Huntington Beach, CA (August 2, 2012) - In the shadow of the US Open, Surf City USA's Main Street was blocked off to honor the newest class of inductees to the Surfing Walk of Fame on Thursday morning. Through a selection ballot, a host of respected surf industry veterans, former professionals and surf journalistsnarrowed down a field of hundreds of candidates to name the seven 2012 Surfing Walk of Fame's honorees in their respective categories - Michael Ho (Surf Champion), Michael Peterson and Dick Brewer (Surf Pioneers), Sean Collins (Surf Culture), Alisa Schwarzstein-Cairns (Women of the Year), George Draper (Local Hero) and Stacy Wood (Honor Roll).
"It's always an honor to induct legends, peers and heroes," emcee, former World Champion and previous SWOF inductee Peter "PT" Townend proclaimed to the crowd. "This year is tough because we lost two of our inductees (Collins and Peterson) way too early."
The late Michael Peterson, regarded by many as the best high-performance surfer during the mid-1970s and winner of the first-ever pro tour contest, shared the Surf Pioneer award with groundbreaking shaper Dick Brewer. MP's award was accepted by his mother Joan who exclaimed, "If Michael was here, he'd probably say 'Would they really do this for me?'" She also shared a story of MP's first-ever surf contest at age 10.
Co-Surf Pioneer honoree Dick Brewer was instrumental in designing boards to fit inside the tube at Pipeline while working alongsideGerry Lopez and Reno Abellira.
"It's an honor to be here. I went to Long Beach State and studied engineering but was too interested in surfboards," Brewer chuckled to the crowd. "I went to Hawaii and never came back to finish my degree in Long Beach. Research and development of the modern surfboard has always been my goal in life and I'm still very much interested in it."
Hawaiian legend Michael Ho received the Surfing Champion nod this year. Ho was a competitive force for over 25 years, winning the Pipeline Masters five times and the Triple Crown twice.
"Thanks to everyone in Huntington Beach who've helped myself and my family over the years," Ho simply remarked after being introduced by his daughter and current ASP Top 10 surfer Coco Ho.
The Surf Culture honor goes to the late Sean Collins - largely regarded as the original pioneer in surf forecasting. The Collins' family accepted the award on Sean's behalf. His son Tyler addressed the crowd, revealing, "Sean chased waves because it was his passion. But he went on to dedicate his life to giving others what he loved most."
The Woman of the Year — Alisa Schwarzstein-Cairns — held a world amateur title at the age of 15, went on to be named ASP Rookie of theYear and then remained in the ASP top eight for four years.
Also recognized in this year's ceremony, George Draper, founder of the famous George's Surf Shop in HB was recognized as the Local Hero. And longtime Dwyer Middle School surf coach Stacy Wood earned the Honor Roll spot.
The Surfing Walk of Fame is the only tribunal in surfing to award specific categories as well as require a 10-year margin since the commemorating achievement. This year's recipients are now cemented alongside past inductees, earning their immortal place in the pavement on the corner of PCH and Main Street, directly across from the famous pier in Surf City USA — Huntington Beach, California.
Past recipients of the Surfing Walk of Fame honors include Duke Kahanamoku, Kelly Slater, Lisa Anderson, Tom Curren, Bruce Brown, Eddie Aikau and more. For additional information go to www.surfingwalkoffame.com.