Big News! A Beachin’ Time At WSL QS Ron Jons / Quik Beach N’ Boardfest!

April 18, 2019 • Competition, East Coast Contests, WSL

All photos, captions, story and bonus photo gallery by Tom Dugan:
For the seventh year in a row the Ron Jons Beach ’N Boards Fest was held in Cocoa Beach, Florida. The weather was picture perfect and the beaches were packed with Spring Breakers and thousands of tourists. The event attracts surfers from around the globe with competitors from Brazil, Japan, Barbados, Peru, Hawaii, California, and the East Coast just to name just a few international surfing power regions. 
The waves started out choppy in the 4 ft. range and over the four day window dropped each day until the final day Sunday, with only one to two foot waves made it hard to really showcase each surfer’s potential but they did their best with every set that hit the beach and, one by one surfers were eliminated in the Pro Men’s, Juniors,’ and Women’s Divisions until there were just the best of each left to fight it out Sunday in the smaller but contestable surf.

With any four day event, the waves are going to change. Sunday, the last and final day, saw waves around one foot with a two footer thrown in here and there. Men’s Pro Winner Matheus Navarro from Brazil making the best of the small conditions on the final day. PHOTO: DUGAN

The Men’s Semifinals saw Brazilian Matheus Navarro edge out Californian Crosby Colapinto 10.25 to 9.30.  Heat two in the semi’s saw two of the finest from the East Coast, Stevie Pittman against Robbie McCormick, with Pittman coming out the heat winner with 14.75 to 11.50. The stage was thus set and the final heat of the long four day event came down to two surfers, one from the East Coast of the U.S.A. and the other from Brazil.  With each small set, the lead went back and forth but in the final minutes the Brazilian Navarro took the heat 15.64 to Pittman’s 13.90. 

Stevie Pittman surfed his heart out all the way to a second place in the Mens QS bracket but just could not get past the winner from Brazil. Stevie is just getting started and is traveling the world working on qualification for 2020. PHOTO : DUGAN

“This is my third runner-up in three years so I’m a little bummed, but I had a good event and surfed well which feels good,” Pittman said. “I’ll just have to hope for better luck next time. I just want to surf. It’s always been what I wanted to do and I’m excited to put my best foot forward. Now I’ll look to hopefully win an event, it’s definitely on my list of goals.” – Tom Dugan –
 For the full results head over to the WSL web sight WORLDSURFLEAGUE.COM

With Spring Break in full effect and beautiful weather all week long there was no shortage of beachgoers. PHOTO: DUGAN

Men’s QS Winners: 2nd place Stevie Pittman and 1st place Matheus Navarro. PHOTO: DUGAN

The Beach ‘ N Board Fest was a four day grind with a bit of waves to start the event. Kade Matson from San Clemente, CA made the most of what the ocean offered and ended up the Jr. Pro Winner. Kade redirects on Friday morning’s glassy waves. PHOTO: DUGAN

Jr. Men’s Winners. PHOTO: DUGAN

Floridian Ben Wingate’s run in the Jr’s did not last too long but he did get a few clean waves Friday morning before the winds picked up. PHOTO: DUGAN

OluKai brought their outriggers and gave people a chance to paddle and enjoy the feeling of ancient Hawaii in Cocoa Beach. PHOTO: DUGAN

Caitlin Simmers is from Oceanside, California and is no stranger to winning. In 2018 she was ranked #1 in Girls’ Under 16 West Coast Prime Series and was the NSSA Rookie of the Year after scoring three perfect 10’s at the NSSA Nationals. She brought her A-Game to Florida and took home the win in the Jr Girls’ Pro. PHOTO: DUGAN

Jr. Women’s Winners. PHOTO: DUGAN

Thursday’s opening heats saw some good action with the wind swell on hand. San Clemente’s Hagan Johnson took some time off work from Volcom to head east and try his luck and launched this nice little air. PHOTO: DUGAN

 

With the most surfers on the WSL World Tour seemingly being from Brazil, you can bet that like a rising, full moon tide there will be more of them flooding into the elite series with every passing year. Caleb Rapson surfed with speed and flair. If he shows up in the next few years it really won’t be a surprise. PHOTO: DUGAN

With World Tour QS points on the line, the event drew competitors from all over the world. Rinta Oooto from Japan speed floats a nice section on Thursday. PHOTO: DUGAN

Daniel Glenn, who has put a few first place trophy’s on the shelf recently, gave it hell but failed to make it all the way even with bangers like this. PHOTO: DUGAN

Kent Compayre getting his dog on with the help of Salty Crew’s CJ Hobgood who was feeding the crowds over the weekend outside of Ron Jon’s. Southern food at its finest. PHOTO: DUGAN

GIF sequence of Robbie Mc Cormick: Dugan

Dropping high scores is nothing new to Noah Schweizer having just won the 2019 Florida Pro at Sebastian Inlet in January. He did get a bit of a roll going in his heats but Noah just could not find the winning waves this day. PHOTO: DUGAN

Cocoa Beach lifeguard’s were on hand for any help you needed. PHOTO: DUGAN

Up, out and over. Robbie McCormick throwing tail. PHOTO: DUGAN

ESA All Star, and recent ESM “Who Da Guy”, Blayr Barton got a spot in the Jr. Pro thru the ESA. He was one of the 4 competitors the ESA was allowed to enter into the main events. He made the Semis but ended up wave starved and was put out. PHOTO: DUGAN

Hailing from Encinitas, CA, Nick Marshall is no stranger to small waves. He learned to surf at Naples Pier on the Gulf Coast of Florida so a bit of groveling in small waves is just par for the course. Nick smacking one in the shore break. PHOTO: DUGAN

Chase Modelski surfed clean and smooth in the small conditions. PHOTO: DUGAN

Another surfer from San Clemente, California Jeff Schilling surfed his way thru the crowded field of on-fire surfers to a 3rd place finish in the Jr. Pro. PHOTO: DUGAN

The girls are chilling and enjoying the warm weekend weather. PHOTO: DUGAN

Traveling from his home in Kona, Hawaii Taro Watanabe might not be use to colder water but his surfing was tight even in the small conditions. PHOTO: DUGAN

Owen Moss, down from the Carolinas, surfed well in the small waves but just could not find the right ones to get two good scores. Keep an eye on Owen as he’s just starting to win heats and show off his aggressive style. PHOTO: DUGAN