industry news

A Surfers' Benefit for Chile

| posted on March 23, 2010

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Chile needs help. A lot of help. Your help. Chile needs help locally and it needs help globally.

The Chilean earthquake and tsunami of February 27, 2010 was similar to the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and tsunami of December 2004, in that it was centered just offshore of coastal areas well known to surfers.

Just as surfers familiar with the Mentawai knew islands, villages and people who were in the path of that deadly tsunami, the same was true for surfers who have traveled to Chile, and knew places like Constitucion and Punta de los Lobos, and surfers like Ramon Navarro who got to their feet when the earthquake finally stopped and knew enough about the ocean to run for high ground.

While the death toll from the Chile tsunami was in the hundreds where the Sumatra event killed hundreds of thousands, the Chilean disaster also devastated a long stretch of coastline that is near and dear to the hearts of surfers who have visited Chile, and know Chile and love Chile and its people.

Chile needs help rebuilding villages, cities, bridges and lives. The news is full of heart-breaking stories like the family who had their circus equipment – and their livelihood – swept away – or the Chilean man who had his daughter and wife taken from his arms, never to be seen again.

It’s heartbreaking and the resonation from that disaster are felt by everyone whether they have a connection to Chile or not. Everyone wants to help in some way, but don’t know how.

On Friday 26, a group of concerned surfers are rallying around a benefit party put together by Woodshed Films and Brushfire Records, to raise money to send to Chile to begin the repair the damage. Chris Malloy is one of the organizers of the event. Just before the earthquake and tsunami happened, Malloy had premiered his movie about Chile called 180 South, but his connection to the country goes farther back than that: “My first trip there was with Miki Dora,” Malloy said. ‘It was his idea. We had no idea where to go. When we got to Santiago Airport the cab driver asked us where we were headed and Miki just goes: ‘Take us to the goddamn coast!’ We got great surf and met some amazing people.”

The party this Friday will be held at the Brushfire Records studio, a converted Victorian home on Larchmont Street in Los Angeles. Tickets are selling for $75 each and the organizers say they can fit about 130 people into the venue: “There will be Chilean wine, Empanadas and a special guest musician jam session,” Malloy said. “There will be a silent auction with everything from original art by Thomas Campbell and Wolfgang Bloch to one of Kelly’s old Channel Islands surfboards. Plus a bunch of original framed photos from Danny Moder, Jeff Johnson and Scott Soens. Nixon, Patagonia, Billabong and a bunch of others are donating a ton of gear. I just got word one of the silent auction packages includes some nights at the Billabong house at Pipe. Another item is a surf session with Yvon Chouinard.”

The Surfers Benefit for Chile hopes to raise $20,000 and the money will go directly to Save the Waves (www.savethewaves.org) and Ramon Navarro – the Chilean surfer who did his country proud by making the final of the Eddie Aikau Invitational this winter. “Ramon is a great friend who will put the money to good use,” Malloy said. “He will get it to the people in the coastal zones who need it most. The money will also go through Save the Waves. Dean Latourette and Josh Berry along with Chris Evans are doing and amazing job there and I trust them 110%.”
The party is this Friday, March 26 starting at 8:00 PM at the Brushfire Records HQ at 424 N. Larchmont in Los Angeles.

Tickets are on sale for $75 and hopefully will go fast – a little faster if you contact Coley Glasgow at 805-256-0017 or coleyglasgow@yahoo.com.