Freeze for a Cause '10

Posted: Oct 25,2011 Written by  Michal Czarnecki

For the self-abusive masochist in all hobbyist and amateur surfers, Saturday morning would have been like a nondenominational winter holiday! If waking up to feel bad about yourself is your idea of a good way to start the day, the Dean Randazzo Freeze for a Cause surf contest is where you should have been. The Cause brought together some of Jersey's best competitive talent; talent that would have made many feel like they'd finally just popped up on their boards yesterday.

Saturday, March 6th, the 3rd annual Dean Randazzo freeze for a Cause surf contest took place. After the armada of SUVs and trucks began to pull on to the beach and set up a throng of tents and equipment, the contest was underway. After an arguably short delay, 10:30 AM came and the first heat hit the water. The subsequent heats would continue to do so until the clock struck 4:30 PM. The contest is held by the Dean Randazoo Cancer Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Foundation's purpose is to raise money for the cancer awareness and research, and to financially and emotionally assist those battling with cancer. Dean Randazzo was not there to witness the contest, he was on a plane back home, but must have definitely appreciated all the support. 

Coinciding with one of the nicer days this winter and the 17th annual Polar Bear Plunge, occurring on just on the opposite side of the pier, the contest had plenty of onlookers, both on the beach and parading across the boardwalk. Many strolled over without a clue of what was occurring, one family even asked a competitor “Is a surf contest going on?” Many, probably, stopped by to jump into the water for the cameras strewn across the beach photographing the contest.

A crowd amassed early on in the competition as a knocked-out competitor tried leaving the beach in his conversion van, resulting in some audience participation.

As the athletes ran back and forth on the beach between spots, and from their cars to interviews with FuelTV, time passed. Eventually the crowd, along with the competition began thinning out.

The six hour event quietly concluded with cameras rolling and photographers snapping away as the few remaining surfers claimed their places on an imaginary podium, huddle around one another. The longboard division's first and second place went to Sam Hammer and Joey Matthew, respectively. The shortboard division saw Matt Keenan taking home 1st, Rob Kelly in 2nd, and Sam Hammer filling out the top three.

A post party was held at the Hammer Family's “Crab Claw Inn,” and if it was anything like the air Hammer threw before the start of the last heat- it was ridiculous.

The contest left some impressions indefinitely; Jersey is about surf, even in the winter; Support can be a great thing; and most importantly, van's are not meant for off-roading on beaches- fun fact!


1. Matt Keenan
2. Rob Kelly
3. Sam Hammer
4. Josh Wilson
5. Connor Willem
6. Bryan Zinski

1. Kim Kepich
2. Jill Kepich

1. Sam Hammer
2. Jerry Mathews
3. Joe Gillen
4. Bob O’Donnell
5. Tom Forkin
6. Paul Guinta