When Massachusetts ESA Competition Director Chick Frodigh pulled up to Nantasket Beach on the contest morning, he contemplated the idea of running a paddling contest rather than a surfing event. “It was high tide and not even breaking,” said Chick. “I brought the buoys for a paddle race, just in case it was hopeless, but things turned around as the tide went out.” Although the swell was only about one foot, with an occasional two-footer, the shallow Nantasket beach sand bars provided just enough energy to push both longboard and SUP competitors to make if competitive. Surfers had to hunt down the rare wave faces, but there certainly were enough of them to make the contest interesting. Surfers traveled from Maine, New Hampshire, Cape Cod, Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island, for the event.

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Andrew & Cade Marsden, father & son, share a wave together. Photo: Charlie Frodigh.

Diminutive Jackie Ryan upset the Girls final, as she managed to get pushed into the longest waves of the heat, riding them right to the shore line. She topped her sister, Isabella for the title. Nick Jussaume, a longtime veteran of the event, found the only peak of the heat, working it to the beach for the Junior Men’s crown. The Junior Women Final was probably the closest of all the divisions, with Katie Frodigh beating out Haley Marsden by ½ point on a spinner.

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Katie Frodigh, age 18, doing "The Coffin". Photo: Charlie Frodigh.

With no one in his age group (60+), Peter Pan was placed in the Men’s Open division (19-29). Unfortunately for rest of the finalists, Pan managed to find two of the better formed right breaking waves of the entire contest, easily taking the win. Another ESA veteran rider, Andrew Marsden dominated the Mens 30-39 Age Group, after it turned out he was the only surfer in the 40-49 Age Group. Marsden found several waves breaking outside, and pulled off headstands on each one for the title.
Newcomer Sue Zegarra got to the tip on a bumpy left, and worked it to the beach, to top Rebecca Doran for the Women 40 and Over crown, while veteran ESA champion Katie Ryan crushed it for the Women 30-39 Age Group.

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Photo: Charlie Frodigh.

Competition was fierce in both SUP divisions, where rides were short, and moves were fast, as fins hit the inside shorebreak. Dan Smith topped Ben Yoder for the Youth title, finding one short but ridable left dribbler. Peter Pan pulled off a spinner on a sputtering right wall, to win the Senior SUP crown.

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The Dave Foley Band rocks the afterparty at Daddy's Beach Club. Photo: Charlie Frodigh.

The best part of the event is always the after party, and this year was no different. Competitors enjoyed a total of 45 pizzas, and a live performance from the Dave Foley Band at Daddy’s Beach Club, right across from the contest site. Chick made sure everyone got some great prizes for their finals showing and the 19th Annual New England Longboard Classic finished on a positive note.

Girls Under 13 Years 1.Jackie Ryan 2.Isabella Ryan 3.Diana Marsden

Junior Men Under 18 Years 1.Nick Jussaume 2.Cade Marsden 3.Adam Curey 4.Ned Farrington

Women 13-18 Years 1.Katie Frodigh 2.Haley Marsden

Open Men 19-29 Years 1.Peter Pan 2.Charlie Frodigh 3.Ross Lagoy 4.Mike Amenyalare

Women 30-39 Years 1.Katie Ryan 2.Denise Lamb

Men 30-39 Years 1.Andrew Marsden 2.Tyler Lagasse 3.Ben Yoder 4.Jim Milkosky 5.Tom O’Brien

Women 40 and Over 1.Sue Zegarra 2.Rebecca Doran 3.Kitty Pechet

Men 50-59 Years 1.Tim O’Shea 2.Gabriel Cattani 3.Phil Jussame

Open Youth SUP 1.Dan Smith 2.Ben Yoder 3.Bryan Higgins 4.Abby Higgins

Open Senior SUP 1.Peter Pan 2.John McInerney 3.Branch Lane 4.Gabriel Cattani 5.Bill Manning 6.Weir Lundstedt 7.Jack Egan

Open Bodyboard 1.Webb Nichols 2.Pat Redmond 3.Peter Pan

After four weeks of flat conditions and postponements, the longest running winter surfing contest in the world was held this past weekend. Although a brisk sea breeze put some serious chop on the wave faces, the surf was more than adequate at the Narragansett Town Beach for the event.

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Peter Pan. Photo: Lisa Haase.

Although it is officially Spring, ESA contestants would argue that point, as chilling southwest winds kept the air temperatures in the mid-30’s for most of the day. “It was nice to finally get it over with,” said ESA Competition Director Mario Frade. “We have had great surf for four straight weeks, but unfortunately it was in the middle of the week. We finally got a bump on the weekend.”

As a special 50th Anniversary treat for the contestants, Hyperflex Wetsuits and Narragansett Surf and Skate sponsored the event, with 6mm winter Oven Mitts as the prizes. The turnout was good, as competitors worked on their skills for the up and coming 2018 Northeast Regional Surf-Offs in New Jersey.

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Page Hedde. Photo: Lisa Haase.

The solid 2-3 foot swell held for the entire event, but navigating through long close-out sections made it difficult for those unfamiliar with the uneven sand bars. Locals had little problem finding those elusive sections. The toughest competition came in the Girls Under 16 division, especially in the Short board final, where Matunuck’s Page Hedde topped Ella Fontenot with two solid rights that peeled off in long makeable sections.  Phoebe Hedde won the Girls Under 14 Short board final with a great left hander into the shore break.

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Ella Fontenot. Photo: Lisa Haase.

New England’s #1 female long boarder, Sophia Martino rode both lefts and rights with style, cruising to the win in the Girls Longboard Final. She managed to float over several sections on one long right, to top Page Hedde for the title.

New England’s top men’s competitor, Jamie Kelley of Boston, continued to dominate in all categories, as he found the best waves in every final, and worked in all the moves to get the high scores. Kelley took three events, winning the Open Short board, Men’s Short board, and Men’s Long board divisions.

Narragansett’s Jayden Parry was a double winner, picking off ridable sections in the shore break to win both the Junior Short board and Junior Long board events. Dillon Moran was equally adept, styling through both lefts and rights to win the Menehune Longboard and Boys Under 14 Short board crowns.

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Jayden Parry. Photo: Lisa Haase.

The Outstanding Performance Award went to New York’s Colin Walker, who left his Manhattan apartment before dawn, to make the drive, in time to win the Masters and Masters Longboard divisions. Other double winners included Ron Belanger, in the Legends and Legends Longboard categories, and Peter Pan, in the Grand Legends and Grand Legends Longboard divisions.

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Jack Egan. Photo: Lisa Haase.

Jack Egan won his first Stand-up Paddleboard Open title for the season, while Kitty Pechet took the Senior Women’s Longboard crown.

The second ESA rated event of the season is scheduled for April 28th at First Beach in Newport. For more information, surfers can go to the ESA South New England Facebook page.

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Ray Way. Photo: Lisa Haase.

FINAL RESULTS OF THE 50TH ANNUAL NEW ENGLAND MID-WINTER SURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS held in 2-3 foot surf at the Narragansett Town Beach, Rhode Island on March 31, 2018.

GIRLS UNDER 14 SHORT BOARD-1.Phoebe Hedde  

BOYS UNDER 14 SHORT BOARD—1.Dillon Moran  

GIRLS UNDER 16 SHORT BOARD-1.Page Hedde  2.Ella Fortenot  3.Sophia Martino  4.Kaeley O’Connell  

BOYS UNDER 16 SHORT BOARD-1.Noah Gartner  

JUNIOR MEN-1.Jayden Parry   MEN-1.Jamie Kelley  

MASTERS-1.Colin Walker  2.Aurelien Bouche-Pillon  

SENIOR MEN-1.Ray Way  

LEGENDS-1.Ron Belanger  2.Jack Egan  

GRAND LEGENDS-1.Peter Pan  2.Kitty Pechet  

GIRLS LONGBOARD-1.Sophia Martino  2.Page Hedde  3.Ella Fontenot  4.Phoebe Hedde  

MENEHUNE LONGBOARD-1.Dillon Moran   JUNIOR LONGBOARD-1.Jayden Parry  

MEN LONGBOARD-1.Jamie Kelley  

MASTERS LONGBOARD-1.Colin Walker  2.Aurelien Bouche-Pillon 

LEGENDS LONGBOARD-1.Ron Belanger  2.Jack Egan  

GRAND LEGENDS LONGBOARD-1.Peter Pan  2.Kitty Pechet  

SUP OPEN-1.Jack Egan  2.Peter Pan  

OPEN BODYBOARD-1.Peter Pan   

OPEN SHORT BOARD-1.Jamie Kelley  2.Sophia Martino  3.Ella Fontenot  4.Jayden Parry  5.Colin Walker  6.Kaeley O’Connell

It was only right that the best waves of the entire contest season came during the last contest of the year, this past Sunday at the Narragansett Town Beach. With ESA officials planning on the surf going from completely flat to epic overhead in a matter of hours, the 2017 Holiday Surfabout was slipped into the water from noon to dark. “If you grabbed a good one, it was an awesome ride,”said ESA Competition Director Mario Frade. “But on many of the big sets, the winds, which were howling up to 45 and 50 knots, hung up a lot of competitors.” This of course, produced some wild and exciting wide-outs, at least from the spectator stand point.

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Luke Johnson. Photo: Lisa Haase.

The quality surf produced some top-grade surfing, and none better to shine in the conditions was two-time East Coast Men’s Championship finalist, Jamie Kelly. The judges could not decide which ride gave him the “Hottest Wave of the Contest” award, because both outstanding overhead barrels that he picked off in both the Open Short Board and Men’s Longboard Finals were scored perfect 10’s by the panel. The long board ride was definitely a longer distance, with more time in the tunnel, as he took off just in front of the contest area, and ended it past the south beach pavilion. Former Senior Men’s Northeast Champion, Ron Belanger returned from Florida for good, moving back to Westerly, Rhode Island, and easily winning his short board division, and coming in a close 2nd to Kelly in the Open Short Board Final with some dynamic left tubes.

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Jamie Kelly. Photo: Lisa Haase.

Dylan Holtbakk had one of his best performances in the past two years, as he topped a tough heat of Junior Men, tucking into two fine inside left peaks that reeled off into the shore break. Dylan Moran continued to charge the big surf, winning the Junior Longboard Final with a nice tip ride.

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Dylan Holtbakk. Photo: Lisa Haase.

Another double winner was Sophia Martino, as she hunted down the inside waves that held up for her in both the Girls Under 14 Final and the Menehune Longboard Final.
Nantucket’s top surfer, Luke Johnson, showed how good he was to the mainlanders,
taking the ferry over in the morning to crush the Men’s Final, with a wicked right overhead peak that shot him out and put him into the winner’s circle. He also finished 2nd in the Men’s Longboard and 3rd in the Open Short Board finals for a great day in the water.
Andrew Marsden was another comeback rider, who returned to competition after a two-year hiatus, and found two long right barrels to win the Master’s Longboard crown. Dylan Moran continued to dominate the Menehune ranks, as he won his 3rd straight title.

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Sophia Martino. Photo: Lisa Haase.

ESA Co-Director Bill Parry noted at the end of the event that several very close divisional titles would be decided by only a few points, once he added up the day’s scores. “This is the closest contests we have seen in several years, because the caliber of the ESA competition has greatly improved. There are a lot of very good surfers coming to the ESA contests, and they all want to win their divisions. It is a huge advantage once they get to the regional championships and the seeding begins.”

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Page Hedde. Photo: Lisa Haase.

Although the 2017 ESA contest season has concluded, it won’t be long until the 2018 season kicks in. The 50th Annual New England Mid-Winter Championships is scheduled for February 17th at the Narragansett Town Beach. This event is the oldest continuous running winter surfing contest in the world, and special prizes are planned for this year’ participants. For more information, surfers can go to the ESA SNE website or Facebook page.

FINAL RESULTS OF THE 2018 ESA HOLIDAY SURFABOUT, held at the Narragansett Town Beach on November 19th, 2017, in solid 4-7 foot surf.

MENEHUNES-1.Dylan Moran

BOYS UNDER 16-1.Dylan Holtbakk
2.Jayden Parry
3.Ian Lucht
4.Graham Ray

GIRLS UNDER 14-1.Sophia Martino
2.Page Hedde

MEN-1.Luke Johnson
2.Jamie Kelly

SENIOR MEN-1.Ron Belanger
2.Kai Holtbakk

Grand Legends-1.Peter Pan

MENEHUNE LONGBOARD-1.Sophia Martino
2.Page Hedde
3.Dylan Moran

JUNIOR LONGBOARD-1.Dylan Holtbakk
2.Jayden Parry
3.Graham Ray

MEN’S LONGBOARD-1.Jamie Kelly
2.Luke Johnson

MASTERS LONGBOARD-1.Andrew Marsden
2.Kai Holtbakk
3.Ron Belanger

LEGENDS LONGBOARD-1.Peter Pan

OPEN SHORTBOARD-1.Jamie Kelly
2.Ron Belanger
3.Luke Johnson
4.Jayden Parry
5.Page Hedde
6.Graham Ray
7.Dylan Moran
8.Sophia Martino
9.Kai Holtbakk
10.Ian Lucht
11.Dylan Holtbakk

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Page Hedde. Photo: Lisa Haase.

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Page Hedde. Photo: Lisa Haase.

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Luke Johnson. Photo: Lisa Haase.

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Kai Holtbakk. Photo: Lisa Haase.

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