Buddy Memorial Longboard Classic
If you missed it, you missed a good one. About 150 people participated in the “2011 Buddy Memorial Longboard Classic” in Emerald Isle July 30th and 31st at the Bogue Inlet Pier. This was a first class event organized by Lisa Pelletier (Buddy’s sister) and Mike Holleman; and assisted by many others. There were 13 different categories, men and women ranging in age from “8 and under” to participants in their seventies. It is not unusual to find three generations participating in this event. Surfers for this event came from all over the southeast coast and several foreign countries. In past years, there have been participants from Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Morocco, and California. Some of the best surfers in the world have participated in this event.
I use the word “participant” rather than “competitor” for good reason. The “Buddy” is about “sportsmanship and community” rather than competition. Sure everyone that enters wants to win, but winning is secondary to developing friendships and helping your fellow participants and those in need. There are no cash prizes and all the money raised goes to scholarships and humanitarian aide. Over the years, the Buddy Pelletier Surfing Foundation has provided 55 college scholarships (with 100% graduation rate), and over $200,000 in humanitarian aide.
This is the 12th year for the tournament, but the first year it has been held in Emerald Isle. I attended a lot of the two day event and by all indications, everyone had a great time. There were many events in addition to surfing. There was movie night, corn hole tournament, music on the beach night, 12 and under kid’s trash pickup contest, and probably others I didn’t see.
The kid’s trash pickup was very popular and was a great service. Each participant in the kid’s trash pickup got a bag to put their trash in. When they turned the bag in, the bag was weighed and the heaviest bag was the winner. There were about 75 kids’ that participated. Not sure how much trash was collected this year, but last year it was 500 lbs. With the combined efforts of the kids, the town Public Works staff, and I am sure many individuals, the area was very clean. When I arrived at the Saturday night music event, I was really surprised how well the area had been picked up after a day of a heavy beach activity. Thanks to everyone that helped keep the area clean.
The Saturday night beach music concert was excellent. A stage was set up on the beach with the ocean as a backdrop and the old (that was me), young and all in between had a great time listening to Selah Dubb, a “surf reggae rock band” band out of Wilmington. It was definitely the right band for the occasion. There was a good size crowd on the beach, and the pier was the fullest I have seen it except during the prime fall fishing time.
A great time was had by all, so be sure to check out the Buddy next year.