The gala event raised more than $115,000 for Save The Waves’ programs around the globe with almost 700 in attendance.
As people flooded into SF’s Mezzanine, the night kicked off with a warm welcome from NY Times bestselling author, Dr. Wallace J Nichols, to Save The Waves 10th Anniversary of Life is a Wave.
The theme of the night was celebrating 10 years of impact around the globe, and honoring individuals who have embodied this impact through the Wave Saver awards presented by Peak Design. This year Dr. Chad Nelsen, CEO of the Surfrider Foundation, presented Dr. Charles Lester with the Wave Saver Environmentalist of the Year award for his decades of work protecting the California Coastline through his vigorous defense of the Coastal Act.
“Dr. Lester’s vision and pragmatic leadership has inspired countless coastal victories across California and the world,” said Executive Director Nik Strong-Cvetich.
Save The Waves’ own Nick Mucha and Gavin Comstock presented the Wave Saver Company of the Year to Bureo Inc.’s David Stover and Kevin Ahearn for Bureo’s work to remove and repurpose old fishing nets into skateboards and other products.
Save The Waves Board member Ryan Seelbach and Nik Strong-Cvetich awarded Greg Long with the Wave Saver Athlete of the Year for his work protecting surf spots around the globe, supporting enviro NGOs, and leading the paddle-in revolution in big wave surfing. In an eloquent and impassioned, speech Greg inspired the crowd to get involved with their own issues.
“It is getting people to slow down a second, and realize how easy it is to make a difference,” he said.
You can watch all the awards presentation here live: http://bit.ly/28YODkm
With Greg’s help, Save The Waves also unveiled its new initiative in creating an app to harness the power of surfers to gather data on key coastal issues worldwide, raising almost $15,000 toward its development in the live auction. The app will be developed throughout the next year.
The event also featured artwork from internationally renowned artists like Wolfgang Bloch, Thomas Campbell, Erik Abel, and Matt Beard, as well as one of kind custom surfboards from contributors like Juicebox, Ward Coffey, Jason Hendricks and Firewire Surfboards. Wrapping the night up was the legendary G. Love, accompanied by the house band launched into some of his biggest hits.
Reflecting on his life and the ways people have the power to take global issues into their own hands, Greg closed his speech. “I know that, in the end, those are going to be my one and only measure of success.”
A huge thank you to all of our sponsors, Peak Design, Tambor Acai,Bluerush Boardsports, Sunski, Clif Bar, New Resource Bank, Escape Campervans USA, MEZZANINE, Erik Abel Art, Santa Cruz Waves, Studio Instrument Rental, OKIINO, The Little Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant,Sierra Nevada, Suerte Tequila, Longboard Vineyards, Hog Island Oyster Co., AlterEcoSF, San Franpsycho.
Looking for more photos? Check out the online album from Santa Cruz Waves.