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Women Legends
A Tribute to Some of the First Women Surfers in the Santa Cruz Area:

1999 Women on Waves Competition, Capitola, CA

Shelia Anater Ralston (1st on the left)
Sheila and her family had a summer house in Santa Cruz, California. She and her sister Sharon Anater Hansen (Hansen Surfboards) started surfing in 1956, after watching a young women Charlene Mohaus Prall, come down the beach with a big paddle board out at the river mouth, they looked at each other and said, "We can do that!" Today Shelia and her husband surf Pleasure Point together and enjoy 'feeling' the ocean.

Shelley Merrick (2nd from the left)
Shelley was born in Texas where her father was stationed during World War II. Her parents settled in Malibu, CA in 1946 and was raised all her life on the beach at Latigo Shore Drive, a right point break. She started surfing in 1955 when she was 10 years old. There were three families in the cove from the beginning days of San Onofre who loaned her their Simmons redwood and Joe Quigg balsa boards and the rest is history. She surfed in her first contest at the age of 15 in the United States Championship at Huntington Beach in 1960. In 1963 she was the second woman to ride for Dewey Weber on the Weber Competition Team. (Rosemari Reimers Rice was the first woman on the surf team.)

Rosemari Reimers Rice (4th from the left)
Rosemari was born and raised in Hermosa Beach, California. She started surfing in 1954, at the age of 14, and learned to surf with the help of her first love and husband today, Johnny Rice. Johnny also shaped and designed her first surfboard, a blue balsa with "Rosemari" written in yellow across the nose. Rosemari surfs every day and feels strong in the sense that she says at her age, surfing keeps her physically and mentally fit and spiritually together. Rosemari lives near 'The Lane' in Santa Cruz's west side with her husband. Together they run Johnny Rice Custom Surfboards, and have seven children and seven grandchildren.

To read more about Rosemari on The Shapers Tree, click here.
For more pics of Rosemari in action, click here.

Betty Ann Mardesich Van Dyke (5th from the left)
Betty was born and raised in Cupertino, California and first saw surfing from in Sunset Magazine in 1939 in an advertisment for Mattson Cruise Line. At that moment she knew someday she would be surfing one day. Later she met a long time friend Alonzo Weimers at San Jose State University, where she expressed an interest in surfing, and he showed her the way. Her first board was made by Ted Pearson and shaped by Dale Velzy. She later traveled to Hawaii to surf with her husband, Gene Van Dyke. There she ordered her first balsa board from a Navy man, Carter Pyle, which was shaped on an aircraft carrier in the Allusion Islands. Betty has three sons, three grandchildren and has now resides at Pleasure Point.

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