2015 Award Winners From The Northeast Regionals In Belmar, NJ. Photo - Mickey McCarthy.
The Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) Regionals’ season ended with a bang this past weekend in Belmar, New Jersey with the ESA 2015 Northeast Regional Surfing Championships. The event, which brought together surfers from the Great Lakes through New Jersey, was the third and final regional event of the 2015 season and serves as the Northeast qualifier for the ESA 2015 Eastern Surfing Championships (Easterns®) at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina September 20-26, as well as Surfing America’s USA Championships and East Coast Prime Series.
“Our Northeast competitors are some of the most dedicated surfers I’ve ever seen,” says ESA Executive Director Michelle Sommers. “They get some of the best waves along the East Coast, but they have to brave frigid ocean and air temperatures throughout much of the year.”
The adult divisions on Friday occurred in minimal conditions but the swell increased throughout the weekend to provide clean and nearly perfect conditions for Sunday’s finals. No one seemed to mind the early lack of surf, however, as many enjoy this annual event as a time to get together with old friends. ESA Northeast Regional Director Joe Grottola says “The Northeast Regionals seem more like a reunion – it’s just so nice to see everybody. It was also really cool to have such fun surf for the Finals.”
Cecil Lear, a co-founder of the ESA, lives in Belmar. “Having Cecil at the event in his hometown of Belmar also makes it really special,” adds Grottola.
There was a live webcast at ESA website provided by John Ross that had thousands viewing online each day of the event. Aerial Media Productions provided spectacular drone footage of the contest, as well. Check out their video of the event here!
Spencer Bridges getting the job done. Photo - Mickey McCarthy.
Central New Jersey ESA All-Star Spencer Bridges won the Junior Mens, Junior Mens Longboard and the GoPro Open Shortboard Division, finishing first in every heat he surfed the entire weekend and was rewarded with a new Hero-4 GoPro camera for his efforts. Says Bridges, “It was awesome surfing great waves with my friends all weekend and really exciting to take home three wins, considering how well everyone was surfing.”
Another stand-out competitor throughout the weekend was Northern New England’s Robbie Goodwin. At just ten years old, Robbie not only took first place in the Menehune Division, which landed him a new Catch Surf surfboard, but was the youngest finalist in the GoPro Open Shortboard Division, where he finished fourth. Says Goodwin, “I’m stoked I made it to the GoPro Open Final. It’s was really cool to surf a heat with those guys.”
South Jersey ESA All-Star Kyle Tester, who spent much of his winter training in Hawaii with the Rip Curl Team, was carried up the beach by his fellow All-Stars after taking top honors in the Boy’s Division. “I am super-stoked to be the Northeast Regionals Boys Champion,” exclaimed Tester.
New York’s Dakota Ejnes claimed first place in Junior Women, while ESA All-Star Kallie Leonik’s Hawaii training also paid off, for a win in Junior Womens Longboard. Alexa Muss from Central New Jersey won an O’Neill Wetsuit for her win in the Girls Division.
Liquid Shredder Surfboards attended all three ESA regionals, bringing a trailer full of SUP and surfboards for the competitors to demo. Kara Borzillo, who won the Womens Shortboard Division while riding a Liquid Shredder, took the board back to South Jersey for her efforts. Borzillo also took first in the Womens Longboard Division.
The Reflekt Polarized Mens Division saw Reflekt teamrider and South Jersey standout Kevin DeWald take the win. DeWald also took the Mens Longboard title. New York’s
Craig Leider dominated his divisions with wins in Masters, Masters Longboard and Open SUP.
A complete list of all the results can be found the ESA website. Photos of the event will be posted on the ESA website, as well as on both the ESA and event photographer Mickey McCarthy’s Facebook pages.
Special thanks to the Borough of Belmar and Eastern Lines Surf Shop for working closely with ESA’s Central New Jersey District to host a stellar event. The ESA also wishes to thank all National and Local Sponsors, including Reflekt Polarized, Rip Curl, Liquid Shredder, OluKai, Jack Link’s Squatch Beef Jerky, GoPro, Surfer Magazine, Swellinfo.com, Sticky Bumps Surf Wax, O’Neill Wetsuits, Surfco Hawaii, Chums, Catch Surf, Media In Motion, SNP, Banxblock Sunscreen, Belmar Tourism, Eastern Lines Surf Shop, Hank Sauce, New Jersey American Water, CCW Insurance Group, Bar Anticipation, Spellbinder’s Surf Shop, Stay Gold Café & Lounge, Dunkin’ Donuts, Kingdom Surfboards, 3 Brothers Pizza, Heritage Surf Shop, Rhizotomy Paddleboards, AMP (Aerial Media Productions), Hooked, Barewires Surf Shop, Waterlily and, especially, Skyline Scaffolding.