The Eastern Surfing Association kicked off its 2021 tour of post-season championship events last weekend at Paradise Beach Park in Melbourne Beach, Florida located on Florida’s Space Coast. Presented by Florida’s Space Coast and Surfer Dudes, the ESA 2021 Southeast Regional Surfing Championship was the first out of three events that the organization runs each spring as qualifiers for its Easterns® event held every September in North Carolina.
Postcard perfect day for the 2021 ESA Southeast Regionals venue at Paradise Beach / Howard Futch Memorial park in Melbourne, Florida. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
“We were so happy to be back in Florida after all three ESA regional events were cancelled in 2020,” said ESA executive director Michelle Sommers. “Everyone was extremely thankful to be back in a jersey and reconnecting with friends from all over the state of Florida and Georgia.”
“We were so happy to be back in Florida after all three ESA regional events were cancelled in 2020,” said ESA Executive director Michelle Sommers and here’s one reason why. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
The weather and waves cooperated all weekend providing warm, sunny days with mostly offshore winds and clean, contestable surf throughout the event. Event sponsor Pepsi provided cases of water and Long Doggers offered up amazing lunches for the entire staff and volunteers.
As an ESA Allstar, Jacksonville Florida’s 12yr old competitor Lanea Mons knows to show up and blow up. Nice off the lip on Saturday in the Girls U14. She grabbed a 5th place finish for some big moves. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
Local ESA Central Florida’s Logan Radd won top honors by claiming the event Iron Man and Hot Wave awards. Radd put on an air show for the crowd which helped him take home first in the Junior Men U18 division.”
“I am stoked about my ESA Southeast Regionals finish,” said Radd. “I have worked super hard to be able to surf in all wave conditions. Winning U18 means so much, but obtaining the highest-scoring wave of the contest means so much more.”
This was the first ESA championship event that offered Open Longboard after the organization introduced this division in its local districts during the 2020 season. Just like the ESA’s Open Shortboard Divisions, Open Longboard allows men and women of all ages to compete against each other.
Just a few behind the scenes movers / shakers : Mario De Luca, Lisa Roselli, Joe Grotolla, Julie Remke, ( seated in front ) Michelle Sommers and Krissy Torelli. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
ESA Central Florida’s Gavin Idone, was crowned as the very first ESA Southeast Open Longboard Champion. Idone also won the Junior Men Longboard Division. ESA’s All-Star Coach Jason Motes took second, as well as fourth in the Open Shortboard where he surfed against three former ESA All-Star Team members.
The next wave of longboarders can be happy to include Gavin Idone. He surfs with old style moves yet has a flair for the new. His ability on a board over 9ft was on full display in the last and final heat of the South East Regionals where Gavin took the win with a 1st in Jr. Men’s Longboard and a 1st in Open Longboard. Congrats to you. PHOTO @tomduganphotos
ESA North Florida’s Carl Burger was the ESA Southeast Open Shortboard Champion, followed by Radd in second and North Central Florida’s Braeden Kopec in third. Burger also won the Boys U16 Division.
Open Shortboard champ Carl Burger puts everything on it for this finishing move on the inside shore pound Photo: Mez @mezapixels
“Surfing against Carl, Logan and Braeden in that final was the highlight of this event,” said Motes. “I am so proud of each of them and stoked to have made it into a final heat with so much surfing talent.”
All-Star coach Jason Motes is the Swiss Army Knife of the ESA either coaching kids in the water, critiquing and dissecting performances, pitching in on the announcers mic, rounding up contestants for their heats, announcing the winners all the while picking up a few victories himself along the way like 1st in the Legends Longboard and yet another adult Ironman Award. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
The ESA’s Championship Tour continues this week with its Mid-Atlantic Regionals presented by The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and Surfer Dudes. Starting Friday at Jennette’s Pier and running through Sunday, competitors from South Carolina through Virginia will be competing for their own championship titles.
Alana Lopez dropped a 8.61 for her outside snap to a shorebreak layback on her way to a 1st place victory in the Girls U12. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
Alana Lopez with her pop’s, Cory. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? And the wheel keeps turning. Photo: Mez
Unidentified shorebreak Kamakazi on Saturday. The kids were not pulling back one inch when it came to trying to score that last point in the crunchy shore pound. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
North Florida’s ESA Allstar Madison Lavender used the clean conditions and offshores to her advantage, taking a 1st in Women’s U18. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
Logan Radd busting the 9.66 that was the highest score of the event. Photo: Dugan @tomduganphotos
The impressive scaffold set up with the new banner wrap featuring the classic ESA logo for the 2021 Regionals and Easterns. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
Luke Lopez tucks into a nice runner on his way to first place in the Boy’s U12. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
Logan Radd took home 3 trophies: 1st in Jr. Mens U18, 2nd in Open Shortboard, and a 3rd in Boys U16. He also claimed the Youth Iron Man Award. Not bad for a long weekend. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
Braeden “Billy” Kopec might not have walked away with any first place hardware this time but the always impressive surfer left an indelible impression on the comp with this sick move which was the turn of the event hands down. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
Surfing your local break is always a plus and Kora Passarelli used it to her full advantage to take the win in Girls U14 and a 3rd in Girls U16. Her Dad Anthony also used his local knowledge for the win in the Legends. Quite the family affair. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
Anthony Passerelli with his beautiful, first place photo plaque captured by Hawaiian shooter Terry Reiss. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
It’s always fun and games for the groms just as it should be. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
Gliding into a 1st in Menehune Longboard and showing some style while she’s at it: Madison Bennett. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
Jason Motes is always up for fun and games, just not when he’s got a singlet on. This man is all bid’ness in his heats. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
Another view of the monolithic judging tower and the heartbeat of the event. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
Unidentified shredder. Photo: Mez @ mezapixels
At the 2 minute warning in the Women’s Longboard, the Men’s finalists are lined up and ready to fight it out to the last wave after hundreds of heats already went down. They are the last and final surfers of the weekend to compete. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
Boys U14 winner Ethan Harbinson snaps back in the finals. Ethan also took a 5th place in the Boys U16. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
The second to last heat of the weekend was the Jr. Women’s Longboard. The eventual winner Kaylin Weinrich put down a 9.5 to take the win and never looked back. Kaylin with a perfect cheater five in the final. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
DC Lewis had some killer hacks and this is one of them on finals day earning him 3rd in the U12 Boys and 4th in the U14 as well. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
Shea Lopez was part of the support crew for his niece and nephew, Alana and Luke Lopez. Photo: Mez
Mason Mott walks the plank to a 2nd place in Junior Longboard. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
This was the first year Georgia has competed in the South East Regionals and they did quite well taking home 16 trophies. Josie Clark helped with the total by getting a 6th place in the Jr. Women’s Longboard. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
The Judges Pit: Back row ( l-r ) Jeff Klugel, Barry Pasonski, Dylan O’donell, front row ( l-r ) Eddie Guilbeau, Chip Hall and Josh Motes. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
Getting some of the best waves on the final day just could not get Braeden Kopec the wins he was after in multiple divisions. He did manage to get a 2nd in Boys U16 and 3rd in Jr. Men’s U18 and a 3rd in Open Shortboard. We’re pretty confidant he’ll be looking to make major statement at Easterns as far as first place goes. The kid is fierce competitor if he’s anything. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
You can always tell at the ESA Regionals when it’s finals time. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
When the waves are pumping the performance level always goes up. Vance Weyandt from South Florida takes it up a notch. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
Alana Lopez stoked as one could be. Keep your eyes on this one gang. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
Ahnika Patten with a beautiful backside turn on a beautiful, dreamy Florida springtime wave. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
New Smyrna Beach locals Jay & Sawyer Glynn drove down to compete in the U12 and the Senior Men’s respectively. The family van was loaded with surfboards. Wetsuits on as the day was about to start . PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
Announcers Jeff “The Georgia Peach” Mosely and Travis Ajay kept it interesting and fun on the mic all three days and are the unseen – but heard – voices of the event who keep it moving for the spectators, surfers and support crew. Photo: Mez @mezapixels
Ian Honda doing his best impression of a certain statue in Cocoa Beach. Ian up from Del Day Beach grabbed a 5th in Boys U14 and a 6th in Boys U12. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos
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