Story, photo’s and captions by Tom Dugan
On Saturday May 12th Shea Lopez along with Inlet Events held The Battle To Beach Week Pro/AM at New Smyrna Beach. The first event of the Shea Lopez Surf Series with a second one for Daytona Beach Week 10K Pro/Am is scheduled for August 3rd thru the 5th.
Saturday, May 12th rocked with 2 to 4’ glassy waves all day long. Photo: Dugan
Shea, who was a ten year top 16 competitor and U.S. Open champion, has been working to give back to the community with these events and the Daytona Beach Week 10K Pro/Am will feature Pro Men’s, Women’s, Longboard, Paddleboard, and a X-Grom division.
Shea Lopez along with Inlet Events held the Battle to the Beach Week Pro Am at New Smyrna Beach. Shea who was a ten year top sixteen competitor and U.S. Open Champion has been working to give back to the community. Photo: Dugan
The Battle To Beach Week was held Saturday May 12th is now in the books and it was a great day for surfing. The skies were a bit overcast which kept the sunburns down and the waves were glassy all day in the two to four foot range with air temperature in the mid eighties. Seeing the groms fight it out in good surf is always fun to watch and fun is what it was all about for the Lopez surf series.
Battle to the Beach Week tent city. Photo: Dugan
There were some young guns that really went up and over the call. Kepa Mendia’s first heat was with his Dad Peter, Shea’s brother Matty Lopez, and Pro Event Winner Daniel Glenn, but Kepa took them all down putting his own Dad OUT of the contest. Kepa’s air reverse sealed his win and was an immediate contender for Maneuver of the Event. Another farther/son matchup was David and Blake Speir. Blake put his Dad out too. Bad day for Pops but quite the chuckle for Shea putting the heats together. Again, it was all about having fun.
Also putting his dad out of the event, Blake Spier surfed his way to a 4th in the Men’s Pro. Photo: Dugan
Women’s Pro Winner Zoe Benedetto was unstoppable on her way to first place. As always, her surfing was on point and once again paid off. Shea’s father Pete Lopez just picked up his new longboard that he shaped him so Shea entered him into the longboard division which to his surprise he won. The look on his face was priceless and he stated he hasn’t competed in years but the old “two to the beach” paid off for Pete.
Off the top and into the winner’s circle once again, Zoey Benedetto. Photo: Dugan
The Men’s Pro was highly contested with pros Nils Schweizer, Cobie Gitner, Robbie McCormick, Asher Nolan, Corey Howell, Blake and David Speir, Kepa and Peter Mendia , Matt and Daniel Glenn, Matty Lopez, and Josh Nicastro. The Men’s Pro Final was the final heat of the day and was well surfed but a bit slow with the sets .
Down to the last minute, Daniel Glen pulled a backside air reverse to win the whole event. Photo: Dugan
The lead went back and forth down to the last minute when eventual winner Daniel Glen grabbed a left runner and pumped down the line hitting a ramp, throwing a backside air reverse and landed it clean sealing the deal and getting the nod from all the judges plus $1000.00 big ones in cash and prizes. Everyone gathered, winners were announced, prizes handed out and the day came to an end at exactly 5:00 sharp. Check out the photos below and we’ll see everyone in Daytona. For more info check:SHEALOPEZSURFSERIES.COM
Robbie McCormick’s air reverse landed him just short of Men’s Pro Final. Photo: Dugan
Now calling New Smyrna Beach home, Corey Howell has its’ shifting peaks wired but also came up short of a berth in the finals. Photo: Dugan
Cobie Gitner early morning, pre-contest free surf. Photo: Dugan
Hurley East Coast Team captain Asher Nolan was there to support his team but decided to give it a bit of a go himself. Photo: Dugan
Smyrna Beach local back from Mexico, Nils Schweitzer, ripped the guts out of his home break earning himself a second place in the Men’s Pro. Photo: Dugan
Pete Lopez consoles the surprised losers of one of the Men’s Pro heats, which is one of the biggest upsets in East Coast history. The smallest of the bunch, Kepa Mendia took them all out…including putting his dad out of the contest. L-R Daniel Glenn, Kepa Mendia, Peter Mendia, and Matty Lopez. Photo: Dugan
Andrew Fletcher came down from Jacksonville and turned some heads with fast, aggressive surfing. Photo: Dugan
New Smyrna’s new boardwalk. Photo: Dugan
The X-Grom Division saw some awesome surfing. Logan Coluccio snaps one on the inside, Photo: Dugan
Although not quite making it to the winner’s circle, Matt Glenn still put on a fine performance. Photo: Dugan
A little friendly competition on the beach. Zoey Benedetto and Corey Howell playing some ping pong. Photo: Dugan
Early morning snap and all around good surfing throughout day got Braden Kopec a second place in the X-Groms Final. Photo: Dugan
All the way from Aruba by way of Merritt Island, Florida, Nelson O Oduber, Jr. takes to the air. Photo: Dugan
Even snaps like this couldn’t keep Peter Mendia in the event once he come up against his protege and son Kepa. Photo: Dugan
Jeff Sniadach gives his daughter Mya a few pointers before her heat. Photo: Dugan
Another grom making a name for himself, Logan Radd puts down a nice snap in the shore break on his way to a 4th place finish. Photo: Dugan
Women’s Pro Finalists. Photo: Dugan
X-Groms Finalists. Photo: Dugan
Pro Finalists. Photo: Dugan
Battle To The Beach Pro / Am Results
1st Daniel Glenn
2nd Nils Schweitzer
3rd Josh Nicastro
4th Blake Speir
1st Zoey Benedetto
2nd Niyah Rosen
3rd Mya Sniadah
4th Amelia Fazio
1st Ethan Harbison
2nd Braden Kopec
3rd Zoey Benedetto
4th Logan Radd
1st Pete Lopez
2nd Amelia Fazio
3rd Christian Oemke