Story and Captions by Tom Dugan
The 4th annual Salty Sweet Surf Contest went down in what could only be described as gorgeous, not-quite-summer-humid sunshine in the low 90’s with a cooling ocean breeze and still trunkable water. This highly successful and well attended all women’s event, which earned ESM’s Best New Contest accolade in 2014, promised a memorable 2 days of surfing, great weather and a sweet purse of five grand!
And all involved delivered on all fronts once again making this dynamic comp one of the best on the east coast no matter the gender and the premier contest to help showcase how far and fast our east coast women’s talent has risen and where it is going into the future.
And that is up, way up.
With great enthusiasm from event organizer Crystal Cooper, an accomplished top women’s surfer herself and the owner of Salty Sweet Clothing, the call went out that the weekend of fun and surf was “on”. The contest was held bright and early Saturday morning on the south side of the iconic Canaveral Pier in Cocoa Beach, one of the surfing worlds most iconic and historical venues in existence.
Crystal made sure there were photographers, announcers, judges, tabulators, trophies, vendors, food, t-shirts, hats and every item necessary to hold a successful competition including a hefty purse of $5,000, rivaling most any contest held on the east coast these days.
With that kind of cash up for grabs it all but ensured the girls would surf hard and at a high level to get a slice of the cake. Both days offered choppy, but consistent, conditions holding tight in the 2 to 4 ft range with a few overhead sets thrown in.
The divisions ranged from under 10 push-in to over 50 shortboard.
The crowd favorite was the under ten push-in that had some spectacular wipeouts and great rides, but the stoke on their faces when they completed a ride was priceless.
The most impressive and anticipated divisions to watch, however, were the women’s long and short board pros tilts.
The heats to qualify for those hotly contested, marquee brackets were scattered throughout the first day with the pro finals big crescendo of the Salty Sweet at the end of day two.
The longboard final was interrupted by a six foot brown shark that had been in the area chasing fish all day but got hungry around five and was darting around and jumping after the schooling bait. However, that didn’t stop top money winner Jazmine Dean from taking a first place in longboard and a second place in shortboard; grabbing $1750 to take home.
If you live and surf in Florida you never dismiss a shark sighting but you also learn how not to panic and keep a “third eye” to look out for yourself as well as any of your surfing mates when they occasionally cruise into the line-up.
The short board final was held around dead high tide late Sunday afternoon and saw the girls surfing clean, punchy shore break conditions. With all the action being right up front, the crowd cheered the girls on, no doubt inspiring them to give it all they had.
And inspire they did with this final clash of the two day affair pitting top talents Eva Luna and Jazmine Dean who went head to head, wave for wave, with Ava eventually taking the win for a $1,000 payday, Jazmine taking second and with Braidyn Cunningham and Avery Aydelotte placing 3rd and 4th respectively.
It was a great weekend and we recommend not missing it next year. Big thanks go out to all that helped make the event a rousing success.
2017 Salty Sweet Final Results ( and please scroll down through the results below for even more great photos ! )
The Supreme Title 50 And Up Shortboard
2. Robin Fowler
3. Jade Wong
Carl Coddington Insurance 50 And Up Longboard
1. Missy Barley
2. Christine Ryba
2. Sue Jowers
The Florida Key Lime Pie 30 – 49 Longboard
1. Nicole De Mars
2. Shannon Reichel
3. Sue Christman
The CB Explorerer Mag 30 – 49 Shortboard
1. Joy Anderson
2. Debbie Walker
3. Sue Christman
The Sam Art 19 – 29 Shortboard
1. Kia Mc Cutcha
2. Nicole Golden
3. Misty Burnett
Exceptional Surfers 19-29 Longboard
1. Skye Cronjie
2. Dallas Gilbert
3. Kyra Corta
The CB Health And Fitness 14 – 18 Shortboard
1. Sara Mc Farlane
2. Faith Patten
3. Amelia Falzo
The Barefoot Designs 14 – 18 Longboard
1. Amelia Falzo
2. Gabbt Viorel
3. Sara Mc Farlane
Citizens Wellness Spa 11-13 Shortboard
1. Bree Smith
2. Maddie Franz
3. Ava Drusch
The Jobbeedu.com 11-13 Longboard
1. Maddie Franz
2. Ava Drusch
3. Kali Netzley
The CB Music 10 & Under Paddle-In
1. Kylie Palcini
2. Niya Rosen
3. Kora Passarelli
The Fat Donkey 10 & Under Push-In
1. Lani Rodriguez
2. Guren Freeman
3. Nadia Tedder
Salty Sweet Pro Shortboard
1. Eva Luna $1000
2. Jazmine Dean $750
3. Avery Aydelotte $500
4. Braidyn Cunningham $250
Salty Sweet Pro Longboard
1. Jazmine Dean $1000
2. Kat Neff $750
3. Lauren McLean $500
4. Mia Larson $250