth groups, and participants of various faith traditions. Participants called attention to the immeasurable importance of our oceans and beaches, and took a deeper look at their spiritual significance. The second annual interfaith event will be held in association with the Huntington Beach Centennial Celebration and will feature an opening prayer service, pledge to protect of our oceans and beaches, blessing of waves and attendees, acknowledgment of marine safety representatives, and close with surfing priests and other religious leaders. Dynamic surf and worship music will be provided "live" by The Wedge and Under Sky.

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Josiah Schmuker 

We are one step closer to game on at the Fantastic Noodles Intense Wave Invitational 09 with swell forecaster Ben Matson issuing the Red Alert call to the eight lucky selected competitors!

It’s the first ever World Pro Junior Big Wave Invitational 09 and on Red Alert competitors can now start waxing their “guns”, packing their winter wetsuits and preparing themselves for some seriously challenging big surf in South Australia’s extremes.

All eight surfers know what’s brewing right now under Australia is probably the biggest swell of the year and Matson is keyed up.

"The Fantastic Noodles Intense Wave Invitational 09 surf outlook for the coming week is very exciting. A conveyer belt of deep low pressure systems moving below the Australian continent are expected to generate a sustained period of abnormally large surf. These swells will affect all of the southern states, from Western Australia, through South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania."

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Volcom Stone's Starfish Surf Series at Huntington Beach 

Once again the Starfish Surf Series was dominated by the Groms. The beach sign-ups consisted of 80 little rascals charging the tents to be the first ones to put their name down. When sign-ups ended there were over 200 competitors frothing to get in the contest. We nearly got every competitor in and with a full day ahead of us as the kids hit the water, the beach antics began and it was time to get the show on the road.
 
By the end of the day, estrogen levels were at an all time high, so we knew it was time for the Girls final. Anissa Galndo and Leah Pakpour seemed to be in the right place at the right time and capitalized on it first thing. However, in the end it wouldn't be enough as Kulia Doherty and Charlotte Head jockied for the win and Charlotte would come out on top. She walked away with the win, a Rivera skateboard and a backpack full of goods. Rounding out the final was Anisssa Galindo, Leah Pakpour, Danielle Wyman and Karina Rozunko.
 
The dodgeball and the watermelon eating was only the beginning for these super energetic groms as they kicked and scratched their way into the lineup for the final. Colin Moran and Colin Devize took the early rounds with ease, but both ran out of gas in the final. Little dude Kei Kobayashi looked solid through out the day, but it was another grom of small stature that destroyed the competition. Kanoa Igarashi had the right combination and came up with the win, a new Volcom Beach cruiser, Vestal watch and plenty of other prizes to fill up the back of the family station wagon. Martin Jeri and Matt Passiquinidici rounded out the final.
 
Once the Groms exited the water it was the Juniors turn to battle it out. Pedro Husadel and Shayne Nelson looked hungry like the wolf as they were paddling into the line up. Shayne had a huge backhand bash to start it of right then came Eric Heimstaedt with his fluid style which murdered the open face. Pedro answered back but in the clutch Christian Saenz blew the lid off a right hander to win the final, a heap of goodies and 1000 points toward qualifying for 2010 VQS champs.
 
As the day came to the end, the Pro-Am final delivered the final blows. The finalist all had equal amount of HB pier experience as they each chose their spot to attack. Macy Mullen, Robert Patterson, and Teddy Navarro chose to bunch up next to the pier, which had its moments, but would end up to be the dagger in their sides. Ford Archbold had a stylish switch stance turn in the shorebreak earlier, but it was his carving 360 which won the Electric Volt Thrower move of the event and a sweet 50 bucks. The final was a well played poker match between Brandon Guilmette and Michael Dunphy. Guilmette seemed to be in control of the heat, but Michael called his bluff and ran away with the heat winning left hander as he destroyed it all the way to the beach, which make him $500 richer and left Guilmette wondering what happened. Macy Mullen, Teddy Navarro, Ford Archbold, and Robert Patterson rounded out the final.

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