First round of ESA Southeast Champions Crowned

The ESA is celebrating its 50th year in 2017.
Photo: MEZ/ESM

Friday marked the beginning of the ESA’s Southeast Regional Surfing Championship presented by Long Diggers in choppy, waist- to chest-high waves.  Conditions were fun for competitors who traveled to Paradise Beach Park in Melbourne Beach, Florida from the entire state of Florida and as far away as Georgia.

“This contest kicks off our entire post-season championship event season,” said Michelle Sommers, ESA’s executive director. “ESA competitors from all over the east coast watch to see who they may be competing against at our national championship, The Easterns®, in September.”

The adult divisions were held on Friday, along with the coveting “Go Pro” Open Shortboard Division, in which all ages and genders compete for top honor.

Steve Moldenhauer took first place in the Legends longboard division, and second in the Grand Legends shortboard. Photo: MEZ/ESM

17-year-old CJ Garren, an ESA All-Star from Central Florida won this title for the second year in a row, scoring the highest in a final in which he was the youngest competitor.  Tom O’Brien, also from Central Florida, won the Open SUP division, while North Floridian Colin Anderson claimed first in the Unsinkable Polarized Mens Division.  Haley Watson from Flagler Beach won the Womens Division and scored a Phunky brand rashguard and Sharkbanz leash.

Finalists on Friday with their awards. Photo: MEZ/ESM

All finalists were awarded commemorative plaques by Plak That with photos of Florida waves donated by Richard “Mez” Messeroll and Tom Dugan, co-founders of Eastern Surf Magazine.  First place finalists received free OluKai sandals and everyone on the beach scored some free products from Chums and Surfco Hawaii.

The event will continue today and Sunday with the youth divisions.  Be sure to check ESA’s social media pages for recap videos from Shoots Media and watch the live webcast at

Special thanks to the sponsors who supported this event.

  • Long Doggers
  • Phunky apparel
  • Sharkbanz
  • Crom Equipment Rentals
  • Ron Jon Surf Shop
  • Pepsi
  • The Doubletree Suites Oceanfront by Hilton Melbourne Beach
  • OluKai
  • GoPro
  • Unsinkable Polarized
  • Sticky Bumps
  • Eastern Surf Magazine
  • Rip Curl
  • Chums
  • Surfco Hawaii
  • Ahh Soles
  • Sharkinetics
  • Plak That
  • Harrington Graphics
  • Media in Motion
  • Tara Mosley Graphic
  • ESA 50th Anniversary sponsors

“Go Pro” Open Shortboard

  1. CJ Garren SAFL
  2. Rodney Logan NCFL
  3. Jonathon Wallhauser CFL
  4. Colin Anderson NFL
  5. Jason Motes NFL
  6. Casey Piester

“Unsinkable Polarized” Mens

  1. Colin Anderson NFL
  2. Michael Kapica WFL
  3. Brett Skaska PBFL
  4. Michael Morrill PBFL
  5. Casey Piester SAFL
  6. Mason Burke NFL


  1. Eric Benton CFL
  2. Chris Burdine PBFL
  3. Leonardo Merchan PBFL
  4. Lindino Benedett GA
  5. Donald Hopper SAFL
  6. Brian Fisher WFL

Senior Men

  1. Rodney Logan NCFL
  2. Jason Motes NFL
  3. CJ Ilano NFL
  4. Daryl Martineau NFL
  5. Darlon Lopez PBFL
  6. Sean Sabastian CFL


  1. Jay Smith NCFL
  2. Dave Hoag PBFL
  3. Mike Cunningham NFL
  4. Lynn Harrington NCFL
  5. Phillip Harris PBFL
  6. Rob Persan

Grand Legends

  1. Bruce Burnstin
  2. Steve Moldenhauer CFL
  3. Larry Holmes CFL
  4. Alex Arnold NFL
  5. Doug Marsh NCFL
  6. Charlie Quick SAFL

Masters Longboard

  1. David Montgomery FCFL
  2. Jason Motes NFL
  3. Rodney Logan NCFL
  4. Joshua Kistler NFL
  5. Dean Holley PBFL
  6. Daryl Martineau NFL

Legends Longboard

  1. Steve Moldenhauer CFL
  2. Phillip Harris PBFL
  3. William Austin CFL
  4. Eddy Clement NCFL
  5. Charlie Quick SAFL
  6. Doug Marsh NCFL


  1. Haley Watson SAFL
  2. Jade Beasley FCFL
  3. Taylor Richard CFL


  1. Lisa Tanner NCFL
  2. Alycya Simmons CFL

Mens Longboard

  1. Brett Skaska PBFL
  2. Bubba Tyson SAFL
  3. Leonardo Merchan GA

Open SUP

  1. Tom O’Brien
  2. Jake Williams NGFL
  3. William Austin CFL

Iron Man Award

Rodney Logan NCFL

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