There were no suits or ties for this board meeting . . . well, maybe that’s not exactly right . . . there were at least plenty of swim suits. On Wednesday, October 22nd, hundreds of firefighters, families and friends met for the largest board meeting in the fire service, and to have fun and raise bucks for the Widows, Orphans and Disabled Firemen’s Fund.
Back by popular demand, Ray Mayo worked long and hard on this 20th go-round of his Winter Longboard Classic. Ray, along with his friend and fellow LAFD member, the late Juan Ojeda, started the event just by doing what they liked to do. Ray said, “We used to go surfing every day off.”
So what began as a few guys, a few sandwiches and a little beer has become a full-fledged, firefighters’ surf fest that raises thousands of dollars for the WODFF.
There was a change of venue this year, with the event abandoning “Old Man’s” beach near San Clemente for new digs at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point. And this was only possible because prior to the event, Paul Reyes (from FS 5) worked his magic with the Special Events Permit Coordinators, Lori Coble and Denise Estrada. And post event, the coordinators were glad to declare, “We are happy to have you all back again next year – just let us know.
Maybe the ladies were in such good humor because they were treated to two fantastic meals during the day. First there was a hearty breakfast of chorizo, Spanish rice, beans and chicken & pork tamales. Just a few hours later that was followed by a colossal lunch of BBQ chicken, carne asada, rice, beans and more chicken & pork tamales! All this great food was made possible by the cooks and their prep team which included Mike Bowers, Jim Tsarofski, Larry Hoerner, Steve Moniz, Brian Hishinuma, Joe Kahapea, Barry Hedberg and Vince Jenkins.
Lorraine, and her Aunt Rachel, ran the raffle (along with taking care of many other event details). One of the most sought-after prizes was a custom orange and lime surfboard, created and donated by Hans Enyedi. Hans put more than 30 hours of labor into that board. There were many other donated items available, with the day’s biggest sponsor being Pelican flashlights.
T-shirt and check-in were handled by Dave Zar (49’s) and Bill James (64’s). Additional organizers who provided indispensable assistance were Pete Xenios (49’s), Keith Kenoi (63’s), Wes Schroeder (88’s), Garret Lew (15’s), and Wild Bill James (64’s).
This edition of the Ray Mayo Longboard Winter Classic may have been the last ride. Ray is retiring and is not sure if he will be able to continue the event. So come on over to the LAFRA Open House this month and help to honor Ray for his on-going service – and maybe you can convince him to carry-on the surf tradition for years to come.
By Dave Wagner
Photos by Eric Santiago