Swell Shows for Holiday Surfabout
By Peter Pan
Competitors got an early Thanksgiving present this past Saturday, with a miraculous swell that materialized the night before the scheduled ESA contest at the Narragansett Town Beach. Surfers were greeted with a waist to head high ground swell, that pumped workable left and right peaks through the entire event. The weather, relatively balmy for the end of November, made it possible for contestants to ride in light weight wetsuits, and stay warm between heats.
“It is rare to get a solid swell and warm weather, this late in the season,” said ESA Competition Director, Mario Frade. “It was flat the day before the contest, and we almost cancelled it. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we get the same conditions for our last event of the season on December 3rd.”
There were several outstanding performances, especially in the youth events. Noah Gartner nailed the biggest and best ride of the day, with a barreling head high right in the Menehune Longboard Final. Despite getting pitched into the inside close-out section at the end of the ride, his dramatic tip ride in the critical section prompted one excited judge to award him a perfect 10 on the ride. No other wave came close to that quality, during the contest.
Luke Johnson put on his best performance of the season, as he found the sections, the power, and the moves that propelled him into big wins in both the Junior Shortboard and Open Shortboard final heats. During one wave of sets in the Open Finals, everyone took off on what turned out to be close-outs, except for Johnson. He picked off the one big set wave that held up into the inside shore pound, which set him up for a huge lip smack and landing that sewed up the win.
Although Joe Hedde’s fin first take-off failed, his tip ride on a long right slide did not, as he easily won the highly competitive Junior Longboard final.
Sophia Martino was exceptional in her win, as she picked off two great right peaks and worked them with some nice carving cutbacks, topping the Girls Under 14 category. Lily Gartner managed to find the only lefts that held up, and worked them for two big wins in the Girls Under 16 division.
Joe Hedde Sr. was the only barefoot rider in the contest, and his firm footing paid off with a solid win in the Open SUP final. Joe scrambled for a big left peak near the end of the contest area, and it turned out to be the best wave of the heat, as he worked it to the inside near the seawall, and the first place trophy.
In the elder categories, Peter Pan picked off several mutant peaks that bounced off the seawall and held up for big point gainers in both the long and shortboard divisions.
The last Eastern Surfing Association contest of the season is scheduled for the Narragansett Town Beach on December 3rd. Interested surfers can call the ESA hotline on December 2nd, after 6 PM to get updates on the event. The phone number is 401-789-1954. Information can also be obtained by email at email@example.com.
Final Results of the 2017 ESA Holiday Surfabout, held in 2-4 foot surf at the Narragansett Town Beach, on November 19, 2017. Menehune-1.Phoebe Hedde Boys Under 14-1.Noah Gartner 2.Graham Ray Girls Under 14-1.Sophia Martino 2.Page Hedde Girls Under 16-1.Lily Gartner Boys Under 16-1.Josh Hedde 2.Jayden Parry Junior Men-1.Luke Johnson 2.Joe Hedde 3.Joe Doherty Masters-1.Chris Herbert Grand Legends-1.Peter Pan Menehune Longboard-1.Noah Gartner 2.Page Hedde 3.Sophia Martino 4.Phoebe Hedde Junior Longboard-1.Joe Hedde 2.Luke Johnson 3.Jayden Parry 4.Joe Doherty 5.Josh Hedde Junior Women Longboard-1.Lily Gartner Masters Longboard-1.Chris Herbert Legends Longboard-1.Peter Pan Open SUP-1.Joe Hedde Sr. 2.Dylan Moran 3.Jack Egan 4.Peter Pan Open Bodyboard-1.Peter Pan Open Shortboard-1.Luke Johnson 2.Joe Hedde 3.Lily Gartner 4.Noah Gartner 5.Sophia Martino 6.Page Hedde 7.Graham Ray 8.Josh Hedde 9.Jayden Parry 10.Chris Herbert 11.Phoebe Hedde 12.Dylan Moran
All photos by Lisa Haase