Adult Divisions Score Perfect Outer Banks Surf On The Final Day
“I feel like a superstar! I can’t remember the last time I did an interview!” joked an ecstatic Bill Whatley, moments after winning both the Grand Masters shortboard and Legends longboard divisions at this years Easterns. “Everything came together nicely for me today, I couldn’t be happier. How good were those waves? What a score!”
And how good were the waves? By pretty much anyone’s standards they were on fire—4 to 6 foot glassy peaks, unloading on the south side of Jeannette’s Pier all day. In fact, there were so many quality waves rolling through hundreds of perfect peaks went unridden.
At one point Volcom’s Daniel Terry and ESM’s Matt Pruett were literally screaming from the beach at the competitors to go right, as it appeared most were seemingly unaware of how good the bowls into the pier were. When Bill Whatley finally took off on one of the aforementioned pier drainers and got shacked for a 9.7, the events highest single wave score, the pier and beach peanut gallery erupted.
“When I came out of that barrel I thought I was in Nicaragua or something.” Continues Bill, “I just couldn’t help but claim when I heard all the cheers.”
With his double victory Bill now holds 10 Easterns titles. Others, like Flagler Beach’s Haley Watson, claimed her first East Coast Championship with a win in the prestigious Women’s final after stringing together a series of nice turns on two long lefts. “Finally, an Easterns title!” she exclaimed at the awards ceremony, soaked in Soda from her victory shower. “I’ve wanted one of these for so long!”
In the two most prestigious adult divisions, Mens and Masters, Conor Willem and Slater Powell surfed to victory, respectively. Conor’s dad, Bill Willem, won the Legends division this year and couldn’t have been more excited to share an Easterns title in 2011 with his son.
“This all we wanted, to both win titles in the same year. What a great feeling!”
And now, with the adult divisions done and dusted, it’s on to the marquee youth divisions. Here are a few East Coast up and comers to keep an eye on as the event moves forward this week.-Zander Morton
Click here for a live webcast of all the action.
Luke Gordon- Luke is being highly touted at a young age, already pinned as one of the East Coast’s next big things. It’s too early to say whether or not those claims will come to fruition, but Luke is a definite contender to win the 2011 Menehune title.
Stevie Pittman- According to Volcom’s Daniel Terry, Stevie is “quiet and dangerous,” and the polar opposite of Luke Gordon. Nevertheless, he is super talented and gained experience surfing with some of Volcom’s finest in Ecuador earlier this year.
Daniel Glenn- During the Adult division finals Daniel paddled out on the sidelines and into the day’s best barrel, a draining right spitter that would have scored a perfect 10 in competition. He was one of the freesurf standouts, next to guys like Blake Jones and Chris Ropero, and is a sure bet to place high here in Nags Head.
Luke Marks- Luke is another highly touted young East Coaster, and though this is his first year in the Boys division he is an immediate title contender, already placing 2nd in this years South East Regionals in New Smyrna beach.
Keto Burns- Keto has been training hard, working on his power and fitness with Chris Ropero—a past Easterns champion himself. This is Keto’s last chance to take home the marquee Junior’s title. Having placed fourth here last year, you can guarantee he wants this win to finish out his amateur career.
Corey Howell- According to Blake Jones, Corey Howell has been ripping as of late—looking very impressive at the NKF last month in Cocoa Beach. Corey won Regionals in New Smyrna this year and will be looking for his first Easterns title in the prestigious juniors division.
Cam Richards- This is Cam’s first year in the juniors, but he already won the Mid Atlantic Regional’s junior title, and last year’s Easterns in the boy’s division, so it’s safe to pin Cam as an immediate threat this week.
Kayla Durden-Kayla is the South East Juniors champ for 2011, and finished fourth here at the Easterns in 2010. Look for her to better that result this year.
Darsha Pigford- coming out of the SNC district, Darsha is the 2011 Mid Atlantic regional champion and a top contender here on the Outer Banks.
ESA Easterns Adult Division Results
1st- Bill Whatley
4th-Shannon Bailey Reichel