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Shane Dorian, Sean Collins to receive SIMA awards

Shane Dorian testing Billabong wetsuit © Billabong

SIMA announces Waterman’s Weekend honorees include Shane Dorian, Jean-Michel Cousteau and the Late Sean Collins

Surf News, 12 April, 2012  The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) will honor big wave surfer Shane Dorian as Waterman of the Year, world renowned ocean explorer, filmmaker, television personality and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau as Environmentalist of the Year, and revolutionary wave forecaster and surfing Hall of Famer the late Sean Collins with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award, as part of the association’s annual Waterman’s Weekend environmental fundraiser.


Switching to a Friday and Saturday format, the 2012 Waterman’s Weekend will be held August 10-11, and will raise funds for 20 ocean conservation organizations. The weekend begins Friday, August 10, with the Waterman’s Classic Golf Tournament at the Monarch Beach Golf Links, and culminates on Saturday, August 11, with the 23rd annual Waterman’s Ball and auction to be held at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Calif.

“The SIMA Board of Directors and Environmental Fund are extremely proud to honor Shane, Jean-Michel and Sean at the 23rd annual Waterman’s Ball,” said Paul Naude, Chairman of the Waterman’s Weekend Event Committee and President of the SIMA Environmental Fund Board of Directors. “Each honoree’s achievements in and out of the water, dedication to protecting our ocean, and commitment to the sport of surfing is an inspiration to us all. We look forward to this year’s Waterman’s Weekend as we will raise funds and support for the 20 deserving ocean-related organizations, as well as celebrate the impressive accomplishments of our three honorees.”

Waterman of the Year, Shane Dorian, is known as one of the most influential names in big-wave riding today. To see Dorian push over the ledge at Waimea, fearlessly haul into massive waves at Pipe or sky-dive into the maelstrom at Teahupoo is to see the kind of commitment, spirit and surfing that takes one’s breath away.

Since turning up on the surf media map in the late ‘80s, he has won a Hawaiian state title, pushed the paddle-in limits on the North Shore’s outer reefs, redefined deep tuberiding at spots like Backdoor, helped spearhead the “New School” of surfing, contended for a world title, towed in at spots like Jaws and continues to be on the frontier of cutting-edge, high-performance surfing. As not only a wave slayer who fears nothing, Dorian also gives back to the Hawaiian community annually during the Shane Dorian Keiki Classic, which spreads the love of surfing for free to Hawaiian youth and collects food for charity.

"As one of the most universally respected big-wave surfers, Shane Dorian is a pioneer in the world of surfing who is constantly chasing the dream of surfing the world's biggest wave," said Doug Palladini, SIMA President and Vice President of Marketing for Vans. "As a well-seasoned athlete, Shane's skill level, methodical planning and long-term goals for big-wave surfing are all qualities that are constantly pushing the sport of surfing to grow. A true waterman, it is an honor to call Shane this year's Waterman of the Year."

For more than four decades, Environmentalist of the Year Jean-Michel Cousteau has dedicated himself to communicate to all nations and generations his love and concern for our water planet. Since first being thrown overboard by his father at the age of seven, he has been exploring the ocean realm. The son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel has investigated the world’s oceans for much of his life. Honoring his heritage, Jean-Michel founded the Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on pioneering work.

Ocean Futures Society, a non-profit marine conservation and education organization, serves as a “Voice for the Ocean” by communicating wise environmental policy. As Ocean Future’s spokesman, Jean-Michel serves as a diplomat, reaching out through a variety of media. He has produced more than 80 films, received the Emmy, the Peabody Award, the Sept d’Or, and the Cable Ace Award. As one of the world’s leading ocean activists, it is a privilege to honor Jean-Michel with the Environmentalist of the Year award.

“It is truly our honor to celebrate someone as renowned and distinguished as Jean-Michel who has educated many cultures on the preservation of our world’s oceans thus making an impact on a global scale,” commented Naude. “Jean-Michel’s passion for the ocean is contagious. As the founder of the Ocean Futures Society, Jean-Michel lives his life as the perfect example of the organization’s motto, ‘the voice of the ocean.’”

As an avid surfer and entrepreneur whose self-taught ability to forecast ocean swells changed the way surfers worldwide chase the perfect wave, the late Sean Collins’ life is the definition of what it means to be a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. As the President, Chief Surf Forecaster and Founder of, a website featuring free surf reports from around the world, Collins developed a sophisticated, proprietary system of wave forecasting, which is currently used in LOLA, Surfline’s Global Swell Model. Through Surfline, Collins provided weather and forecasting services to every lifeguard agency in California, the Coast Guard, U.S. Navy Seals, National Weather Service, numerous television and movie production companies, multiple domestic and international government agencies and nearly every surf company in the world.

Collins also directed an exclusive crew of big wave riders to chase the largest waves on Earth at any moment – including Mike Parsons, Brad Gerlach, this year’s Waterman of the Year Shane Dorian, Laird Hamilton, Greg and Rusty Long, Jamie Sterling and more.Collins was named one of the “25 Most Influential Surfers of the Century” by Surfer Magazine, the “8th Most Powerful Surfer in the Surf Industry” by Surfer Magazine and one of the top 100 People who wield the most power and influence in Southern California by the Los Angeles Times WEST Magazine. A pioneer in the surf industry whose time was cut too short, Collins’ impact lives on through his work and continues to inspire surfers every day.

"In every aspect, Sean Collins' defines the very meaning of the words, Lifetime Achievement," said Palladini. "Sean's passion for surfing, revolutionary business ideas and knowledge of the ocean made him one of the most influential figures in the world of surfing. I don’t think there is a surfer out there that at some point has not relied on the science and technology Sean developed at Surfline to decide when and where to surf. We greatly miss Sean as a trailblazer in the surf world, friend and mentor, but I am confident that his legacy will live on and continue to impact surfers around the world. It is our honor to recognize Sean as the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient."

The two-day fundraising event benefits the SIMA Environmental Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation that awards grants to various environmental groups based on their dedication to preserving and protecting the world’s oceans, beaches and waves. Last year’s events attracted more than 700 people and raised more than $400,000 for 20 ocean conservation groups. The 2012 Waterman’s Weekend environmental beneficiaries and this year’s fundraising goal will be announced in the coming weeks.

Sponsorship packages for both the 2012 Waterman’s Golf Classic and Waterman’s Ball will be on sale in late April. Individual tickets for the Waterman’s Ball are scheduled to go on sale in June. For more information or to reserve a sponsorship package, please contact Shannon Park, SIMA Event Manager, by calling (949) 366-1164 x 2 or by e-mailing shannon @

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the official working trade association of more than 300 surf industry suppliers. Founded in 1989, SIMA is a non-profit organization that serves to promote awareness of the surf industry and participation in the sport of surfing through public relations efforts and a variety of services, educational programs and research. In addition, SIMA actively supports oceanic environmental efforts through its 501(c)(3) charitable environmental foundation, the SIMA Environmental Fund. In the past 22 years, SIMA's Environmental Fund has raised more than $5.8 million for environmental groups seeking to protect the world's oceans, beaches andwaves. The SIMA Humanitarian Fund, also a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, was established in 2006 to award grants to various surf or boardsport related social and humanitarian non-profit organizations whose efforts are focused on improving the quality of life, health and/or welfare of people.

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