Since 1990, the Surf Industry Manufacturers' Assn. annual fund-raiser has generated more than $1 million for ocean preservation projects, including American Oceans, Surfrider Foundation and the Orange County Marine Institute in Dana Point.
This year's Waterman's Ball will be May 10 at the Red Lion Hotel/Orange County Airport in Costa Mesa, and members expect to generate another $200,000 that will be donated to environmental groups. The theme at the eighth annual affair will be "Art of Beach Culture."
The annual auction will feature one-of-a-kind surfboards, including classic '50s-era balsa and redwood long boards and modern "guns" shaped by industry leaders like Greg Noll. "There will be 10 or 12 boards," said Randy Hild, vice president of Roxy, the junior women's division of Quiksilver. Last year, a replica of legendary Duke Kahanamoku's surfboard was auctioned off for $6,800.
John Severson, an accomplished surf artist and early surf filmmaker, will be honored with the annual Waterman Achievement Award. His "First Annual Surf Photo Book" eventually became Surfer magazine, and his movie credits include "Surf Safari," "Surf Fever" and "Pacific Vibrations."
SIMA will present a new award, the Environmental Award, to John Kelly, founder of Surfing Education Assn. A surfer since the 1920s, Kelly "has spent unwavering years of commitment and was an environmentalist before it was hip to do," said Bonnie Crail, president of SIMA and surf apparel company Ocean Pacific.
Greg Johnson covers retail businesses and restaurants for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-5950 and at firstname.lastname@example.org