June 29, 2005

‘Surf gods’ smile on Calif. record attempt

CARLSBAD, Calif. (Reuters) - Forty Southern Californiasurfers on Wednesday set aside the sport's long-standingtradition of not sharing waves for what they claimed as a worldrecord for the number of surfers riding a single wave.

The surfers, who ranged in age from 13 to 64, broke theprevious record set by 38 Australians in 2002. The Californiagroup spent an hour and a half in the cool water off SouthCarlsbad State Beach, where dozens of onlookers cheered themon.

Three judges counted standing surfers along a stretch ofcoast. Others videotaped the winning wave to verify the group'ssuccess. All the surfers had to stand up and stay up for fiveseconds, simultaneously, organizers said.

Encinitas, California, artist and surfer John Moseley saidhe was a little surprised the surfers were able to accomplishthe feat. "We had to find a wave that suits us and we had tofind it at the same time," Moseley said. "I guess the surf godswere with us."

There are several surfing records in the Guinness Book,including one for 47 surfers on a single surfboard offAustralia's Gold Coast in March. They, in turn, beat a recordset earlier by a crew in Cornwall, England.

Guinness will not be able to verify that the attempt brokethe individual surfers on a single wave record for four to sixweeks, according to the company Web site. Guinness receives65,000 such challenges every year.

The event was staged to raise funds for the SpecialOlympics, which provides fitness training and contests forabout 1.7 million mentally disabled people each year.