Local Surfers Rip Regionals
By Peter Pan
Despite having the smallest team at the contest, local South County surfers came up with some big results, at the 2019 Eastern Surfing Association Northeast Regional Surf-Offs. The three-day affair was an invitational only, with only the top surfers from the entire northeast and the Great Lakes competing. This year’s event was held in the tricky and fast shifting beach break at Belmar, New Jersey in solid waistto shoulder high conditions.
Narragansett and Westerly ESA surfers put on quite a show in the hard-breaking shore pound, and came through with some big wins. Chris Herbert was certainly the most productive member of the team, winning the Master Longboard and Open Bodyboard, placing 4th in the Masters, and 5th in the Open SUP finals.Peter Pan won the Grand Legends Longboard, and finished 3rd in both the Grand Legends Shortboard and the Open SUP finals, hanging off the left jetty and picking off lefts that backwashed into rights.
Ron Belanger had an outstanding contest, working a left peak off one of the jetties to perfection, as he easily dominated and won both the Legends Shortboard and Legends Longboard finals. Colin Walker had the wave of the heat, picking off a hollow right barrel to take the Masters Shortboard crown.
Jamie Kelley narrowly missed taking the Men’s Open Shortboard crown, as the sets fizzled out as the time expired. Kelley ended up 2nd in that final. He cruised his way to a 4th place in the Men’s Open Longboard final with a nice right hander nose ride. Aurelien Bouche Pillonrounded out the adult team points, finishing 2ndin the Masters Shortboard event.
Our youth brigade had their problems in the sometimes, adverse conditions of the second day of the competition, but did manage to move through a few heats. Annalise Kane advanced to a 4th in Round #1 of the Girls Under 14 Division, and Ella Fontenot took a 3rd in Round #1 of the Girls Under 16 event.
Mason Soboleski took a 6th place in Round #1 in the Boys Under 16, and 5th in Round #1 of the Junior Longboard division. Jayden Parry advanced to Round #1 in both the Junior Men and Junior Longboard events, finishing 6th and 5th respectively. The only youth competitor to advance to a final was Jack Grzebien, who “el rollo-ed” his way to a 2nd place in the Open Bodyboard final.
The top finalists in this contest will get automatic invitations to the East Coast Surfing Championships Grand Finals, held at Jeanette’s Pier, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in September.
The next local ESA contest is scheduled for Nantasket Beach in Hull, Massachusetts on June 9th. It is the Annual New England Longboard Classic, which will feature an after contest party with a live band and free Pizza. For more information, contact ESA Massachusetts Competition Director Chick Frodigh by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.