For the first time in over a decade, Narragansett surfers made a solid showing in the ESA South New England final standings for the season, when the 2013 Eastern Surfing Association released the figures this past week. Most of these top competitors are planning to tune up at the Newport Surfing Championships on April 19th at 2nd Beach, as they prepare for the biggest event of the year, the 2014 ESA East Coast Championships Northeast Surf-Offs. This year’s 3-day contest will take place in Long Beach Island, New Jersey, as the best surfers from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and the Great Lakes will surf off against each other for bragging rights.

Leading the local contingent was the father and son duo of Kai and Dylan Holtbakk of West Kingston. Because of their consistent surfing in the sometimes, difficult conditions of the contests, they finished at the top of the standings in five divisions. Dylan won both the Menehune (Boys and Girls Short board under 12 years of age) and the Menehune (Boys and Girls 14 years and under) Long board divisions. He also finished 3rd in the Open Short board divisions. Kai competed in the most competitive category, the Senior Men’s Division, and finished 3rd in both the Senior Men’s Short board and Masters Long board categories. He also captured a 2nd place in the tough Open Short board division.

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Kai Holtbakk, Midwinters. Photo Joe McGovern.

Narragansett’s Braydon Bennett also had a strong season, finishing 2nd behind Dylan in the Menehunes, and 2nd in the Menehune (14 years and under) Body board category. Noah Gartner and Lily Gartner, both of Narragansett, also had great showings, with Noah taking 3rd overall in the Menehunes and Lily finishing 2nd in the Girls.

The Nota brothers of Jamestown placed in four divisions, with Andrew taking 2nd in the Junior Men and Junior Long board, and Matt finishing 2nd in both the Men and Men’s Long board categories.

Dave Giuseppone of Narragansett topped both the Mens and Men’s Longboard divisions, while Claudio Paolino of Wakefield won the Grandmasters crown.

Gavin Smith of Block Island has been a Northeast Regional finalist for several seasons, and finished the year with 2nd place showings in both the Boys and Menehune Long board divisions. His father, Jeff, ended the season in 2nd place in the Masters Long board category.

Other local winners included Charlestown’s Kevin Tanner, 1st place in the Masters Short board, Janice Causey of Narragansett, 2nd place in the Grand Legends, and Allen Santucci, 2nd place in the Men’s Long board. Narragansett’s Peter Pan finished first in the Legends, Legends Long board, Open SUP, and Open Body board categories.

The district will have a strong showing in the female ranks, as 7-Time East Coast Finals Ladies Champion, Ana Barend of Little Compton expects to compete again. Westerly’s Sarah Prince finished strong, with a 2nd place, overall in both the Ladies and Ladies Long board events. East Coast Championship finalist Kitty Pechet of Cambridge, Massachusetts won the Grand Legends for the 6th straight year, and also won the Ladies Long board division. Sara Procaccini of Carver, Massachusetts won the Women’ Long board and took a 2nd in the Ladies Short board final standings. East Coast Finals finalist Keating Artigian ended up in 3rd in the Women’s Long board, and is also expected to compete at the regional championships. In the Girls division, it was Maria Barend from Little Compton taking the title, over Gartner and Charlotte Robbin, also of Narragansett, finishing in the 3rd spot.

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Ana Barend on a monster wave at Easterns. Photo Joe McGovern.

Other champions included Andrew Marsden of Hingham, Massachusetts who won both the Senior Men and Master Long board divisions, Joe Doherty of Goshen, Connecticut, who won the Boys, Corran Moore of Newport, Junior Men’s winner, and Liam O’Regan of Middletown, who topped the Junior Long board division. Clayton Ives of Newport took the Menehune Body board crown and Jose Galvez of Cranston won the Open division and finished 2nd in the Master Long board category.


Photos by Bryan Nicholson of this past Valentine's Weekend Swell. More surf photos are available on his site, on his facebook page, and on his Instagram feed at bryannicholsonphotography.

In the foreground is Max Fatello in the wave behind him is Joel Feid.

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Max Fatello in the barrel and brian landergan shooting in the water.

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Joel Feid

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Unknown in the Green Room.

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Announcement #1 of 3: If you have any desire to surf in the regionals at Long Beach Island, New Jersey, you must send in your entry fee as soon as possible. Just go to and get your entry form.

Anouncemtent #2 of 3: The following is a list of the ESA's events for 2014. The events (and other events) are also listed on the NESurf calendar.

  • February 15- 46th Annual New England Mid-Winter Surfing Championships at the Narragansett Town Beach, R.I.
  • April 19- ESA Spring Championships at a site to be determined
  • June 8-Annual New England Longboard Classic at Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts
  • June 15-New England SUP Race Challenge #1 at Narrow River, R.I.
  • July 13-New England SUP Race Challenge #2 at Narrow River, R.I.
  • July 19-Annual Summer Surf Titles at Second Beach in Middletown, R.I.
  • August 3-Ozone Classic Surf Competition at Cisco Beach, Nantucket
  • August 10-New England SUP Race Challenge #3 at Narrow River, R.I.
  • August 16-Summer Titles-Round #2 at First Beach, Newport, R.I.
  • September 20-“Catch A Wave” Gromfest at Westerly Town Beach, R.I.
  • September 29-Veterans Day Longboard Classic at Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts
  • October 18-Annual Northeast Surfing Championships at the Narragansett Town Beach, R.I.
  • November 22-Annual Holiday Surfabout at the Narragansett Town Beach, R.I.

Anouncemtent #3 of 3: The final standings for 2013 are listed below.  Reminder: If you surfed in two events in 2013, you can more than likely surf at the regionals.


  • D. Holtbakk 3868
  • B. Bennett 3539
  • Noah Gartner 2710
  • Rob Goodwin 2000
  • Jim Robbin 1810
  • Q. Battagliese 1490
  • C. Marsden 1000
  • Josh Hedde 810
  • J. E. Chow 729
  • Ben Turenne 729


  • Joe Doherty 3056
  • Gavin Smith 3000
  • Sean Dungan 1800
  • Joe Hedde 1629
  • Max Hirsh 1556
  • Nick Curci 1478
  • Ed Barend 1180
  • Ryan Dean 1116
  • Cade Marsden 1000
  • Jake Casey 810
  • M. Blanchette 810
  • Rigs Bennett 729


  • Corran Moore 2800
  • Andy Nota 1656
  • Matt Alofsin 1620
  • R.Wilkinson 1458
  • Mario Starks 1000
  • Liam O'Regan 1000
  • C. Frodigh 900
  • Ben Alofsin 900
  • James Manni 729
  • Lucas Burger 656
  • Pat Bowe 590
  • Parker Hall 531
  • Allen Santucci 531


  • D. Giuseppone 2000
  • Kevin Babcock 1000
  • Matt Nota 1000


  • A. Marsden 4810
  • Jose Galvez 3339
  • Kai Holtbakk 2800
  • Jeff Smith 2710
  • Chuck Barend 1000
  • John Fonda 810
  • Leo Campos 810
  • Joe Doherty 729


  • Z.Balbueno 1000
  • Kevin Tanner 900


  • C. Paolino 3000


  • Peter Pan 7000
  • Cunningham 1800
  • Mark Preece 900


  • Kitty Pechet 3000
  • J. Causey 1000


  • Maria Barend 2000
  • Haley Marsden 1000
  • Katie Frodigh 900
  • C. Robbin 0


  • Ana Barend 3000
  • Sarah Prince 2900
  • S. Procaccini 2000
  • Katie Ryan 1000
  • C. Bonnichon 1000


  • D. Holtbakk 2456
  • Gavin Smith 1900
  • Joe Hedde 1620
  • Q. Battagliesise 1458
  • R. Bennett 1430
  • B. Bennett 1378
  • Ed Barend 1350
  • Josh Hedde 1180
  • C. Marsden 1000
  • Sean Dungan 1000
  • Maria Barend 1000
  • J. Doherty 1000
  • Parker Hall 900
  • Jim Robbin 656
  • Lily Gartner 531
  • C. Robbin 387
  • Noah Gartner 350


  • Ryan Dean 1800
  • Andy Nota 1000
  • C. Frodigh 1000
  • Liam O'Regan 1000
  • Allen Santucci 1000
  • Parker Hall 900
  • Lucas Burger 810
  • Nick Curci 810


  • D. Giuseppone 2000
  • Matt Nota 900


  • A.Marsden 5810
  • Jeff Smith 1710
  • K. Holtbakk 1629
  • Paul Bennett 1000
  • Chuck Barend 1000
  • Kevin Tanner 900
  • Jose Galvez 900
  • John Fonda 810
  • Leo Campos 810
  • Jim Taylor 729
  • J. Doherty Sr. 729


  • Peter Pan 7000
  • T. Cunningham 1800
  • C. Paulino 900
  • Mark Preece 900


  • S. Procaccini 4810
  • Sarah Prince 1800
  • Katie Ryan 1000
  • K. Artigian 1000
  • Rachael Powers 1000
  • Mya Kotalac 900


  • Kitty Pechet 2800
  • S. McLoughlin 1900
  • C. Bonnichon 1000
  • M. Kotalac 1000
  • Ana Barend 1000


  • Clayton Ives 3000
  • B. Bennett 1900
  • Q. Battagliese 900
  • D.Holtbakk 810


  • Peter Pan 3520
  • Pat Redmond 2900
  • DMcLaughlin 1900


  • Peter Pan 3258
  • Leo Campos 2810
  • S.McLoughlin 2620
  • S.Procaccini 2390
  • Sally Bates 1000
  • Jeff Smith 1000
  • Nick Curci 656
  • Mark Preece 531


  • Jose Galvez 2240
  • Kai Holtbakk 1900
  • D. Holtbakk 1662
  • Gavin Smith 1539
  • D.Giuseppone 1539
  • Sean Dungan 1378
  • Andy Marsden 1000
  • Kevin Tanner 900
  • Joe Hedde 900
  • Ana Barend 810
  • Liam O'Regan 729
  • Allen Santucci 729
  • Jeff Smith 656
  • Nick Curci 656
  • Drew Nolan 590
  • S. McKenzie 590
  • Joe Doherty 590
  • Corran Moore 531
  • Q.Battaghliese 387
  • Kevin Babcock 350
  • Josh Hedde 350

Photos by Bryan Nicholson of this past Valentine's Weekend Swell. More surf photos are available on his site, on his facebook page, and on his Instagram feed at bryannicholsonphotography.






This winter ambassador Shawn Vecchione and photographer Scott Crivalero have been out shooting every frigid but yet epic swell all around New England. This is just the tip of the iceberg of some of the pristine shoots they have.

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