A surfer and San Diego resident at the time, Kary Mullis won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1993 for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction, considered one of the monumental scientific techniques of the 20th century. That year, Mullis also became the founding honorary chair of the Luau and Longboard Invitational, a benefit for the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center that unites two passions in San Diego: surfing and science.
Two decades later, Mullis returns to the event as the 2013 recipient of the Rell Sunn Award, which will be presented at the 20th annual Luau and Longboard Invitational that kicks off at 7 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18, at the beach near Scripps Pier in La Jolla.
The event has raised nearly $6 million to advance research at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. It opens with a surfing competition followed by a luau celebration, which includes the presentation of the Rell Sunn “Queen of Makaha” Award, established in memory of Rell Sunn, a Hawaiian surfer and longtime invitational supporter who lost her battle with breast cancer.
The surfing competition is free for viewing; a ticket to the luau fundraiser is $150. For more information, call (858) 246-1230, or visit at longboardluau.org