Andino Wins East Coast Championships

Sunday, August 25, 2002 — San Clemente, Calif.’s Dino Andino won the 40th annual East Coast Surfing Championships today during Philips Fusion in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Floridians Eric Taylor and Falina Spires won the juniors and pro women’s divisions respectively, while North Carolinian’s Dave Mirra (BMX) and South Carolina’s Benji Galloway (Young Guns of Skate) captured first place in the Philips eXpanium Soul Bowl.

Surf conditions were a solid 2-3 feet throughout the day as the venue showed no signs of wear after experiencing a brief thunderstorm late Saturday afternoon that forced a beach closure with spectacular “close proximity lightning strikes and driving rain showers.

Andino, the oldest competitor in the 30-minute final, waited patiently as 15 year-old Brazilian phenom Adriano de Souza, the youngest competitor, set the pace with two early rides including a seemingly insurmountable 7.33.  Nearly half way into the 30-minute heat, Andino, launched into a four-foot set wave and exploded with three power turns.  Throwing “serious spray along the way, he connected peak-to-peak-to peak amassing the heat’s highest score, an 8.67.  He followed almost immediately with a 4.33 to take the lead and put pressure on de Souza.

The savvy 33 year-old veteran then “sat on the young Brazilian at the southernmost contest area (adjacent to the jetty) for the remainder of the heat.  Although the result was not really in doubt, Andino but was able to land one final 5.67 with moments remaining to drive the final nail in the coffin.  De Souza, brilliant throughout the competition, showed signs of wear, having surfed four heats today prior to noon.  Andino, with 14.34 total points on two scoring waves, received $6,000 for his efforts while de Souza, with 12.93, pocketed $3,000.  Finishing in third place was Danny Melhado (Florida) with 11.93 points followed by Kyle Garson (Florida) in fourth with 9.70 points.

Andino had competed in the ECSC several years in the past, making the finals only one other time.  His last tour victory came in Morrow Bay two years ago.  “I had that one great wave and I wanted to keep going, said Andino.  I made the finals here years ago, but to win…I was pumped.

Florida’s Eric Taylor won the junior competition over Huntington Beach, Calif.’s Shaun Ward.  Taylor surfed with power, showcasing full-rail turns and smooth transitions.  Ward was lightning-quick, but not quite up to the challenge as Taylor won $2,000 and Ward received $900.  Finishing in third place was de Souza followed by Justin Jones.

In the much-anticipated women’s final, Floridians finished first, second and fourth as Falina Spires took home the $3,125 winners check with 9.17 total points.  Kelly Hutchinson (8.30), Palos Verdes, Calif.’s Holly Beck (6.90) and Kira Shepard (3.30) rounded out the field.  Beck came back to win women’s amateur longboard division later in the day.  “I’m disappointed that I had to redeem myself in amateur longboard, but first place is first place and I’m happy with it.  

Greenville NC resident Dave Mirra, fresh off victories at the Gravity Games (BMX Park) and X Games (BMX Vert), captured first place in the BMX division of the $40,000 Philips eXpanium Soul Bowl.  Mirra took home a check for $6,100 while second place finisher Kevin Robinson (East Providence, RI) walked away with $2,500.  Benji Galloway (North Augusta, SC) won the Soul Bowl’s Young Guns skate division. Galloway, age 24, received a check for $3,000.

The one-of-a-kind Soul Bowl featured the world’s best skateboarders, BMX riders and inline skaters vying for a combined purse of $40,000.  Made in Germany of steel and Finnish Birch, the 68′ long, 46′ wide and 13′ deep bowl reaches back to the roots and “soul of skateboarding, while delivering a 3-D, futuristic look and technical advancements.

The ECSC presented by Cox Communications anchored Philips Fusion, a $110,000 action sports, technology and musiic festival, sponsored by Philips Electronics, that attracted more than 600 world-class athletes from across the globe and featured surfing, skateboarding and BMX in innovative venues along with an interactive festival area and live concerts.  The $70,000 ECSC is North America’s longest-running surfing contest and beach festival.

Philips Fusion will be broadcast to millions of viewers on Fox Sports Net/Core Culture Television from 4:00 — 5:00 p.m. on alternating Tuesdays beginning September 3 and running through December 31, 2002.  Extensive coverage of Philips Fusion is also available at  www.fusion.philips.com.  Broadcast quality video and color art is available upon request.  For media inquiries contact Mike Kingsbury or Cherie Garcia, MKM, at (714) 375-2188 or mike@boardom.com.