Blessing of the Waves: surfboards will attend the event

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 3, 2010, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 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 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 2009 and March 2010, more than 100 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.

The second annual event held in 2009 drew more than 1,000 participants to the iconic pier for this spiritual observance. Participants called attention to the immeasurable importance of our oceans and beaches, and took a deeper look at their spiritual significance.

The third annual interfaith event 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. Tongan and Samoan choirs will perform traditional ocean songs, giving thanks to God for our ocean environment.

"It is fitting that this blessing will be held on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology. Our coast line and its diverse ecosystem are under constant strain and increased environmental pressures. This event seeks to remind our community that protecting the environment is central to believers in a loving Creator. I am excited to join with members of our diverse faith community here in Huntington Beach to bless waves, those who ride on them, and the lifeguards who protect ocean goers," said Rev. Christian Mondor, OFM, PhD, Vicar Emeritus Sts. Simon and Jude.

Heitor Alves: flight from Figueira da Foz is ready for departure

The Lusiaves Figueira Pro went mobile today and found some clean 3-4ft (1m) peaks at the back-up site of Praia do Murtinheira for the running of Round One and eight stunning heats of Round Two of this Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) sanctioned event.

Competitors revelled in the fun conditions, some of the best seen during the entire European Summer Leg of ASP Star-Series events. Event officials made an early call to go mobile after finding the swell direction on offer was not entering the main event site and offered the option of a punchy beach break a mere 20 minutes drive North. With little or no winds and temperatures soaring, it was a long hot day on the beach as the top-seeds got their chance to hit the peak during the sweltering afternoon heat.

Current ASP European Junior Champion Charles Martin (GLP) 20, summed up the conditions on offer after his early morning heat win.

“I made it through that heat so I am super stoked. I have been here in Portugal a couple of times already and I really like the country and the people. It’s good here because it almost looks a bit like France at this beach so I love it. It is really good out there today, a typical beach break with lefts and rights and some push so it is really nice.”

An inform Heitor Alves (BRA) 27, kicked proceeding off and continued his recent good form by storming through his two performances to lead the charge into Round Three of the Lusiaves Figueira Pro. After his win a fortnight ago in the ASP 6-Star in Zarautz, Alves has trained even harder during the break and is pumped to make it back-to-back titles.

“I felt so good out there especially since I won the contest last week in Zarautz. Now here in Figueira da Foz the weather is perfect with really good waves so I am very happy about this.”

Currently sitting in a strong position on the ASP World Rankings, Alves is more motivated than ever to keep his momentum going and finish the season with a solid performance.

“I have trained a lot after the last contest and here in Portugal the waves are very good and I am happy to stay here. I am definitely looking for the best result possible again. (laughs)

Andre Silva (BRA) 27, scored the highest single score of the event with a long, deep backhand barrel to claim a 9.67 out of 10. Riding his favourite board which is in a state of repairs at the moment with a loose fin and a heavy double crease through the tail section, Silva scored the bomb of the day and was ecstatic with the wave, the score and the result.

“I arrived here this morning from France and I haven’t surfed in two days and I have some problems with my board because it has a fin that might fall out and a crease on the bottom but I just made the most of it and won the heat.”

“That set came in and the wave was big and looked like it was going to close-out,” began Silva when describing the wave. “In the last minute I went and the wave was so good and the barrel really deep. I had the sun in my eyes so I couldn’t see that much and then I saw a little bit of space for me to exit and I went for it and it was great. I am so happy to make that wave and the heat.”

Tanner Gadauskas (USA) 22, arriving straight from Tahiti to Portugal enjoyed himself this morning scoring a combined heat total of 16.50 out of 20. Starting off with a solid 7.83, Gudauskas then built on his tally to finally nail an 8.67 for two excellent backhand smashes.

“It was sick that heat, just out there in my own little world really. I am stoked to be here and I can’t wait to get into the next round. I’ve just come back from Tahiti so I am fresh to Europe and excited, I love it here.”

A first-call will be made at the backup site of Praia do Murtinheira at 09:30am tomorrow for a restart to Round Two shortly afterwards. Up first in heat nº 9 will be Jayke Sharp (AUS), Joao Guedes (PRT) up against Madison Williams (AUS) and Jeronimo Vargas (BRA).

Remaining Lusiaves Figueira Pro Round Two Match-Ups
Heat 9: Jayke Sharp (AUS), Joao Guedes (PRT), Madison Williams (AUS), Jeronimo Vargas (BRA)
Heat 10: Hodei Collazo (EUK), Mitch Coleborn (AUS), Ruben Gonzalez (PRT), Francisco Bellorin (VEN)
Heat 11: Jay Quinn (NZL), Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), Norman Landa (EUK), Marcos San Segundo (EUK)
Heat 12: Jay Thompson (AUS), Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), Frederic Robin (REU), Messias Felix (BRA)
Heat 13: Joan Duru (FRA), Abdel El Harim (MAR), Romain Laulhe (FRA), Tanner Gadauskas (USA)
Heat 14: Billy Stairmand (NZL), Brian Toth (PRI), Ricardo Lange (DEU), Eric Castaldo (USA)
Heat 15: Nathan Hedge (AUS), Shaun Joubert (ZAF), Francisco Alves (PRT), Nuno Florencio (PRT)
Heat 16: Tim Boal (FRA), Brad Ettinger (USA), Jay Davies (AUS), David do Carmo (BRA)
Heat 17: Royden Bryson (ZAF), Dede Suryana (IDN), Adrien Toyon (REU), Joao Antunes (PRT)
Heat 18: Romain Cloitre (FRA), Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Miguel Ximenez (PRT), Paulo Almeida (PRT)
Heat 19: Gustavo Fernandes (BRA), Jano Belo (BRA), Justin Mujica (PRT), Ivo Cacao (PRT)
Heat 20: Pablo Paulino (BRA), Alan Stokes (GBR), Jose Maria Cabrera (CNY), Tonino Benson (HAW)
Heat 21: Leonardo Neves (BRA), Brendon Gibbens (ZAF), Omer Bar (ISR), Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK)
Heat 22: Glen Hall (IRL), Ricardo Santos (BRA), Freddie Meadows (SWE), Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 23: Yuri Sodre (BRA), Bernardo Miranda (BRA), Andre Oziol (BRB), Yannick de Jager (NDL)
Heat 24: Raoni Monteiro (BRA), Vincent Duvignac (FRA), Bruno Rodrigues (BRA), Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA)

Lusiaves Figueira Pro Round Two Results
Heat 1: Heitor Alves (BRA) 15.94, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 12.33, Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) 9.63, Alexander El Naib (DEU) 1.33
Heat 2: Alain Riou (PYF) 11.34, Eneko Acero (EUK) 10.40, Jason Torres (CRC) 9.47
Heat 3: Richard Christie (NZL) 12.93, Blake Jones (USA) 10.33, Marlon Lipke (DEU) 8.50, Casey Brown (HAW) 5.43
Heat 4: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 10.67, Austin Ware (USA) 8.24, Alexandre Ferreira (PRT) 7.00
Heat 5: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.50, Txaber Trojaola (EUK) 11.40, Klee Strachan (ZAF) 10.06, Indar Unanue (EUK) 5.67
Heat 6: Andre Silva (BRA) 13.94, Miguel Mouzinho (PRT) 9.67, Cheyne Willis (HAW) 3.84
Heat 7: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 9.83, Manfred Adrio (ZAF) 5.43, Ricardo Calabaca 3.26
Heat 8: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 11.16, Charles Martin (GLP) 10.56, Ryah Arthur (USA) 8.30, Hugo Savalli (REU) 8.10

Lusiaves Figueira Pro Round One Results
Heat 1: Heitor Alves (BRA) 13.33, Alexandre Ferreira (PRT) 9.27, David Raimundo (PRT) 7.27
Heat 2: Casey Brown (HAW) 9.17 , Indar Unanue (EUK) 4.40
Heat 3: Charles Martin (GLP) 14.27, Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 8.16, Nuno Silva (PRT) 4.70
Heat 4: Francisco Bellorin (VEN) 13.07, Messias Felix (BRA) 9.17, Robertson Goncalves (PRT) 5.23
Heat 5: Tanner Gadauskas (USA) 16.50, Nuno Florencio (PRT) 2.96
Heat 6: David do Carmo (BRA) 14.86, Joao Antunes (PRT) 8.17
Heat 7: Tonino Benson (HAW) 10.83, Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) 8.10, Goncalo Paula (PRT) 3.13
Heat 8: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 14.10, Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA) 8.27

Celebrity Surfers: no, it isn't a reality show

With help from a cadre of surfing celebrities, the Surfrider Foundation was able to raise $29,600 – a 500% increase in funds raised from last year - at their 5th annual Celebrity Expression Session this past weekend, to help the Foundation continue its efforts towards protecting our world’s oceans, waves and beaches.

This year’s event, which was hosted by musician Martyn Lenoble and fiancée, actress Christina Applegate, and sponsored by Barefoot Wine, Cali Bamboo and the Malibu Surfing Association, drew an eclectic mix of celebrities from world of music, film, and television.

The celebrities, which included Anthony Kiedis and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction’s bassist Eric Avery, and actors Austin Nichols, Brian Geraghty, Eric Balfour and Sam Trammell, were all treated to a rare opportunity; the chance to surf Malibu’s famed First Point all by themselves.

For each wave caught and ridden, event sponsors donated $200. Additionally, away from the water, celebrities encouraged their social network followers to make donations to the Surfrider Foundation and raised an additional $4,600.

Here’s what the surfers had to say about the Celebrity Expression Session:

“Surfrider is bringing about the importance that we have clean and safe beaches not only for ourselves, but for future generations. This is a gift we have been given and we need to maintain it, take care of it, and love it. I love the creatures that dwell in it. I’m really happy to be a part of this” – co-host Christina Applegate

“I’m thrilled to be here for the Surfrider Foundation for this Celebrity Expression Session. I recently got really, really angry about the oil spill in the Gulf and that is what got me going on this. I’m really happy to be a part of Surfrider and try to raise money for you guys.” – Austin Nichols

“Today was amazing. I got to hang out for an hour in the water surfing and having fun and supporting the Surfrider Foundation with some of the coolest artists around. I got to surf with Flea and Anthony Kiedis those guys are my heroes…my idols growing up. Surfrider made my day. And I’m just so happy to support what they do. And you should do. Go to become a member. Save the ocean.” – Eric Balfour