March 23, 2011

2nd Punta Sayulita Longboard & SUP Classic Benefits EcoDiver Program

Surf legend Gerry Lopez

By Mary Luna, Reef Check Program Manager, Mexico and Outreach

Legends and rising stars rocked the ocean-minded world this past March 11 & 12 at the 2nd Punta Sayulita Longboard and SUP Classic; in support of the Punta Sayulita and Reef Check (RC) Foundations. Continuing to fulfill its mission to empower people to save our reefs and oceans, RC staff trained the first Sayulita EcoDiver team in December 2010. That same month the certified EcoDivers, which included professors and students of the Instituto Tecnológico de Bahía de Banderas and recreational divers from the area, braved the cold water and low visibility to conduct scientific underwater surveys of the Marieta Islands. These activities are part of Punta Sayulita’s commitment as member of RC’s Adopt-A-Reef Program, and were funded with proceeds from the 1st Sayulita Classic. Proceeds from the 2nd Sayulita Classic will fund additional training and surveys to continue assessing the status of the subtidal ecosystem, and to assist in improving the management of the local marine resources.

The 2nd Sayulita Classic was launched with a sense of solidarity with the people of Japan, a nation that just experienced significant loss from a powerful tsunami and earthquake. A group of Huichol indigenous people headed by a Shaman held a fire ritual where they made an offering to their sea goddess. Brett Ellsworth, director of the organizing committee and surf legend Gerry Lopez greeted the public with the Aloha spirit.

Gerry participated in the Classic alongside big wave rider Chuck Patterson, Slater Trout, Anthony Vella, Tigre Cadena, Ticho Gonzalez, Ikaika Kawai, Mary Osborne, and Candice Appleby, among other national and international athletes; as well as EcoWarrior James Pribram, legendary local Tono Ochoa, and Kevin Roberts of Punta Sayulita. Slater Trout, a 17-year old athlete from Maui, won both the Championship Elite SUP and the Long Distance Races. Mary Osborne of Ventura, California won the Women’s Longboard Division for the second year, and Darren Eudaly the Men’s Division.

Mishka, an important figure in contemporary reggae music and waterman, gave a free concert on the beach and improvised with local musicians.

Reef Check thanks Punta Sayulita, Mishka, the sponsors and participating athletes, as well as the Sayulita Reef Check divers, for making the 2nd Punta Sayulita Classic a success. To view pictures, please click here. If you have any comments, questions, or would like to become an EcoDiver please contact us at

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Mary Osborne
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Slater Trout, winner of the Championship Elite SUP and the Long Distance Races Sayulita Reef Check EcoDivers
Slater Trout, winner of the Championship Elite SUP and the Long Distance Races