From the ESA:

"If you want to get into the 2015 ESA Northeast Regional Surf-Offs in Belmar, New Jersey, entry forms are now on-line at
You must join and pay directly to the ESA, not the local district. The event will run on May 15-17, 2015.
As long as you surfed in two events this past season, and the slot is available,you can get in to the contest."


2015 Eastern Surfing Association
South New England District
Events Schedule

February 21- 47th New England Mid-Winter Championships at the Narragansett Town Beach, Rhode Island

April 18- Newport Surfing Championships at First Beach, Newport, Rhode Island

May 15-17- Northeast Regional Surf-Offs at Belmar, New Jersey

June 7- New England Longboard Classic at Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts

July 11- Summer Surf Series #1- Second Beach, Middletown, Rhode Island

July 25- Summer Surf Series #2-Whitecrest Beach, Cape Cod

August 8- Summer Surf Series #3-Second Beach, Middletown, Rhode Island

September 12- Catch A Curl Grom Contest at the Westerly Town Beach, Rhode Island *tentative date

September 19-Battle of the Beach at the Narragansett Town Beach, Rhode Island* tentative date

October 17- Northeast Titles at the Narragansett Town Beach, Rhode Island

November 21- Holiday Surfabout at the Narragansett Town Beach, Rhode Island

All ESA events are on call for the night before after 6 PM. ESA members will be notified by e-mail on contest status at that time. Others can call the ESA Hotline at 401-789-1954. Unless otherwise noted, ESA contests sign-ups are from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM and entry fees are $25.00 per person. You must be an ESA member to compete, and non-members can join on the beach. For further information, email ESA SNE at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


For the first time in decades, local South County surfers dominate the final standings of the recent Eastern Surfing Association New England contest circuit. After the 9-event series, area riders finished first in 14 out of 24 categories. Competitors were well tested in conditions that varied from Hurricane driven overhead heavies to miniscule one-foot ripples. Surfers traveled to Nantasket Beach, First Beach, Second Beach, Westerly Town Beach, and the Narragansett Town Beach on the circuit. The top finishers in each category now get to compete for northeast bragging rights, at the 2015 East Coast Championships Northeast Surf-Offs, which will be held in Belmar, New Jersey on May 15-17, 2015.

Leading the local charge was 13- year old Lily Gartner of Narragansett, who was outstanding in three categories. Her aggressive style and ability to charge anything that came her way, propelled her into the top spot in the Girls and second place in the Menehune Longboard division. She finished the season with 5600 points, ahead of 2nd place Charlotte Robbin, also of Narragansett, who ended the season with 4420 points. The Menehune Longboard category is for both boys and girls, and she finished a very close runner-up to Joe Doherty Jr. , with 5439 points. Joe won the division with 5556 points.

More impressive was her performance in the Open Shortboard category, in which everyone from any division can compete. She finished 2nd with 2917 points, behind veteran shortboarder, Andrew Mardsen of Nantasket, Massachusetts, who won it all with 3644 points.

Coming in a close second behind Lily, was her brother Noah, who dominated the Menehune division with 5900 points, and finished 3rd in both the Menehune Longboard and Open Shortboard categories. West Kingston’s Dylan Holtbakk had another great year, winning both the Boys Shortboard (3900 points) and Menehune Bodyboard (3700 points) divisions. He also was a close second in the Menehune Longboard category.

Special mention must be made of the up and coming Braydon Bennett of Narragansett. This 7-year old had an incredible rookie season, finishing in 3rd place in the Menehune division and 2nd place in the Menehune Bodyboard category. Notable also was the fact that he advanced to the finals in the Open Shortboard division at the last contest of the season.

Local female riders continued to demonstrate why the region can turn out champions, as North Kingstown’s Katie Zullo powered her way to the Women’s and Women’s Shortboard titles. Narragansett’s Liz Blanchette captured the Junior Women’s crown with 3000 points, while Westerly’s Sara Prince (2700 points) finished up the season in second place in the Senior Women’s category, behind champion Sara Procaccini of Carver, Massachusetts (6900 points).

Longboard specialists Matt and Andrew Nota of Jamestown, dominated their respective categories. Andrew won the Junior Longboard crown with 3900 points, while his brother Matt took the Men’s Longboard title with 2900 points. Matt also took 2nd place in the Men’s Shortboard division, behind Jamie Kelly of Marshfield, Massachusetts.

Other notable performances came from Westerly’s Ron Belanger, who won the Grandmasters title with 3700 points and finished 2nd in the highly competitive Master Longboard division. West Kingston’s Kai Holtbakk took 3rd in Senior Men and 4th in Master Longboard, while Narragansett’s Peter Pan finished first in the Legends, Legends Longboard, Open Bodyboard, and Men’s SUP categories.


The international surfing community lost a favorite son this past week, when world reknown surfing photographer Joe McGovern lost his life in a freak surfing accident at Paradise Beach, in Melbourne, Florida. Joe had come to Florida a few days early, while on assignment to photograph the annual Surf Expo in Orlando, for the Eastern Surfing Association and the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame.

Apparently, he wiped out on a good-sized wave, and hit his head on a sandbar. This caused him to lose consciousness and drown in the surf. Joe was a life-long resident of Narragansett, who started his career as a Scarborough Beach lifeguard. He worked for over 20 years as the senior photographer for the State of Rhode Island, taking thousands of photographs of politicians, social functions, and state galas.

In the surfing world, he was the gate keeper of New England surfing history, having carefully documented personalities, contests, events, and classic surf sessions for almost 40 years. His photographs have appeared in hundreds of publications and internet sites over the years, including the New York Times, Sport Illustrated, SUP Journal, Surfer and Surfing Magazines, and countless other surf and SUP magazines. Joe was the official surfing photographer for the Narragansett Times, as well as senior photographer for Eastern Surf Magazine.

Joe had just been nominated as a media selection for induction into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame-Class of 2016. Not only was Joe a great photographer and surfer, he was also one of the nicest and most sincere human beings that I have ever met. I loved him like a brother. He will be sorely missed by not only his immediate family, but by the entire worldwide surfing community.

We will be organizing a memorial paddle-out for Joe in the immediate future, and the surfing community will be notified to the time and place as soon as plans are firm.


It was a week of snowstorms in the northeast, high winds, and freezing air temperatures, as many ski areas opened for the season. ESA officials saw a small window of opportunity to run the 2014 Holiday Surfabout in between the last day of frigid and flat conditions, and a huge ocean storm that was expected to arrive the following day. “There was surf, sunny skies, and tolerable air temperatures, so we ran with it,” said ESA Competition Director Mario Frade. “We were lucky to pull it off with the two big storms on the way this week.” This contest concluded the 2014 ESA South New England season, as competitors surfed their way into the final points standings to qualify for the regional championships in May of 2015.

Photo Joe McGovern.

As has been the case in the past two years, the youth divisions have dominated the scene, with the best and most intense contests taking place in the 16 and under divisions. There were lots of close-outs, with some hard to find sections here and there. This was where local knowledge paid off.

Matt Nota. Photo Joe McGovern.

10-year old Braydon Bennett took his new surfboard out and picked off two rights that held into the shorebreak, to top Noah Gartner for the Menehune title. Jayden Parry edged out Joe Doherty for the Boys crown, while ESA All-Star Maria Barend picked off the best left of the final, to top Lilly Gartner for the Girls title.

Braydon Bennett. Photo Joe McGovern.

Andrew Nota found the right sections to take out former ESA –All Star Liam O’Regan in the Junior Men’s final, and Andrew’s brother Matt, topped South Shore champion, Charlie Frodigh for the Men’s crown. In the hotly contested Menehune Longboard division, it was a big upset as Chris Synnott trimmed across two long rights to top Joe Doherty in the low tide shore pound. Diminutive Braydon Bennett cruised into the 3rd spot.

Andrew Nota.  Photo Joe McGovern.

The best ride of the entire event came in the Junior Longboard final, when Andrew Nota managed a solid “hang ten” across a fast folding right section. Nota went on to win that division, while Charlie Frodigh came back to take the Men’s Longboard crown.

Andre Nota. Photo Joe McGovern.

In the women’s ranks, it was Sara Procaccini’s day, as she topped Sara Prince for both the long and short board categories. Stacey McLoughlin won the Women’s SUP title. Charlotte O’Halloran owned both the Women’s and Women’s Longboard titles with some strong surfing in the shut down sections.

Sara Procaccini. Photo Joe McGovern.

Sara Procaccini. Photo Joe McGovern.

In the elder categories, Andrew Marsden had a monster day, also sporting a brand new board for the event. He crushed the toughest division, winning the Open Shortboard, as well as winning the Masters and Master Longboard categories for a triple crown contest. Peter Pan edged out longtime ESA nemesis Chick Frodigh in the Legends and Legends Longboard divisions, hunting down the few left sections at the end of the contest area. Ray Cabral topped two categories, winning both the Men’s SUP and Grand Legends titles. Pat Redmond continued to dominate the bodyboard ranks, winning the Open Bodyboard crown easily.

Photo Joe McGovern.

The next rated ESA contest is the 47th Annual New England Mid-Winter Surfing Championships, to be held on February 21, 2015 at the Narragansett Town Beach. This will be the first rated contest of the 2015 season.

Photo Joe McGovern.

Final Results of the 2014 ESA Holiday Surfabout at the Narragansett Town Beach on November 23, 2014, held in 2-3 foot surf.

Braydon Bennett. Photo Joe McGovern.

Menehunes-1.Braydon Bennett 2.Noah Gartner 3.Jesse Ferriera 4.Chris Synnott 5.Mateus Galvez

Boys-1.Jayden Parry 2.Joe Doherty 3.Ed Barend

Maria Barend.  Photo Joe McGovern.

Maria Barend.  Photo Joe McGovern.

Girls-1.Maria Barend 2.Lilly Gartner

Junior Women-1.Liz Blanchette

Junior Men-1.Andrew Nota 2.Liam O’Regan

Men-1.Matt Nota 2.Charlie Frodigh

Andrew Marsden.  Photo Joe McGovern.

Senior Men-1.Andrew Marsden 2.Jose Galvez

Women-1.Charlotte O’Halloran

Senior Women-1.Sara Procaccini 2.Sara Prince

Legends-1.Peter Pan 2.Chick Frodigh 3.Ken Merrill

Grand Legends-1.Ray Cabral

Joe Doherty. Photo Joe McGovern.

Menehune Longboard-1.Chris Synnott 2.Joe Doherty 3.Braydon Bennett 4.Lilly Gartner 5.Maria Barend 6.Noah Gartner 7.Jayden Parry 8.Ed Barend 9.Jesse Ferriera

Junior Longboard-1.Andrew Nota

Men Longboard-1.Charlie Frodigh 2.Matt Nota

Master Longboard-1.Andrew Marsden 2.Jose Galvez

Legends Longboard-1.Peter Pan 2.Chick Frodigh 3.Ken Merrill 4.Ray Cabral

Women Longboard-1.Charlotte O’Halloran

Senior Women Longboard-1.Sara Procaccini 2.Sara Prince

Open Bodyboard-1.Pat Redmond 2.Peter Pan 3.Dave McLaughlin

Women SUP-1.Stacey McLoughlin

Men SUP-1.Ray Cabral 2.Peter Pan


Contact Details


New England

Email Address

[email protected]

Phone Number

508-834-SURF (7873)

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