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GARY TAYLOR For the North County Times

SOLANA BEACH ---- Celebrating the past while preserving the future was the theme during the first official meeting of the Solana Beach Surfing Association, held Wednesday night at a local restaurant.

Organized by longtime Solana Beach resident and surf movie producer Ira Opper, the meeting drew about 40 surfers from diverse backgrounds, from doctors and lawyers to local lifeguards and at least one politician, Solana Beach Mayor Doug Sheres. The guest of honor was 89-year-old Jerry Ward, considered to be the first person to surf in Solana Beach in the early 1930s.

"As surfers, we're hoping to have a more united voice and mobilize on issues if we need to, as well as have an excuse to socialize," Opper explained. "There's a lot going on that affects our surf spots, such as water quality, sea walls and beach access. We felt it was time to get together and deal with issues that affect us."

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