Maxime Huscenot: another title

The annual European surf industry gala dinner took place last Friday, October 1st, 2010 in a new location, the Quiksilver Campus in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France.

Organized by EuroSIMA, the European boardsports industry manufacturers association, the Waterman’s Ball aims to federate the boardsports industry and raise funds to promote ecological and environmental organizations.

ECOLOGICAL INNOVATION PRIZE

A panel of experts gathered by the EuroSIMA Cluster assigned the 2010 Ecological Innovation Prize of 5000 euros to the brand Völkl for its ranges of eco-friendly snowboards – Cashew, Yavana, and Vice – designed in accordance with sustainable development considerations.

The boards are all equipped with a tear-proof hemp/canvas surface instead of plastic topsheet, with flexible wooden instead of traditional ABS sidewalls. The edges are constructed of recycled steel and only minimal amounts of resin and other toxic materials were used.

TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION PRIZE

The same experts awarded the 2010 Technological Innovation Prize of 5000 euros to Sport Contrôle for the protective earplugs SORKY developed in partnership with Sympatex. The SORKY aims to protect ears from infections or other diseases linked with aquatic activities while ensuring ease of use, hearing and balance. An awareness of a health problem that affects many board sports participants!

PERFORMANCE GROUP OF THE YEAR AWARD

GSM Europe (Billabong, Element, Von Zipper, Nixon, Tigerlily, Dakine, Xcel, Sector 9, 2 Seasons, Kustom, Honolua, Palmers, RVCA) was awarded for its 2009-2010 results but also for its steady growth for the past 10 years, as well as for its promising business perspectives for years to come thanks to an outstanding collection of youth lifestyle brands.

EUROPEAN ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD

Maxime Huscenot received the European Athlete of the Year award for his ASP World Junior title at Narrabeen, Australia. The 17 year-old Reunion Island surfer entered the French surfing history by becoming the first European surfer to win this trophy.

EuroSIMA SPECIAL AWARD

The EuroSIMA Board honored Amaury Lavernhe with the EuroSIMA Special Award for his exceptional performance on the IBA world tour. Amaury won the 2010 professional bodyboard world champion title before the end of the world tour. It is the first time in the history of professional action sports that a French athlete (and moreover a European) has reached such a level!

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Michel Hoff, former general manager of SAS Aupa Hoff and EuroSIMA founder member, received the Lifetime Achievement award for his active contribution to the development of the boardsports industry and culture in France and Europe.

Blessing of the Waves: 3000 surfers ask God for the best waves | Photo: OC Register

Priests, Rabbis, Imams and others were joined by nearly 3,000 surfers and ocean minded people early Sunday morning for the third annual Blessing of the Waves celebration in Huntington Beach, Calif. This unique observance called on participants to show spiritual appreciation for the ocean and all that it gives the planet and its population.

Attendees were joined by Tongan and Samoan choirs who performed hymns in traditional island attire, honoring the ocean environment and sending their prayers out over the ocean to other coastal communities.

"We benefit greatly as a community from the gifts the ocean provides. The Blessing of the Waves seeks to bring our diverse community together in celebration of these many gifts. It was truly inspiring to see such a large and diverse group of participants and faith leaders united in prayer and adoration," said the Most Rev. Tod D. Brown, Bishop of Orange.

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.

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.

The year’s blessing began on land with clergy discussing the importance of our natural environment and the effect of global warming on the poor and marginalized around the world. The speakers touched on the spiritual and ethical responsibility to respect and nurture the planet and its resources. Faith leaders offered prayers representing their individual faith tradition’s reverence for the ocean and its ecosystems.

Several ceremonial conch shells were blown as Tongan and Samoan choirs dressed in traditional garb sung hymns in their native tongue out over the pacific as several surfing priests and a rabbi, joined by dozens of surfers, took to the waves for a surfing session in celebration of nature’s gifts.

The Blessing of the Waves fell on October 3rd, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology and founder of the Franciscan Order in 1209. It was the Franciscans who established many of California's missions.

"The Blessing of the Waves program brought together peoples of many faiths - sharing concern for our environment. St. Francis would be pleased to know that his voice is being heard by surfers, sailors, fishermen and other ocean-minded people," Bishop Brown concluded.

Clergy and faith leaders who attended:

- Rev. Mathew Munoz, associate pastor, St. Irenaeus Parish, Cypress, Calif.
- Rev. Christian Mondor, vicar emeritus, Sts Simon and Jude Parish, Huntington Beach, Calif.
- Rabbi Nachum Shifren, the "Surfing Rabbi"
- Maneck Bhujwala, Zoroastrian Community
- Donald Garrick, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- Maria Khani, Islamic Society of Orange County
- Milia Islam-Majeed, Executive Director, South Coast Interfaith Council
- Carol Weinfeld, Temple Beth David, Westminster, Calif.

Bernardo Miranda: gave the grom a surfing lesson

The predicted swell didn’t hit the coast as strong as the organizers and surfers were hoping. But with still 2-4 feet (1 metre) waves at Praia do Santinho the semifinals and the grand final took place. Bernardo Miranda, 27, posted a fantastic win over wonder boy Gabriel Medina, 16, to win the title of ASP 6-STAR SuperSurf Internacional.

Surfing powerfully, throwing tons of water every turn, Bernardo won in Florianopolis which opens the “Brazilian Leg” of the end of year of the ASP South America. This win was Bernardo’s first in an ASP.

“I’m very happy. I’ve been waiting a long time for this and no doubt this win will help me to get rid of many personal issues,” said Bernardo Miranda, touched on the podium. “It’s a very special moment in my life and I dedicate this win to my father and my brother, both passed away two years ago. I have made other finals, without any win, but I knew my time would come. I also want to thank my sponsors, Hang Loose, Alfio (Lagnado), and all the people who have always supported me all these years.”

Bernardo Miranda also commented on his fantastic win over Gabriel Medina at Santinho Beach. “If there’s a chance you’ve got to take it. I saw my chance, and I believed I could succeed. We’ve got to believe and fight to achieve our goals. That’s what I did. Moreover, everything went right, even the sea collaborated on to not send more waves for Medina to turn the result, because we all know what he is capable of”.

Bernardo opened the final taking advantage of his powerful backhand to score a 6.33 on a lefthander. Few minutes later Gabriel Medina threw an aerial and scored 7.33 pts and turned the heat to his favor. Within 12 minutes left in the heat Bernardo Miranda gets a set wave and smashed it to post a 7.53 score just enough to put him into the lead. Then the waves just disappeared, sealing Bernardo Miranda’s win.

“Unfortunately the conditions are very difficult, strong currents, wind and the waves also did not cooperate. The Pygmy (Bernardo Miranda) is to be congratulated. He was trying, knocking on the door for some time, congratulations to him who surfed great in the Final and his win was well deserved,” said Gabriel Medina.

“I’m happy, it seems that Florianopolis gives me good lucky. Last year I had my first WQS win at Praia Mole, and this year I was semifinalist in this same event at Praia Mole and now this final here in Santinho, so great, I’m stoked for the result too”, said Medina.

In the first semifinal Simao Romao took the lead in the first minutes of the heat and using priority smartly gave not much room for Gabriel Medina to turn the heat. But only until Medina started to finish his aerials, close to the end of the heat he posted a 6.77 and a 6.47 for a total heat score of 13.24 to win.

“Certainly the Medina is a phenomenon; he’s the guy to beat in the contests today. But whenever he saw that I’m no piece of cake, so I always give him a hard time”, said Romao. “I tried to stay calm and I took the lead with a good wave of 7.0 points, but from them on I could not find a back up wave. But the kid surfed well, deserved to go to the finals and let’s go next, life goes on.”

The Brazilian Ricardo dos Santos also wanted to put Santa Catarina in the final but failed to overcome an inspired Bernardo Miranda. In this heat, Miranda took the highest score of the last day, 9.0 pts. In the final, Bernardo Miranda also had the best wave, which scored 7.53 points.

“The waves were a bit slow; I tried some modern tricks, but could not make any two maneuvers wave. If I could do an aerial and link it with a carving or a reentry, I would certainly get a high-score”, said Ricardo dos Santos. “Yet the result was good, paying off all the long work I’ve been doing during the year. Unfortunately the waves did not come for me to reach my goal which was the Finals, but I’m happy for the third place as well.”