By Peter Pan
Local surfers are hoping for the same mild conditions as the 2013 competition season finishes up this month. The final Eastern Surfing Association rated contest of the season takes place at the Narragansett Town Beach on November 16, with several divisional championship berths too close to call. Only the top qualifiers from each category are eligible to compete at the 2014 ESA Northeast Regional Championships in May. This year's contest is set for Montauk, New York.
Sign-ups for the contest will take place at the beach from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM on the morning of the contest. Entry fee is $30.00 and there will be trophies for all finalists. The contest is on call for November 15, after 6 PM on the ESA hotline: 401-789-1954. ESA members will be notified by email on Friday night, if there are any changes to the location or postponement.
Area surfers who are in contention for age and specialty titles include Liam O'Regan, Dylan Holtbakk, Braydon Bennett, Maria Barend, Gavin Smith, Andrew Nota, Rigs Bennett, Corran Moore, Sean Dungan, and Rob Goodwin in the youth categories. Local adult competitors are Jeff Smith, Andy Marsden, Paul Bennett, Kai Holtbakk, Jose Galvez, Claudio Paolino, Pat Redmond, and Dave McLaughlin. Top area women qualifiers include Ana Barend, Sara Prince, Keating Artigian, Kitty Pechet, and Sarah Procaccini. In the newly created Stand-Up Paddleboard competiton, leading candidates include Leo Campos and Stacey McLoughlin. The Annual ESA Holiday Surfabout will be the 7th rated event of the 2013 season.
Due to the increasing popularity of stand-up paddleboard racing and surfing, the ESA and the Town of Narragansett Recreation Department have teamed up to run the first ever Turkey Trot 2/K 5/K Standup Paddleboard Race at the Narragansett Town Beach on Thanksgiving morning. This will be the first time that the ESA has run any type of activity on a holiday. Early indications are that if the weather is good, the turnout could be great.
There will be two races with no restriction on equipment. One race will be close to two miles, with racers taking off near the seawall and paddling along Ocean Road to Monahan's Dock and back to the beach. The second race, which will run simultaneously with the 2-mile race, will continue around a buoy and do a second lap to Monahan's Dock. This race will be close to 4.5 miles.
There are prizes and trophies in all divisions for both races, with six categories in each race. In the female events, there are trophies for Women-29 years and under, Women-30-49 years, and Senior Women-50 years and over. In the male ranks, there are trophies for Men-29 years and under, Masters-30-54 years, and Senior Men-55 years and over. Trophies will be awarded to competitors in both the 2-mile and 4.5 mile races separately. There will also be a free raffle for all competitors, for a complete stand-up paddleboard wetsuit top and bottom (male and female) sponsored by Supreme Wetsuits.
Sign-ups on Thanksgiving morning will take place in the South Pavilion parking lot from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM. The race will start at 10 AM, with awards given out immediately after the last paddler comes in. In case of bad weather, the race will run on Saturday, November 30th. Entry fee is $35.00 per racer. Cash, credit cards, or checks are welcome.
For those athletes who want to race but do not have equipment, race sponsors Bic Sport USA and Narragansett Surf and Skate are offering a complete wetsuit, board, and paddle rental for $25.00. Equipment will be delivered and picked up at the beach. Interested racers must pay in advance. Contact the Narragansett Surf Shop in advance to make arrangements.
By Peter Pan
Forums Discussion with a few additional pictures here.
It was thirty-nine years ago that the first ESA Northeast Surfing Championships was held at the Narragansett Town Beach. It was the era of inter-district contests, during the heyday of east coast surfing competition. It took two days to run the event, with several dozen competitors traveling from New York and Northern New England for the competition. The weather was very similar to how it was this past Saturday at the beach. It was certainly not your typical conditions for a late October day, but no one was complaining. Sunny skies, air temperatures in the 70’s, and glassy 2-3 foot surf proved to be a great combination for a fun day at the beach. Some of the younger surfers even dared to venture out with shorty wetsuits for their heats.
One of the outstanding features of this year’s contest was the judging. A veteran panel of ESA judges scored an overall 98% in accuracy, meaning that no one left the beach feeling cheated. The contestants really got what they deserved. Judges that stuck it out all day included Jim Taylor, Pat Redmond, Dave McLaughlin, John Fonda, and Katie Hoffman.
The kids left no doubt as to who was in charge at this contest. The biggest and most hotly contested divisions were the Menehunes, Boys, and Girls categories. Even half of the Open Division finalists came out of the Menehune divisions. ESA Competition Director Mario Frade was very impressed with the youngsters. “It was great to see all these new little rippers on the scene. This is the best turnout of young and talented surfers that I have seen in over 20 years. We could have another Kelly Slater in the water today.”
It was so close in both the Menehune Boys and Girls finals, that both winners were tied after 3 waves and tabulators had to go to the 4th wave to break the tie. Josh Hedde edged out Noah Gartner by .05 and Maria Barend beat Charlotte Robbin by one point on their 4th wave. Veteran Block Island rider, Gavin Smith found some exceptional sections to top Joe Hedde in the Boys Final. Corran Moore continued his winning streak with some big moves to take the Junior Men’s title over Ben Alofsin.
South Shore’s Andy Marsden had a great day in the elder categories, as he took three events with relative ease. He found the best waves and some miraculous sections to top the Senior Men, Master Longboard, and Open finals (on a borrowed board…no less).
Maria Barend is quickly becoming as difficult to beat, as her ESA All-Star mother, Ana. After wrapping up the Menehune Girls title, she nose rode her way to victory over a full heat of boys, to win the Menehune Longboard crown. Gavin Smith did some nice trimming to take second as well.
Newcomer Clayton Ives captured the Menehune Bodyboard final, while Dave McLaughlin edged out the current Northeast Regional reigning champ, Pat Redmond for the Open Bodyboard crown. Leo Campos nailed down a fast breaking but sectioning right, to top Sara Procaccini for the Stand-Up Paddleboard crown.
Menehune Boys-1.Josh Hedde 2.Noah Gartner 3.Jim Robbin 4.Braydon Bennett 5.Dylan Holtbakk 6.Quinn Battagliese
Menehune Girls-1.Maria Barend 2.Charlotte Robbin 3.Liz Blanchette 4.Lily Gartner 5.Erin McGrath 6.Kaylee Bennett
Boys-1.Gavin Smith 2.Joe Hedde 3.Mike Blanchette 4.Rigs Bennett 5.Joe Doherty 6.Ed Barend
Junior Men-1.Corran Moore 2.Ben Alofsin 3.Matt Alofsin 4.James Manni
Senior Men-1.Andy Marsden 2.Jose Galvez 3.John Fonda
Senior Women-1.Ana Barend
Open-1.Andy Marsden 2.Joe Hedde 3.Gavin Smith 4.Dave Giuseppone 5.Dylan Holtbakk 6.Joe Doherty 7.Quinn Battagliese 8.Jose Galvez 9.Rigs Bennett
Menehune Longboard-1.Maria Barend 2.Gavin Smith 3.Joe Hedde 4.Quinn Battagliese 5.Jim Robbin 6.Josh Hedde 7.Lily Gardner 8.Braydon Bennett 9.Rigs Bennett 10.Charlotte Robbin 11.Noah Gartner 12.Dylan Holtbakk 13.Ed Barend
Men’s Longboard-1.David Giuseppone
Master Longboard-1.Andy Marsden 2.Jose Galvez 3.John Fonda 4.Jim Taylor
Legends Longboard-1.Peter Pan
Women’s Longboard-1.Sarah Procaccini
Ladies Longboard-1.Ana Barend 2.Stacey McLoughlin
Menehune Bodyboard-1.Clayton Ives 2.Quinn Battagliese 3.Dylan Holtbakk
Open Bodyboard-1.Dave McLaughlin 2.Pat Redmond 3.Peter Pan
SUP Open-1.Leo Campos 2.Sara Procaccini 3.Stacey McLoughlin 4.Peter Pan
Forums Discussion Here.
Chino Surfboards is hosting a movie night on Wednesday October 9 from 7:30-9:30 to show "Shoot The Pier, a True Maine Surf Story," a film by Brian Goding. The film tells a "story about a generation of surfers that... takes us to a time and place where the waves were undiscovered and a culture was misunderstood."
Wednesday. October 9, 7:30-9:30pm
19 Stuart Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Also a Special photo series by local surfer/photog Mike Valencius of Mariner’s Light Photography.
By Peter Pan
It was a scene reminiscent of an early 1960’s surfing competition, complete with girls gyrating their hula-hoops, longhaired skateboarders pumping turns in the parking lot, and the Beach Boys blaring through the loudspeaker system set up by the Narragansett Town Beach seawall.
In actuality, it was the Eastern Surfing Association’s “Battle of the Brews” surfing competition that took place this past Saturday. It was the brainchild of local surf shop manager, Conrad Ferla, who combined surfing, skateboarding, and beer sponsors into working together for a fun event.
ESA Competition Director Mario Frade watched the festivities and commented. “This scene is like a flashback to the last big surfing contest ever held at the Narragansett Town Beach. It was the 1968 New England Invitational Surfing Championships. I was there and we listened to the same music that the DJ is playing right now (Ventures). The crowd was certainly bigger in 68’. We have a few hundred people here today. At that contest, it was estimated there were about 3000 spectators lined up on the seawall and on the beach.”
Ferla created some crazy specialty divisions for the contest, and those turned out to be the most entertaining and biggest draws of the event. The most popular division was the “Retro Shortboard” division, where rounds of 6 competitors had to use the six surfboards that were on hand, antiques dating from 1971 to 1983. Surfers had to ride what they picked out from a lottery drawing in each heat. The poor floatation and the bad design of some of these boards made for some great wipeouts that kept the spectators entertained.
Another popular division was what Ferla called the “Mega-Board” competition. In this event, everyone had to ride the same super wide beginner long board, donated by one of the sponsors of the contest, Bic Sport U.S.A. The sloppy, mushy, and small conditions were ideal surf for these boards, and competitors kept the spectators on their toes with lots of old style tricks.
Along with these events, there was the Open Longboard and Open Shortboard contest, along with Menehune and Women categories. Sponsors for the event gave away some great prizes to all the finalists, and the action moved to the Oceanside Restaurant across the street from the beach, at the conclusion of the event.
The turnout was so great for this ESA contest, the final heat of the day finished in the dark at 7:15 PM. Contest organizers had to take down the tents, tables and PA system under car headlights.
To some extent, the surf did cooperate, with a solid knee to waist high swell, messy at times, but contestable for the duration of the contest. Those who managed to find the rare makeable section, easily advanced to the next round. Local knowledge was a factor in the Midget events, when both Noah and Lilly Gartner easily took the titles, floating off the inside mini-walls.
In the highly competitive Retro Shortboard division, it was Matt Baron who managed to get a 30-year old Hobie Peter Pan Slug Fish pumping across the low tide shorebreak, topping Morgan Gallipeau for the title. Gallipeau came back to take the Open Longboard crown in a spirited battle with Andrew Nota. Both rode vintage 1960 stock longboards in the final round.
The crowd enjoyed the Mega Board Final, which was plentiful with wipeouts and nosedives. Andrew Marsden showed great control, managing some nice nose rides as he rode to the win over Nick Curci. Lauren Wiggins powered her way through some snappy close-out sections to win the Open Women’s category over Sarah Procaccini. The Oldster final paddled out in the dark, with Peter Pan taking it over Claudio Paolino under the headlights.
A post party was held across the street from the beach at the Oceanside Restaurant, where contest sponsor Narragansett Beer supplied contestants with free beer and a live DJ. Other major sponsors for the event which supplied prizes for the contestants included Narragansett Surf and Skate, Bic Sport USA, Carver Skateboards, Hurley, Pro Lite, Raw Elements, Gansett Rides, Chino Surfboards, Ergo, Anarchy, and Bike Stop.
Final Results of the ESA “Battle of the Brews” Contest:
Midget Boys-1.Noah Gartner 2.Nick Gaudreau 3.Brandon Bennett 4.Ben Turenne 5.Finn Gaudreau 6.Dylan Holtbakk
Midget Girls-1.Lily Gartner 2.Haley Marsden
Open Shortboard-1.Sam Crumm 2.Matt Baron 3.Jose Galvez 4.Kai Holtbakk 5.Sullivan Brownhill 6.David Giuseppone 7.Allen Santucci 8.Nick Curci 9.Tom Casserly 10.Sean McKenzie
Open Longboard-1.Morgan Gallipeau 2.Andrew Nota 3.Kai Holtbakk 4.Matt Nota 5.Andrew Marsden 6.Tom Casserly 7.Steve Torrisi 8.Rigby Bennett 9.Sullivan Brownhill 10.Omar Fahmy 11.Jon Wong 12.Sean McKenzie 13.Allen Santucci 14.Jason May 15.Ryan Dean 16.Nick Curci 17.Ryan Kenneally 18.Tristan Raynes 19.Paul Bennett
Retro Shortboard-1.Matt Baron 2.Morgan Gallipeau 3.Kai Holtbakk 4.Matt Nota 5.Andrew Nota 6.Jose Galvez 7.Allen Santucci 8.Jon Wong 9.Sean McKenzie 10.Andrew Marsden 11.Sullivan Brownhill 12.Steve Torrisi 13.David Giuseppone 14.Tom Casserly 15.Ryan Dean 16.Jason Moy 17.Nick Curci 18.Omar Fahmy 19.Ryan Kenneally 20.Paul Bedsloe
Mega Board-1.Andrew Marsden 2.Nick Curci 3.Kai Holtbakk 4.Matt Nota 5.Jason Moy 6.Morgan Gallipeau 7.Sean McKenzie 8.Jon Wong 9.Allen Santucci 10.Tom Casserly 11.Rigby Bennett 12.Andrew Nota 13.Omar Fahmy 14.Ryan Dean
Oldsters-1.Peter Pan 2.Claudio Paolino
Open Women-1.Lauren Wiggins 2.Sarah Procaccini 3.Marisa Ford 4.Kitty Pechet