It was a battle of the best in the northeast, as 250 of the top competitive surfers from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and the Great Lakes converged on Long Beach Island this past weekend. Area surfers found solid waist to chest high conditions, despite the cold rain and heavy fog that just would not leave. There were some great performances in several divisions over the three-day event.
In the adult competition, David Giuseppone became the first man from South New England to make both the Men's Long board and Men's finals in over a decade. He surfed his way to 3rd place in the Men's Long board final, pulling off a fin first and completing it. Workable sections were hard to come by in the Men's final, where he finished 5th.
Andy Marsden had an excellent contest, placing in the always tough Senior Men's age group. He caught some nice right peelers to take a 3rd in the Master Long board final, our only competitor in that category.
Sara Procaccini styled her way into the Women's Long board final, where she finished 3rd, with some solid trimming and one clean nose ride. Kitty Pechet rode the inside shore break to take 5th place in the Grand Legends final in messy conditions.
Peter Pan battled it out with New Jersey's Joe Grottola in the Legends Short board final, losing in a very close heat, and finished 2nd in the event. He picked the wrong spot in the Legends Long board final, and did not get one good ride, finishing in 6th place. Pan advanced to the Open Stand-up Paddle board final, riding the inside sections to a 6th place finish in the contest. On the last day, he advanced to the Open Body board final, finishing 6th in that event as well.
Finally, it was New England's top ranked body boarder, Pat Redmond, el-rollo-ing his way to a 3rd place showing in the Open Body board final.
In the youth categories, Maria Barend had a strong contest, as she dominated her early rounds, advancing to the Girls final. During the heat, she charged the chest high peaks and won the contest going away.
Both Ryan Wilkinson and Joe Doherty competed in the Boy's division, which was probably the most difficult of the entire event. Each surfer battled through preliminary heats and quarter-finals in the sloppiest conditions of the three-day contest. Doherty did advance to the semis, where he finished just out of the running, in 4th place. Wilkinson also advanced to the second round, before being eliminated.
Save the Date: July, 12th 2014
What: Waterborthers Surf Fest IV
Where: Fort Adams State Park, 84 Fort Adams Drive Newport, RI
When: 2:00pm - 8:00pm
Tickets: Adult $10.00 / 10yrs under free
Pioneer surf and skate legend Sid Abbruzzi of Water Brothers plans to tip the scale this year with the staging of his highly anticipated Water Brothers Surf Fest IV.
Fort Adams State Park home of the International Jazz and Folk Festival is the largest coastal fortification in the United States.
With spectacular panoramas of the Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay, this rugged coastal location also hosted the First X Games in 1995. Serving as host to Surf Fest IV this historical venue will provide a day of stunning waterfront views accompanied by 6 acres inside the Fort for the events main attractions.
Guest of honor will be legendary 1st IPS/ASP World Surfing Champion “PT” Peter Townend. Townend was inducted in the Huntington Beach Walk of Fame Australian Surfing Hall of Fame and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association. He will be available for meet and greets throughout Surf Fest IV along with additional surf and skateboarding favorites to be announced.
An astonishing 500+ Vintage Surfboard Exhibit will be front and center. Showcasing early Hawaiian shapes to
progressive models inspired from the short board revolution. Current manufactures will contribute highlighting their latest models. All surfboards on loan for this special day, collectors and shapers lend these crafted art pieces to be exhibited by Sid Abbruzzi and his team of curators.
Another star attraction, the newly constructed WB Professional Skate Ramp. Water Brothers and qualified ramp builders will assemble the ramp inside Fort Adams for Pro/Am Skateboarding Demos throughout the event.
Skateboarders will take their version of stage performing live action demos with Best Trick awards given at the close of the event.
Newport’s food & beverage hot spots will also join the party. Tallulah's on Thames returns for their fourth festival. For newcomer local gems Mission and Boru Noodle Bar this will be their first. Empire Coffee for
their second Fest and Fort Adams State Trust providing a Beer & Wine Garden.
Nonprofit organization Clean Ocean Access led by Dave McLaughlin will participate for their fourth year providing information on beach cleanups and programs to get involved in. The environmental leaders will also partner with Water Brothers to follow a “Green Protocol” for Surf Fest IV. This ensures that planning and implementation of the event prevent environmental waste or damage.
Other Specialty Vendors to be announced.
Water Brothers Surf Fest continues to bring their community and beyond together to celebrate Newport's roots and leadership in the global surf community. July 12th looks to hallmark this great event.
Tickets and additional information available now at
Water Brothers 391/2 Memorial Blvd Newport, RI 401-846-7873
And online at:
CONTACT: Danielle Abbruzzi 401-741-1454
Isn’t it appropriate that the surf gods would be generous on Easter weekend, giving ESA competitors great waves to ride at the 2014 edition of the Newport Surfing Championships? The call came at 7 AM from Newport’s legendary icon, Sid Abruzzi. “ First Beach was firing with perfect waist to chest high swells. It is the right call today. Second Beach is only one foot and choppy.”
“This was the first time in several years, that we decided to run the contest at this beach,” said ESA Competition Director Mario Frade. “We randomly called the event for First Beach and scored. Everyone was surprised at the quality of the surf today.”
2014 Newport Titles-John Parisault on his winning wave. Photo Joe McGovern.
The winds stayed offshore for the entire day, and the surf remained a consistent waist high with excellent form. Narragansett’s John Pariseault had the best day in his surfing career, as he won a total of four events, including the Senior Men, Master Longboard, Men SUP, and Open Shortboard finals. John also took the “Hottest Wave” award when he collected 9.5 point rides on a perfect right barrel during the Senior Men’s Final.
2014 Newport Titles-Ed Barend-Menehune Longboard. Photo Joe McGovern.
Current East Coast Ladies Champion Ana Barend from Little Compton, tuned up for the up and coming Northeast Regional Surf-Offs with wins in both the Ladies and Ladies Longboard divisions. Both Ed and Maria Barend have learned well from their parents (Chuck finished a close 2nd in the Men’s Open Final at the 2013 East Coast Championships Grand Finals), with each wining two events. Ed found the best open faces to win both the Boys and Menehune Longboard heats, while Maria won both the Girls and Women’s Longboard finals..
Newport’s Corran Moore had another outstanding day, as he ripped apart his home surf, finding the hollow left sections to win the Junior title over Narragansett’s Sean McKenzie. Braydon Bennett continues to improve, as he topped both the Menehune and Menehune Bodyboard divisions.
2014 Newport Titles-Katie Zullo down the line. Photo by Joe McGovern.
Matunuck’s Katie Zullo showed why she is one of the top female competitors in the northeast, as she grabbed some of the best lefts that First Beach had to offer, and blazed her way to wins in both the Women and Women SUP finals.
2014 Newport Titles-Peter Pan Legend Longboard. Photo Joe McGovern.
In the elder categories, it was Boston’s Kitty Pechet remaining undefeated in the Grand Legends, as she picked off two good rights to top the division. Narragansett’s Peter Pan captured the Legends and Legends Longboard divisions, finding the inside right sections.
This was the final tune-up for the 2014 East Coast Championship Northeast Surf-Offs, that will be held on May 9-11, at Long Beach Island, New Jersey. The South New England team hopes to have several contenders in the finals of this event, which includes the very best surfers from Maine to New Jersey and the Great Lakes. The next area ESA contest will be the Annual New England Longboard Classic, at Nantasket Beach on June 8th.
The contest organizers want to send a special thank you to Hyperflex Wetsuits for sponsoring the event and supplying all finalists with 6mm winter mitts.
Results of the 2014 Newport Surfing Championships:
Boys-1.Ed Barend 2.Dylan Holtbakk 3.Joe Doherty
Junior Men-1.Corran Moore 2.Sean McKenzie
Senior Men-1.John Pariseault 2.Paul Bennett
Legends-1.Peter Pan 2.Tim Cunningham
Grand Legends-1.Kitty Pechet 2.Janice Causey
Senior Women-1.Ana Barend
Menehune Longboard-1.Ed Barend 2.Braydon Bennett 3.Joe Doherty 4.Dylan Holtbakk
Junior Longboard-1.Sean McKenzie
Master Longboard-1.John Pariseault 2.Paul Bennett
Legends Longboard-1.Peter Pan 2.Tim Cunningham
Women Longboard-1.Maria Barend 2.Katie Zullo
Ladies Longboard-1.Ana Barend 2.Kitty Pechet 3.Janice Causey
Menehune Bodyboard-1.Braydon Bennett 2.Dylan Holtbakk
Open Bodyboard-1.Dave McLaughlin 2.Peter Pan
Open Shortboard-1.John Pariseault 2.Corran Moore 3.Joe Doherty 4.Sean McKenzie 5.Dylan Holtbakk
Men SUP-1.John Pariseault 2.Peter Pan
Women SUP-1.Katie Zullo
by Danielle Ciminero
The day started out like any other that week. Wake up at 4am, brew cowboy coffee, watch a bit of surfing, walk the rocky path to the highway in the dark, wait patiently for a colorfully painted school bus to hurtle around the corner and then jump out in front of it waving our surfboards to make sure it stops to pick us up. Meanwhile, hoping the bus driver doesn't notice our blond hair and try to run us over.
It was El Salvador after all, and rumor had it that Americans were still a sore sight.
Thankfully the first bus stopped and we climbed aboard amidst a crowd of locals going who knows where at five in the morning. Judging by the baskets of fruit, vegetables and grain loaded on top of the bus I would guess the marketplace to trade their wares.
We sardined our bodies and boards with the others, grateful to be inside the bus instead of hanging out the open door like last time. The bus continued to hurtle around corners, up and down the graded mountain road, gobbling up new passengers and spitting out old ones, taking but a few coins as fare. With each passing moment, a new pair of eyes would strain to get a look at us. They'd hold their stare as long as they could, until we smiled. They'd smile back, turn around, but keep peeking at us to make sure we were still there. At first we felt like a pair of jolly green giants, but eventually we got used to it.
An hour later we hopped off the bus drenched in the sweat of a dozen strangers and sauntered down an unmarked road. We were told of a few secret spots and wanted to check them all out and pick one to set up camp for a few weeks. El Savador has a dozen known point breaks in a forty minute stretch, it was almost unbelievable that there could be any more. But adventuring to find a secret spot is sort of why we surf in the first place, the excitement of the unknown and the hope for the amazing.
Over the next eight hours it felt as though we were searching for a phantom treasure. Hiking up and down dirt roads, on an off buses filled to the brim with people, arriving at various beaches to find no waves, and sometimes not even finding the beach, just wandering around a small village with little children running out of their small homes to have a look at us or try to touch our hair.
Eventually we ended up surfing a chest high wave that was supposed to be a right point but was really just a racing closeout over rocks. Perhaps it needed more swell. Still, as the day wore on, our expectation of discovering an amazing secret spot dwindled. After getting wet we trundled back up the road to the freeway and waited in the searing sun for a another bus to come and whisk us away to the last spot on our list. Our last hope.
After what felt like an eternity in the fires of hell, a bus came around the corner, but instead of stopping for us, we had to jump out of the way as it zoomed past. The same thing happened with the next one. And the next. All of them were so full that half a dozen people were hanging out the doors and even a few heads poking out the windows. Who knew El Salvador had rush hour for buses? Finally one bus pulled to a stop. We could see people hanging out the door and when no one got off, I gave him a questioning look. He smiled and pointed to the roof. Upon it was a truckload of baskets, enormous bags of grain, and even a few pigs.
I just shook my head wearily, he shrugged his shoulders, and off he went. I saw a mango tumble off the roof as he rounded the corner and thought. That could've been me.
Meanwhile, we were roasting there on the side of the road- between the black top and lack of shade, it was comparable to hanging out in a frying pan.
Just then, a pick up truck slowed to a stop. The driver was a local, nicely dressed in slacks and a button up shirt. Alongside him was a friendly looking passenger who could have been his son.
"You want a ride? Hop in! " he said with enthusiasm.
Before I could think about the consequences of hitch hiking in El Salvador, we tossed our boards into the bed of the truck and climbed in.
The air conditioning felt like heaven.
"Where you headed?"
I told him.
" Ah, that's a beautiful beach!"
We exchanged small talk and it was a pleasant ride, until he took a right hand turn up the mountain, away from the highway, away from the beach, away from what little civilization there was on that stretch of coast.
What an idiot, I thought when I realized we had just jumped in the car of a complete stranger in El Salvador and now were being kidnapped. My family doesn't have any money for ransom…they're just going to torture and kill us for fun! I decided to feel out the situation before I panicked.
"Um, excuse me, sir, where are we going?" I asked.
"I am going to show you my land! It's beautiful. More beautiful than that beach. You can stay with me now. You're never going to want to leave." He said the last part the way they do in horror movies that leave almost certain you are about about to be murdered.
I'm not exactly quick on my feet and simply couldn't come up with a good excuse as to why we couldn't go with him.
"Oh, well, you see, we have this thing, we should really get to that beach. Maybe another day?" I asked hopefully.
"No , No . It's close don't worry."
Forty minutes of winding dirt road up into the mountains later I started freaking out. Should we just open the door, tuck, roll and run? I thought.
He was firing question after question and responding in spanish was taking most of my brains operating power. Finally, I put my hand on the door handle and was about to pull it when we ascended to the top and I was struck by a three hundred and sixty degree view of incredibly pristine land. By far the most stunning sight we'd experienced.
I was rendered temporarily breathless, inspired and relieved, like everything was going to be ok, he really was just showing us the sights. Until I saw the cabin. It could as easily have been featured as a low budget eco lodge as it could be featured in a horror film. At that moment, I couldn't tell which it would be.
He lead us straight to it, unlocked the door and stood proudly before it - he claimed the entire cabin and all the furniture inside were built by his family. It was actually pretty cute. A little dark and creepy, but cute.
Still, I was terrified to step inside, thinking he might shut the door and lock us in, but he gently pushed us through the threshold before I could break away. When he started touring around the cabin revering each piece of wood, each chair and table, with adoration and love, I realized that he really did just want to show us his home. He got so excited after the cabin tour that he dragged us all around the vast property, sharing his dreams of turning it into an eco lodge. Situated at the top of the mountain, with acres upon acres of towering trees and a small footpath connecting four cabins similar to his home, we could see its potential as an eco -lodge. Whew. Dodged a bullet there.
We were dragging our feet an hour later, still playing tourist. He skipped like a child to an area of enormous trees and stood back with his hands out wide and smiled up at them.
"These! These are balsamo trees. They are amazing!" He exclaimed. He wiped his finger along the bark to collect some sap, put it close to his nose, inhaled deeply and let out a big sigh. Then he offered his finger to us " Smell it smell it! "
I decided to take a chance and was delighted by a delicate scent of vanilla cinnamon and bark, so lovely I nearly licked it.
He explained that they collect the sap and it is used for a variety of medicinal purposes, as well as a fragrance for soaps and a flavoring for foods. Like a fountain of youth in tree form.
"We hold classes once a week for the local children. We want them to know the importance the trees. Did you know it takes almost twenty years for the sap to start producing?"
We all stared up at the towering trees. Powerful. Quiet. Potent.
"I love these trees. That is why I want to create an eco-lodge, to share them with the world! What do you think? Is a good idea?"
And there it was, the moment I realized that while I had been kidnapped, it was for a completely different reason than I could've imagined. With all of the information you can dig up on El Salvador, few of the facts you will find state that the most of the locals are amazingly generous, kind hearted, hardworking, good people. It is so easy to be distrustful, to shut ourselves off from the world when we are fed a continuous stream of negative news updates. So, here is my update: you might get kidnapped if you go to el sal, but it might just be the highlight of your trip.
"It is a wonderful idea, people are going to love it" we replied.
He smiled so bright, so genuine.
"Ok , time to get to your beach. But one last thing. " He took off toward the cabin and came trotting back a few minutes later. He held out his hand and in it were two vials. "It's the sap! Balsamo! for you!"
The ride back down the mountain felt like it took about five minutes. The views were breathtaking and without the fear of being murdered it was quite enjoyable.
We were on the freeway for another twenty minutes, then he took a sharp left and zig zagged all over the place for about fifteen more minutes until we came to the coast. Without him to drive us in, we would have never found the beach. It would have been at least an hour walking from the bus stop if we even knew which of the twelve turns to take, and we didn't. And the beach was incredible. The wave was amazing. After a full day of searching for phantom waves, the peeling right looked like the best wave either of us had ever seen. A surfers El Dorado. There were three locals sitting at the top of the point and a beginner grom in the shore break.
With less than two hours left before sunset, we bid our new friend goodbye and paddled out. We spent the rest of the evening in pure surfing bliss, not worrying about how we would find our way out of there once it got dark. Having spent most of the day in hot flustered disappointment and fear, we took the opportunity to just be in the moment. That is the point of surfing after all, to just go along for the ride.