Ohana Surf Festival 2018
Author: Christian Surfers Peru / Photos: Raúl Espinoza / Ride Nature / Daniela Plaza
From very early on Saturday December 15, 2018, on the docks of the North Beach of San Bartolo, the Ohana Surf Festival 2018 was held, organised by Christian Surfers Peru. This inclusive event was once again organised in teams, similar to the Aloha Cup of the ISA World Championships, and had 8 teams or "ohanas" (family, in Hawaiian) participate.
A few minutes after 8:30 am the first three "Ohanas" threw their first competitors into the water to fight for their teams. This event is not like traditional championships, but it is a surf and friendship festival that consists of participating as "Ohanas" (teams of four members) in three parallel events that provide them with points to take the lead. The three events are the Aloha Cup, volunteering in community service and the much anticipated session of the day, the Crazy Wave.
For the Aloha Cup, each member of the ohana can enter the water with the board of choice (longboard, SUP, bodyboard, shortboard, kayak, etc.) and the first member must ride exactly three waves, leave the water and "pass the relay" to the next competitor of his team, who will ride three waves, and repeat in turn until all four members have surfed and returned to "home base", before the bell rings. In case of breaking the rules or leaving the base, the teams will incur penalties from the judges.
The swell, although not very large, was constant and we enjoyed a beautiful sunny day, in an atmosphere of fellowship, peace and with the presence of the Creator of the waves at all times. There were no incidents to regret, except for stepping on some uncomfortable sea urchins in the rush to pass the relay to team mates.
"I have had an excellent day, enjoying the sun, the waves and good company. Congratulations!" Mohana Benavides, Ohana "VeneSurPerú”
The teams used different strategies to advance, making decisions about timing and the order of competitors, according to the skill of each member of their ohana. There were emotional moments, good surfing and a desire to have a good time. It was truly an atmosphere of companionship and family, with loads of healthy fun. Everyone felt like winners.
The 8 participating Ohanas were: "LOS PHC", "LOS SANBARTOLINOS", "VENESURPERÚ", "ETERNAL WAVE", "LOS SAMUELITAS", "MOHANA", "LOS SUERTUDOS" and "TABRA" (which is an organization that promotes surfing for people of special needs and who participated in the event in the "crazy wave").
"I did not know all the details of the festival, but it was an experience that I hope to repeat next year. Thank you for inviting us!" Guillermo Ferrero, TABRA (Surfing Autism)
As the day wore on, this part of the festival became more and more interesting, as the judges had set up three rounds and were keeping accumulative scores secret until the end. As the teams were also accumulating points in the parallel events (volunteering and the “crazy wave”), it wasn’t possible to know who was leading in the Aloha Cup.
In addition to the sport aspect, the organisers of the festival also seek to support the community in which the event takes place, so each team needs to complete a volunteer community service activity.
Just like last year, the scheduled community service was to sand and paint the beach roundabout, so we could leave it in a better shape than how we found it. Therefore, the various teams participated in sanding and painting the walls of the rotunda and around it.
"This aspect of the festival was very well done this year. The PHC gave of themselves to bless our beloved San Bartolo " Raúl Espinoza, Head of the Ohana Surf Festival 2018 Event
The “Crazy Wave”
About halfway through the festival, the most anticipated session arrived: The “Crazy Wave". This is undoubtedly the most anticipated activity of the festival, as the teams put all their creativity into action.
The criteria for winning this session has to do with the degree of extravagance and how unusual or fun it can be for the entire team to ride a wave together.
On this occasion, the eight teams participated in groups of four to demonstrate what they were capable of performing in the water.
Although all strive to capture their ideas on the waves, with very eye-catching results, the winners were those of the Ohana "PHC", who met all the requirements of the "Crazy Wave": all together, surfing a wave on a surfboard, working as a team and with a bizarre performance.
Apart from the first four places in the overall end results, the Festival rewards the "most enthusiastic Ohana". The award is given to the team that stands out for its enthusiasm and effort during the main event of the "Aloha Cup", an extravagant performance of "La Ola Loca" and a good level of participation in community service.