34th Annual Waterman’s Weekend Heads to Huntington Beach
The surf industry’s most-anticipated annual social event, the 24th Annual Waterman’s Ball, will be held at The Pasea Resort & Spa in Huntington Beach, CA, on Saturday, July 29th. This year’s gala will also feature a luau the evening of Friday July 28th to allow more people to participate and support the weekend’s fundraising efforts. Once again, more than 200 of the surf industry’s leading executives, local business leaders, and surf enthusiasts will gather overlooking the Pacific Ocean for an amazing night of fundraising for some of the most impactful environmental organizations working to protect our oceans, beaches, and waves.
Since 1989, Waterman’s has raised close to $10 million to support environmental organizations that are dedicated to protecting our oceans, surf breaks, fighting plastic pollution, and more on behalf of surfers. In addition to fundraising, the industry gathers to bestow the highest honors in surfing for Lifetime Achievement Award, Waterperson of the Year and Environmentalist of the Year.
“The surf industry’s highest honors goes to those who have given their best. This year’s honorees have left their mark on the sport and for this, they’ll be remembered forever for their contributions.” Said Paul Naude, SIMA Environmental Fund President. “This very special evening brings our entire industry together to celebrate incredible individuals and support environmental groups working to keep us surfers in the water. Protecting our ocean is the most important action our industry can take, and we’ll do this together.”
This year’s gala features a whole evening of activities, including honoring the late Art Brewer with the Lifetime Achievement Award, Justine DuPont as Waterperson of the Year, and Dr. Cliff Kapono as Environmentalist of the Year. In addition to paying tribute to this year’s amazing honorees, the evening will feature a live and silent auction, gourmet food, and lively socializing.
Art Brewer | Lifetime Achievement Award
Photographer of surfing, surfers and beach culture since 1967. Art Brewer began his career as a teen shooting local Laguna Beach surfers and freelancing for Surfer Magazine in the late sixties, eventually becoming the photo editor. A self-taught photographer who once studied with Ansel Adams, he circled the globe countless times, chasing the world’s best waves and the surfers who chase them. Art’s images captured not only the sport, but surf lifestyle, travel, and the evolution of it all through the decades.
His style and vision translated into a diverse array of publications and clients including Esquire Magazine, Rolling Stone, Islands Magazine, Nike, Gatorade, Vans shoes, Yamaha and Sea Doo. With an eye for action and a gritty twist on fashion, Art’s work captured the essence of active lifestyles.
His fine art prints can be seen in gallery shows around the world and in the books “Masters of Surf Photography: Art Brewer” and “Bunker Spreckels.”
Justine DuPont | Waterperson of the Year
From Belharra to Nazaré and Jaws to Mavericks, Justine Dupont is widely considered to be the best all-around female big wave surfer in the world.
Born in the French city of Bordeaux and surfing down the coast in Lacanau by 11, Justine Dupont was a natural on whatever she chose to ride.
A runner-up finish in the World Junior Championships in 2011 announced her arrival on the shortboard scene, and she quickly qualified for the Championship Tour later that same year. Injury cut short her major-league dreams, but it didn’t stop the silverware mounting up on her multi-disciplinary mantlepiece.
From world stand-up paddleboard titles to finals finishes in the world longboarding, Dupont could do it all. When she first tasted the adrenaline of tow surfing at Belharra, at home in France, she finally found the discipline that would come to consume her every waking moment.
Shortly after the big wave passion gripped her, Dupont moved to Portugal to tackle the infamous Nazaré whenever it broke. Two Nazaré Tow Challenge victories later, her talents have now seen the Frenchwoman cross the seas to tackle Mavericks in California and Jaws in Maui, where she successfully navigated the best female tube ride of all time.
In 2023, Justine dropped into what may be the biggest wave ever ridden by a female and does it 105 miles at sea at the Cortes Bank during the filming of an upcoming season of the HBO docuseries “100 Foot Wave.”
Dupont’s latest biopic, à la folie, documents a year in the life of a woman at the top of her powers, traveling the world, riding giants and doing it while keeping her love for surfing at the top of the priority pile.
Dr. Cliff Kapono | Environmentalist of the Year
Dr. Cliff Kapono is a professional surfer, ASU professor and journalist. Born on the eastern shores of Hawai‘i, his life involves equal parts science as it does surf. While contributing several peer-reviewed publications to the fields of molecular bioscience, he has also produced a handful of award-winning films that discuss indigenous activism, ocean conservation, global food security and augmented reality.
He has been profiled in publications such as The New York Times, NBC, CBS, Surfer Magazine, and more. Cliff is currently based in Hilo, Hawai‘i and can be found tinkering in the lab when not chasing the best waves on the planet while keeping a close watch on his Ocean environment.
“Protecting our ocean is a team sport and Waterman’s Weekend ensures there’s a spot for everyone on that team.” Said Vipe Desai, Executive Director of Surf Industry Members Association. “Protecting our ocean is protecting our lifestyle for future generations and for 34 years, SIMA members have been supporting those organizations on the frontline of ocean protection and conservation. ”
Waterman’s is honored to welcome our major sponsors Audi, Surf Expo and Visit Huntington Beach.
Waterman benefits the SIMA Environmental Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation that awards grants to various environmental groups based on their dedication to preserving and protecting the world’s oceans, beaches, and waves. This year, the gala is expected to raise $250,000 for more than a dozen ocean conservation groups.
To purchase tickets, table or sponsor visit: https://surfindustry.org/pages/watermans
To donate an auction item, visit: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd4HdcCjdnA_HzXHBtqcXJyjpj5z5f9Ac8m1oF6fznGV8fdAA/viewform
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