The 25th annual Luau and Legends of Surfing Invitational — to be held Sunday, Aug. 19 on the beach below Scripps Pier — will feature dozens of returning wave-catching giants including Robert “Wingnut” Weaver, Jock Sutherland, Jericho Poppler and Lisa Andersen.
Beginning at 7 a.m., each legend will be paired with a team of four for a friendly competition to help raise funds for, as always, the Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health.
“It’s our 25th anniversary, so there are probably more legends coming than in any year ever,” said former “Surfer Magazine” publisher Jim Kempton, who helped wrangle the talent. “The founders and supporters have pulled out all the stops to bring everyone — especially the women legends — down to share the stoke.”
In addition to surfers, the beachside fundraiser typically draws hundreds of scientists and cancer survivors from Moores. So far, it has raised over $8 million to support the facility’s research, teaching and clinical programs.
“It is humbling to know that, for 25 years, surfers, scientists, survivors and friends have supported cutting-edge science at UC San Diego Health through the Luau and Legends Surfing Invitational,” said Moores Cancer Center director Scott Lippman.
The event was founded in 1993 by Sam Armstrong and John Otterson (who also co-chaired this year’s event) as the Luau and Longboards Invitational. The name was changed starting with the 2014 event to attract younger legends such as Andersen, a four-time world champ on the short board.
The public is invited to watch the invitational for free, although the luau buffet that traditionally follows at 11:30 a.m. — this year, featuring live music by Gary Hoey — is a paid fundraiser with tickets starting at $550 per person. For more information, call (858) 822-6623 or visit www.luaulegendsofsurfing.org