By Marne Laine Burghoffer | firstname.lastname@example.org
We all know that St. Augustine is a prime location for surfing. Many students come to Flagler College with experience, however some do not and are unsure about how to learn.
For this reason, the Office of Alumni Relations teamed up with members of the Flagler College Surf Team on Sept. 15, for the eighth year to provide a safe environment for skilled surfers to pass their knowledge onto beginners. The free surf clinic was open to all current students, alumni, faculty and staff of Flagler College.
Although free, the event is connected with the Hugh Shaw Scholarship Fund, which also will host a long board contest for fundraising in April for its 28th year. Hugh Shaw was a long board surfer at Flagler that was hit and killed by a drunk driver in 1983 only a few weeks before graduating. Shaw’s sister, Beth Shaw, and his close friends, worked together to start the scholarship fund that is awarded to two philosophy or religion students each year in Shaw’s honor.
All who were involved met up at the Crescent Beach Ramp at 8:30 a.m. and were greeted with long boards provided by The Surf Station.
“It is an intimidating thing to walk into a group that you don’t know in any situation,” said Margo Brown, director of Alumni Relations. She continued to explain that the volunteer staff, made up of both alumni and members of Flagler’s surf club quickly made everyone feel at ease by leading a group stretch, introducing “surf slang” and getting to know each participant. Brown knows exactly what it is like to be the student because she learned to long board six years ago in her first year working in the Alumni Office of Flagler at this very affair.
“I plan over 30 events a year with Alumni Relations and this is my favorite one,” Brown said. Of the estimated 40 people that came out to the clinic, all seemed to agree with Brown and took a lot away from the experience. Everyone caught at least one wave and many seemed interested in continuing with the sport.