A sunrise masked by ominous dark clouds made way for sunshine and perfectly small and glassy rolling waves for the third annual SAND/ Camp Quality Surf Day held on Sunday 25th March at Rainbow Bay. Held in conjunction with Walking On Water Surf School, the annual event is a way for the surf community to come together and give kids suffering from cancer and their families some much needed down time, catching waves and playing in the ocean.

This time around the event was dubbed the "Bots Big Beach Day Out" in honour of the late local surfer, Industry Surf founder and former SAND President, Paul Botica. Paul had passed away from heart complications following a long and valiant battle with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma just a month prior to the surf day. Paul had helped set the date for the event earlier in the year, so the team at SAND were determined to carry through and run the day in his memory. 

To help take the wonderful Camp Quality kids out for a day in the waves and assist a group of close to thirty children to learn to surf, SAND enlisted dozens of local surfers to the cause.  These included celebrated surf author Tim Baker, Channel 7 personality Liz Cantor, Radio Metro surf reporter and commentator Tappa Teece, Gold Coast Surf’s Cassandra Nevin and photographer Kieron Douglass to name but few. 

SAND founding member and former ASP World Champion Wayne Rabbit Bartholomew welcomed Camp Quality participants, their families and volunteers to Rainbow Bay, and after a few minutes of helpful advice from the Walking On Water team they hit the waves. Most of the children were able to get to their feet within their first few tries, bringing rounds of hoots and applause from their helpers and families assembled on the shoreline. 

On closing, Rabbit Bartholomew claimed the day as a resounding success.  “We had another wonderful day of surfing at Rainbow Bay. The waves were perfect, the rides were exhilarating, the children surfed really well and the smiles were broad and beaming. All the crew from SAND and Walk on Water had a wonderful time, and I'd rate it our most successful surf day so far.”
A special thanks goes out all the volunteers and helpers who made the day happen!