Thursday night promises to be an epic one at Huntington Beach High School.
School's out for the summer but students and fans of surfing, along with boosters of the campus's surfing team, will catch a wave into the HBHS auditorium for a star-studded fundraiser to help the team defray costs of an upcoming trip to Australia.
Quiksilver, the Surf City-based apparel company and one of the event's sponsors, will bring in three of its athletes — surfers Dane Reynolds, Balaram Stack and Reef McIntosh — for a Q&A session with TransWorld SURF's Chris Cote, followed by the screening of "No Agenda," a new 35-minute surfing action film, organizers said. The three surfers and Kelly Slater, who also represents the Quiksilver brand, appear in the film.
"For them to come down and help us, it's a joining of the tribes," said Coach Andy Verdone, who has led the high school's surfing program for 25 years. "We're all in it together. We all surf."
The auditorium will open at 6 p.m. The first 300 through the door can fuel up on complimentary tacos from Wahoo's. The evening will also feature a raffle with the grand prize drawing of an autographed Dane Reynolds Channel Islands surfboard.
Verdone and eight members of the Oiler surfing squad — which comprises at least 80 boys and about 20 girls — will be traveling Down Under from July 9 through 25. The delegation will begin its Australian adventure in Sydney. Coastal waters there are expected to be cold as it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
The group will rent a van and drive up to the Gold Coast, surfing and staying with Australian host families along the way to Brisbane. While the travelers have already paid for their round-trip airfare, Verdone estimated they will need another $3,000 to $4,000 for gas money.
On Monday night, Verdone held a meeting with his fellow travelers — all boys who range in age from 15 to 17 — to brief them for the trip. Two of the school's legendary surfing alumni, Jay Lardon and Jeff Deffenbaugh, were on hand to give the younger surfers advice about traveling Down Under.
According to Verdone, Larson warned them to make sure to look in both directions when stepping off a curb, because in Australia, motorists drive on the left side of the road.
"This money [from the fundraiser] hopefully will cover the cost of the rental bus," said the coach, who will be making his 10th trip to Australia. "Like it is with us, the price of gas is high, but with Australians it's by the liter over there."
The Huntington Beach High School surfing program is the only one among the Surf City high schools with surfing teams whose corporate sponsors count Quiksilver, which has been headquartered in Huntington Beach since 1999.
"We're trying to get a fun night together for the kick off of summer," said Todd Kline, Quiksilver's director of marketing and events. "We are a big corporation here in Huntington Beach. It's a cool thing for us to give back to the community."
If You Go
What: Screening of the Quiksilver film "No Agenda" to raise funds for H.B. High School Surf Team
Where: Huntington Beach High School Auditorium, 1905 Main St.
When: 6 p.m.
Cost: $5 for admission and $1 per raffle ticket.
To view a trailer for the film: Click here.