Waterman's Ball Gets Emotional
WEB-EXCLUSIVE: The 2009 Waterman's Weekend raised $400,000 this year for ocean conservation organizations and honored key surf industry leaders. Check out our video!
Tears mixed with laughter at the 2009 Waterman's Ball, this year honoring surf industry leader, the late Dick Baker, beloved pro surfer Rob Machado and activist/surfer Dave Rastovich.
Celebrating 20 years, the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association's Waterman's Weekend – held Aug. 6-7, 2009 – raised $400,000 for 18 ocean conservation organizations through its golf tournament, ball and auction. The Aug. 7 ball, hosted by The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, topped off the evening of silent and live auctions and sit-down dinner with an awards ceremony for industry leaders.
The Lifetime Achievement Award – received by Baker's widow, Una, and two sons, Jack and Ryan – is a testament to Baker's commitment to the surf industry, which he entered through his work for surf company, Ocean Pacific, and continued while serving as SIMA president for nine years.
As a protector of the oceans, Rastovich – named Environmentalist of the Year – has fought on behalf of dolphins and whales, co-founded the advocacy group Surfers for Cetaceans and been the face of some prominent eco-friendly product campaigns. As he put it: "All of this work is something that I can't say no to."
Pro surfer Rob Machado accepted his Waterman of the Year award, presented by surfing legend Gerry Lopez, with all the charm, sense of humor and shaggy mane he's known for. He choked up when speaking of his grandfather, a great inspiration for him, who recently passed away.
Notable for his uniquely light and fast surfing style, Machado is one of the most popular pros ever. And though he's never won a world title, he's won the two most high-profile events in the sport: the 2000 Pipeline Masters and three U.S. Open of Surfing titles.
"Rob adds value to our business," said Lopez in his introduction for Machado. "Rob makes surfing, better... I've always said the best surfer is the one having the most fun. That's what I've always seen in Rob."