ESA announces its 2017 Marsh Scholarship recipients

The Eastern Surfing Association is proud to announce the two recipients of its 2017 Marsh Scholarship.  Lars Hamilton, an ESA All-Star, received top honors, along with former ESA member Mya Kotolac.

Hamilton will be entering the Paul School of Business at the University of New Hampshire next week. “I’m focused on pursuing a business education that will leave me prepared for a variety of careers post-college, and very excited and honored to win one of the Marsh Scholarships.

Kotolac will be a senior at UC Berkeley studying Landscape Architecture, with a very well-rounded last year of classes to prepare her for the profession.  “I am so grateful to receive this scholarship, especially from the surfing community I grew up with competing in the ESA.  Following graduation, Mya will be applying to the masters program of landscape architecture at Harvard as well as UC Berkeley.  “Thank you, ESA, for your support towards my educational goals.  My family and I are extremely grateful!”
The ESA’s Marsh Scholarship began in 1981 to recognize and honor the accomplishments of the Marsh Family, specifically Mike Marsh who set an example to all by earning his law degree while fighting cancer.  Over 120 awards have been made and over $150,000.00 has been awarded.  
ESA’s executive director Michelle Sommers said, “The ESA’s Marsh Scholarship is another example why this organization is about more than just surfing.  It was a difficult decision as we had many qualified applicants.  We are proud of the achievements that Lars and Mya have, and cannot wait to see what their future holds.” 
Hamilton adds, “The ESA has done so much to help me learn and grow as a person, pushing me in the water and in the classroom. The ESA has supported me since my Menehune days, and its reassuring to know they are still committed to helping me achieve excellence at school and in the ocean.”
For more information about the ESA and its Marsh Scholarship, please visit their website at

ESA Northeast Surfing Champions Crowned in Belmar, NJ

Jr. All-Star CJ Mangio from NY claimed victory in the Boys U14 division, as well as 2nd place in the Menehune U12. Photo: MEZ/ESM

May 24, 2017 – The Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) held its 2017 Northeast Regional Surfing Championship this past weekend in Belmar, New Jersey on 17th Avenue, across from Eastern Lines Surf Shop. This was the ESA’s third and final regional event that qualifies the participating competitors for The Easterns® Surfing Championships that will be held in Nags Head, North Carolina on September 17-23 at Jennette’s Pier, as well as the USA Championships being held next month in California.

Grand Legends’ winner Ed Fawess enjoyed the hot weather and clean conditions during Friday’s adult divisions. Photo: MEZ/ESM

The weekend began with sunny, hot summer-like air temps on Friday with clean, waist high peelers for the adult divisions. Saturday saw a thirty-degree drop in temps, clouds, onshore winds and bouts of rain for the start of the youth divisions. This provided a building wind swell throughout the day that gave competitors some fun waves going into the finals on Sunday.

Joe Grottola, ESA’s Northeast Regional Director, was not only overseeing the event but was a competitor as well claiming top spots in both the Legends Short- and Longboard divisions. East Coast legend Peter Pan won the Iron Man Award for his final placings in the Grand Legends, Legends Longboard, SUP and Open Bodyboard divisions. Jonathon Cahn won the Unsinkable Polarized Men’s Division, and Becca Speak took the Women’s Division in her very first regional event.
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ESA Mid-Atlantic Surfing Champions Crowned

Girls U14 & U16 first place finalist Rachel Wilson, an ESA All-Star, being chaired up the beach. Photo: Jordan Nason Photography

May 10, 2017 – The Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) held its 2017 Mid-Atlantic Regional Surfing Championship this past weekend in perfect waves at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina. A massive frontal storm system moved through the area on Friday and provided excellent surf for the entire weekend.

“Everyone along the east coast knows that the Outer Banks has the most consistent surf so it’s the best place the hold a surfing event,” said Michelle Sommers, ESA’s executive director. “Unfortunately, it also gives us the worst weather along with the great waves. Our competitors agree that it’s always worth dealing with the unexpected conditions that we seem to get every time we are in the Outer Banks.”

The adults persevered on Friday through multiple delays and were rewarded with head-high waves. Kai Dilling took home the Adult Iron Man Award for placing first in Masters Longboard and two-second place finishes in Senior Men Shortboard and the SUP divisions. Outer Banks’ own Leanne Robinson won another Women’s Division while David Taylor took first in the Unsinkable Polarized Men’s Division.
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ESA’s Southeast Youth Champions

ESA Groms Photo: MEZ/ESM

The ESA’s 2017 Southeast Regional Surfing Championships presented by Long Doggers wrapped up on Sunday with its finals in the youth divisions for competitors under 18 years of age.  All three days of competition had onshore winds that created less than ideal surfing conditions but provided consistent waves for the making of an exciting event.  Recap videos produced by Shoots Media can be viewed at the following links:

All results will be posted on the event webpage.
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First round of ESA Southeast Champions Crowned

The ESA is celebrating its 50th year in 2017.
Photo: MEZ/ESM

Friday marked the beginning of the ESA’s Southeast Regional Surfing Championship presented by Long Diggers in choppy, waist- to chest-high waves.  Conditions were fun for competitors who traveled to Paradise Beach Park in Melbourne Beach, Florida from the entire state of Florida and as far away as Georgia.

“This contest kicks off our entire post-season championship event season,” said Michelle Sommers, ESA’s executive director. “ESA competitors from all over the east coast watch to see who they may be competing against at our national championship, The Easterns®, in September.”

The adult divisions were held on Friday, along with the coveting “Go Pro” Open Shortboard Division, in which all ages and genders compete for top honor.
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