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.

Southern New Jersey’s Kyle Tester on his way to winning the event’s Youth Iron Man Award for his final placings in multiple events, including the GoPro Open Shortboard Division. Photo: Mez/ESM

Kyle Tester, a New Jersey native, former ESA All-Star and surfer for Rip Curl, claimed the Youth Iron Man Award for his win in the GoPro Open Shortboard and second place finishes in the Junior Men U18 and Boys U16 divisions. Tester won a brand new Hero 5 GoPro for his efforts. Tester said, “It is always exciting to get to surf a contest in your home state with great people – no matter where the search takes you, there’s no place like home.”

ESA All-Star, and Belmar local, Logan Kamen battled with Tester to win the Boys U16, and took second in the GoPro Open and fifth in the Junior Men U18 divisions.

Maddie Ryan from Maine won the Iron Woman Award and first place in both the Jr Women U18 Shortboard and Jr. Women Longboard divisions. Photo: Michelle Sommers

Maine’s Maddie Ryan took home the Iron Woman Award for her wins in the Junior Women U18 and Junior Women Longboard divisions. Ryan also claimed second place in the Girls U16 and enjoyed the ESA’s event that’s not just all about competing.

“I really enjoy participating in the ESA’s Northeast Regionals because it is more than just a competitive event,” Ryan said. “I have the chance to see friends from my district as well as other ESA local districts that I may not see often.”

New Hampshire surfer and ESA All-Star Kainalu Nichols, won the event’s Hot Wave Award for a 9.0 score during his Junior Men U18 heat on Saturday. Nichols placed first in that division, second in Junior Men Longboard and fourth in the GoPro Open. Nichols said, “I have never won a regional event before so this feels awesome! My surfing has been improving every day, and I am excited to surf at Easterns® in September.”

Two Junior All-Stars made it to the finals of the Menehune U12 division in which New York’s Chase Lieder won first place.  CJ Mangio and Tucker Collins came in second and third, respectively. The ESA is extremely proud of its All-Star Team members throughout the east coast.

The ESA was proud to have co-founder Cecil Lear in attendance, along with Eastern Surf Magazine co-found Richard “Mez” Meseroll as the event’s official photographer. Photo: Michelle Sommers

Finalists in all adult and youth divisions received ESA 50th commemorative awards printed by Plak That Printing Co. with photos of waves from the Northeast region provided by Ralph Fatello. The photo for the special awards was provided by ESM co-founder Richard “Mez” Meseroll, who was the event’s official photographer.

Adult division winners walked away with new OluKai footwear the Men finalists received sunglasses from Unsinkable Polarized. Sharkbanz, Phunky apparel, Chums and Surfco Hawaii offered prizes for the finalists as well while Sticky Bumps provided surf wax for all the competitors throughout the event.

Final results, photos and daily recap videos by Shoots-Media are posted on the event’s webpage, ESA’s social media pages: Facebook – Eastern Surfing Association and Instagram – @surfesa, and on the following links:

The ESA wants to thank all of its sponsors for the 2017 Northeast Surfing Championships.

  • Sharkbanz
  • Phunky
  • Shoots Media
  • Eastern Lines Surf Shop
  • Town of Belmar
  • Unsinkable Polarized
  • GoPro
  • com
  • Rip Curl
  • OluKai
  • Surfer
  • Eastern Surf Magazine
  • Chums
  • Sticky Bumps
  • Surfco Hawaii
  • Ralph Fatello
  • Richard “Mez” Meseroll
  • Leonik Engineering
  • Media in Motion
  • Tara Mosley Graphic Design
  • Plak That Printing Co.
  • Harrington Graphic & Screenprinting
  • Carve Designs
  • DoughBoys Authentic Wood Fired Pizza
  • Fins Tropicali Cuisine
  • Playa Bowls
  • Jimmy’s Pizza Place
  • Hand Sauce
  • Coffee Surf Company
  • E Street Bagels
  • The Sea Girt Lodge
  • Gerry Matthews
  • Tim Bridges
  • John Ross Productions 

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.

Quick fact: Anyone that surfed an ESA Regional event in 2017 in the following divisions are qualified to surf at the USA Surfing Championships at Lower Trestles in June 2017:
All Adult Shortboard
All Longboard
All SUP Surf
Register at –

Press Contact:

Michelle Sommers

Executive Director, Eastern Surfing Association


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