The at in Montauk on Saturday morning will benefit Roland Stubbmann, a longtime Montauk resident afflicted with a rare disease.
About 50 surfing vets, aficionados and children will hit the waves, competing in various categories based on age, skill level and type of board. Typically, the event draws more than 1,000 people to the beach to watch and for the raffle that includes surfboards, surfing swag and prizes from local businesses.
The , a local non-profit that raises money for members of the community in need, sponsors the surfing extravaganza. This year, the foundation chose to raise money for Stubbmann, who has lived in Montauk since 1968.
"Everybody says the same thing: if you get sick and you live in Montauk you have [support]," Roger Feit, the director of the foundation, said. "The families get a real shot in the arm with finances and they feel the support of the community."
Stubbmann came down with Guillain–Barré syndrome, an auto-immune disease that paralyzed him from his shoulders to his feet. A builder, Stubbman was also loved sailing and was an avid surfer; He had surfed at Ditch since the early '60s.
Stubbman has a severe strain of the disease which has destroyed his nerve sheath and inner core. He has made remarkable progress in recovery, but medical bills still remain daunting, according to organizers.
Organizers said the event brings participants from all walks of life together for a good cause. "Everybody who is out here for any reason…people that like to surf, have children that surf…even if they are just staying in a hotel they contribute," said Alice Housenecht, a member of the East End Foundation, said.
The contest is named after Rell Sunn, an American surfing champion and pioneer from Hawaii. Sunn was one of the original members of the first women's professional surfing tour, and helped found the Women's Professional Surfing Association in 1979. She contracted breast cancer at age 33 and continued to surf while she fought the disease. She died in 1998 at age 47.
"She was known for her beautiful spirit..for her message to 'never give up'," Feit said.
The activities start at 8 a.m.