3 To The Beach – The 2001 NSSA Easterns

3 To The Beach – The 2001 NSSA Eastern Championships
by John Keppler

It’s sad how the drive from Melbourne Beach to Sebastian Inlet, Florida can leave you in a trance. At times you actually feel like you’ve passed the same place more than once. This was the third time I’d made this trek south to the Inlet to watch the NSSA Eastern Surfing Championships at Sebastian Inlet.

The story of the day was Vero Beach’s Eric Taylor, Florida’s wonder kid, who buried his place in NSSA history books by winning the Open Men’s division and clinching his seventh Eastern Championship title. Eric’s loose tail and determined driving force on the weak Inlet shoulders held him above his fellow competitors. The others may have had better wave selections, but it was Eric who threw the most spray and executed the best maneuvers.

“I’m stoked. I actually didn’t think I surfed that well in the final,” said Eric. “I feel real good. The Open Men’s division has been won by so many good guys-the Hobgoods won it one year, Ryan Kimmel won it last year. This makes me feel great!”

Puerto Rico’s Brian Toth had a truly commendable showing all weekend, and he took second behind Eric in the Open Men’s final. Brian also just missed out on the Open Juniors’ final, with an equal seventh place earlier in the semis, but he put on a radical performance in the Explorer Juniors’ final to clinch his first career Eastern title. “It feels good ’cause the last two years I’ve been trying to win, and I haven’t,” said Brian. “I’ve always placed third and second to Eric Taylor. I finally surfed consistent and got the waves I needed, and I’m really stoked on this win.”

In the Open Juniors’ division, North Carolina’s Shane Upchurch put together a fantastic come-from-behind victory by catching a good last-minute set with mere seconds left on the clock. Alek Parker was having the heat of his life, as was Tommy O’Brien, when Shane erupted and took the Open Juniors’ division in the final seconds.

“I didn’t think I won, but I’m happy,” said Shane. “I was stressin’ at first, ’cause everyone was catching good waves but me. I kinda came back in the end and caught a few good ones. This is a great surprise!”

Adam Wickwire, of Satellite Beach, Florida, won the Open Boys’ final for his second career Eastern title. Adam surfed yards ahead of his fellow competitors, cracking solid straight-up snaps and finding sections to hit. “It feels really good. I’m way stoked!” said Adam. “I’m going to try 100 percent to win Nationals. I won last year, so I want to do it again.”

Official Results

Open Men
1. Eric Taylor
2. Brian Toth
3. Jonathan Flick
4. Justin Jones
5. Dane Hoskins
6. Kevin Richards

Open Juniors
1. Shane Upchurch
2. Alek Parker
3. Tommy O’Brien
4. Jeremy Johnston
5. David Awbrey
6. Gabriel Escudero

Open Boys
1. Adam Wickwire
2. Eric Geiselman
3. Blake Jones
4. Jensen Callaway
5. Marshall Alberga
6. Wesley Toth

Open Mini Groms
1. Chris Wiernicki
2. Liam Michelbrink
3. Kedren Ferrero
4. Zach Rado
5. Evan Thompson
6. Graham Wade

Open Women
1. Jamie DeWitt
2. Kirra Sheppard
3. Courtney Andren
4. Moira Dougherty
5. Heidi Drazich
6. Sara Willis

Explorer Men
1. Jerry Burdine
2. Jason Venn
3. Kevin Richards
4. Pete Jagocki
5. Ryan Cappelen
6. Jeff Petit

Explorer Juniors
1. Brian Toth
2. Shane Upchurch
3. Eric Taylor
4. Justin Ellingham
5. Jonathan Flick
6. Ryan Briggs

Explorer Boys
1. Dylan Graves
2. Jeremy Johnston
3. Sterling Spencer
4. Matt Wetmore
5. Devon Tresher
6. Nils Schweizer

Explorer Menehunes
1. Eric Geiselman
2. Adam Wickwire
3. Blake Jones
4. Jensen Callaway
5. Marshall Alberga
6. Michael Peyton

>Explorer Women
1. Kelly Hutchison
2. Jamie DeWitt
3. Connie Arias
4. Sara Willis
5. Kira Sheppard
6. Carla Miller

Quiksilver PTSA At TrestlesTom Curren brings it home.Lowers is always nice when it’s a foot overhead, glassy, and uncrowded. Never uncrowded? Well, you’re right, unless a contest is going on and you’re all caught up on your entry fees. Then, and only then, you too can enjoy a clean Southern Hemi swell with just three other souls out in the lineup.

The five-day PTSA event sponsored by Quiksilver had some luck-good waves abounded, and Tom Curren was competing. Most of the early rounds had decent conditions. The final day’s swell was out of the south/southwest, which improved with the tide moving in all day.

Quarterfinal action saw Shea Lopez, Dean Randazzo, Ryan Simmons, Pat O’Connell, Tom Curren, Bron Huessenstam, Fred Patacchia, and Jeff Deffenbaugh all moving through. With the sets coming through a little infrequently, competitors had to rely on good wave selection and luck.

In the first semi, Pat O’Connell carved a 9.75 and fit in an unimaginable amount of turns on one wave. Shea answered back with a few snappy lefts and a couple of airs to boot.

Curren was on fire in semi two. He unleashed on one particular wave with such style and flow that a friend of mine said he resembled a dolphin. Deffenbaugh threw down some nice lines as well, but Curren was on a mission.The air final saw Randy “Goose” Welch take the purse. Consistently landing multiple airs, the three-air format fit Goose well. He landed three airs on one wave, upping the ante for fellow pilots Dave Post, Joe Crimo, and Gavin Sutherland, who all had a stab at the title, too.

Anticipation swarmed the beach for the surfing final. Curren had everyone glued to horizon, which dealt out a few more waves than earlier that morning. Some good exchanges in the last minutes left the crowd doubting the outcome. Curren just squeaked by Shea with two-tenths of a point, but Pat and D-Baugh were just within a point or two as well. It was definitely too close to call at the end. However, Curren was the crowd favorite. He sported the classic black-rail airbrush (circa early 90s) and wasn’t to be denied first place.-Matty Thomas

The 2001 NSSA Hawai’ian Regional Championships

As a prelude to the 2001 NSSA National Championships, the NSSA Hawai’ian Regional Championships went down with fun surf and hundreds of thirsty Nationals-bound surfers on hand. Over 70 kids came from O’ahu and the Big Island to engage in battle during the week of Hawai’i’s official spring break.

The NSSA season typically consists of a series of events that lead up to the championships, where the surfers who earn enough season points and place well at the regional championships move on to surf at the summer’s national level. This year it was seniors Joel Centeio and Sean Moody’s turn to walk away with the Open Men’s division win. Unbeknownst to both of them, sixteen-year-old Nathan Carroll was hungry for a good finish in either the Open Juniors’ or Men’s divisions as well.

“I was really hoping to win the Open Juniors, and possibly the Open Men’s-those were my two goals,” said Nathan, this year’s Open Men’s champion. “I did the Explorer Juniors the year before. I’ve been doing it for two years now, and I just felt it would be better to surf against the older guys ’cause those are the ones I’d be competing against in the WQS.”

Nathan finished second overall in the Open Juniors’ division, and he walked away with the 500-dollar cash prize for the Surfing magazine air show as well-a separate event that tied in with the weeklong contest.

“I was surprised. I mean, I have three more years in the Open Men’s division,” added Nathan. “I was really excited when I found out I won. I was happy that the pressure was off.”

The surf was an impressive three to five feet for the duration of the four-day event, giving the kids more than ample conditions to surf their heats. Event Director Linda Robb, although looking exhausted, was stoked to see another year go down in prime NSSA fashion.

Weighing the importance of this event, eighteen-year-old Sean Moody flew home early from the Australian leg of the ASP World Qualifying Tour just in time to make his first-round heat. This proved a costly mistake for Sean, as his presence was missed in the finals, and he was unable to defend his current National Explorer Juniors’ title.

Current ISA World Junior Champion Joel Centeio held his own during the course of the event and wound up in two finals-the Explorer Juniors’ and Open Men’s divisions. Wave selection and the conditions themselves kept his two finals close between the competitors, and amidst Joel’s solid polished style, he wound up third in the Explorer and second in the Open.

It was Kekoa Bacalso who owned the Explorer Juniors’ division, with his solid attack on the chest-high right-handers. Kekoa picked off the better set waves and impressed the judges and onlookers who sat on the lava-formed point. Maui’s Cheyne Magnusson went home with the second-place trophy.-John Keppler

The following are the results:

Explorer Menehuenes
1. Kai Barger
2. Kyle Ramey
3. Alex King
4. Thomas Clarke
5. Torrey Meister
6. Mason Ho

Explorer Boys
1. TJ Barron
2. Ola Eleogram
3. Gavin Gillette
4. Hank Gaskell
5. Jimmy McKinney
6. Jarred Stratton

Explorer Juniors
1. Kekoa Bacalso
2. Cheyne Magnusson
3. Joel Centeio
4. Dustin Cuizon
5. CJ Kanuha
6. Raymond Reichele

Explorer Men
1. Robbie Schofield
2. Coisco Kay
3. Billy Choi
4. Kevin Kennedy
5. Charles Carroll
6. Kekoa Inkster

Explorer Masters
1. Noah Budroe
2. Mike Latronic
3. Kekoa Inkster
4. Chris Galdeano
5. Darren Mahoe
6. Barry Levenbaum

Explorer Seniors
1. Mike Latronic
2. David Townley
3. Dean Nishimoto
4. Billy Freitas
5. Dale Sabate
6. Wesley Jones

Explorer Women
1. Kristen Quizon
2. Sena Seramur
3. Sandy Kamaka
4. Lilia Boerner
5. Alana Brennan
6. Tory Titcomb

Open Women
1. Sena Seramur
2. Leilani Gryde
3. Tory Titcomb
4. Taira Barron
5. Lilia Boerner
6. Alana Brennan

Open Men
1. Nathan Carroll
2. Joel Centeio
3. CJ Kanuha
4. Tom Dosland
5. Evan Valiere
6. Venton Silliado

Open Juniors
1. Dustin Cuizon
2. Nathan Carroll
3. Kekoa Bacalso
4. Raymond Reichele
5. Hank Gaskell
6. Chris Satterfield

Open Boys
1. Kyle Ramey
2. Granger Larsen
3. Lance Gruver
4. Tonino Benson
5. Chas Chidester
6. Dustin Payne

Open Mini Groms
1. Thomas Clarke
2. Albee Layer
3. John-John Florence
4. Granger Larsen
5. Bullet Obra
6. Hans Vandervoort

duration of the four-day event, giving the kids more than ample conditions to surf their heats. Event Director Linda Robb, although looking exhausted, was stoked to see another year go down in prime NSSA fashion.

Weighing the importance of this event, eighteen-year-old Sean Moody flew home early from the Australian leg of the ASP World Qualifying Tour just in time to make his first-round heat. This proved a costly mistake for Sean, as his presence was missed in the finals, and he was unable to defend his current National Explorer Juniors’ title.

Current ISA World Junior Champion Joel Centeio held his own during the course of the event and wound up in two finals-the Explorer Juniors’ and Open Men’s divisions. Wave selection and the conditions themselves kept his two finals close between the competitors, and amidst Joel’s solid polished style, he wound up third in the Explorer and second in the Open.

It was Kekoa Bacalso who owned the Explorer Juniors’ division, with his solid attack on the chest-high right-handers. Kekoa picked off the better set waves and impressed the judges and onlookers who sat on the lava-formed point. Maui’s Cheyne Magnusson went home with the second-place trophy.-John Keppler

The following are the results:

Explorer Menehuenes
1. Kai Barger
2. Kyle Ramey
3. Alex King
4. Thomas Clarke
5. Torrey Meister
6. Mason Ho

Explorer Boys
1. TJ Barron
2. Ola Eleogram
3. Gavin Gillette
4. Hank Gaskell
5. Jimmy McKinney
6. Jarred Stratton

Explorer Juniors
1. Kekoa Bacalso
2. Cheyne Magnusson
3. Joel Centeio
4. Dustin Cuizon
5. CJ Kanuha
6. Raymond Reichele

Explorer Men
1. Robbie Schofield
2. Coisco Kay
3. Billy Choi
4. Kevin Kennedy
5. Charles Carroll
6. Kekoa Inkster

Explorer Masters
1. Noah Budroe
2. Mike Latronic
3. Kekoa Inkster
4. Chris Galdeano
5. Darren Mahoe
6. Barry Levenbaum

Explorer Seniors
1. Mike Latronic
2. David Townley
3. Dean Nishimoto
4. Billy Freitas
5. Dale Sabate
6. Wesley Jones

Explorer Women
1. Kristen Quizon
2. Sena Seramur
3. Sandy Kamaka
4. Lilia Boerner
5. Alana Brennan
6. Tory Titcomb

Open Women
1. Sena Seramur
2. Leilani Gryde
3. Tory Titcomb
4. Taira Barron
5. Lilia Boerner
6. Alana Brennan

Open Men
1. Nathan Carroll
2. Joel Centeio
3. CJ Kanuha
4. Tom Dosland
5. Evan Valiere
6. Venton Silliado

Open Juniors
1. Dustin Cuizon
2. Nathan Carroll
3. Kekoa Bacalso
4. Raymond Reichele
5. Hank Gaskell
6. Chris Satterfield

Open Boys
1. Kyle Ramey
2. Granger Larsen
3. Lance Gruver
4. Tonino Benson
5. Chas Chidester
6. Dustin Payne

Open Mini Groms
1. Thomas Clarke
2. Albee Layer
3. John-John Florence
4. Granger Larsen
5. Bullet Obra
6. Hans Vandervoort