Comp Report presented by our friends at WRV

Photos and captions by Tom Dugan and Mez

Indiatlantic, Fla. (January 24, 2021) – A NASA rocket launch during finals day set the tone for the start of the 2021 East Coast Toyota USA Surfing Prime Series at the Space Coast’s Paradise Beach.

The elite contest drew the best junior surfers from New York to Florida. After months of Covid shutdowns, USA Surfing head coach Brett Simpson was stoked to see surfers back in Toyota jerseys competing again. “It was so nice to see the kids have those competition nerves, jitters and excitement again,” Simpson said. “Even though it had been awhile, there were some great performances.”

Ryan Huckabee kept his winning streak hot with another win in the BOYS U18. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Palm City, Florida’s Zoe Benedetto took double wins in girls under 16 and under 18 divisions and shared the highest score of the event – a 9.33 with boys U16 winner  Deerfield Beach Florida’s Sterling Makish. Zoe earned the 9.33 with two powerful backside combination maneuvers. Sterling launched a big air reverse for a 9.33 and backed it up with an 8.27 to earn the event’s highest heat total. Boys under 14 winner Vance Weyant had big maneuvers frontside and backside. Coach Simpson applauded Vance’s wave selection as well as the very high level and great energy all of the east competitors brought to the event.

Zoey Benedetto By Mez / ESM from on Vimeo.

The Toyota USA Surfing Prime Series is the highest level of junior surfing in the nation, and is now an official part of the Olympic Development Program as recognized by the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

The Toyota USA Surfing Prime Series makes stops along both East and West coasts and culminates in the USA Surfing Championships in June. The competition was created to bridge the gap young surfers experience when trying to make the leap from pro junior competition to next-level competition opportunities, including a position on the USA Surfing national teams, the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series and potentially the Olympics and WSL Championship Tour.

The new group of groms that are coming up are looking strong and this little guy Vance Weyendt is one of the people leading the charge. Vance’s layback snap in the finals put him in first place in the U14 Division. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos


Girls U18

1st   Zoe Benedetto, Palm City, Fla.

2nd Taylor Green, Milton, Fla.

3rd  Madison Lavender, Sorrento, Fla

4th  Niyah Rosen, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

The girls’ events are getting better and better as they improve their surfing in every heat. Taylor Green puts her mark on this snap. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos


Boys U18

1st  Ryan Huckabee, Flagler Beach, Fla.

2nd Owen Moss, Wrightsville Beach, N.C.

3rd  Carl Burger, Flagler Beach, Fla.

4th  Blayr Barton, Virginia Beach, Va.

Ryan Huckabee by Mez / ESM from on Vimeo.


Girls U16

1st  Zoe Benedetto, Palm City, Fla.

2nd Kylie Pulcini, Melbourne, Fla.

3rd  Niyah Rosen, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

4th  Kora Passarelli, Indiatlantic, Fla.

New Smyrna Beach local Nyah Rosen is one to keep a eye on especially with snaps like this that are her norm. Nyah took a 3rd in Girls U16 and a 4th in U18. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos


Boys U16

1st  Sterling Makish, Deerfield Beach, Fla.

2nd Kepa Mendia, West Palm Beach, Fla.

3rd  Carl Burger, Flagler Beach, Fla.

4th  Owen Carter, Wrightsville Beach, N.C.

Sterling Makish’s 9.33 by Mez / ESM from on Vimeo.

Boys U14

1st   Vance Weyandt, Tequesta, Fla.

2nd  Mako Musilinus, Garden City, S.C..

3rd   Beckham McCart, Indiatlantic, Fla.

4th   Dylan O’hallaron, Viera, Fla.

Mako Musilunas with a full power wraparound that helped put him into 2nd place in the Boys U14. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Kylie Pulcini. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Blayr Barton’s tweaked out, finals 360 punt in the U-18 was not enough for a first place finish but definitely was a contender for one of the best above the lip moves of the event. To see the full ESM Sick-quence! and backstory click here . Photo: Mez @mezapixels


Decades of combined surf stoke right here. ( L to ) Asher Nolan, Jason Motes, Greg Cruse & Brett Simpson. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Outer Banks local Will Dean attacks one on the inside backside. Will gave it a great run only to come up short in the U16 Semis. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Ryan Huckabee. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Virgina Beach surfer Blayr Barton has been killing it lately and it shows. Dropping high score and airs throughout the competition put him in 4th place in Boys U18. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

USA Surfing Prime, Paradise Beach Park, Melbourne, Florida. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

This guy was on a mission and you could see it in his surfing heat after heat. Sterling Makish took it all the way for the win in Boys U16. Congrats!! PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

This kid can surf! Owen Moss flies on his way to a 2nd in Boys U18 PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Finalist Nyah Rosen’s pre-heat meditation. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Always one to keep your eye on, Carl Burger can drop a first at any time but settled on two 3rds this time around in Boys U16 & U18. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The Boys U14 Competitors get documented by event photographer Nate Perry before their heat. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Zoe Benedetto straight up and into two first places. Girls U16 & U18. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Another crossfire angle of Zoe’s vert move. Photo Mez @mezapixels

Zoe Benedetto got two chairs for both her victories in both the U-18 and U-16 divisions. She better get used to it and so should her heatmates . Photo: Mez

Up from South Florida, Kepa Mendia with a backhand snap on his quest to his 2nd in Boys U16. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos 

Kepa Mendia by Mez / ESM from on Vimeo.

U18 competitor Jack Madden with a clean frontside snap. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Down for the Jersey Shore and into some warmer waters, Seamus Carey made it to the Quarter-finals but was stopped. Nice fan and tail slide in the shore break . PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Although not a finalist, Blake Tanner put up a strong fire in the U18 Division. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Carl Burger backside bashing his way to two finals and third place finishes in both the U-16 and U-18 tilts. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Boys U18 – ( L to R ) 1st Ryan Huckabee, 2nd Owen Moss, 3rd Carl Burger, 4th Blayr Barton PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Girls U18 – ( L to R ) 1st Zoe Benedetto, 2nd Taylor Green, 3rd Madison Lavender, 4th Nyah Rosen PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Boys U16 – ( L to R ) 1st Sterling Makish, 2nd Kepa Mendia, 3rd Carl Burger, 4th Owen Carter PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Girls U16 – ( L to R ) 1st Zoe Benedetto, 2nd Kylie Pulcini, 3rd Nyah Rosen, 4th Kora Passareelli PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Boys U14 – ( L to R ) 1st Vance Weyandt, 2nd Mako Musilunas, 3rd Beckham McCart, 4th Dylan O’Hallaroi PHOTO : @tomduganphotos