Eco Pro Surf Series Event # 1 Results and Mega Bonus Photo Gallery!

October 16, 2018 • Competition, East Coast Contests

Story Donny Ottofaro, photos and captions by Tom Dugan:
The 2018 Eco Pro Surf Series opening event, C4CW Pro, was held September 29th at Ponce Inlet in chest to head high swell. Great conditions to open the season with a stacked field of competition in both Pro and Amateur divisions.  Thousands of people were in attendance to witness ideal conditions for an east coast, professional surfing event. Aaron Cormican, Michael “Dunny” Dunphy & Daniel Glenn we’re looking unstoppable all day through the early rounds, quarter finals, semi finals as they headed inexorably into the finals. Micheal Dunphy nailed the victory in Mens Pro with a few rights in the 8.0 to 9.0 range. He was followed, in order, by Glenn, Cormican and Duggan to Mens Pro victors podium. Other standouts in the Men’s Pro division were young WQS competitors including Chase Modelski, Corey Howell equal 5th, Jesse Heilman, CT Taylor equal 7th and others like quarter finalist Shea Lopez, Coby Gitner, Tommy Grooms, Matthew Glenn, Wilfredo Deliz and Wiley Robinson. Other notables were high wave totals by Aaron Cormican with two perfect 10.0’s during preliminary heats.

Eco Men’s Pro winner Mike Dunphy is no doubt looking forward to the next event coming up October 20th at Paradise Beach / Futch Park Park in Indialantic, Florida to increase his lead over the very talented pack of contenders that will be nipping at his tail pad. PHOTO : DUGAN

  The Junior Pro finals came to North American WQS standouts winner Ryan Huckabee and runner up Chase Modelski followed by finalists Cory Jackson 3rd and Chris Caldwell 4th while the Women’s Pro final was won by NSB local, Ava McGowen, followed closely by USA Team member and ESA All-Star. Zoe Benedetto and Sophie Falzone 3rd, Ellie Barimo 4th.

The Masters Pro division was won by 2017 Eco Pro Masters defending champion, Kent Compayre, followed by Australian Ricky Grimsom 2nd, Jimmy Bloomenfeld 3rd and Dave Hoag 4th. Semi finalist were Shane Suefert, Bob Lindsey equal 5th and William Kimball, Stephan Nipple equal 7th. The Masters Pro division was the Eco Pro’s second largest Pro division behind Mens Pro while the multi-eqiupment afficianado Sam Duggan remains undefeated taking the Longboard Pro division for the 5th consecutive event.

Surfing in the Mens Pro AND the Longboard Division kept Sam Duggan very busy all day long. Sam putting his nine footer thru the paces. PHOTO : DUGAN

Amateur divisions were also packed with some of the states top competitors competing at the Ponce event.  Jimmy Blumenfeld was crowned Open Men’s Champion in stacked final followed by young upstart Logan Radd, Matt Dayton, Rick Mellon, Casey Coote and announcer Travis Ajay.

The Eco Pro Surf Series had a tremendous 2018 opener and the second stop at Paradise Beach, Future 6 Pro, isn’t losing any momentum. Some internal changes this year proved to be a solid move on behalf of the series as the Eco Pro is managed tightly by charity beneficiary, Future 6 Helping Hand (www.f6helpinghand.org). The 2018 staff includes Jim Tolliver, Donny Ottofaro, Jesse Robinson,  Skye Robinson, Randy Nolan, William Kimball, Shea Lopez, Gordon Lawson, and Jeremy Saukel to name a few. State wide support for the entire series includes Huey Surf Charters, McCranels Orthodontics, Surf Taco, Caton Hosey Insurance, Blue Line Surf and Paddle, Crowd Control Surf Company, Groundswell Surf Shop, Catalyst, Sun Bum, Clever Surfboards, and Share The Stoke Foundation.

The Eco Pro 2018 crew . PHOTO : DUGAN

One thing that hasnt changed is the mission behind the series. The Eco Pro was created to promote professional level surfers on the rise and amateur surfers seeking opportunities to increase their competitive experience. Proceeds from each individual event directly benefits charitable organizations involved in the surfing world that provide impactful programs for chilfren in our communities, ambassadors of coastal conservation, and celebrate our State’s surfing preservation and rich surfing culture.

The view from the jetty during high tide. The surf got just feet away from the cars and contest tents but did not seem to cause any problems. Great day for the beach it was. PHOTO : DUGAN

Results Contest #1 Eco Pro Surf Series:
Men’s pro
1. Michael Dunphy
2. Daniel Glenn
3. Aaron Cormican
4. Sam Duggan
5. Chase Modelski
5. Corey Howell
7. Jesse Heilman
7. CT Taylor

Seasoned pro, coach, shaper, advisor, and all-around stoked surfer CT Taylor was throwing down his trademark snaps and was a real threat going into the finals. CT was only able to get himself a 7th place in the Pro Division but as you can see by this photo, he definitely gave it his all. PHOTO : DUGAN

Junior pro
1. Ryan Huckabee
2. Chase Modelski
3. Cory Jackson
4. Chris Caldwell
5. Sterling Makish
5. Gabriel San Miguel

Ryan Huckabee is from South Florida and charges waves big and small. Wave knowledge helped Ryan grab a 1st place in the JR Pro. PHOTO : DUGAN

Masters pro
1. Kent Compayre
2. Ricky Grimson
3. Jimmy Blumenfeld
4. Dave Hoag
5. Shane Suefert
5. Bob Lindsley
7. William Kimball
7. Stephan Nipple

Hailing from Cocoa Beach, Kent Compayre headed north and surfed his brains out all day. Concentrating on turns like this is what garnered him a 1st place in the Masters Pro. PHOTO : DUGAN

Women’s pro
1. Ava McGowen
2. Zoe Benedetto
3. Sophie Falzone
4. Ellie Barimo

ESM has stated that Ava McGowan is one to watch and she proved us correct by grabbing a 1st in the Women’s Pro Division of the Eco Pro. PHOTO : DUGAN

Longboard Pro
1. Sam Duggan
2. Maddie Franz

With a field of only five surfers in the Longboard Division they decided to run just a final with Maddie Franz as the only female entrant. In a Goliath v. Giants moment she was on her game and confidently, gracefully styled her way to a solid 2nd place finish against her male heatmates. PHOTO : DUGAN

Open Men’s
1. Jimmy Blumenfeld
2. Logan Radd
3. Matt Dayton
4. Rick Mellon
5. Casey Coote
6. Travis Ajay

Living about 10 miles north of Ponce Inlet, veteran competitor Jimmy Blumenfeld surfs there from time to time on south winds. He was on a mission – as always – and out for a win. Jimmy took home a 1st in Open Mens and a 3rd in the Masters Pro. PHOTO : DUGAN

U16 Boys
1. Logan Radd
2. Carl Berger
3. Braeden Kopec
4. Maddox Mules
5. Skylar Redding
6. Dylan Seaman

The Boy’s Division is always a fun watch to see the new chargers coming into their stride. North Florida’s Carl Berger is on the move and always a threat in any event. He claimed a 3rd in the Boy’s Under 16. PHOTO : DUGAN

U12 Boys

1. Ethan Harbinson
2. Benji Lange
3. Reef Coote
4. Corbin Buckley
5. Josh Luterin
6. Gus Hultgren
U16 Girls
1. Jasmine Gailey
2. Madison Lavindar
3.  Olivia Bearin
4. Kelsey Pitcher
5. Maddie Franz
6. Aubrey Rasmussen
U12 Girls
1. Mya Sniadach
2. Cora Passarelli
3. Kylie Pulcini
4. Ava Lavender
5. Abbie Yates
6. Carlie Eastwood

Girls under 12 winner Mya Sniadach power turning with rail savvy eyond her years. PHOTO : DUGAN

Pollywogs
1. Grady Love
2. Asher Eastwood
3. Violeta Lopez
4. Zealand Stahr
5. Malia Tolliver

He rides longboards and shortboards and totally rips on both. Sam Duggan, off the nose and high into the air putting his shortie to the test and grabbing a 4th in the Mens Pro. PHOTO : DUGAN

With the waves being clean and very consistent top pro surfer turned shaper, Aaron Cormican hit the water and never looked back. Aaron’s surfing was next level and was exciting to watch to say the least, but a win was not to be and he ended up with a respectable 3rd place finish. PHOTO : DUGAN

Every now and then you need to get into the water to get your surf on. Contest emcee extraordinaire Travis Ajay leans into a cuttie on his way to a 6th place in the Open Mens. PHOTO : DUGAN

 

ESM is not really sure why the surfers from the Smyrna / Ponce Inlet area are not getting sponsored but if there are any, ANY companys looking for talent to support their sales back east, just head down to the beaches on a good day and take a look around. Pro Mens competitor Tommy Grooms is ready and waiting. PHOTO : DUGAN

 

This kid has been on a roll lately grabbing a first in the ESA Easterns a few weeks earlier but was not able to get the waves he needed for the win and ended up with a 2nd place in the Under 16 Boy’s. Braeden Kopec. PHOTO : DUGAN

 

New to the Florida Pro surfing Gabriel Sanmiguel just moved here from Puerto Rico to go to school at Flagler College. He’s ready to hit a few events and turn some heads. By the look of this snap I’d say the bar is being raised a few notches. PHOTO : DUGAN

 

At just 44yrs old local surfer Matt Dayton was on fire in the Open Men’s as you can see with this little rebound snap. Surfing heats like he was on a winning mission got him to a 3rd place in the Open Men’s. PHOTO : DUGAN

 

Another incredibly talented surfer who should be sponsored. Eros Exarhou rips every time he surfs and was landing his airs like they were nothing. PHOTO : DUGAN

 

Now living in New Smyrna Beach down from Virgina Beach, hitting the waves at Ponce Inlet has become a regular thing for Michael Dunphy. He’s been on a total mission to make the WSL World Tour. “Dunny” does any pro event he can enter to help him train for the day he may surf against the big boys while earninging addtional dollars to his campaign coffers. Michael was surfing with Tour level precision and speed throughout the event and, in the end, proved he was the one to beat taking 1st in the marquee Eco Mens Pro division. PHOTO : DUGAN

 

Mom and the next generation of girl rippers. PHOTO : DUGAN

 

Another surfer to keep an eye on as he grows, bulks up and surfs more heats is Brevard County’s Logan Radd. Logan has been ending up in the finals of almost every contest he’s entered lately putting down a 1st place finish in the Under 16 Boys over the weekend. PHOTO : DUGAN

 

Corey Howell has winning game flat out and is no stranger to winning a contest, but this time winning was not to be. He surfed all over the peaky waves with his usual flair but was not able to get past an equal 5th in the totally stacked Mens Pro. Two more contests in the series to go so do NOT count this kid out. PHOTO : DUGAN

 

Besides the Pro Event, the Masters was one of the most contested. Stephan Nipple slices a cutty on a clean one heading into a 7th place finish. PHOTO : DUGAN

 

Ormond Beach surfer and shark bite survivor Matthew Zaccaria was surfing with style and punch during his heats. The big question yet again is… WHY IS THIS GUY NOT SPONSORED!? If there is any company looking for riders to up their game on the East Coast look no further. PHOTO : DUGAN

 

The Women’s Pro was the 2nd to last heat of the day. With an outgoing tide the waves were slowing down a bit but that did not stop Zoe Benedetto from grabbing some nice ones on her way to a 2nd place finish. PHOTO : DUGAN

 

Da Boys left to right, Pro competitor Jensen Callaway, Eco Pro event director Jim Tolliver, head judge Gordon Lawson and Mens Pro 2nd place finisher Daniel Glenn. PHOTO : DUGAN

 

Daniel Glenn took to the air and it got him thiscloseto the Mens Pro win but it just was not quite enough to get past the well seasoned, WQS chops of Dunny. He ended up with a 2nd place Mens Pro finish, some cash for his efforts and served notice that he is truly one of the most promising kids from our coast who could go next level. PHOTO : DUGAN