Hobgood, Hurley, Harrison, Cabell, Turner, Drummy and WISA inducted during 23rd annual ceremony in Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach, CA – July 28, 2016 – In the shadow of the US Open of Surfing, Surf City USA’s Main Street was blocked off to honor the newest class of inductees to the Surfing Walk of Fame on Wednesday morning. Through a selection ballot, a host of respected surf industry veterans, former professionals and surf journalists narrowed down a field of hundreds of candidates to name the seven 2016 Surfing Walk of Fame’s honorees in their respective categories – C.J. Hobgood (Surf Champion), Lorrin “Whitey” Harrison and Joey Cabell (Surf Pioneer), Bob Hurley (Surf Culture), Timmy Turner (Local Hero), Mary Lou McGinnis Drummy (Woman of the Year) and the Founders/Board of Directors of the Women’s International Surfing Association (WISA) (Honor Roll).
Emcee, former World Champion and past inductee Peter Townend welcomed the capacity crowd filled with previous Walk of Fame recipients, a host of distinguished civil officials, surf industry notables and US Open surf fans.
“We’ve been doing this for 23 years now and it’s always an honor to be up here with my heroes and special people I’ve worked with over the years,” Townend said.
2001 ASP World Champion C.J. Hobgood was recognized with the Surf Champion plaque. His stellar competitive career was highlighted with wins at Teahupoo (2004), the U.S. Open in Huntington Beach (2007) as well as a gold medal at the ISA World Surfing Games (2008). Hobgood finished in the Top 10 six times throughout his storybook career and recently retired after the 2015 season.
“I’m so thankful that I fell in love with surfing,” Hobgood said. “God gave me a gift which has allowed me to stand here today in front of you all. I told Bob Hurley that what he did for my generation, I want to do for the next generation. And I hope that I can still make surfing proud.”
Hurley smiled brightly seated on stage. He had just been inducted himself in the Surf Culture category for his lifelong pursuit of innovation, ranging from surfboards to surfwear.
“It’s super humbling to be recognized here today,” Hurley said. “45 years ago, I met my wife on the Huntington Beach Pier. I learned to surf here too. This town means a lot to me.”
Next up, the HB crowd was treated to a huge surprise. Bruce Brown — the legendary surf filmmaker who produced the iconic Endless Summer — rose from the crowd as P.T. welcomed him to the podium. Brown was originally inducted into the Surfing Walk of Fame in its first-ever ceremony 22 years ago. And today, had the pleasure of presenting the Surf Pioneer award to Hawaii’s Joey Cabell.
Cabell was arguably the finest all-around surfer in the world during his day, with his contrasting wins in booming 15-footers at the 1963 Makaha International and also in knee-high dribblers at the Malibu Invitational the same year.
“I started surfing in the 1940s and I had the pleasure of welcoming everyone who came to surf in Hawaii. Plus, Duke [Kahanamoku] was around a lot in my day,” Cabell admitted. “Later in my career, I got to come to Huntington Beach and was able to share that experience with all the best surfers in California as well.”
The late Lorrin “Whitey” Harrison was posthumously recognized alongside Cabell in the Surf Pioneer category for his historic contributions to the sport. The Woman of the Year prize went to Mary Lou McGinnis Drummy who was WISA’s second president and ran the organization until it merged with the Western Surfing Association (WSA) in 1994. To this day, Drummy remains at the helm of the WSA — America’s longest-standing amateur surfing organization.
Also honored in this year’s ceremony, Huntington mainstay and intrepid surf explorer Timmy Turner was recognized as the Local Hero. And the WISA founding sisters — Drummy, Mary Setterholm, Poppler and the rest of the original WISA Board of Directors: Terry Eselun, Shannon Aikman, Duline MacGough, Pam Maher, Jan Gaffney, Linda Westfall, Catherine Rosset and Liz Irwin — earned the Honor Roll spot.
The Surfing Walk of Fame is the only tribunal in surfing to award specific categories as well as require a 10-year margin since the commemorating achievement. This year’s recipients will be cemented alongside past inductees, earning their immortal place in the pavement on the corner of PCH and Main Street, directly across from the famous pier in Surf City USA — Huntington Beach, California.