Surfing took on an entirely new meaning for 16 experienced women surfers. In September of 2015, their lifelong passion became their sole cause. Doing what they love was all in the name of breast cancer awareness.
Battle For the Breasts is the online surf video contest, taking place for the second year, which came about in an effort to spread awareness regarding the importance of early detection when it comes to breast cancer. The contest was presented by Ambry Genetics, a company with an impeccable reputation in the genetics industry and powered by Surfline, a top surfing topic and surf forecasting website. Also having significant involvement was the Mauli Ola Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing hope and confidence to those individuals living with genetic diseases.
There were a series of steps that took place to reach the ultimate end, with a winner still to be announced. The first step was the opportunity for foundations to sign up to win $125,000 in hereditary breast cancer genetic testing vouchers for their associated hospital or clinic in the name of their surfing champion. One very familiar foundation was the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. By the end of September, 16 foundations had been identified and now were paired with the top 16 womens professional surf athletes, sponsored by such large names in the surfing industry as Body Glove and Rip Curl.
The competition would become fierce for the win. Competitors included Alana Blanchard, Alessa Quizon, Bianca Buitendag, Carissa Moore, Coco Ho, Courtney Conlogue, Dimity Stoyle, Johanne DeFay, Lakey Peterson, Laura Enever, Mahina Maeda, Nikki Van Dijk, Pauline Ado, Sage Erickson, Silvana Lima and Tatiana Weston-Webb. Each surfer was in a short video, riding the waves with an effortless sense of strength and contagious confidence, daringly proving why they are the best surfers and deserve your vote. However, it all boiled down to reducing the competition to two finalists who would battle it out to the very end.
Votes continued to be cast, making for a very exciting competition. It all came down to four of the top surfer competitors and their partner foundations;
Semi -1 Tatiana Weston-Webb/ Dana-Farber Cancer Institute vs. Courtney Conlogue/ Huntsman Cancer Institute
Semi – 2 Coco Ho /MLC Cancer Foundation vs. Carissa Moore/ University of Texas Foundation
The eliminations continued until it came down to two surfers who would battle it out to the bitter end. Those two are Courtney Conlogue and Carissa Moore. The winner is still to be announced but that announcement is expected to be coming soon.
The winner of the 2014 Battle For the Breasts Competition was ESPY award-winning Bethany Hamilton, American professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off, but ultimately returned to—and has been victorious in the sport of professional surfing.
It all goes to show the power of the web, the popularity of the sport of surfing and the importance placed on breast cancer awareness. As Charles Dunlop, CEO of Ambry Genetics, so appropriately put it, “Early detection for breast cancer is the key to making this disease curable. Targeting women to appropriate screening, based on their personal or family history, or results of genetic testing, is the most effective mechanism we have for preventing breast cancer and saving lives.”