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Awards: Surfin' Santa...

One of the many highlights of past GuidoPaloozas has been annual awarding of special prizes, trophies and momentos.  First among equals is the "Surfing Santa."   There are many others.
The Thermos - WSD Award
1999 - Mark W Sisom
2000 - Steve M.
2001 - Ben Rak*; Tom Keener**; No awardee, it disappeared for a year only to reappear at GP.
2002 - Ferg***
2003 - 
*Ben refused the award due to his transient nature at the time, so the award was given to Tom Keener as second runner-up.
**Tom Keener thumbed his nose at the award so the award was rescinded.
***Dan King was considered, but due to a potential conflict of interest that was described in previous posts related to the 2002 award, he was not chosen.

Ferg Readies to Pass the Torch, August 2003

A fateful day. For the last year, one of the few animate artifacts of A.S. has been in my possession.  Others can tell the history on the Thermos better than I can, I simply know the writing on it:

1999- Mark W Sisom
2000- Steve M.

I wasn't positive it was a real item until I first laid eyes on it in 2001.  Foon heald it up high as the master of ceremonies on the awards night of Guidopalooza.  He wasn't too exited about it though, in fact he felt like it was an object of mockery and a bad-luck charm.  Who was it awarded to that night- for history's sake the name was left blank.  It was given to a non-attendant.  The internal chamber of the Thermos was defiled with a nauseating agent.  It was planned to be mailed away as a joke, but I don't think it ever was.

The next year, Foon wasn't around to present the award. The honor was given to Steve M.  Apparently there was some discussion over what the award stood for.  I thought it went to the person who wrote the best World Surf Day report. There seemed to be alot of debate on Alt Surfing over when WSD actually was, let alone who wrote about it.  Steve cleared the air by simply
judging who showed the most stoke in a report.  Because of my story of cruising the coast and visiting small towns from Daytona to Buxton for 5 days, with my fateful dog and VW bus, Steve awarded me the Thermos.

I was quite surprised. I hadn't written a WSD report so I was offguard.  In my acceptance speech I promised two things, to break the curse of the Thermos and to be less of a stranger to A.S.  The latter I haven't done. Instead of traveling the tropics for surf, I've been paying more attention to my home life.  The murder of a coworker made me focus more on saving $ for a quicker semi-retirement. An accident had stacked medical bills up against me, and a relationship has cut into the late hours I used to spend online. I've also spent more time floating on a sailboat than a surfboard.

However, I did break the curse.  Days after I returned to Tampa, I was shooting some of the most hollow clean tuck-tubes I've seen on the gulf coast in years.  Thanks to an El Nino winter, the Pacific wind had hopped over Mexico churned things up for me on Pinellas County beaches.  This might be the first year in a decade where I surfed close to home more than I did on the East Coast.  I've met alot of highschool buddies in the line-up, and I've been stoked.

During this time, on a shelf above my computer, the Thermos has set next to the little Silver Surfer given to me during Tom Keener's visit. Nearby on the wall are photos from Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama with other good friends I've made on Alt. Surfing.  It's a shame to part with this icon in
my collection, but I feel it rightfully belongs to the next recipient at the upcoming Guidopalooza.  It's douptful that I'll be there, so I could use some advice on where to send it to.  Tonight, I'm going to bleach out the funky smells, and refill the Thermos with a bottle of premium rum. Hopefully that will keep the curse away, and bring the next bearer as many good waves and happiness as it has brought to me.


SteveM Provides Historical Context
2001 should have Ben Rak's name on it with an asterisk. The asterisk note should say Ben refused the award due to his transient nature at the time, so the award was given to Tom Keener as
second runner-up.  Tom Keener's name should therefore be written next to Ben Rak's name with a double asterisk.  The double asterisk note should say that Keener thumbed his nose at the award, so the award was rescinded.  2002 should also have a side-note saying that Dan King was considered, but due to a potential conflict of interest that was described in previous posts related to the 2002 award, he was not chosen.  (Please note, herb, that the award was offered to a west-coaster (U.S.) and considered for another west-coaster, so there is no vast right-coast conspiracy at work here).

As for who gets the award, you, Ferg, had it right the first time... It is normally awarded to the person with the most stoke in a WSD report. Your award was an exception due to the scandalous nature of the 2001 recipients who scoffed at the thermos.  Since two years had past, my mind was foggy as to the original WSD reports, so I just went with a report that showed the type of stoke that should be in any surf related post, and one that epitimized what the true surfing adventure should be all about.  That post happened to be yours even though it wasn't a true WSD report.

Surf on.


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Last updated on 11/12/07