Ross Clarke-Jones Gives Away His Eddie Aikau Championship Trophy

24 Jul 2017 3

Tom Carroll, Ross Clark-Jones & Cheyne Horan telling tales.

Tom Carroll, Ross Clark-Jones & Cheyne Horan telling tales.

COASTALWATCH | COMMUNITY

There is a charity on the Sunshine Coast called The Boardmeeting. The committed and passionate members work to raise funds for families with disabilities in an effort that is one of the largest and most successful surfer based charities in the world. 

The volunteers and committee members don't simply raise funds - sometimes the amount being greater than $120k - and hand them over to organisations, they vet each application to ensure that there isn't a better solution to the need to the problem. Additionally, they proudly uphold that every single cent raised goes to the families and children in need. 

In early July The Boardmeeting held their annual legends lunch which is a collaborative effort with Australia's most loved surfing legends. Names like Bob McTavish, Bob Cooper, Rabbit Bartholemew, Gary Elkerton, Dick Van Straalen and Terry Fitzgerald just to name a few who have given their time. In 2017 Ross Clarke-Jones, Tom Carroll and Cheyne Horan joined the honour roll. 

"This years line up was extraordinary. Tom Carol, RCJ, and Cheyne Horan (and our own Queensland surf reporter John Charlton who has MC'd the event since its inauguration) all donated their time thanks to local surf legend Gary Elkerton who convinced the guys that this was something they needed to do." Said Committee member Gordon Barratt, "The guys were hilarious, entertaining the crowd with antics of their past rivalries and adventures."

The generosity of the three legends was unparalleled. Ross Clark-Jones brought along and auctioned off his first place In Memory of Eddie Aikau trophy from 2000/01 for $11,500. There's only eight of the trophies in existence since it is held, conditions pending each year.

"Its the Olympic Gold Medal of Surfing." Said Barratt, "When it was suggested to Ross that the trophy should be in a surfing hall of fame his reply was most humbling. He said, While winning the trophy was a culmination of a lot of years hard work building to this pinnacle of big wave surfing, holding up the trophy on that day in Hawaii was nothing compared with holding the trophy above his head after some generous soul bid $11,500 for it for the kids."

Ross also bought Tom's generously donated SUP for $2,000. "Tom donated a SUP and spent the whole time filming the event. It was very obvious that he was genuinely moved by the days events." Said Barratt.

Cheyne donated a replica of the Bells winning wing keel board, it went for $3,600. "He smiled like a Cheshire cat all day, just so happy. He did a brilliant job on the podium." Said Barratt.


The lunch raised $60k, the best year yet. 

In ten years this incredible community group has raised over one million dollars, it's something that committee member Gordon Bennett says he has to keep pinching himself about. "The most amazing part of what happens with our charity is that it is totally funded from within the Sunny Coast surf community. Each year we tap the same group of incredibly generous surfers and each year they stand up and keep giving." A real credit to the what surfers can do to make a difference.

John Charlton said after the event, "What these guys do each year really deserves all the recognition in the world. Their hard work and continued support of their community shows that anything can be achieved when you work together for the common good."

The Boardmeeting has expanded their foot print to the Gold Coast and Byron Bay so interested parties can get in touch with those guys through The Boardmeeting website.

Ross Clarke-Jones stoked that his Eddie Aikau trophy could chance people's lives. Pictured with the winners of the auction.

Ross Clarke-Jones stoked that his Eddie Aikau trophy could chance people's lives. Pictured with the winners of the auction.


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