San Juan Capistrano, Calif. – October 18, 2010 – Surfing America, the National Governing Body (NGB) for Surfing in the United States, announces results from the first stop of the Surfing America Prime East Series. Surfing America Prime returned to the beautiful town of Montauk, Long Island, NY, October 16, 2010, for the Vans Surfing America Prime presented by Got Milk? We rolled into town the day after Columbus Day, when Montauk usually boards up for the winter, to help run the Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape International Longboard Contest. Vans took over the amazing Surf Lodge for the week as we watched the charts and hoped some surf would materialize for the events.
Wednesday the surf was miniscule and Thursday morning only marginally better. Then a stiff breeze developed from the SE bringing the surf into the rideable range by early afternoon. We ran the quarterfinals of the Tudor event in meager but contestable conditions and the best longboarders in the world that were participating actually made it look fun. The wind continued to howl all night building the swell from the SE. The call was made for an 8:00 AM start and the longboarders were greeted with long chest high lefts groomed by winds that had switched offshore.
The longboard competition finished early Friday with Justin Quintal taking the win, followed by Harrison Roach in 2nd, Montauk local, Mikey DeTemple in 3rd and Tyler Warren in 4th.
The NW winds increased and knocked down the SE swell and we were getting more than a little nervous about the prospects for surf over the weekend for the Prime event. Miraculously, the wind switched to a devil west wind from Jersey that kicked up a waist high Jersey swell Friday afternoon just at the Jersey Devil himself, Dean Randazzo, arrived on the beach at Ditch Plains to coach the Prime surfers for three hours. Dean imparted his considerable competitive knowledge from years on the Pro Tour and battles won against recurring cancer on the young groms. He taught them strategies for surfing sub-par surf, stretching, observing conditions and surfing to the ASP judging criteria to maximize scores. The kids soaked it up and were totally stoked to have a surfer of his stature helping them out.
The wind howled from the west all night and went slack by Saturday morning. When the sun came up the competitors were pleasantly surprised to see chest high peaks with light offshore winds! With flat conditions predicted for Sunday we opted to start at 7:00 AM and pushed to finish the competition by late Saturday afternoon. Fun waves prevailed throughout the day, but the side/offshore winds made it a bit challenging.
We worked our way through the preliminary rounds and started into the finals with the Boys U18. PJ Raia and Keto Burns opened up with some impressive surfing that earned them a 7.17 and 6.5 respectively, putting Knox Harris and Dylan Kowalski on their heels right out of the gate. PJ followed with a 6.7 and Keto answered with a 5.83, but it wasn't enough to overtake PJ who took the win followed in 2nd by Keto. Knox and Dylan battled back and forth but Knox could not get a wave with the scoring potential to move ahead until the dying minute of the heat when he scored a 5.17 to pull ahead of Dylan Kowalski who, despite feeling under the weather and jet lagged from flying in from Hawaii for the event, surfed brilliantly all through the event.
Onto the Girls U18 Final featuring PacSun USA Surf Team Member and Montauk local, Quincy Davis, who was locked and loaded and snagged a beautiful set wave at the start of the heat and annihilated it for an 8.5, to tie Keto Burns for the high wave score of the event. Emily Ruppert took a little time to get revved up but finally locked into two good waves in a row for a 5.10 and a 4.33, enough for 2nd place. Jessica Kwiecinski found a couple of decent nuggets for a 3.77 and 4.23 and 3rd place, followed by Montauk's Selena Moberly in 4th.
The Boys U16 final was a veritable slugfest with lead changes after almost every wave. Knox Harris, Giorgio Gomez, Pat Schmidt and Noah Schweizer looked like a swarm of bees in the water scoring numerous waves in the 4 to 7 point range. When the horn signaled the end of the final there was only a 1.26 spread between 1st and 4th place! Giorgio Gomez took the win with a 12.00 total heat score. Noah Schweitzer was a close 2nd with 11.20. Double finalist Knox Harris brought home 3rd with an 11.10 and Pat Schmidt took 4th with a 10.74.
Girls U16 saw double finalists Quincy Davis and Emily Ruppert with convincing 1st and 2nd place finishes again with a much improved Emory McClary looking sharp for 3rd followed by Selena Moberly in 4th for her second final of the event.
Every event has its standout performer and at Ditch Plains that distinction belongs to Luke Marks in the Boys U14 Final. After a disappointing showing at ESA Easterns last month, Luke was out to redeem himself. Luke looked like a lad possessed, scratching into every decent wave of the heat and scoring several 7 point plus rides throwing away two 7s in the process. He finished with a 15.34, the highest heat score of the event and 8 of the top 10 waves scores in his division for the event. The rest of the field was battling for 2nd and only .57 points separated 2nd from 4th. Michael Vanaman bagged the 2nd spot followed by Cobie Gittner in 3rd and Andrew Rooney in 4th.
Awards were presented during a sumptuous gourmet dinner for competitors and family at the Surf Lodge generously provided by Vans. Vans also gave each competitor a certificate for a free pair of Vans shoes! Every competitor also received their stylie Surfing America Prime sweatshirt and a Surfing America Hat provided by NewEra. Kicker Audio provided their amazing earbuds to all finalists and their amazing technical head phones to division winners. Surfing America USA Surf Team sponsor PacSun provided all finalists with gift cards ranging from $25 for 4th to $100 for 1st!
Next up is Surfing America Prime West at Salt Creek, Dana Point CA, November 13 & 14, 2010, and in the East, Sebastian Inlet, FL, February 19 & 20, 2011. Top competitors in each division earn coveted slots in the Surfing America USA Championships at Lower Trestles at the end of June and a chance to earn a slot on the prestigious PacSun USA Surf Team.
1st – Luke Marks – 15.34 – Melbourne Beach, FL
2nd – Michael Vanaman – 6.93 – Sicklerville, NJ
3rd – Cobie Gittner – 6.77 – Ponce Inlet, FL
4th – Andrew Rooney – 6.36 – Brielle, NJ
1st – Quincy Davis – 9.5 – Montauk, NY
2nd – Emily Ruppert – 8.37 – Indialantic, FL
3rd – Emory McClary – 4.20 – Georgetown, SC
4th – Selena Moberly – 4.03 – Montauk, NY
1st – Giorgio Gomez – 12.00 – Jupiter, FL
2nd – Noah Schweizer – 11.20 – New Smyrna Beach, FL
3rd – Knox Harris – 11.10 – Ocean Isle Beach, NC
4th Pat Schmidt – 10. 74 – Manasquan, NJ
1st – Quincy Davis – 13.57 – Montauk, NY
2nd – Emily Ruppert – 9.43 – Indialantic, FL
3rd – Jessica Kwiecinski – 8.00 – Jackson, NJ
4th – Selena Moberly – 4.90 – Montauk, NY
1st – PJ Raia – 13.87 – Rumson, NJ
2nd – Keto Burns – 12.33 – St. Augustine, FL
3rd – Knox Harris – 9.67 – Ocean Isle Beach, NC
4th – Dylan Kowalski – 9.40 – Wrightsville Beach, NC