2020 O’Neill / Surf Dreams Foundation E.C. Grom Tour Champs Wrap-Up

October 21, 2020 • Competition, East Coast Contests

4th Annual East Coast Grom Tour Championships – Presented by O’NEILL & Surf Dreams Foundation

October 10th & 11th, 2020
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Buxton, NC
Story and photos by Jason Hoover
Awards photos by Travis Huffstetler

Families began to trickle into Buxton late Thursday evening and fill into the official contest venue, the Swell Motel, for this year’s 4th annual East Coast Grom Tour championships presented by O’NEILL. On top of being located right next to the Buxton skate park, the gracious hosts had a slew of free activities, bonfires and snacks available for the over 150 frothing groms as the energy level began to build for the weekend’s festivities and a chance to walk away with some cash and prizes!

Cose Stoyanoff 1st Open Shortboard

Pre-dawn Saturday morning, co-directors Phil Jackson, Seth Broudy and their crew of volunteers were on the beach at the historic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse setting the scene for a competitive weekend of kids pushing their surfing to the next level. Camden Hoover kicked the event off with an acapella version of the National Anthem, then the co-ed under ten competitors hit the water! Throughout the next two days of competition, the competitors battled each other and the ever-changing conditions to the delight of the audience on the beach.

Chloe Wienert and Holly Pierce facing into the teeth of a bracing Mid-October day at Buxton, NC during the 2020 ECGTC.

Finals day brought out the best in the young shredders as many heats came down to the wire.  Carolina Beach native Mack Landry found his groove in the Boys’ longboard final and dropped a 9 with minutes to go, narrowly edging out Virginia Beach’s Dorian Costa, both boys showed their prowess for nose riding and smooth drop-knee turns, Scott Pieno and Noah Avallone rounded out the podium with respectable showings.

Mack Landry, 1st Boys’ Longboard.

In the Girls’ longboard final, Bree Labiak styled her way to earn a chair ride up the beach, with Camden Hoover, Kill Devil Hills local Chloe Wienert, and Story Martinez placing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.  Watch out for 8-year-old Story, she’s going to be a force to reckon with in the coming years.

Girls LB winner, Bree Labiak gets the chair. The way this girls been going the last few years her friends and supporters are getting quite the work-out with all the hoisting’s she’s received with for her many first place finishes up and down the East Coast. 

During the fan favorite push and go final, Floridian Luke Carbone put on a show to secure his first East Coast title, followed by Kai Peters, little brother Maximus Carbone, and Reid Piotrowski. AJ Jackson was a huge help with the push and go division, helping out the young groms in the water and offering words of encouragement while keeping them safe on the paddle back out through the choppy conditions. The inaugural Ben Gravy Soft Top division final was a fun battle of styles and wacky tricks,  Dylan Watters snatched the top spot over Outer Banks local Stephen Muglia, AJ Jackson, and Noah Harrell. All four boys surfed in a manner that would have made Ben Gravy proud.

The always hard working judges ( l-r) Chris Burnette, Dave Portch, Adam Dills, Mike Beech and Kanoa Wong.

The co-ed under 10 division was a barn burning final, spectators witnessed the finalists exchange score after score, and with approximately eight seconds on the clock, Hatteras local Taylor Meekins dropped a 6.67 to earn the victory by one tenth of a point over Athan-John Robertson, followed by Luke Carbone and Sebastian Peters.  The u17 Girls’ Shortboard final was won by Camden Hoover, followed by Bree Labiak, Holly Pierce, Chloe Wienert, and Bella Faircloth.

Camden Hoover, winner of the Girls U-17 Shortboard final, can belt it out on land singing our National Anthem to open the event or cranking powerful turns like this.

Dylan Watters edged out an in-form Tristian Clarke to earn the Boys’ 14-17 final, Justin Pras and Noah Harrell took the 3rd and 4th spots.  The Boys’ 11-13 final was full of big scores and lead exchanges, Mako Musilunas locked in the title with a couple of right-handed hammers, Miles McCall, Noah Avalone, and Cose Stoyanoff also earned podium spots. The final heat of the event was the Open Shortboard division.  VB local and ONEILL team rider Cose Stoyanoff blew up with a 9.33 on his 3rd score to edge out Hatteras local Kai Westcoat by .83, Stephen Muglia and Tristian Clarke finished in a respectable 3rd and 4th.

Kai Westcoat, 2nd Open Shortboard.

As the final horn blew and the awards were handed out on a rainy and windy afternoon, co-directors Phil Jackson and Seth Broudy reflected upon the weekend.  Seth was extremely thankful to the parents and volunteers, and was impressed with the high level of surfing, saying “Great surfing, great people, and great camaraderie”. Phil Jackson was appreciative of all of the sponsors throughout the season, and had this to say “Keeping the stoke alive and sharing our passion for the sport is what it’s about.  The community vibe is what makes this one of my favorite events of the year.  We had some challenges with the weather but kept the quality of the event in tack to give the competitors the best and most level playing field possible.  I can’t wait to kick off the 2021 season in January!”

The Dream doesn’t come true without folks like this and a host of others not pictured: event staffers ( l-r ) Phil J, Dave Portch, Mike Beech, Kanoa Wong, Chris Burnette, Seth Broudy
Bottom- Adam Dills. Photo: Travis Huffstetler

2020 East Coast Grom Tour Championships Results:
Boys Open Longboard
  1. Mack Landry
  2. Dorian Costa
  3. Scott Pieno
  4. Noah Avallone

    Dorian Costa.

Girls Open Longboard
  1. Bree Labiak
  2. Camden Hoover
  3. Chloe Wienert
  4. Story Martinez

    Bree Labiak.

Parent Assist Push and Go
  1. Luke Carbone
  2. Kai Peters
  3. Maximus Carbone
  4. Reid Piotrowski

    Push in final Kai Peters, Reid Piotrowski, Max Carbone and Luke Carbone . Photo: Travis Huffstetler

Ben Gravy Soft Top
  1. Dylan Watters
  2. Stephen Muglia
  3. AJ Jackson
  4. Noah Harrell

    Ben Gravy open soft top final Noah Harrell, AJ Jackson, Stephen Muglia and Dylan Watters. Photo: Travis Huffstetler

Co-ed u10
  1. Taylor Meekins
  2. Athan-John Robertson
  3. Luke Carbone
  4. Sebastian Peters

    Boys and Girls 10 and under final Luke Carbone, Athan Robertson, Sebasti‡n Peters and Taylor Meekins. Photo: Travis Huffstetler

Girls’ u17 Shortboard
  1. Camden Hoover
  2. Bree Labiak
  3. Holly Pierce
  4. Chloe Wienert
  5. Bella Faircloth

    Holly Pierce.

Boys’ 14-17 Shortboard
  1. Dylan Watters
  2. Tristian Clarke
  3. Justin Pras
  4. Noah Harrell

    Dylan Watters.

Boys’ 11-13 Shortboard
  1. Mako Musilunas
  2. Miles McCall
  3. Noah Avallone
  4. Cose Stoyanoff

    11-13 final Noah Avallone, Mako, Miles McCall and Cose Stoyanoff. Photo: Travis Huffstetler

Open Shortboard
  1. Cose Stoyanoff
  2. Kai Westcoat
  3. Stephen Muglia
  4. Tristian Clarke

    Stephen Muglia.

    Boys Longboard final Mack Landry, Dorian Costa, Scott Pieno and Noah Avallone. Photo: Travis Huffstetler

    Cam Hoover.

    Tristan Clarke.

    Bree Labiak gets some coaching and comfort from her mom.

    Chloe Wienert.

    Girls 17 and Under final Bella Faircloth, Bree Labiak, Chloe Weinert, Camden Hoover and Holly Peirce. Photo: Travis Huffstetler

    Owen Wrenn.

    Open Final L-R/ Tristan Clarke, Kai Wescoat, Stephen Muglia and Cose Stoyanoff . Photo: Travis Huffstetler

    Noah and Scott.

    Boys 14-17 final Noah Harrell, Tristan Clarke, Justin Pras and Dylan Watters. Photo: Travis Huffstetler

    Kai Westcoat.

    Girls Longboard final Chloe Weinert, Camden Hoover, Bree Labiak and Story Martinez . Photo: Travis Huffstetler

    Eight year old gromette, Story Martinez taking on the big kids.