2019 NKF / Rich Salick Pro-Am Contest Report

November 27, 2019 • Competition, East Coast Contests

Story, photos & captions by Tom Dugan

The 34th Annual NKF Rich Salick Pro/Am Surf Festival was held October 11th thru the 14th at the legendary, iconic Canaveral Pier, ground zero in East Coast contest surfing history.

With 29 divisions and a tandem event, the NKF used both sides of Canaveral Pier to hold heats. A Girl’s Longboarder heads south for the pier . PHOTO : DUGAN

It was the first time in memory that the event was not held over Labor Day Weekend.  Due to Hurricane Dorian the contest was held off and rescheduled to October. The dates once again fell on a holiday, Columbus Day Weekend but due to it not being the end of the summer, weekend attendance was a bit off, but all that showed up saw some of the best Pro and amateur surfing on the coast .

Hurricane Dorian may have shut down the comps original date but the Atlantic still came through. Not the biggest swell the event has seen for finals day, but it sure was pretty and as they say, plenty contestable. PHOTO: DUGAN

The waves for the three days varied from overhead chop the first day, to cleaner four foot waves the second day as the winds started to calm, and perfect three foot clean waves with offshore winds for day three.  With the clean waves and offshore winds all the finalists had the chance to show  off their best surfing in conditions you could only hope for. The waves almost always show up for the NKF and this year’s final day would have had Rich Salick grinning from ear to ear.

This move garnished nine points and helped put Logan Hayes on track for a win at this year’s NKF Men’s Pro. PHOTO: DUGAN

With 29 divisions, plus tandem surfing, every day was a marathon that organizers and judges worked thru to the end.  As always Phil Salick was on hand helping out some, taking in the competition at other times, and being there till the end to hand out the trophies and checks to the Pros. The event has raised millions over the years for Kidney research and this year was an added plus to their ongoing fundraising.  We look forward to next year being the 35th . – Tom Dugan –

Results for the 2019 NKF

MEN’S PRO

1st     Logan Hayes

2nd    Tommy Coleman

3rd     Daniel Glenn

4th     William Hedelston

As local as they come, this is William Hedelston’s home break. He can surf this place with his eyes closed. William surfed so many heats, surfing two divisions, grabbing a 2nd in the Jr. Pro and a 4th in the Men’s Pro. He took home $1350.00 for his weekend efforts. PHOTO: DUGAN

JUNIOR PRO

1st     Tommy Coleman

2nd    William Hedleston

3rd     Blake Spier

4th     Joel Luteran

With Canaveral Pier not really known for its power, it takes a bit to find a section to take to the air. Tommy Coleman having surfed so many heats here can make it happen when he needs a good score. Tommy won the Jr Pro and got 2nd in the Men’s Pro . That’s how you get it done . PHOTO: DUGAN

MEN’S PRO LONGBOARD

1st      Saxon Wilson

2nd     Fisher Grant

3rd      Steven McLean

4th      Anthony Flores

He won it last year, he won it this year, and the way he’s surfing everybody better take note next year. Longboard Pro Winner Saxon Wilson with five over the nose . PHOTO: DUGAN

WOMEN’S PRO

1st      Ave McGowen

2nd     Abbie Yates

3rd      Kylie Pulcini

4th      Maddie Franz

The women are surfing better than ever. One of Florida’s best up and comers, Ava McGowen showing winning form on her way to a first in the Women’s Pro. PHOTO: DUGAN

WOMEN’S PRO LONGBOARD

1st      Maddie Franz

2nd     Mia Larson

3rd      Sarah Stotz

4rh      Abbie Yates

The Women’s Longboarding has really taken off in the last couple of years and Pro Longboard winner Maddie Franz is by far leading the pack. Maddie casually hangs ten heading for the pier. PHOTO : DUGAN

We don’t like to call it to early but here is another young talent to track on what promises to be an ascending curve through the mini-grom ranks over the next few years. With some beautiful set’s bumping up out the back Beckham McCart attacks the top of the shorebreak tagging on extra points in the Boy’s 12 & U .  PHOTO: DUGAN

What lady does not enjoy a bubbly bath after a hard days work? Women’s Pro winner Ava McGowen getting a good champagne soak after her well deserved victory . PHOTO : DUGAN

Women’s Longboard Pro 2nd place finisher Mia Larsen stretches five in the finals. PHOTO: DUGAN

With clean surf on the finals’ day everyone’s surfing was on display. Joel Luteran snaps one off the lip showing a clean aggression that did not go un-noticed. Joel ended up with a fourth in the Jr. Pro. PHOTO: DUGAN

The Men’s Longboard Pro was highly contested . Fisher Grant was totally ripping every wave he surfed. Fisher shown here on a Snackbar right screamer. PHOTO: DUGAN