Story, photos and captions by Tom Dugan:
On March 3rd and 4th USA Surfing held a Prime Event at the Cocoa Beach Pier.
Due to a prediction of extra large surf, combined with super high tides from winter storm Riley, the event was moved from New Smyrna Beach, FL south to Cocoa Beach at the very last moment. It turned out to be the right call with waves on Saturday starting out in the morning at about two feet gradually growing throughout the day to around four feet.
Announcer Travis A.J. front and center in his second story digs at Canaveral Pier. The event was moved south from New Smyrna due to stormy surf conditions. First time The USA Prime was in Cocoa Beach but to no one’s disappointment. Photo: Dugan
Sunday dawned with four to five foot waves, semi clean, but very contestable throughout the day. The call both days started at 8 AM sharp and went to a bit after 5 PM. Heat after heat culminated with a four person finals ending the event in Boy’s Under 14, 16 and 18, along with the girls Under 14 and 18. There was some extremely strong surfing going down with Tommy Colman dropping a 9.40 and a 7.57 in Boys Under 16 to take the win over 2nd place Kyle Tester, 3rd place Blake Speir, and 4th place Owen Moss.
The legendary “Snack Bar Right” doing its’ thing. Photo: Dugan
Not to be out done, Blake Speir came back in the Boys Under 18 to grab the win over Mica Cantor, Tommy Coleman, and Chase Modelski. On the Girls side Rachel Presti took the Girls Under 18 with Zoe Benedetto taking the Girls Under 16. Following a long two days of competition seashell awards were given out on the beach, winners photos were taken, and plans were made for the following week to train with Pipe Master Joey Buran and for a chance to be a part of the US Team headed for the Olympics.
Day two might have been one of the best days ever for The USA Surfing Prime on the East Coast. With side off shore wind and overhead surf, performances were off the chain. Tommy Coleman eyeing the lip on the way to a 1st place in Boys Under 16. Photo: Dugan
Finalists bookended by Team U.S.A.’s Joey Buran (l.) and the organizations head honcho, Greg Cruse (r.). Photo: Dugan
Girls Under 18 third place winner Coral Schuster. Photo: Dugan
Girls Under 18 winner Rachel Presti continues to impress with her tack sharp surfing. Photo: Dugan
Down from Virginia Beach Blair Barton won a hard fought battle to win Boys Under 14. Photo: Dugan
Sunday, day two of the competition saw a huge increase in wave size. Tommy Coleman taking full advantage on his way to his win in Boys Under 16 Division, backed up with a 3rd in Boys Under 18. Photo: Dugan
Fresh off a win at the Villon Locals Only Contest weeks before, Blake Spier is finding his groove winning the USA Surfing Boys Under 18 and grabbing a 3rd in the Boys Under 16. Photo: Dugan
William Hedleston shows how wired he has his home break of Canaveral Pier. He put up a tough fight in Boys Under 14 but came up short to Virginia Beach’s Blair Barton and earned a 2nd place in spite of moves like this. Photo: Bret Hedleston
Boys Under 18 Divison (l-r): 1st Place – Blake Spier, 2nd – Micha Cantor, 3rd – Tommy Coleman. Not pictured, 4th place recipient Chase Modelski who was still out surfing. Photo: Dugan
They said, “Surfing’s fun, I’d have no problems, it’s easy to get out.” Micah Cantor about to find out. Photo: Dugan
Girls Under 16 winner Zoey Benedetto snapping one off the top of a Snack Bar Right as Jasmine Gailey looks on. Photo: Dugan
Ian Appling made his way to the Boys Under 18 Semi-Final with solid surfing. Photo: Dugan
Boys Under 16 Division (l-r): 1st Place – Tommy Coleman, 2nd – Kyle Tester, 3rd – Blake Spier, and 4th – Owen Moss. Photo: Dugan
Owen Moss, another Wrightsville Beach, NC up and comer smacks the lip as Robbie Goodwin looks on. Photo: Dugan
South Carolina’s Micha Cantor surfed every heat like it was a final. Photo: Dugan
Owen Carter traveled down for the contest from Wrightsville Beach, NC to the warmer waters competing in the Boys Under 14. Here he is obliterating the lip. Photo: Dugan
Chase Modelski earned a respectable 4th place in Boys Under 18. Photo: Dugan
Looks like a Minion takeover of Cocoa Beach. Photo: Dugan
The men that are making it happen, Pipe Master USA team coach, Joey Buran and USA Surfing’s Executive Director, Greg Cruse. Photo: Dugan