Surfers from Maine through New Jersey braved the cold water and big waves in Belmar, New Jersey, this past weekend to claim victory in the Eastern Surfing Association’s 2016 Northeast Regional Surfing Championship presented by Aerial Media Productions. The top finalists of this event qualify for ESA’s Easterns® Surfing Championships that will be held in September.
“Belmar is one of the most consistent surf breaks in the Northeast, and it provided the ESA great waves throughout the three-day event,” said Michelle Sommers, ESA’s Executive Director. “The waves were fantastic on Sunday morning with double-overhead and clean conditions for the finals of the youth divisions.” ESA officials, judges and competitors put on an ESA Expression Session when the contest had to be put on hold while they waited for more manageable surf for last day.
Logan Kamen proved why he’s an ESA All-Star by winning the Junior Men, Junior Men Longboard, Boys U16 and claiming third in the GoPro Open Shortboard Division. He was awarded the Youth Iron Man Award for his outstanding performance all weekend and won the Hot Wave Award with his highest score ever of a 9.37 in the Boys U16 final.
“It was an epic weekend of fun,” Kamen said. “I’m honored to be a part of the ESA. I’ve worked hard all winter and wanted to represent my home break, Belmar, well.” While the contest was on hold Sunday morning due to the waves being too big, competitors and ESA officials paddled out for an expression session. Kamen added, “Getting barreled in the magical waves from Sunday morning was pretty amazing.”
ESA All-Star Spencer Bridges won first place in the GoPro Open Shortboard Division, as well as second in Junior Men and fourth in Junior Longboard. Kyle Tester from Southern New Jersey won the Boys U14, placed second in the GoPro Open Shortboard and third in the Boys U16.
ESA All-Star Lexi Muss took first place in the Junior Women and battled with All-Star Maria Barend to defend her Girls U16 title, with Barend taking second. “Winning an ESA title is one of the first goals an East Coast surfer will have,” Muss said. “I was able to defend my Girls U16 title as well as add a Junior Women U18 title to my name. The girls were ripping and the waves were firing.” Maddie Ryan won the Girls U14 and placed fifth in the Girls U16.
This year was Cooper Fortney’s first ESA regional event in the adult divisions in which he won the Reflekt Unsinkable Mens Division and placed third behind South Jersey’s Kevin DeWald and Dylan O’Donnell in the Mens Longboard Division. Fortney said, “It was different types of heats and competition with people I’ve never had to surf against before. The competitors pushed just as hard, and it was great having the event at my home break in Belmar.”
Seamus Carey surfed his way to first in the Menehune Division, winning an East Coast Custom Longboard skateboard. CJ Mangio and Charlie Weimer followed in second and third, respectively. Keaton Fortney won first placed in the OluKai SUP Division and Kevin Roy took home the Adult Iron Man award.
Results are posted on the event’s webpage at www.surfesa.org/competition/northeast, and photos provided by Mickey McCarthy can be found on the Eastern Surfing Association’s Facebook page. The Easterns® Surfing Championships will be held at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina September 18-24, 2016. ESA districts will be running local contests throughout the summer. Check out www.surfesa.org for details on how to get involved.
The ESA would like to thank its sponsors who made this a successful event:
- Aerial Media Productions
- Liquid Shredder
- Eastern Lines Surf Shop
- Heritage Surf Shop
- Hank Sauce
- Stay Gold Café & Lounge
- Hooked Reel Food
- Fins Tropicali Cuisine
- Coffee Surf
- Playa Bowls
- Reflekt Unsinkable Eyewear
- Pura Vida Bracelets
- Surfco Hawaii
- Sun Bum
- Carve Designs
- Belmar Tourism
- Tradewinds Aviation
- East Coast Customs Longboard Skateboards
- Rip Curl
- Sticky Bumps
- Leonik Engineering
- Mickey McCarthy Photography
- Belmar Ocean Safety
- John Ross Webcasting
- Tara Mosley Graphic Design
- Media in Motion
The ESA, which is in its 49th 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.
Michelle Sommers, Executive Director
Eastern Surfing Association