CURRIMUNDI surfer Cameron Lawrence is a man of many passions that he intends to combine later this month into what is shaping as one of the most fun surf events the Sunshine Coast has seen.
The Caloundra Classic is a surf team’s event which will combine surfing skills with a series of surprise points-gathering side activities that just may involve sumo suits among other things.
The idea is to allow entry by all levels of surfing to maximise participation and to provide an alternative to win-at-all-cost competitions of which there are already plenty.
But Cameron’s aims are far greater than to entertain a bunch of people at Moffat Beach over the Australia Day weekend.
The event will be Australia’s first carbon neutral surfing competition and will raise money for African Equity, a charity that raises money for a Kenyan orphanage as well as a number of other East Africa aid projects.
The Kenyan orphanage is home to 500 AIDS orphans.
“These kids are so keen to learn, some have woken their teachers at five in the morning,” Cameron said
“They want to make the most of their lives, to get an education and make a difference. I’m aiming to raise $10,000 for them. Last year African Equity raised more than $1 million.”
Cameron, who has done volunteer work for World Vision, sponsors children and helps those in need when he can, discovered the African Equity charity six months ago and became determined to get involved.
“I was thinking there was a lot more I could do to contribute and was looking for a charity to support,” he said.
“African Equity is run by Chris Anderson out of Cleveland who funds the administration himself so that all money raised goes directly to those in need. Their motto is, ‘If you have the will, we’ve got the way’.”
Cameron has travelled extensively, seen the conditions in which people live in the Third World, and believes we all should be doing something to improve their conditions.
“We live this way and other people live in poverty,” he said simply.
“We can help and should look for ways to do what we can.”
But why go carbon neutral for the event?
The 33-year-old works for alternative energy company Ingenero and was the first salesman employed by Solarpay, the Noosa Junction company it took over.
Now based at Kawana, Ingenero has teamed with Sunshine Coast Environment Council to build on solar power company Solarpay’s successful 1000 Roof Challenge last year which has already made this region the solar power energy capital of Australia.
Microphones, computers and heat sirens at the Caloundra Classic will be solar power as will the band that will play from 1pm on event day, made possible by a suite of Sunshine Coast alternative energy companies that have combined to show just what can be achieved.
Ingenero will supply a 1.65kw system on racking which will feed into an inverter made and supplied by Caloundra company Latronics.
The regulator and batteries come from Caloundra company Dynamic Solar Solutions.
Windansea Surf Club will provide the logistics for the day with sponsorship coming from local businesses and Sunshine Coast Environment Council.
“The day is about having fun,” Cameron said. “The competition is open to all surfers. It doesn’t matter how old they are, what kind of board they ride, or even how they ride it. Winners will be judged on fun as well as surfing competency.
“We’re inviting local businesses to field teams, and families to team up. If you can’t get a team of four together come along and we’ll put you in one,” he said.
by Bill Hoffman, Sunshine Coast Daily