After almost one week of big, unruly surf, the ocean settled down for competitors at the ESA New England Spring Championships, held this past weekend. Surfers still had to contend with heavy offshore winds up to 40 knots, which provided a challenge for many riders. “The stiff offshore conditions made it difficult to drop down the wave faces,” said ESA Competition Director, Mario Frade. “But if you were in the right spot, there were some outstanding rides to be had.”

This was evident in the premier division, the Open Shortboard, when local hotshot, Lily Gartner put the boys to shame, topping a stacked heat of New England’s best. She did it on her second wave of the final heat, tearing up a left peak that shot her almost across the entire south parking lot. Jayden Parry came on strong at the end, grabbing a pitching right peak, but it was not enough to top Gartner for the title. Lily continued to have an outstanding outing, winning both the Girls Under 16 and the Junior Women’s Longboard finals.

Lily Gartner. Photo Lisa Haase.

Jayden Parry got the “Outstanding Wave of the Contest” award, when he trimmed out on a perfect right slide that reeled off for what seemed like an eternity to the judges in the Junior Longboard Final. Parry’s flawless riding got him the highest point totals of the entire event, and the win over John McGeough. Jayden also won the Junior Men’s division.

Jayden Parry. Photo Lisa Haase.

There were several other noteworthy results in various age divisions. Luke Allen won his second straight contest in the Menehune category. Jarrett Parker returned from a decade long hiatus, winning both the Masters and Men’s Longboard crowns. Newcomer Ray Way topped Chris Herbert with some nice noseriding, to win the Masters Longboard final and Noah Gartner picked off two nice right peaks to win the Boys Under 14 division and repeated that to win the Menehune Longboard title.

Jamie Kelly. Photo Lisa Haase.

The next ESA competition scheduled is the 2017 Northeast Regional Surf-Offs, to be held at Belmar, New Jersey on May 19-21. This is an invitational contest for the top finishers from 2016, and will determine invitations to the East Coast Championships at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina in September. The next local surfing competition scheduled is the Annual New England Longboard Championships, at Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts, on June 11th.

Chris Herbert. Photo Lisa Haase.

Final Results of the 2017 ESA New England Spring Championships, held in 2-4 foot surf at the Narragansett Town Beach on April 8th, 2017. 

MENEHUNES-1.Luke Allen
BOYS UNDER 14-1.Noah Gartner
BOYS UNDER 16-1.John McGeough
JUNIOR MEN-1.Jayden Parry
GIRLS UNDER 14-1.Sophia Martino
GIRLS UNDER 16-1.Lily Gartner 2.Ella Fontenot
MEN-1.Jamie Kelly 2.Mick Jabs
MASTERS-1.Jarrett Parker 2.Chris Herbert
Grand Legends-1.Peter Pan
MENEHUNE LONGBOARD-1.Noah Gartner 2.Sophia Martino
JUNIOR LONGBOARD-1.Jayden Parry 2.John McGeough
MENS LONGBOARD-1.Jarrett Parker 2.Jamie Kelly
MASTERS LONGBOARD-1.Ray Way 2.Chris Herbert
OPEN BODYBOARD-1.Pat Redmond 2.Peter Pan
OPEN SUP-1.Peter Pan
OPEN SHORTBOARD-1.Lily Gartner 2.Jayden Parry 3.Jamie Kelly 4.Jarrett Parker 5.Nick Jabs 6.Noah Gartner 7.Sophia Martino

Jamie Kelly. Photo Lisa Haase.


Icy Surf For 48th Annual New England Mid-Winter Championships

It turned out to be a perfect combination of wind, weather and surf, as the oldest, continuously running winter surfing competition took place, this past weekend. This was the 48th Annual New England Mid-Winter Surfing Championships, and it happened at the same beach that the first contest did, in 1968.

Sarah Procaccini. Photo Lisa Haase.

Despite howling southwest winds, most of the waves held up, as the swell increased throughout the day. By the end of the event, there were solid overhead sets pouring through the contest zone.

The big winner of the day was Kevin Roy, who not only dominated the Open Short Board Final, but was awarded the “Hottest Wave of the Day” trophy. Roy picked off a shoulder high swell that swung off the seawall and then held up all the way across the contest zone for the highest points ride of the contest. With this single ride, he launched himself into first place and never looked back.

Kevin Roy. Photo Lisa Haase.

Top rival Andrew Marsden battled Roy for the Master’s Long Board crown, and edged him out by .05 with a long tip ride into the shore pound. Marsden also nailed two outstanding rights to top the field in the Senior Men’s Final.

Andrew Marsden. Photo Lisa Haase.

Joe Doherty Jr. charged through the big right peaks off the south parking lot, to find and win on the best waves of the Junior Men’s final, while Charlotte Robbin braved the heavy shore break to win the Girl U14 title, and the Women’s Long Board crown. Big credit due to 9-year old Isaac Gutterman, who paddled out through the rough surf to win the Menehune title.

Charlotte Robbin. Photo Lisa Haase.

Aurelien Bouche drove all the way from the Great Lakes to win the Masters and finish 4th in the Open Final. Other surfers who dominated the field, winning multiple divisions included Jayden Parry, who took the Boys U16 and Junior Long Board crowns. Peter Pan won both the Grand Legends and Legends Long Board finals, and Sara Procaccini styled her way to both the Ladies and Ladies Long Board titles.

This was a great day for stand-up paddleboard surfing, as a veteran field made for a tight but entertaining heat. It was long time cruiser, Jack Egan sweeping to the title with an outstanding head high right barrel, followed by Mark Preece, riding a long left into the shorebreak, for second place.

Pat Redmond continued undefeated in the Open Bodyboard division, and the Hobie Slug Team captured the team crown, as Hobie riders won seven individual events.

The next ESA contest is scheduled for April 16th, at First Beach in Newport, Rhode Island.

Final Results for the 48th Annual New England Mid-Winter Surfing Championships, held in chest to head high surf at the Narragansett Town Beach, on February 20th, 2016. Water temperature was 33 degrees and air temperatures hovered in the 30’s with the wind chill.

Jaime Kelly. Photo Lisa Haase.

Menehunes-1.Isaac Gutterman
Boys U14-1.Jim Robbin
Girls U14-Charlotte Robbin
Boys U16-1.Jayden Parry 2.Dylan Holtbakk
Junior Men-1.Joe Doherty Jr. 2.Sean McDonald.
Men-1.Calder Stames 2.Jaime Kelly 3.Kevin Turco
Masters-1.Aurelien Bouche 2.Chris Herbert
Senior Men-1.Andrew Marsden 2.Kai Holtbakk 3.Kevin Roy
Legends-1.Claudio Paulino 2.Mark Preece
Grand Legends-1.Peter Pan 2.Kitty Pechet
Women-1.Sara Spears
Ladies-1.Sara Procaccini
Open Shortboard-1.Kevin Roy 2.Jaime Kelly 3.Andrew Marsden 4.Aurelien Bouche 5.Sean MacDonald
Menehune Longboard-1.Jim Robbin
Junior Longboard-1.Jayden Parry 2.Dylan Holtbakk 3.Joe Doherty Jr.
Men’s Longboard-1.Jaime Kelly 2.Calder Stames 3.Kevin Turco
Master Longboard-1.Andrew Marsden 2.Kevin Roy 3.Kai Holtbakk 4.Chris Herbert
Legends Longboard-1.Peter Pan 2.Mark Preece 3.Claudio Paulino 4.Kitty Pechet
Junior Women Longboard-1.Charlotte Robbin
Women Longboard-1.Sara Spears
Ladies Longboard-1.Sara Procaccini
Open SUP-1.Jack Egan 2.Mark Preece 3.Jack Martin 4.Kevin Turco 5.Peter Pan
Open Bodyboard-1.Pat Redmond 2.Dylan Holtbakk 3.Peter Pan

Kai Holtbakk. Photo Lisa Haase.


Matt Alberts' third and final wrap-up video from the LIFERS project, summarizing all the incredible things happened during WATER is now available online. You can find it here:

Additional Details

Week 1: Matt begins his adventure in New Jersey and meets up with Chris Cooper, founder of Spraying Gravy, and Brian Heritage, owner of Heritage Surf & Sport, and dives in for some end-of-summer rides along the Jersey Shore with pro surfers Sam Hammer, Dean Randazzo and Greg Mesanko
Week 2: For the second week of the trip, Matt rolls up to Manhattan to meet up with Saturdays NYC founder Morgan Collett and contemporary artist Michael Adno, and catches some waves in Long Beach with pro-surfer TJ Gumiela, UnSound Surf Shop owner Dave Juan and David Skudin of Skudin Surf
Week 3: Matt spends the third week of WATER in Montauk to catch some waves with pro surfer Leif Engstrom and meet up with Whalebone Creative owner, Jesse Joeckel, Whalebone Magazine co-founder, Pat Fallon, and Ditch Witch owner and photographer Grant Monahan.
Week 4: Matt catches the ferry to New England to hang out with owner of Water Brothers, Sid Abruzzi, photographer/filmmaker, Michael Cirelli, and Grain Surfboards co-owners, Mike LaVecchia and Brad Anderson.

The Seasons Collection Photography Book

The final result of this unique project is a photography book that tells the story of this incredible journey from Matt’s POV and is accompanied by digital and analog photos documenting the passionate lives and adventures of the action sports heroes Matt met along the way. The book will be available for purchase on on 12/17 for $70.


It seems as if every time the Notre Dame Men’s football team comes to town, the ESA gets good surf. The “Fighting Irish” were lucky to win a 19-16 squeaker over Boston College at Fenway Park, and the ESA was equally as lucky to find a 3-4 foot ghost swell to run the last competition of the season. Call it the luck of the Irish if you will.

Although the surf began to get a bit chopped out by later in the afternoon, the swell held up all day, and gave competitors plenty of opportunity to tear up the makeable lefts and rights.

And the big star of the contest happened to be Beantown’s Jamie Kelly, who is still riding high, following his amazing 4th place finish at the 2015 East Coast Surfing Championships at Cape Hatteras. Jamie ripped up the waist to chest high stuff, just as he did to the 10-15 foot storm surf at the Easterns. And for the record, Kelly is only the second men’s competitor from New England to ever make the Men’s Final at the Easterns. The last time this occurred was in 1978, when Mario Frade finished 7th in what was considered a Pro-Am event.

Jamie Kelly. Photo Lisa Haase.

Jamie busted a nice air off a hollow, shoulder high right, to top an equally shredding Luke Johnson for the Open crown. Andrew Marsden was close behind with some nice left backhanders. Kelly easily won both the Men’s long and short board titles, finishing the day with three wins.

Jamie Kelly. Photo Lisa Haase.

Another hot performer this day, was Noah Gartner, who was whipping around his 9’4” long board like a short board. It was a wild tip ride on a shoulder high right, that locked up the Menehune Long board title over Chase Barclay. Chase went on to win the Girls 13 and Under final with some nice rights, topping Haley Marsden.

Noah Gartner. Photo Lisa Haase.

Andrew Marsden, the district’s top Senior Man, charged to easy wins in both the Senior and Master Long board categories, working both left and right sections in for some high point rides.

Andrew Marsden. Photo: Lisa Haase.

Lily Gartner and Charlotte Robbin battled it out to an unbreakable tie in the Girls 15 and Under final, while Gartner won the Junior Women’s Long board crown and finished 5th in the Open division.

This was the final rated event for the 2015 season. The next ESA contest scheduled is the 48th Annual New England Mid-Winter Surfing Championships, on February 20th, 2016. This event is set for the Narragansett Town Beach, and is the oldest continuing running winter contest held in the world. Competitors can expect special “Ice Man” trophies to be awarded at this year’s contest.

Joe Doherty. Photo: Lisa Haase.

John Coleson. Photo: Lisa Haase.

Luke Johnson. Photo: Lisa Haase.


Final results of the Annual ESA Holiday Surfabout, held in 2-4 foot surf at the Narragansett Town Beach on November 21, 2015.

Menehune-1.Noah Gartner 2.Cade Marsden

Boys 13 and Under-1.James Coleson 2.Kyle Hay

Boys 15 and Under-1.Joe Doherty Jr.

Junior Men-1.Luke Johnson

Men-1.Jamie Kelly

Masters-1.Chris Herbert

Senior Men-1.Andrew Marsden

Grand Legends-1.Peter Pan

Girls 13 and Under-1.Chase Barclay 2.Haley Marsden

Girls 15 and under-1.Lily Gartner and Charlotte Robbin (unable to break tie)

Menehune Longboard-1.Noah Gartner 2.Chase Barclay 3.Cade Marsden 4.Haley Marsden

Junior Women Longboard-1.Lily Gartner

Junior Longboard-1.Joe Doherty Jr.

Men’s Longboard-1.Jamie Kelly

Master Longboard-1.Andrew Marsden 2.Chris Herbert

Legends Longboard-1.Peter Pan

Open-1.Jamie Kelly 2.Luke Johnson 3.Andrew Marsden 4.James Coleson 5.Lily Gartner 6.Noah Gartner 7.Kyle Hay

Open Bodyboard-1.Peter Pan

Open SUP-1.Peter Pan


Local surfers and ESA officials are still scratching their heads, trying to figure out how the surf could go from totally flat to epic in one day, and then go flat the next morning. This is what occurred this past Saturday, when the Eastern Surfing Association held it’s 41st consecutive Northeast Surfing Championships at the Narragansett Town Beach. “We expected to see some kind of wind swell, said ESA Competition Director Mario Frade, “but we never thought that the waves at the beach would be this perfect. The swell direction and the newly created sandbars made for probably the best shaped waves I have seen all year here.”

Sara Procaccini. Photo Lisa Haase.

The chilly air and water temperatures called for full suits and accessories, but the rubber put no damper on the hot performances in all age groups. Duly noted, however, was the high level of ripping done by the current East Coast Menehune Surfing Champion, Robbie Goodwin. Robbie, who recently returned home from the annual east coast contest, which was held in 15-foot hurricane like conditions, found the perfect town beach surf to his liking. Goodwin easily dominated the event, winning every heat in both his own age group and the Open Shortboard by wide margins. His air-acrobatics had the entire beach in awe, as he dazzled the crowd.

Medelise Reifsteck. Photo Lisa Haase.

Meanwhile, the rest of the youth competitors continued to battle it out, much as they have done all year. Lily Gartner continued to show that she will be a contender at the 2016 ESA Regional Championships, as she topped the Girls, Junior Women Longboard, and finished 7th in the Open Shortboard categories. Page Hedde edged out Sophia Martino in a close contest of the Menehune Girls, while Haley Marsden took the Girls 13 and Under title. One of the closest contests was the Menehune Longboard Final, which featured a duel between Noah Gartner and Page Hedde. Gartner dominated the heat, but Hedde picked off one of the best waves of the entire contest to close the gap. In the end, it was a tie that had to be broken on the 3rd wave, giving Gartner the win.

Kevin Roy. Photo Lisa Haase.

Several veterans were back on the scene after a break from competition. Mike Akers charged to the win in the Masters Final, while Medelise Reifsteck styled her way to the victory in the Senior Women’s Longboard final. One of the most entertaining heats was the Masters Longboard Final, which featured a tight contest between Kevin Roy and Andrew Marsden. Marsden came up with an incredible “Hang Ten” on a solid chest high peeler, and it looked like he had locked up the win. With five minutes left in the heat, Roy grabbed a shoulder high left barrel and blew off some hard cutbacks and flying off-the-lips to beat him out by 2 points at the buzzer.

Andrew Marsden. Photo Lisa Haase.

The next contest is the final rated ESA event of the season, and scheduled to take place at the same town beach on November 21st. This annual Holiday Surfabout has historically had good surf, and ESA officials are hoping for a repeat of last year’s conditions. Sign-ups are from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM, and the entry fee is $35.00.

Luke Johnson. Photo Lisa Haase.

Luke Johnson. Photo Lisa Haase.

Narragansett Surf Shop is offering to outfit any youth competitors who need full suits and accessories for the event, at no charge. Anyone interested can email the ESA or call the surf shop a few days before the contest with the contestant’s height, weight, and foot size.

Robbie Goodwin. Photo Lisa Haase.

Robbie Goodwin. Photo Lisa Haase.

Final Results of the 41st Annual Northeast Surfing Titles, held in perfect 3-6 foot surf at the Narragansett Town Beach, on November 7th, 2015.

Menehune Boys-1.Robbie Goodwin 2.Cade Marsden 3.Noah Gartner 4.Braydon Bennett

Menehune Girls-1.Page Hedde 2.Sophia Martino 3.Phoebe Hedde 4.Chase Barclay

Boys 13 and Under-1.Jayden Parry 2.George Shaver

Boys 15 and Under-1.Joe Hedde 2.Nick Gauvin 3.Joe Doherty Jr. 4.Dylan Holtbakk

Girls 13 and Under-1.Haley Marsden

Girls 15 and Under-1.Lily Gartner 2.Charlotte Robbin

Junior Men-1.Luke Johnson

Men-1.Jordan Brown

Masters-1.Mike Akers 2.Chris Herbert

Senior Men-1.Kai Holtbakk 2.Kevin Roy

Senior Women-1.Sara Procaccini

Grandmasters-1.Claudio Paulino

Grand Legends-1.Peter Pan 2.Kitty Pechet

Menehune Longboard-1.Noah Gartner 2.Page Hedde 3.Sophia Martino 4.Chase Barclay 5.Phoebe Hedde 6.Cade Marsden

Junior Women Longboard-1.Lily Gartner 2.Charlotte Robbin 3.Haley Marsden

Senior Women Longboard-1.Medelise Reifsteck 2.Sara Procaccini

Master Longboard-1.Kevin Roy 2.Andrew Marsden 3.Kai Holtbakk 4.Mike Akers

Legends Longboard-1.Peter Pan 2.Claudio Paulino 3.Kitty Pechet

Open Bodyboard-1.Pat Redmond 2.Peter Pan

Menehune Bodyboard-1.Dylan Holtbakk

Open SUP-1.Jack Egan 2.Stacy McLouglin 3.Peter Pan

Open Shortboard-1.Robbie Goodwin 2.Kevin Roy 3.Luke Johnson 4.Andrew Marsden 5.Kai Holtbakk 6.Joe Hedde 7.Lily Gartner 8.Page Hedde 9.Noah Gartner 10.Charlotte Robbin 11.Geordie Shaver 12.Jordan Brown 13.Sophia Martino 14.Dylan Holtbakk