Surf legends, business leaders, cancer survivors and community members will gather at the pier at 7 a.m. for the longboard invitational, where one professional surfer joins each sponsored team of four surfers to compete for trophies. Any surfer can earn a spot on a team, plus two luau tickets, by raising $2,500 for cancer support. This year, about 100 surfers will compete on 20 teams.
“There are always so many people who want to get involved that opening up the competition to the public and letting more people have the chance to participate was an easy decision,” said Woodie Perrin, the event co-chair.
An announcer will narrate the competition, which focuses more on cancer support than skill level. The Duo-Tones will provide surf music and Healii’s Polynesian Revue will perform. Guests will also have opportunities to gather autographs from surfers, enter a drawing for a custom surfboard and purchase souvenir merchandise.
To date, the event has raised more than $4.7 million for research at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center, said event co-chair Greg Gorgas.
At 11:30 a.m., the sound of a ceremonial conch shell will signify the beginning of the luau for ticket holders. Guests will be treated to a traditional Polynesian buffet, music and dance performances, and live and silent auctions for unique surf memorabilia.
Connie Matsui, an active volunteer and cancer survivor, will receive the Rell Sunn “Queen of Makaha” Award, which was established in memory of Hawaiian surfer and event supporter Rell Sun, who lost her battle with breast cancer. Matsui has worked as a mentor for young women and girls, in addition to helping bring the immunotherapy drug Rituxan to cancer patients worldwide.
The pharmaceutical company Pfizer will support the event as title sponsor for the third year in a row. The company will also sponsor its own team of surfing scientists, plus the “Thrivers Team,” comprised of surfers who have survived cancer.
The surf competition is open to the public and luau tickets are $150. For more information, visit www.longboardluau.org or call the Moores UCSD Cancer Center at (858) 822-1328.