ESA Crowns Mid-Atlantic Champions at Jennette’s Pier

ESA All-Star Rachel Wilson surfing her way to two big wins over the weekend. PC: MEZ/ESM

The Eastern Surfing Association’s 2018 Mid-Atlantic Regional Surfing Championships presented by The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and Surfer Dudes crowned its division champions this past weekend at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina. A high-pressure system that stalled off of the coast gave the ESA competitors from Delaware through South Carolina small, clean surf throughout the two full days of competition. Double-beached heats were required to complete the event a full day early due to torrential rains that were expected all day on Sunday.

While the ESA’s officials and competitors are accustomed to the unforgiving weather patterns in the Outer Banks, they figured it was best to continue running the event through Saturday with sunny skies and fun waves. “The competitors were amazing this weekend with understanding the schedule changes that we had to make,” said Michelle Sommers, ESA’s executive director. “Their patience and ability to remain flexible is the reason this event was so successful.”

The beach set up was massive with event sponsors on hand throughout the weekend. PC: MEZ/ESM

It was the first championship event for the newly-elected Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, Amy Rose. Rose’s experience running ESA’s Southern North Carolina District for 10 years enabled her to think fast and make the appropriate schedule changes, which included moving all of the youth finals that were scheduled for Sunday into Saturday afternoon.

“I could not have made this happen without the teamwork of the ESA directors and officials,” said Rose. “I’m already looking forward to next year and the inevitable challenges of Nags Head weather and waves.”

ESA All-Star Team mentor Samantha Newkirk PC:  Berke

ESA sponsors were on hand to support the event and provide lots of products for the spectators and competitors. The Spot had acai and poke bowls that certainly hit the spot for spectators on the beach.  Surfer Dudes provided lots of fun for the groms in the water. Buddy by the Sea had the perfect apparel for everyone to wear as temperatures soared into the 80s both days. Prizes for competitors included Sharkbanz, Kala Brand ukuleles, OluKai footwear, Unsinkable sunglasses, and Surfco and Chums products.

Saturday was a big day for ESA All-Star and Virginia’s Blayr Barton. Not only did Barton win first in the Sharkbanz Boys U14 and second in the Boys U16, he claimed first place in the Open Shortboard division.

Another ESA All-Star proved there is a lot of talent coming out of Virginia Beach. Rachel Wilson won the top spots in both Girls U16 and Junior Women U18 divisions. “The conditions were challenging and my competitors were surfing really well,” said Wilson. “I was fortunate to find the best waves to take the win in both of my divisions.”

ESA All-Star Blayr Barton made the most out of the small swell. PC: MEZ/ESM

Additional stand-outs from this event include All-Star Team mentor, Samantha Newkirk, who won both the Women Short and Longboard divisions, ESA All-Star Dylon Weeks as the Junior Men shortboard champion and second place in Open, Kai Nau who won both Bodyboard divisions and Owen Carter who took first in the Boys U16 while making the finals of the Sharkbanz Boys U14.

Full results for the event can be found on the event’s webpage. Keep an eye out for Eastern Surf Magazine’s photo coverage of this event, along with Shoot’s Media’s full recap video that will be posted in the coming days.

Special thanks to the following event sponsors:

  • The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau
  • Jennette’s Pier
  • Surfer Dudes
  • Sun Realty
  • Whalebone Surf Shop
  • The Spot & Secret Spot Surf Shop
  • Sharkbanz
  • Buddy by the Sea
  • OluKai
  • RipCurl
  • Chums
  • Kala Brand Music
  • Pepsi
  • Carolina Brewary
  • Pamlico Jack’s
  • The Outer Banks Brewing Station
  • Cafe Lachin
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • The Yellow Submarine
  • Nags Head Pizza Company
  • Darrells 2 BBQ & Seafood
  • Ocean Atlantic  Rentals
  • TW’s Bait & Tackle

Be sure to check out the ESA’s Northeast Regional Surfing Championship presented by Surfer Dudes. This final Easterns® qualifying event will be held in Belmar, New Jersey on May 18-20. There will be a live webcast along with plenty of ESA sponsors on the beach for the spectators and competitors.