Press Releases

East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2020

Ten Category Inductees and the First Cecil Lear President's Award Recipient Announced

SURF EXPO, Orlando, Florida, Friday, January 10, 2020 – The East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame is proud to announce the Class of 2020 has been Inducted during a ceremony held Wednesday evening, January 8, 2020, in front of a packed auditorium at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida following a day of business at the Surf Expo Trade Show held in the same location.

The Class of 2020 were inducted in five categories through a rigorous four-step process, and included:

(L-R, back row): ECSHOF President Gary Germain; Jesse Fernandez; Buzz Swarts, Hoppy’s son; Bill Hartley; Tyler Callaway; Rich Munson. Front row: Matt Kechele accepting for Pete Hodgson; Damian Hobgood; Tony Caramanico; Karen Lucas accepting for Will Lucas; Bobby Owens; Adele Faba Barenda. Credit: Dugan/ESM photo.

Culture—Will Lucas, Maryland

Industry–Tyler Callaway, New York

Media—- Pete Hodgson, Florida

Legends–Tony Caramanico, New York; Richard “Dickie” Munson, Florida;

Jesse Fernandez, North Carolina

Surfers—Bobby Owens, Florida; Bill Hartley, Florida; Adele Faba Berenda,

Florida; Damien Hobgood, Florida

ECSHOF co-founder and former president, Cecil Lear, delivering the first ever Cecil Lear President’s Award to Lewis Earl “Hoppy” Swarts. The award is for an individual who contributed leadership in the development of surfing on the East Coast. Swarts was honored for mentoring Lear and Rudy Huber in the late 1960s, which guided the two men to form the Eastern Surfing Association, now the largest surfing association in the world, which has produced numerous professional world champions including Lisa Andersen, CJ Hobgood, Frieda Zamba and Kelly Slater. Credit: Dugan/ESM photo.

Included in the biennial induction ceremony for the first time, the Cecil Lear President’s Award, named for the co-founder and first President (1996-2016) of the ECSHOF, was created to honor an individual who made a lasting contribution in leadership to East Coast Surfing.  The Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors selected Lewis Earl “Hoppy” Swarts.

As the founding president of the United States Surfing Association in 1961. Swarts mentored Cecil Lear and Rudy Huber to launch the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA), which has since become the strongest surfing organization on the East Coast, and one of the most respected in the surfing world, having produced professional world surfing champions Frieda Zamba, Lisa Andedrsen, CJ Hobgood and Kelly Slater.

“The Class of 2020 are an incredible addition to the 159 members of the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame, who have been inducted over the past 24 years. The East Coast has produced amazingly talented surfers and, as president of the Hall of Fame, I am honored to welcome the newest members into our tribe.  A special thank you goes to Surf Expo, which has supported the Hall of Fame for all of its 24 years.”

About the ECSHOF

The East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation of the history and heritage of East Coast Surfing by enshrining forever the people who have been responsible for surfing’s development and growth on the US East Coast. The ECSHOF was founded in 1996 by one of surfing’s truly great watermen, Greg Noll, along with East Coast legend, Cecil Lear.  Every two years, the ECSHOF conducts a public candidate submission process, followed by a thorough nomination and selection process to determine the next ECSHOF Inductees.

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