The Full Moon Lit The Stage As Red Bull Night Riders Shone
Six of the South's Best Surfers Shred It at the 12th Annual Tommy Tant Memorial Surf Classic at Flagler Beach
Flagler Beach, FL – November 12, 2011-The full moon and high tide set the stage for six of the top east coast surfers to show off their toe-at skills in one of the most unique surfing competitions around. Over 6,000 spectators gathered around Flagler Pier to cheer on these Red Bull Night Riders as they captured big air, pulled off their best trick and ventured to the limits of their sport. The surfers pushed themselves to the extreme as the enthusiastic crowd cheered their encouragement, each jump made all the more dramatic by the vivid lighting illuminating the surfers against the ominous backdrop of the crashing black waves. This is the second time the nighttime tow-at event took place at Flagler Beach and was part of the Tommy Tant Memorial Surf Classic presented by Nautica.
The airs were high and the lights were bright as CJ Hobgood and Jake Mcquire went full force soaring into the night sky. Each exhausted and elated surfer gave everything they had but there can only be one victor and that distinction went deservedly to Red Bull Night Riders veteran Cody Thompson. Judges determined unanimously that Cody hit it the hardest and nailed the best trick of the night and from the crowd poised in stunned silence, mouths agape as Cody rose through the air to the deafening roar as he landed; it was clear the crowd agreed. Judge Jay Dobson had this to say "I absolutely love the event, it's one of the most unique events on the entire eastern seaboard. The competitors were the best in Florida, the best on the east coast"
The Sunshine States' best aerialists put on a world-class performance in a unique and unusual setting, More used to blazing sun and crystal blue waves the surfers were challenged to adapt their technique to deal with the shifting light and shadows underneath the illuminated night sky. Winner Cody Thompson has a distinctive way of dealing with the challenging conditions, "My strategy is to try get the best waves and open my eyes wider than I usually do". Who can argue with that? With great conditions, Cody Thompson posted a winning score of 8.17 out of a possible 10 points. "The atmosphere is ridiculous, the hype from last year seems like it's multiplied" expresses Thompson, "Everyone is really psyched to be here, everyone is hanging out and cheering you on."
Completing the roster for the evening were CJ Hobgood, Blake Jones, Oliver Kurtz, Eddie Guilbeau and Jake McQuire. All of the surfers admitted to having their nerves rattled by the thousands of fans who gathered to watch from the stadium-like atmosphere of the Flagler Pier. They needn't have worried; the spectators were equally as enthralled and excited to be a part of the night. UNF Student John Flanagan told us; "This was the first time I have heard about something like this in Florida and wanted to come and check it out. I have never seen anything like this before." Equally excited fan Amy Simmens stated, "I have heard about this event all year and it has lived up to its expectations, it was an incredible night". We couldn't agree more Amy.