It all came together for the annual “Battle of the Beach” at the Narragansett Town Beach this year. It was another amazing feat for master promoter Conrad Ferla, who should now be considered as the new P.T. Barnum of New England surfing circles. Ferla managed to gather the largest group of competitors ever assembled for a local ESA contest, by baiting them with several thousand dollars worth of surfboards, skateboards, and other goodies. It worked to perfection, as contest organizers literally ran out of daylight running heats all day long. Adding to the mix were perfect 80-degree air temperatures and 68 degree ocean water, a rare treat at the end of a New England September.
Local knowledge did not help many of the contestants, as the swells came from two directions and the sand bars provided unpredictable close-out sections. It came down to who could pick out the waves that were actually ridable and survive the inside shorebreak. The Open Shortboard division provided the toughest competition, with Newport’s Mike Corseri crushing two hollow rights to edge out local Morgan Gallipeau, who was hunting down the elusive left barrels. Veteran Kevin Roy took the 3rd spot, and Charlestown’s Joe Hedde finished 4th.
The Open Longboard final featured another classic battle between Boston’s Andrew Marsden and Narragansett’s Kevin Roy. Roy was tuned up from that 4th place finish in the Masters Longboard Final at the Easterns, concentrating on the left walls that were pushing through. Marsden, however, found the one perfect right peak that held up for the nose ride that won the heat. Morgan Gallipeau put on another stylish performance in this final, taking the 3rd spot with some clean lefts.
Lily Gartner. Photo: Lisa Haase.
Lily Gartner proved that she is the “Queen of the Town Beach,” as she again dominated both long and short board categories, winning the Open Women’s division and the Girls Longboard final. Gartner found the few waves in both final heats that held up and that was enough to take both divisions. Sophia Martino who found the big open barrel to edge out Page Hedde in the Girls Open Final, with Gartner in 3rd and Chase Barclay finishing in 4th.
Chase Barclay. Photo: Lisa Haase.
Josh Hedde had a great day in the water, as he charged to an easy win in the Boys Longboard and took a close second place in the Boys Shortboard finals. Narragansett’s Jim Robbin was a unanimous 2nd, making some nice sections in the longboard version, while Ben Lyman ripped two rights to top the shortboard division.
The next ESA event scheduled is the Annual Northeast Surfing Championships at the Narragansett Town Beach, on October 17th. The ESA will provide full wetsuits for any youth competitors who need them at no charge.
Results of the ESA Battle of the Beach, held in 3-6 foot seas at the Narragansett Town Beach, on September 26th, 2015.
Kai Holtbakk. Photo: Lisa Haase.
Boys Open (14 and Under) 1.Ben Lyman 2.Josh Hedde 3.Zack Moffit 4.Ted Evans 5.Dylan Holtbakk 6.Blane Lidsky 7.Jayden Parry 8.Ben Turene 9.Justin Parrilla 10.Tate Costa 11.Josh Hedde 12.Aiden McInerney 13.Jim Robbin 14.George Shaver 15.Cade Birrell 16.Ted Evans 17.Broyden Champln 18.Ben Woerlen 19.Brayden Birrell 20.Noah Gartner 21.Owen Costa 22.Cade Marsden
Girls Open (14 and Under) 1.Sophia Martino 2.Page Hedde 3.Lily Gartner 4.Chase Barclay 5.Haley Marsden 6.Emily Brinton 7.Phoebe Hedde 8.Mariana Meyer
Short Board Open (14 and Over/all ages) 1.Mike Corseri 2.Morgan Gallipeau 3.Kevin Roy 4.Joe Hedde 5.Scott Hayward 6.Sam Lebine 7.Matt Barone 8.Baylor Wallace 9.Andrew Marsden 10.Corey Engle 11.Shane Cooney 12.Doug Whitman 13.Ted Sorlein 14.Julian Ortiz 15.Ben Lyman 16.Dylan Latham 17.Marcus Rand 18.Kyle Halavik 19.Charlie Frodigh 20.Pat Bledsoe 21.James Adams 22.Matt Ianucci 23.Scott Barto 24.Sean McKenzie 25.Paul Kraus 26.Eric Nelson 27.Joe Doherty Jr. 28.Pat Cullen 29.Matt Mahany 30.Jake Manning 31.Matt Singer 32.Chick Frodigh 33.Justin Wagner 34.Mike Favlcchio 35.Chris Herbert 36.Dylan Sheak 37.Lcy Caverro 38.Nick Gadreau 39.Aurein Bouche-Pillion 40.Steve Carlson 41.Conrad Bailey 42.George Shaver
Womens Open (14 and Over/all ages) 1.Lily Gartner 2.Sara Procaccini 3.Medelise Reifsteck 4.Katie Imswiler 5.Jessica Filkins 6.Kitty Pechet 7.Sara Prince 8.Kate Frodigh 9.Haley Stern 10.Rachel McCarty
Open Boys Longboard (14 and Under) 1.Josh Hedde 2.Jim Robbin 3.Noah Gartner 4.Jayden Parry 5.Dylan Holtbakk 6.Owen Costa 7.Cade Marsden 8.Tate Costa
Open Girls Longboard (14 and Under) 1.Lily Gartner 2.Page Hedde 3.Chase Barclay 4.Sophia Martino 5.Phoebe Hedde 6.Emily Brinton 7.Haley Marsden
Open Longboard (14 years and Over/all ages) 1.Andrew Marsden 2.Kevin Roy 3.Morgan Gallipeau 4.Steve Torrisi 5.Steve Melidossian 6.Baylor Wallace 7.Pat Cullen 8.Charlie Frodigh 9.James Adams 10.Sara Prince 11.Rachel McCarty 12.Pat Bledsoe 13.Kyle Havalik 14.Joe Hedde 15.Allen Santucci 16.Kai Holtbakk 17.Sara Procaccini 18.Marcus Rand 19.Joe Doherty Jr. 20.Juan Ortiz 21.Chick Frodigh 22.Doug Whitman 23.Matt Mahany 24.Conrad Bailey 25.Alex Boutin 26.Gavin Carey 27.Vin Meyer 28.Paul Kraus
This week the LIFERS project drove to 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. Next week, New England!
There was not even a hint of a swell at any break in Rhode Island, except at the one beach where the Annual “Catch A Curl” competition was scheduled to run, the Westerly Town Beach. Sponsored by the New England Science and Sailing Institute of Stonington, Connecticut, this “grom” only contest grows in popularity every year. This event was no different, drawing almost 40 of the hottest up and coming surfers in the New England region, as they competed for lots of prizes and bragging rights. A solid 2-3 foot swell gave surfers plenty of waves to ride, but finding the right ones was tough. This is where local knowledge played a key factor in the close contests.
Jack Morrone. Photo Lisa Haase.
An example of this came in the very competitive Boys event, which featured competitors battling through quarterfinals, a semi-main, and a final heat. After several rounds of action, it came down to a stand-off between local Jack Morrone and Narragansett’s Noah Gartner. While Noah found the best formed rights for big points, Jack locked into some elusive left sections that only a local could find, giving him the final edge and tie-breaking 5th wave for the win. Jayden Parry moved off to the far side of the contest area, and found a couple of nice rights that he worked into a 3rd place finish. ESA newcomer Owen Costa advanced to the finals in his first main event, and took the 4th spot on one solid ride.
Lily Gartner. Photo Lisa Haase.
There was some hot action in the heavyweight “Big Kahuna” contests, as surfers in the advanced category went head to head. Lily Gartner proved that it’s tough to beat the current ESA champion, as she scored on both left and rights, making close-out sections and sweeping to the win over Tate Melton.
Local Robbie Darling again proved that local knowledge pays off, as he knocked out a tie-breaking victory over Charlestown veteran ESA rider, Josh Hedde. The Girls/Wahine Final featured a high scoring battle between ESA hotshots, Page Hedde and Sophia Martino, with Sophia edging Page out on an inside left section that held up to the beach.
Page Hedde. Photo Lisa Haase.
In the Under 10 year category, it was Phoebe Hedde topping Mikayla Sousa and Owen Faubert edging out Derin Yaworsky.
Derin Yaworsky. Photo Lisa Haase.
It was a great tribute to Meet Director Mistral Dobson and her staff, that the contest went so smoothly and that everyone had a great time. Surfrider’s Colin Hynes helped direct a beach clean up after the competition, which netted several huge bags of beach trash.
Colby Champlin. Photo Lisa Haase.
The next big ESA event takes place next Saturday at the Narragansett Town Beach, when the “Battle of the Beach” goes off. This fun event will feature several thousand dollars in prizes, music on the beach, skateboarding, and crazy events. The popular “Retro-Shortboard” contest will have 8 1970’s surfboards on the beach, and must be ridden by competitors in the event. Sign-ups are from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM and entry fee is only twenty bucks.
Final Results of the 4th Annual “Catch A Curl” Grom Fest, held in 1-3 foot surf at the Westerly Town Beach, Westerly, Rhode Island on September 20th, 2015.
Ankle Biters /Boys (under 10 years old) 1.Owen Faubert 2.Derin Yaworsky 3.Colby Champlin 4.Grayson Simmons
Ankle Biters/Girls (under 10 years old) 1.Phoebe Hedde 2.Mikayla Sousa
Wahine Girls (intermediate 11-14 years) 1.Sophia Martino 2.Page Hedde 3.Emily Brinton 4.Marianna Meyer 5.Lee Melton 6.Chase Barclay
Ho-Dad Boys (intermediate 11-14 years) 1.Jack Morrone 2.Noah Gartner 3.Jayden Parry 4.Owen Costa 5.Luke Marley 6.Dylan Holtbakk 7.Brayden Champlin 8.Aiden Faubert 9.Justin Parrilla 10.Zander Baas 11.Jake Serra 12.Jim Robbin 13.Shepard Simmons 14.Max Garber 15.Jack Sharbaca 16.Jake Bredice 17.James Powers
Big Kahuna Girls (experienced under 17 years) 1.Lily Gartner 2.Tate Melton 3.Sarah Billis 4.Kelly Giffault
Big Kahuna Boys (experienced under 17 years) 1.Robbie Darling 2.Josh Hedde 3.James Adams 4.Joe Hedde 5.Douglas Sockbeson.