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.
ESA Jr. All-Star Blayr Barton from Virginia Beach won the Junior Iron Man Award for his effort in multiple divisions, including wins in both the Boys U14 and Boys U16. “I’m so stoked to win my first (ESA) regional title in Boys U14 & Boys U16!” Barton exclaimed on his social media post. Barton also placed second in Menehune Longboard U14 and fourth in the GoPro Open Shortboard.
Ted Eberhart, another ESA All-Star, claimed the event’s Hot Wave Award by pulling into a 10.00 barrel on Saturday during his GoPro Open Shortboard semi heat. “I paddled into the wave thinking of turns, but halfway through the drop, I saw it was going to throw over so I grabbed my rail and sat down,” Eberhart said. The replay of this wave is available for those who may have missed it live. Eberhart also took first in the Jr. Men U18 division.
Barton and Eberhart put up quite a battle but Dylon Weeks took first place in the GoPro Open Division. Weeks narrowly beat Barton’s brother, Kai, who came in second after an intense final between the two. Outer Banks’ local Nohea Futrell followed in third, with Blayr Barton in fourth, Eberhart in fifth and Chase Koch in sixth.
“After coming up short so many times, winning the GoPro Open Division felt amazing!” said Weeks. He also won the Sportsmanship Award for chairing up his competitors who won first in other divisions. “Winning the sportsmanship award meant a lot to me. Being able to chair up a few of my friends and share that moment with them was truly unforgettable.”
Another Virginia Beach competitor, and ESA Jr. All-Star, Rachel Wilson, won first in both Girls U16 and Girls U14 and took fourth in Jr. Women U18. Wilson said, “This was my third regionals and I have been working very hard to improve my surfing ability. Special thanks to my family who have been there for me every step of the way, and to all of my sponsors for their support.”
Before the youth finals on Sunday, the ESA held a memorial paddle out for Mickey McCarthy who was the organization’s official photographer and passed away suddenly in December 2016.
“Mickey meant so much to everyone in the ESA and not having him on the beach with us this year has been difficult for the ESA family,” Sommers said. “It was nice to bring everyone together to remember the special person that Mickey was.”
Finalists in all adult and youth divisions received ESA 50th commemorative awards printed by Plak That Printing Co. with photos of waves from the Mid-Atlantic region provided by Jordan Nason Photography and Matt Landon Photography. Sharkbanz, Phunky apparel, OluKai, Chums, Surfco Hawaii and Unsinkable Polarized offered prizes for the finalists. There was plenty Sticky Bumps surf wax for all the competitors throughout the event, and Pepsi provided water and sodas for the ESA officials.
Final results, OBX Live’s replay of the webcast and daily recap videos by Shoots-Media are posted on the event webpage, ESA’s social media pages: Facebook – Eastern Surfing Association and Instagram – @surfesa, and on the following links:
ESA’s 2017 Northeast Regional Championship will be held in Belmar, New Jersey, May 19-21.
The ESA wants to thank all of its sponsors for the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Surfing Championships.
- Outer Banks Visitors Bureau
- Shoots-Media Inc.
- Sun Realty
- Jennette’s Pier
- Town of Nags Head
- Unsinkable Polarized
- Rip Curl
- Sticky Bumps
- Surfco Hawaii
- Jordan Nason Photography
- Matt Landon Photography
- Café Lachine
- Waveriders Coffee & Deli
- Ocean Atlantic Rentals
- Carolina Brewery
- Leonik Engineering
- Media in Motion
- Tara Mosley Graphic Design
- Plak That Printing Co.
- Harrington Graphic & Screenprinting
- Anchor Scaffolding & Ladder Company
- Outer Banks Brewing Station
- TW’s Tackle & Bait
- Carve Designs
- OBX Live
- Pamlico Jack’s
The ESA, which is celebrating its 50th year in 2017, 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.
Executive Director, Eastern Surfing Association