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It won’t be long until the first official hooter blows and the inaugural, green heat flag is raised up on September 16th at Jennettes Pier in Nags Head, NC signaling the start of the 50th running of the Eastern Surfing Championships. To get the competitive juices flowing the ESA and ESM will be running a daily photo countdown with some of the best action images, decisive moments and just plain fun times ( because isn’t that what it is really all about in the end? ) selected from the past years of regional qualifiers, the wave blessed 2017 Easterns and from five decades of amazing moments from deep in the ESM archives. For all info on the upcoming 2018 ESA Championship’s please go to www.surfesa.org and get ready to bring your A-game!
This photo of Hanna Blevins, of the Saint Augustine Florida District, was taken a few years back during the 2015 ESA South East Regionals where she was still a relative unknown. The waves where really good this day and it was perfect conditions to show off your talent and compete at your highest level. This “mystery” competitor had really going off during her heats and I got some great images of her like this but I needed to put a name to this then U14 ripper then get the info to our editor so he could get our coverage up on www.easternsurf.com a.s.a.p. I called good friend, shaper and local legend, Mike Whisnant, of Whisnant Surfboards based out of Jacksonville, Florida and described her board and style to him. In a second he told me her name and the photo and story got published right on deadline. Hannah went on to final at Eastern’s that year against the likes of Storm Portman, Rachel Presti and Alexa Muss, killer surfers all. A few years later we went to Costa Rica to train with 4 time World Champ Frieda Zamba along with six other kids and Hanna was a true stand-out the whole time. It’s been a few years since she first got on ESM’s radar but where glad she’s here and looking forward to seeing her at Jennette’s Pier in two weeks at the 50’th running of the ESA Championships. – Photo and story Tom Dugan –