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Punta Sayulita Classic: Saving the Surf

February 1, 2013  |  Events
Aerial view of Punta Sayulita

With the holidays behind us and the dead of winter upon us, what could be better than a weekend of sun, sand and surf at an exclusive Mexican resort? Well, actually, the the annual Punta Sayulita Classic, which will take place from March 8–10, 2013, in the charming surf-side village of Sayulita. The event is hosted annually by the Punta Sayulita resort community, an new 33-acre private family retreat 40 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. Sayulita is located along a stretch of coastline so pristine that it’s known as the “Riviera Nayarit.” Presented by the Riviera Nayarit Tourism Board with the support of the local community, world-famous athletes, worldwide conservancy organizations and countless volunteers, the Punta Sayulita Classic has become one of the premier surfing and SUP (that’s “stand-up paddle” for the landlocked in our audience) events in North America.

Now in its fourth year, the Punta Sayulita Classic brings together the spirit of competition and a call to conservancy that lures thousands of attendees, who gather together to watch a lineup of international surfers and paddlers as phenomenal as the beaches themselves. For those interested in trading in winter cold for tropical cool, XOJET, one of the Punta Sayulita Classic’s official sponsors, is offering special private jet charter pricing to the event for its mid-size and super-mid-size private jets.

Defending SUP Surf Champion Zane Schweitzer
Defending SUP Surf Champion Zane Schweitzer

Aside from the remarkable location and talent, what really sets this event apart from other professional surfing competitions and offshore SUP distances races is that the athletes are not competing for cash prizes, but, rather, for the very oceans they compete in. The focus of the Classic is and has always been raising awareness for environmental protection and funds for Reef Check, a Pacific Palisades-based organization founded in 1996 that’s dedicated to the conservation of tropical coral reefs and to California rocky reefs. Proceeds from the Punta Sayulita Classic directly benefit the Reef Check Foundation’s Eco-Diver Program and the Punta Sayulita children’s educational and sports development program, bringing a new generation to both conservation and to water sports.

Given the incredible commitment of the athletes themselves, this year’s lineup of surfers and paddlers will bring together such a deep world-class field that the event has already received a write up in the Los Angeles Times Travel Section. Those participants include surfing legend Gerry Lopez, defending SUP Surf Champion Zane Schweitzer, defending SUP Men’s Elite and Distance Champion Connor Baxter, two-time defending women’s SUP elite race champion Candice Appleby, defending Women’s SUP Distance Champion Jenny Kalmbach, two-time defending men’s longboard champion Darren Eudaly, and women’s defending longboard champion Karina Ozunka. The event will also past champions such as Chuck Patterson, Slater Trout, Sean Poynter, Mary Osborne, Patricio Gonzalez, two-time SUP surfing world champion Kai Lenny, Mexican SUP National Champion Fernando Stalla, and many more athletes from around the world. Can you say stoked?

Mexican SUP National Champion Fernando Stalla
Mexican SUP National Champion Fernando Stalla

And what better way to kick off the festivities devoted to healing the oceans and using the oceans to heal than a surfing clinic for special needs and underprivileged children. The March 8 clinic will take place under the supervision of renowned Malibu longboard surfer Jimmy Gamboa, and members of his THERAsurf organization, along with other professionals and instructors from local Sayulita surf schools. Also, the honorary ambassador James Pribram of the ECO-Warrior Foundation and members from Project Save Our Surf, a community-wide beach cleanup event is scheduled with an interactive-educational program, which will be followed by a children’s interactive Reef Day art camp with local artist Treva Dea of Sayulita Art Camp. In addition to “meet the pros” autograph sessions with participating surfers, members of the Olukai footwear company, the official giveback partner of the 4th Annual Sayulita Classic, will be participating throughout the weekend, offering prizes and donations for children through their Ohanan Giveback Program.

What’s more, on Saturday night, March 9, Bermudan reggae recording artist Mishka, who is about to release a new mini-album on Jimmy Buffett’s Mailboat Records label, will make a repeat appearance at the Classic and perform a free concert.

Surfing legend Gerry Lopez paddling boarding
Surfing legend Gerry Lopez

Asked what he most enjoys about the Punta Sayulita Classic, Event Director Kevin Roberts, a surfer and paddler himself, said: “I really look forward to the entire weekend of events. Everyone has a great time on the beach, and there’s excellent spectating. The benefit concert with Mishka will also be really awesome—a very cool beach scene.” (If you need any more convincing, don’t miss this video from Mishka’s 2011 concert.)Sun, sand, surf and saving the oceans—really, a weekend on the beach couldn’t get better or do more good.

For details on XOJET’s special private charter pricing for this event, please contact Jose Luis Caselin (jlcaselin@puntasayulita.com or U.S. toll-free 866-947-6017) at Punta Sayulita.

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