Big News! ’20 ESA Regionals Cancelled, Easterns Still On!

May 14, 2020 • Big News !, Eastern Surfing Association, ESA

After adopting a wise and prudent ‘put it all on hold, wait and see stance’ as the Covid-19 pandemic began to turn our way of living upside down, it should come as no shock that the Eastern Surfing Association announced today that there will be, sadly, no 2020 Regionals events.

Whether you are pro ‘open the country now’ enthusiasts or ‘let’s take it one step at a time and try and follow the science’ types, everybody is antsy, either with fear of getting sick or the need to put food on the table – more likely both.

Total rock and hard place territory, like no other time in the history of this country and playing politics is the stupidest thing we can get hung up on- this is real and it’s preying upon everybody.

Drone shot of the ESA 2019 Championship Jennette’s Pier, during the Hurricane Humberto swell. With Regionals  wiped out by the pandemic, let’s hope we’ll all be back on the ‘Banks this September for the 2020 Easterns! Photo: Mez @mezapixels

The truth is, born out of every poll taken lately, that the vast majority of the population is still very scared by the possibility of getting – or giving – the virus and trying to avoid being put on a respirator or worse, being intubated, by going out to get their nails done, have a pint at the local pub, going to their place of employment and yes, by going surfing.

Myrtle Beach SC’s Bree Labiak during the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Regionals. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Erring on the side of an abundance of caution, ESA Executive Director Michelle Sommers and the ESA Board of Directors issued this statement regarding the cancellation of all 2020 Regional events and protecting the health of the surfers, the mostly volunteer staff and the spectators:

“The Eastern Surfing Association Board of Directors regretfully announces that they have cancelled all three ESA Regional Surfing Championship events for 2020.

Due to various reopening phases along the East Coast, it is highly unlikely that all three events will be completed in a timely manner prior to the start of each location’s summer season.

The ESA strives for transparency and fairness for its competitors.  If one regional event cannot be held, it is unfair for all competitors to run the others in order to qualify for ESA’s 2020 Easterns® Surfing Championship to be held September 20-26 at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina.

The ESA is excited to announce that its 2020 Easterns® will be a larger event in order to include more competitors.

Announcer James “Jimmy Guitar” Mc Mullin, ESA Executive Director Michelle Sommers, Central Florida Director Mario De Luca and co-announcer and Georgia co- District Director Jeff “The Georgia Peach” Mosely. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

“Prior to the creation of the ESA Regional qualification process, ESA competitors qualified for the Easterns® directly from their ESA District. We plan to implement a similar qualification method for the 2020 Easterns®. The general concept is described below:

Slots for the 2020 Easterns will be determined based on a competitors’ 2019 District ranking. Allocation of slots per district in each division will be determined by the January 1, 2020 membership count as is regularly done to determine slots for Regionals.

Competitors who do not qualify for a slot from their district may still apply as an alternate. Alternates may receive a slot in the event should a higher ranked competitor decide not to use their slot. Slot allocation information will be provided prior to the opening of sign-ups for the 2020 Easterns®”.

Chris Moore ripping  – and winning –  in the Mens Division at the 2019 ESA Championships. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Again, a wise, prudent course of action ESM fully supports and applauds that is meant to protect not just the Eastern Surfing Associations own but, just as importantly, anybody whom they may come in contact with (whether they surf or not) for the greater good of getting through this age of Covid-19. – Mez –

Sarah Abbott cranking hard on the inside bowl at Jennette’s during the 2019 ESA Championships. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Kanoa Wong shorebreak suicide lipper at the 2019 Mid Atlantic Regionals. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

The esteemed, hard-working judging panel all decked out for finals day at the 2019 ESA Championships. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Ocean City Maryland’s Austin Bren during 2019 the Mid Atlantic Champs at Jennettes’ Pier. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

ESA judge and keeper of the WSL priority System, Dave Portch. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Blayr Barton, 2019 Mid Atlantic Regionals Champion. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

All-Star’s Abigal Remke and Rachel Wilson along with Londyn North work together to help the ESA prepare the trophies at 2019 Southeast Regionals. If everybody gives a hand when needed or called upon like these young surfers we will get through this! Photo: Mez @mezapixels