Red Tide Brings Surf
By Peter Pan
The seaweed was red and thick, filled with tiny shrimp, but the surf was up, which made the paddle out worth the trouble. Sachuest Beach in Middletown held the only swell in Rhode Island on this day, and fortunately, this was the site of the second of four ESA summer surfing contests. Competitors feasted on a solid waist high swell that featured clean faces and long sections, for the duration of the event. While the prediction was for heavy onshore winds to develop, it never happened. The surf stayed clean all day.
The two standouts this day were New England’s top ranked Men’s competitor and East Coast Championship finalist, Jamie Kelly, and newcomer Menehune, Liam Fitzgerald. Kelly found the waves similar to his home break in Nantasket, hunting down the best formed left peaks to top the field in the highly competitive Open Shortboard Final. He continued to pile up the points in winning the Men’s Shortboard and Men’s Longboard finals as well. Fitgerald had an outstanding day, showing his versatility, charging to wins in the Menehune, Menehune Longboard, and Menehune Bodyboard divisions.
Other outstanding performances of note came in several categories. Jayden Parry carved up some nice right faces, to win the Boys Under 16 Final, and Sophia Martino continues to come on strong with another impressive day, winning the Girls Under 14 crown. Kai Holtbakk had the longest left slide of the event, as he cruised to a win in the Master Longboard Final.
Pat Redmond continued his undefeated streak in the Open Bodyboard division. Redmond, recent winner at the 2017 Northeast Surf-Offs, tuned up with some nice 360’s, in advance of his up and coming trip to the East Coast Championships Grand Finals in September.
While the inside shore break posed a challenge to many competitors, due to the heavy seaweed pockets, some riders opted out of leashes, which got tangled in the heavy kelp. “It was hit or miss all day,” said ESA Competition Director Mario Frade. “As the red tide shifted with the swells, some heats had clean water and no seaweed. It was just a matter of timing.”
The summer series of ESA rated competition continues on August 5th at Sachuest Beach (2nd Beach) in Middletown. Interested competitors can get more information by going to the ESA SNE Facebook page or the website.
Final Results of the ESA New England Summer Series Round #2, held in 2-4 foot surf at Second Beach, in Middletown, Rhode Island on July 22, 2017. MENEHUNES-1.Liam Fitzgerald 2.Dillon Moran 3.Henri Boneu 4.Luke Allen 5.Gabe Donegan GIRLS U14-1.Sophia Martino 2.Page Hedde BOYS U14-1.Jack Grzebien BOYS U16-1.Jayden Parry 2.Josh Hedde 3.Dylan Holtbakk JUNIOR MEN-1.John McGeough MEN-1.Jamie Kelly 2.Cameron Haskins MASTERS-1./Dante Magnani GRAND LEGENDS-1.Peter Pan MENEHUNE LONGBOARD-1.Liam Fitzgerald 2.Page Hedde 3.Sophia Martino 4.Dillon Moran 5.Henri Boneu 6.Luke Allen JUNIOR LONGBOARD-1.Josh Hedde 2.Dylan Holtbakk 3.Jayden Parry 4.John McGeough MEN LONGBOARD-1.Jamie Kelly 2.Cameron Haskins MASTER LONGBOARD-1.Kai Holtbakk 2.Ray Way 3.Dante Magnani LEGENDS LONGBOARD-1.Peter Pan OPEN SUP-1.Dillon Moran 2.Peter Pan MENEHUNE BODYBOARD-1.Liam Fitzgerald 2.Jack Grzebien 3.Henri Boneu 4.Dylan Holtbakk 5.Luke Allen OPEN BODYBOARD-1.Pat Redmond 2.Peter Pan OPEN SHORTBOARD-1.Jamie Kelly 2.John McGeough 3.Jayden Parry 4.Cameron Haskins 5.Josh Hedde 6.Jack Grzebien 7.Sophia Martino 8.Dillon Moran 9.Dante Magnani 10.Dylan Holtbakk 11.Page Hedde 12.Luke Allen
Photos – Lisa Haase