Surfest’s Evolution Charity Cup raises over $50k for the Mark Hughes Foundation

THE Lake Mac City Lifeguard Team has taken out the 2022 Evolution Charity Cup supporting the Mark Hughes Foundation at Dixon Park beach – for the fourth successive year.

This year’s event was delayed for three weeks due to adverse weather and swell conditions. But it was well worth the wait, with Dixon Park turning on a consistent three-foot swell fanned by a light offshore wind for most of the day.

Twenty teams consisting of up to five surfers – with three surfers from each team participating in each round – competed and surfed two rounds before elimination heats commenced.

With more than $50k raised by the teams participating today, the total amount of money raised in this event now surpasses a whopping $350k over the event’s four-year duration in this format. All funds raised today go to the Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF) – a charity formed in Newcastle following Mark’s diagnosis with brain cancer in 2013. The organisation’s mission is to raise much needed funds for research, to create awareness, and support brain cancer patients and their families.

The Lake Mac City Lifeguard team that won today included James McMorland, Kaine Watts, Zac McCann and Lucas Samways.

Lucas said it was terrific for the lifeguards to be able to participate in the event.

“It means a lot to be able to come and do something outside out job. We’re all mates at work, so to come down here and enjoy the day and be cheered on by some Council hierarchy was fun.  

“We’re grateful Council allows us to come to the event and get good waves and most importantly, raise money for the Mark Hughes Foundation,” he said.

In 2023, the Evolution Charity Cup has been slotted into the Surfest schedule at the QS site at Merewether. Evolution Advisors director Darren Glover welcomed the move.

“We’ll be part of the main event area. Hopefully we get all the same teams back again and we’ve got room for a few more. We are aiming to attract 20 teams and will have a target of between 80 and 100 thousand dollars for charity,” Mr Glover said.

“It is quite amazing to think that this event has raised more than $350k for the MHF due to the generous efforts of local businesses, surfers and sponsors,” he said.

Surfest chief Warren Smith said today’s Evolution Charity Cup wraps up Surfest for 2022.

“To cap this year’s Surfest with a great day of surfing conditions and working with Evolution Advisers to contribute to Mark’s Foundation is quite special,” he said.

2022 Evolution Charity Cup supporting the Mark Hughes Foundation


  1. Lake Macquarie City Council Lifeguards (158)
  2. Northrop (99)
  3. KCE Civil Team 1 (94)
  4. Enigma (66)

Pic: Evolution Cup Winners by Alicia Fry