With the promise of surf, sand and St. Jude, a large crowd descended upon Campus Point on Saturday for the annual Tri Delta sorority charity surf competition.
Tri Delta, in association with Santa Barbara surf school Surf Happens, has planned this fundraiser for three years running to help fund the Memphis-based St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, said event organizer Kristina Kurasz, a fourth-year physical anthropology major.
Last year, the competition raised over $5,000 for the hospital, which cares for children from all over the United States. Organizers were still calculating Sunday night the amount the competition raised, though they believe the amount was more than last year.
Kurasz said the sorority raised funds by recruiting individual sponsors, and by charging participants in the competition a $20 registration fee.
On Saturday, the sky shone a brilliant blue as 65 surfers took to the water, looking to meet the strict judging criterion of third-year business economics major Michael Poole. The winners of the competition were not confirmed on Sunday night.
“We’re looking for the most radical maneuver at the critical part of the wave,” Poole said.
The surfers were determined not to let the somewhat subdued waves dampen the festival’s spirit. Third-year English major Amy Silverberg said she was happy to enjoy the atmosphere.
“It’s a beautiful day, there’s no place I would rather be today than here in support of the sorority.”
Kim Church, chapter president of Tri Delta, looked on as the surfers competed. She said she hopes the fundraiser will bring in more money for charity than it did in previous years.
“It’s great to see it come together after so much effort, and we’re really stoked because it’s for St. Jude’s,” Church, a fourth-year psychology and art history major, said. “Compared to previous years, it’s massive.”
Local surfer Robert Carmichael offered his perspective on the attitude of the surf competition.
“Always be kind, always be cool, have great days and better tomorrows,” he said.