This weekend has almost everything to make the 2012 Seal Beach Surfing Championships perfect. The National Weather Service is predicting 10-foot waves Saturday along with sunny warm weather for early January, and this weekend marks the opening of the contest’s waiting period. But Surfline founder Sean Collins, the man who helped initiate the contest more than a decade ago, passed away from a heart attack last month, and his absence this year will be sorely missed.
Despite the promising conditions, the contest will not be held this weekend in order to avoid a conflict with the paddleout in Collins’ honor at 11 a.m. Sunday morning off the Huntington Beach Pier.
“We want to honor Sean Collins, and we don’t want to create a conflict with surf contest happening at the same time as the paddleout,” said Seal Beach Lifeguard Nick Bolin.
The Seal Beach Surfing Championships has its roots in the annual Seal Beach surfing competition that lasted through the 70s and went on hiatus in 1982. The championship was resurrected by Seal Beach Lifeguards and community members such as Collins as the Surfliner Championship in 1999. Ever since, the contest has been a part of the community, and Collins has been a big part of the contest.
Each year, for the past 14 years, the lifeguards have hosted a winter surf contest to raise money for local charities such as J. H. McGuagh Elementary and Project SEEK. This year’s donation will help the families of the victims in the Salon Meritage shooting.
The waiting period for the best surf conditions for this year’s two-day contest will run through Feb.26.