Wave of Compassion (WOC), the charity organization created to help raise money for Surf
Aid International (SAI), has been working for months on a fundraising campaign that might be just
as beneficial to the donators, as it is for those who will receive the fruits of their support. The
organization, with the help of a multitude of sponsors from within the surf industry, has scheduled a
10 day boat trip through the Mentawais, which will not only include mind blowing surf, but will
also allow those on board an opportunity to visit the Mentawai people in their own villages and
environments, an aspect typically absent from most boat charters that cruise the island chain.
With a goal of raising $100,000 to benefit SAI, a WOC sweepstakes is currently underway
offering donators a shot at winning an all expenses paid dream trip for two on board the M.V.
Midas, a luxury yacht operated by the Saraina Koat Mentawai surf charter group. It’s hard to
imagine the surfer who wouldn’t be enticed to throw down some change, help a fantastic cause, and
earn themselves the opportunity be selected to go on the boat trip of a life time, one that will be
laden with pros, surf journalists, photographers, and camera equipment. As the raffle’s 12:00 a.m.
September 13th deadline approaches, WOC has announced several interesting developments in this
continuously evolving story.
While there is mostly nothing but positive news to report, there has been one major
development that isn’t of the cheeriest nature. Jason Bogle, who was originally scheduled to go on
the trip, was forced to reenter the hospital in order to receive further treatment for his ongoing battle
against bone cancer. According to a press release from Wave of Compassion, Jason is currently
back at home recovering and is doing well. While his absence is unfortunate, and WOC expresses
their regrets at not being able to have Jason along, they have managed to recruit a worthy applicant
to fill the slot.
It was announced Wednesday that RVCA’s Conan Hayes, a close friend of Jason’s,
will be the surfer stepping in to round out the crew of mind-blowing talent on the cruise.
Conan, however, is not the only last minute big name addition to the crew. WOC also
reported on Wednesday that Patagonia has officially closed the bidding on an auction that was
being run for the final spot aboard the Midas. After making WOC an offer they couldn’t refuse,
Patagonia announced that they had secured a spot for Keith Malloy on board the yacht.
Keith will join Quiksilver’s Strider Wasilewski, Reef’s Ben Bourgeois, and Billabong’s David
Rastovich on the voyage, providing the WOC excursion with an incredibly deep talent pool. The
pros are reportedly exceptionally enthusiastic about the opportunity to lend their names and skills to
this noble cause. “I’m really excited to be part of the Wave of Compassion event,” says Dave
Rastovich, “when you think about the psychology of a waterman, how the focus is on having an
open mind and a balanced life, it should make one choose to help those who are less fortunate.
This event benefiting Surf Aid and the Mentawai people is a perfect expression of that ideal.”
Joining the pros, will be Surfer Magazine journalists Steve Barilotti and Scott Bass, as well
as legendary lens man Jeff Divine. The three will be along representing Surfer Magazine’s support
for the cause, and will be working hard to provide pics and words for an upcoming feature about the
trip. Furthermore, a film crew, headed by surf filmmaker Sonny Miller, and videographer Justin
Krumb, will be aboard to shoot footage for a documentary scheduled to run on Fuel TV.
Fuel, the newest addition to an already long list of sponsors, announced its commitment to
the project last week and will be creating a one-hour television special compiled from footage shot
during the trip. The 24-hour action sports network also recently displayed their dedication to this
philanthropic cause, by making a $25,000 donation to Surf Aid International’s adopt a village
program. Fuel joins Billabong, Quiksilver, Oakley, Hurley, and Surftech in supporting adopt a
The project, which has already proved its effectiveness at helping to fight malaria in the
Mentawais, offers SAI unique opportunities to provide medical treatment and education to people of
the district, two key factors in combating the deadly disease. When asked about the networks
decision to provide this amazing level of support, CJ Olivares, Fuel’s Senior Vice President and
General Manager replied, “we’re just doing what we think everyone should.” Fuel is scheduled to
begin running promos this week promoting SAI, WOC, and the boat trip raffle. With its
commitment to both the WOC trip, and SAI’s adopt a village program, it is obvious that Fuel is a
wholehearted ally of the Mentawai people, and it is clear that WOC and SAI have gained another
staunch supporter in their battle against malaria.
But, as far as the Wave of Compassion contest is concerned, the bottom line is this. The
lucky raffle winner will not only be going on an all expenses paid boat trip to Indo with their best
friend, they also will be trading waves with five of the best surfers on the planet. Plus, they have a
very real shot at having their picture run in Surfer, not to mention the fact that footage of them
ripping Mentawai perfection will be pumped into 5 million households nationwide thanks to Fuel
TV. Basically, the winner will be living every mortal surfers dream.
And what’s the upshot of all this? The Mentawai people get to live their dream too. With
the help of SAI, surf industry contributors, WOC, and WOC contest participants, perhaps someday
the inhabitants of these picturesque islands won’t have to live in a world where malaria kills at least
on child in over 50% of their families. Perhaps, with your help, SAI can provide these people with
proper medical treatment, proper education, and proper disease prevention tools so that they can
have the opportunity to see their culture prosper financially, educationally, and spiritually without
the specter of disease lurking in every corner. WOC has provided us, as surfers, a unique
opportunity to live our dreams, but it also has allowed us to help the people of the Mentawais realize
theirs as well.
For more information on Wave Of Compassion, and to enter the raffle by making a donation visit
www.waveofcompassion.org. For more information concerning Surf Aid International and the
plight of the Mentawai people visit SurfAidInternational.org.