The Eastern Surfing Association held its 2014 Southeast Regional Surfing Championships at Paradise Beach Park in Melbourne Beach, Florida this past weekend, showcasing the best amateur surfing from throughout the region.
“It was an exciting contest,” said ESA Executive Director Michelle Sommers. “We had consistent surf throughout the entire event, and the competitors put on a fantastic display of progressive surfing. The local surf community really came out to support the ESA, including former ESA All-Star and pro surfer Shea Lopez, who assisted with announcing throughout the event. It was great to welcome Shea back into the ESA fold.”
Competitors qualified for this event through their local ESA districts over the past year and were competing for a coveted slot at the ESA’s premier event, the 47th Annual Eastern Surfing Association Championships, known as The Easterns®, scheduled for September 14-20 at Nags Head, North Carolina. The ESA’s three Regional events are also qualifiers for the Surfing America Prime Series and the Surfing America USA Championships.
There was a live webcast during all three days of competition on the ESA website (www.surfesa.org). “It was wonderful to be able to allow people who couldn’t attend the event in person to view it live online while it was happening,” says Sommers. “Having both Travis Ajay and Shea Lopez on the microphone was entertaining for everyone watching the event both on the beach and online.”
The GoPro Open Shortboard Division was won by North Florida’s Hobie Sears, who took home a brand new GoPro camera with accessories for his effort, with Sterling Dean Foster and Chuck Lanham finishing second and third, respectively.
Taking the Menehune Division for a second year in a row was Central Florida’s Noah Dovin, with Ryan Huckabee and Luke Shaw in second and third, respectively. Christian Daniels, Evan Brownell and CJ Garren were the one, two, three finishers in the Boys Division, while Nic Groshell bested Hobie Sears and Charlie Current to round out the top three in the Junior Mens Division.
The Girls Division was led by Braidyn Cunningham, with Rachel Presti in second and Storm Portman in third. North Florida’s Piper Austin took Junior Womens for a second consecutive year, followed by Shealyn Cunningham and Lily Whatley.
The Iron Man and Junior Iron Man Awards were presented to Kieran and Fisher Grant, who competed in multiple divisions and had the highest placings in those divisions during the event. Noah Dovin was presented with the ESA’s Sportsmanship Award, while Hobie Sears received the Hot Wave Award by garnering the highest one-wave score for a total of 28.5 out of a possible 30 points.
A complete list of all the results can be found at www.surfesa.org. Photos of the event will also be posted on the ESA website and Facebook page, and the webcast can be viewed in its entirety on the ESA website for the next week.
Special thanks go out to ESA National and Local Sponsors, including Reflekt Polarized, GoPro, johnnie-O, Sick Trix, Surfer Magazine, Swellinfo.com, Sticky Bumps Surf Wax, Banana Boat, Ron Jon’s Surf Shop, Paradise Treats, Longboard House, Paddleboard House, Salty Sista Apparel, Surfco Hawaii, Chums, Catch Surf, MCC Global and local artist Erin Woodruff.
Also, just a reminder to stay tuned for info on the ESA Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Regional events, which will be taking place in Folly Beach, South Carolina and Long Beach Island, New Jersey in the coming weeks.
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.
Photos courtesy of Tom Dugan