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.
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.
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.