Sitting in my hotel room overlooking the Virginia Beach oceanfront as I stare out at the disorganized sea (and even more disorganized humans) as they scatter along the sand, boardwalk, and frolic in the ocean, I cannot help but chuckle at the production built below. The set up resembles that of a diet US Open; a large vert ramp, a bmx obstacle course, moto ramps, pro volleyball set ups, food tents, ASP scaffolding, spectator bleachers, multiple music stages as well as just about every brand in the industry’s promo tents all put together for autograph signings and free product giveaways!! It’s official, Virginia Beach, Virginia is hosting its very first ASP 6* surf contest.
With no surprise to anyone who has passed through this lackluster-surf-yet-party-rich little town, I report to you with a level 10 hangover from the previous nights festivities. I’ve taken all of the proper precautions to lessen this hangover's blow, and well, it still hurts to breathe today. It's an all too familiar feeling accompanied by a job well done in this little town that never sleeps. Surprisingly there is actually a little motion in the ocean, and contrary to the forecast there is a highly contestable little wave coming in where the 1st street jetty is no doubt hosting some of the most explosive surfing that has ever gone down in these waters.
The morale of those competing is actually higher than I would of expected considering they're pursuing lots of points and a big payday in this sloppy two to three foot beach break. It's a refreshing attitude to witness as these guys are putting together some next level combos as well as showcasing an air game you would expect to see watching some of the best surfers in the world. Some fell victim to VB’s nightly festivities early in the game, with a handful of no show’s as well as a few slightly hindered surfing performances due to our local watering hole "Waterman’s" all too convenient location. It's a hop, skip and jump away from the competition site to a place that serves up a deliciously refreshing freshly squeezed beverage concoction referred to as the “Orange Crush.” It's a fitting name as this tasty little drink is known by Virginia Beach natives to sabotage people’s lives and well, others competitive campaigns…
With forecasts looking very promising courtesy of Tropical Storm Isaac, the 50th annual East Coast Surfing Championships looks to wrap up in some solid East Coast surf—stand by, I'll be reporting daily with the highs and l0ws of this competitive gathering, folks!
Odd highlights to date include:
-A bmx’er falling victim to a large gust of wind followed by a minor over-rotation that earned him a trip to Virginia Beach’s finest medical establishment after plummeting off the 20-foot ramp.
-The Deadliest Catch’s Captain "Wild Bill" making an appearance and being physically removed from every drinking establishment on the oceanfront.
-Chicago surfing fugitive Rex Flodstorm not only showed face at the competition, he actually competed in heat 24 of the men’s round of 144 securing a heat total of 1.97. Even better, he didn't get arrested for surfing.
Coming to you from Virginia Beach, Virginia Jeffrey Myers is over and out.
ASP Press Release: Jack Freestone and Kai Barger Lead Top Seeds at Coastal Edge ECSC
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia/USA (Thursday, August 23, 2012) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star Coastal Edge ECSC presented by Vans returned to 1st street jetty after yesterday's lay day and past ASP World Junior Champions Jack Freestone (Coolangatta, AUs), 20, and Kai Barger (Haiku, HI), 22, led the top seeds through the first half of Round 2 with the day's high scores.
The Coastal Edge ECSC pres. by Vans ran the opening round of competition as well as the majority of the ASP Pro Junior event on the first two days of action and today saw the completion of the first 12 heats of Round 2.
Jack Freestone utilized the onshore winds to launch his aerial attach which led to day's top scores. The talented Australian dedicated his heat to committed air-reverses to earn his scores of 9.17 and 8.07 scores which saw Freestone easily move through to Round 3. "The waves came up a little bit, I'm guessing due to the tide, and that wind is so good for airs on your forehand," Freestone said. "I was just lucky to find the waves that I got."
Freestone entered the Coastal Edge ECSC pres. by Vans following a runner-up finish at the ASP 5-Star in Lacanau and is carrying the confidence from last week's result. The progressive natural footer admits his performance in Europe adds a break of fresh air in to the lengthy back half of the ASP World Tour season and hopes to maintain his form in Virginia Beach. "This is my first time here and it's a really cool place, I love it," Freestone said. "You've got the country mixed in with the surf vibe and it makes it cool. It's good to have had the result in Lacanau because when you've got the back half of the year and all of the events stacked up, it's nice when you get a good result. You get all of that confidence to take in to the next competition."
Kai Barger unloaded a series of seamless backhand combinations on the wedgy right-handers at 1st street to take a commanding Round 2 win which included one of the event's top scores of 9.13 out of 10. "I'm surprised that I did well out here," Barger said. "I've got a really good board under my feet and I felt like I had to wait for the bigger waves and that would be the only way I would make it through my heat. I really just waited for the good waves."
Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 18, was another top seed to ignite the challenging beachbreak conditions. The progressive goofy-footer got off to a slow start in his round 2 affair, but found two excellent waves while trolling the lineup to eventually post one of the day's top heat-totals of 16.57 out of 20. "I sat for the first 10 minutes and thought I'd be catching a lot more waves than I did," Geiselman said. "I felt good and loose though and my board felt really nice on the couple of waves that I was able to open up on. I worked the whole lineup from the jetty to the other contest area and was pretty much just hunting."
The Coastal Edge ECSC presented by Vans holds a waiting period from August 20 through 26, 2012 and is webcast LIVE via www.vans.com/ecsc. For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspnorthamerica.org
In addition to the surfing action, the Coastal Edge ECSC presented by Vans will include a premier BMX contest, the Vans LXVI BMX Invitational, as well as skating, motocross, music and more.
COASTAL EDGE ECSC PRESENTED BY VANS ROUND OF 96 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Dane Gudauskas (USA) 14.16, Nat Young (USA) 13.27, Koa Smith (HAW) 9.20, Brad Ettinger (USA) 7.33
Heat 2: Nathan Carvalho (HAW) 16.20, Thiago Camarao (BRA) 13.00, Keala Naihe (HAW) 6.83, Mason Ho (HAW) 4.09
Heat 3: Santiago Muniz (ARG) 13.10, Romain Cloitre (FRA) 13.00, Jano Belo (BRA) 11.70, Nic Hdez (USA) 10.60
Heat 4: Jeremy Johnston (USA) 11.40, Michael Dunphy (USA) 10.57, Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 10.37, Hunter Lysaught (USA) 9.70
Heat 5: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.93, Matt Pagan (USA) 12.66, Dylan Kowalski (USA) 8.27, Kevin Sullivan (HAW) 7.82
Heat 6: Kai Barger (HAW) 16.96, Kalani David (HAW) 12.63, Jay Quinn (NZL) 8.17, Nathan Behl (USA) 7.26
Heat 7: Jack Freestone (AUS) 17.24, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 12.13, Cahill Bell-Warren (AUS) 11.66, Balaram Stack (USA) 7.97
Heat 8: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 11.96, Dillon Perillo (USA) 10.50, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 10.26, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 6.90
Heat 9: Conner Coffin (USA) 10.50, Dege O'Connell (HAW) 10.37, Nick Fowler (USA) 6.07, Joan Duru (FRA) ns
Heat 10: Gabe Kling (USA) 14.80, Torrey Meister (HAW) 13.94, Sidney Guimaraes (BRA) 12.66, Ryan Briggs (USA) 11.67
Heat 11: Evan Geiselman (USA) 16.57, Cory Arrambide (USA) 13.16, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 12.53, Tim Reyes (USA) 12.17
Heat 12: Brian Toth (PRI) 12.47, Blake Jones (USA) 11.76, Simao Romao (BRA) 11.57, Ty Watson (AUS) 10.70
REMAINING COASTAL EDGE ECSC PRESENTED BY VANS ROUND OF 96 MATCH UPS:
Heat 13: Sebastien Zietz (HAW), Andrew Doheny (USA), Victor Done (USA), Derek Peters (USA)
Heat 14: Mitch Crews (AUS), Cory Lopez (USA), Alex Smith (HAW), Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 15: Gavin Gillette (HAW), Yuri Sodre (BRA), Leigh Sedley (AUS), Michael Powell (USA)
Heat 16: Tomas Hermes (BRA), Hank Gaskell (HAW), Dylan Southworth (MEX), Evan Thompson (USA)
Heat 17: Alex Ribeiro (BRA), Leandro Usuna (ARG), Ian Crane (USA), J.D. Lewis (USA)
Heat 18: Eric Geiselman (USA), Shaun Joubert (ZAF), Cooper Chapman (AUS), Francisco Bellorin (VEN)
Heat 19: Hizunome Bettero (BRA), Kiron Jabour (HAW), Jeffrey Lukasik (USA), Noah Schweizer (USA)
Heat 20: Nathaniel Curran (USA), Cristobal De Col (PER), Jeremy Carter (USA), Granger Larsen (HAW)
Heat 21: Keanu Asing (HAW), Luke Davis (USA), Nils Schweizer (USA), P.J. Raia (USA)
Heat 22: Tanner Gudauskas (USA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Cody Thompson (USA), Jordin Watson (AUS)
Heat 23: Chase Wilson (USA), Carlos Munoz (CRI), Ian Gentil (HAW), Brett Barley (USA)
Heat 24: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Phillip Goold (USA), Derrick Disney (USA), Christian Saenz (USA)