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Surfer dressed as Santa Claus
Surfing Santa Competition at Salt Creek Beach

Kicking off the holiday season this November, both events benefit Surfers Healing, the original surf camp for children with autism

DANA POINT, Calif. – October 2, 2018 The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel commences the holiday season with the 8th Annual Surfing Santa and Stand Up Paddle Board Competition at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point on November 17 and 18, 2018, followed by the 11th Annual Holiday Surfboard Auction from November 17 until December 31, 2018. With a commitment to supporting worthy causes and celebrating the resort’s local footprints, both seasonal events fully benefit Surfers Healing, a non-profit whose mission is to provide children with autism the gift of surfing.

“Our inspiration for the Surfing Santa Competition and Holiday Surfboard Auction began with the locally-based charity Surfers Healing and finding a way to make an impactful difference in the lives of children with autism and our community,” says Bruce Brainerd, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. “Both events not only highlight our world-class location overlooking a famous surf break but also the resort’s mission to give back to our local community by connecting in a meaningful way.”

The Surfing Santa and Stand Up Paddle Board Competition is a two-day event where contestants dress as Santa or other holiday-inspired characters and battle it out in the waves on  Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18 at Salt Creek Beach, located directly below the resort and known as one of the best surfing destinations in Southern California. The contest features 11 divisions, inclusive of surf and stand up paddle board and available for both children and adult contestants. Each heat extends prizes for first to sixth place winners, and all participants are eligible for a $1,500 Big Air prize, based on contestable air points throughout the day; a $500 First Place Costume prize; a $200 Second Place Costume prize; and a $125 Fastest Stand Up Paddle Board prize. Surfers and stand up paddle boarders can register at www.surfingsantacontest.org. Locals and guests are invited to attend and cheer on the contestants.

The Holiday Surfboard Auction from Saturday, November 17 to Monday, December 31 showcases a selection of hand-painted surfboards from various artists that are displayed at the resort and auctioned off to benefit Surfers Healing. Donated surfboards include works by renowned artists such as Wyland, Nicholas Kontaxis, Darren Le Gallo, Jorge Gutierrez, Dana Louise Kirkpatrick, Juliet Gilden, Robin Hiers, Magda Sayeg, among others. Brawner Boards, Hobie, Album, Ellis, and Firewire are also contributing boards in support of the cause. Surfboards are on display in the lobby at the oceanfront property throughout the holiday season and bids can be placed online at Bidding for Good starting Saturday, November 17.

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel’s Surfing Santa Competition and Holiday Surfboard Auction were developed by General Manager Bruce Brainerd. In 2008, the Surfboard Auction raised more than $13,000. Two years later, the resort hosted the first Surfing Santa Competition. Since then, the property has raised nearly $350,000 for Surfers Healing.