The Eastern Surfing Association’s 2014 Easterns® Surfing Championships at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina concluded on Saturday with an exciting day of youth finals. The event showcased the best amateur surfers from the entire East Coast, including the Great Lakes and Alabama.
“The conditions were challenging all week with hard northeast winds, but the competitors really gave it their all,” said ESA Executive Director, Michelle Sommers. The event began with choppy conditions, but the wind lightened on Tuesday for the adult division finals. “The swell dropped a bit so the final heats were difficult for the competitors, especially with the high tide, but they all put forth an amazing effort,” says Sommers.
The winds picked up again for the remainder of the week-long event, but the competitors did not complain. “All the kids kept saying how much fun it was out there,” says Sommers. “While everyone hopes for clean conditions, it just wouldn’t be Easterns® without the harsh paddle outs and challenging waves that define East Coast surfing.”
A live webcast provided by John Ross reached over 20,000 viewers during the event, with all the archived video available at http://new.livestream.com//surfesalive/surfesa. “It’s nice for our competitors to be able to review their specific heats from throughout the week,” says Sommers. “We have also posted photos of the competitors and other event happenings by official event photographer, Mickey McCarthy, on our ESA website (www.surfesa.org) and Facebook page. Mickey will also be posting to his Facebook page at Mickey McCarthy’s Surftown.
In Wednesday’s GoPro Open Shortboard Final, Boys competitor Micah Cantor took first, besting Kyle Busey, who finished second, with Charles Gussy finishing third and Boyd Brown in fourth. Jersey Standout Tom O’Brien grabbed first in the Open SUP Division, while Sterling Dean Foster took the Reflekt Polarized Men’s Division title, followed by Christian Gyland, Erik Kirby and Michael Foard.
Saturday’s Menehune Final saw Laird Myers claim first, followed by ESA All-Star Noah Dovin, Ryan Huckabee and Kyle Tester. All-Stars Gabe Morvil and Simon Hetrick took first and second place, respectively, in the Boys Final, with Micah Cantor and Boyd Brown rounding out third and fourth. Virginia Beach All-Star Parker Sawyer took the Junior Mens event, followed by Nick Groshell, Quentin Turko and Paul Francisco in second, third and fourth, respectively.
Central Florida’s Storm Portman led the Girls Division, with Braidyn Cunningham in second, Hannah Blevins in third and Molly Kirk in fourth. In Junior Women, All-Star Piper Austin took first place followed by Lily Whatley, Jillian Bontempo and All-Star Laney Brooks.
The waves were especially difficult for the youth Longboard Finals, with All-Star Nohea Futrell, Grey Copenhaver and All-Star Kat Neff claiming titles in the Menehune, Junior and Junior Womens Longboard divisions, respectively. Cody Hammer emerged Open Bodyboard Champion, while Evan Mungin did the same in the Menehune Bodyboard event.
The Youth Iron Man, Adult Iron Man and Iron Woman awards were presented to Nohea Futrell, Kai Dilling and ESA All-Star Georgia Cook, respectively. Gabe Morvil took the Hot Wave Award, with a 9.0 as the high-score of the event.
A complete list of all the results can be found here at 2014 Easterns Results. The ESA would like to thank Plak That and Schoppy’s for going out of their way to create unique youth and adult awards for finalists.
The ESA also wishes to give special thanks to The Outer Banks Tourism Bureau and johnnie-O, who came on as presenting sponsors of the 2014 Easterns®, along with a big thank you to the Town of Nags Head and Jennette’s Pier for once again hosting this spectacular event.
The ESA is proud to have had many other sponsors supporting the event, including Reflekt Polarized, Sick Trix.com, GoPro, Sticky Bumps, Liquid Shredder, Chums, Rip Curl Wetsuits, Xcel Wetsuits, Sanuk, Athleta, Pepsi Bottling Company, Catch Surf, Surfer Magazine, Surfco Hawaii, Surf Nano Products, Media in Motion, Sharkinetics, Swellinfo.com, Barry Bags, Onymari and Lasting Image Promotional Products & Apparel.
Outer Banks businesses supporting the event included Jennette’s Pier, Sun Realty, Stan White Realty & Construction, Kitty Hawk Surf Company, Scotch Hall Preserve, Ocean Atlantic Event Rentals, Banxblock Sunscreen, Pamilico Jacks, Café Lachine, Waveriders Coffee & Deli, Tiki Tavz Beachin BBQ, TW’s Bait and Tackle and Hatteras Island Christian Fellowship, who generously stepped up to ensure a fantastic 2014 Easterns® event!
The ESA, which is in its 47th year, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit amateur athletic organization dedicated to the sport of amateur surfing. The organization promotes amateur competition for surfers of all ages and abilities, and is dedicated to the establishment and preservation of free access to a clean shoreline and ocean environment.
Michelle Sommers, Executive Director, Eastern Surfing Association