No Waves? No worries. Deerfield Beach Surf Festival deemed ‘success’

By Cash W. Lambert, The Atlantic Current

Beginning a decade ago, Cheyne Cottrell annually surfed Qualifying Series events in the Northeast, becoming a regular in lineups and a familiar face in surf shops. Gawking at photos of the same area today, the owner of Island Water Sports in Deerfield Beach sees surf shops obliterated and beaches strewn with debris.

“Clean up is moving at a snail pace,” said Cheyne, explaining the rebuilding efforts post Hurricane Sandy. “And people went without power for weeks.”

The damage is unfathomable across states such as New York and New Jersey, with roughly 7.5 million power outages and $30-$50 billion dollars in damage, by some estimates.

When the 90+ mph winds died down in the Northeast, rebuilding began. The South Florida surfing community wanted to be a part of the rebuilding efforts, because for a handful of Floridians who routinely surf in New York and New Jersey, including Cheyne, the disaster was personal.

“I’ve seen some surf shops up there destroyed and being a shop owner myself, I think, ‘what if everything I had was gone?’” said Cheyne.

Partnering with the Eastern Surf Association (ESA), the Florida Bodyboard Association (FBA) and several surf shops and sponsors, Cottrell and IWS provided South Florida with a relief outlet to financially help the victims of Hurricane Sandy through the Deerfield Beach Surf Festival on Dec. 7-9.

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