2017 ESA Easterns Recap, Results, and Photo Gallery

September 28, 2017 • East Coast Contests

The Eastern Surfing Association (ESA)’s 2017 Easterns® Surfing Championships presented by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau concluded on Saturday in ideal surf conditions that some say they’ve never witnessed along the east coast.  Hurricanes Jose and Maria provided consistent, overhead, clean, peeling waves for the remaining four straight days of the week-long championship contest held at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina.  The perfect waves combined with the ESA’s 50th anniversary made this year’s Easterns® one for the record books.

The ESA’S 50th anniversary comp event site at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, NC. No, it’s not the Lighthouse in Buxton, but the area has its own charm, and adding on to the organization’s rich history with swells like Hurricane Jose lighting the place up gave competitors more than ample opportunity to make some history of their own. Photo: Mez

“I’ve never seen so many perfect days of waves and weather for an ESA event,” said Michelle Sommers, ESA’s executive director.  “It truly looked like a perfect day in Hawaii.”  Easterns® head judge, Chip Hall, added, “That was the best finals I’ve ever judged.”

Yup, the Wave Magnet is a great place for waves — but this place has it going on too. Photo: Mez

All eyes were on the Jr. Mens final on Saturday.  After a tribute to ESA-photographer Mickey McCarthy in which all four finalists paddled out with flowers, Florida’s Kai Delorenzo scored a perfect 10 for his first wave of the heat, followed by another perfect 10 by ESA All-Star, Boys U16 and the GoPro Open division winner Logan Kamen.

Girls Under 18 winner, Maine’s Maddie Ryan, won on a buzzer beater with a hard-hitting off the top and a bunch of beautiful rail wraps all the way to the inside over Leah Thompson in one of the event’s best and hardest-surfed heats. Photo: Mez

The Mothership. Photo: Mez

Hall said, “I’ve been judging a long time and that last final was probably the best heat I’ve ever watched in my 30 years.”  After several more high scores among all four finalists, Kamen claimed victory and also took home the Jr. Iron Man Award. “I arrived focused and excited to compete in 6 to 10 ft surf, ” said Kamen.  “It was an honor to be here and win three titles as that 10 in my Jr. Men final was definitely one to remember.”

Logan Kamen had the contest of all contests, winning the GoPro Open Shortboard, Junior Men’s U18, the Junior Iron Man Award, and the event’s Hot Wave award for his final 10-point barrel. Photo: Mez

Kamen, Delorenzo and first-year Easterns® competitor Noah Ferrell each won a Hot Wave Award for scoring perfect 10s in the event.  Ferrell, out of the ESA SNC district, put on an amazing show surfing his longboard heats on Friday, and won the Jr. Mens Longboard division on Saturday.  Callie Summerlin, another SNC competitor, claimed first in the Jr Women Longboard, while Scott Pieno took the title in the Menehune Longboard division.

If not for just plain running out of time, Leah Thompson had the lead right up to the final minute before Maddie Ryan paddled into her heat winner. The “wow factor” for these two ladies’ surfing abilities totally broke the stoke meter on the beach, and when you hear judges hooting along with the crowd as well for both of their finals surfing, you know you have surfed a great heat. Photo: Mez

Maddie Ryan won first place in the close-scoring Jr. Womens division.  Ryan and ESA All-Star Leah Thompson battled it out for the win in another exciting heat.  “The level at which all the girls are surfing is so high that I am very proud to have won the Jr Women U18,” said Ryan.

CJ Mangio showed some serious moxie on finals day by paddling into and fearlessly charging set waves like these. Photo: Mez

Even the younger competitors courageously paddled out in the powerful waves to battle for an Easterns® champion title.  Florida’s Evan Tyson and Blake Turner won first place in the Menehune U12 and Sharkbanz Boys U14 divisions, respectively.  Sarah Abbott won the Sharkbanz Girls U14, while Georgia’s Anna Bloess took first in the Girls U16.

Prepare for battle. Photo: Mez

ESA All-Star Kainalu Nichols left with the Sportmanship Award for his bravery and heroism in saving a fellow competitor from what could have been a tragic event.  Bree Labiak took home the Jr. Iron Woman Award for all of her heats and scores throughout the event.

Georgia’s Anna Bloess is a standout women’s surfer among a fast-growing group of females making loud noise with their ripping styles. Photo: Mez

A full list of finalists may be found on the Easterns® webpage, and the youth divisions finalists are listed below.  Special thanks to the event sponsors who provided prizes to the winners.

  • Kala Brand Music
  • Sharkbanz
  • OluKai
  • Phunky Apparel
  • dryrobe
  • Chums
  • Surfco Hawaii
  • Zane’s of Carolina
  • Kingii
  • GoPro
  • Beach Gladiator
  • Sticky Bumps Surf Wax

One of the most visited and vital spots on the beach, the scoreboard. Photo: Mez

Many thanks to everyone who supported the 2017 Easterns®.

  • Jennette’s Pier
  • The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau
  • Town of Nags Head
  • Sun Realty
  • Cafe Lachine
  • Whalebone Surf Shop
  • Kitty Hawk Surf Company
  • The Spot
  • Hatteras Island Christian Fellowship
  • Eastern Surf Magazine
  • Dick “Mez” Meseroll
  • Tom Dugan
  • Mickey McCarthy
  • Joe McGovern
  • Shoots Media
  • Pepsi
  • Nags Head Pizza Company
  • Tropical Smoothie at the Tanger Outlets in Nags Head
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Yellow Submarine
  • TW Bait & Tackle
  • Anchor Scaffolding
  • Outer Banks Brewing Station
  • Carve Designs
  • Millenium Marketing Solutions
  • Surfin’ Spoon
  • plak that Printing Company
  • Harrington Graphics
  • Tara Mosely Graphic Design

Adult divisions group photo. These folks were dealt the hard card by having to surf in some seriously rough conditions as Jose approached from the south, creating dangerous victory-at-sea conditions before shutting down the contest for two full days before the youth heats could be called on. Hats off to all these hard-charging people for getting it done! Photo: Mez

There were a few victims, however, like Jen Grottola, who paddled out into an increasingly angry surf, tweaked her ankle, but still managed to take 2nd-place in the Ladies Longboard bracket. Photo: Mez

Grand Legends winner Ed Fawess of Long Island, NY, continues to set the bar as to what is possible if you stay in shape, think young, and love surfing that damn much. This guy doesn’t just show up to collect yet another piece of hardware — he is still ripping at a high level that should give comfort to (and garner the respect of) surfers of all ages who take just a minute to watch this man surf. Photo: Mez

On the other side of that Fawess equation is Beth Schub, an outright East Coast legend for the SNC District who is Ed’s female doppleganger. Beth won yet another Ladies Longboard tilt this year. Photo: Mez

Event Iron Man, Senior Men’s winner, and the 2017 season’s Iron Man recipient Jason Motes knows how to win. Photo: Mez

After the adult divisions ended, Jose showed his ugly side first and shut down the event for two straight days. Photo: Mez

But when Jose’s good side showed up, it was worth the wait. Photo: Mez

Even with perfect, truly bombing waves that all competitors reveled in and handled with flair, you still had to watch your back and that of your fellow competitors. The Jose swell was no joke. Photo: Mez

Shawn Arthur, Jr. with a rare air attempt in a wave field amply filled with barrels to hunt down. Photo: Mez

Noah Ferrell’s 10-point tip ride was one of the standout waves of the entire contest, which says a lot considering what a barrel fest it was. This elegant, stylish pose seemingly went on forever and had the crowd going wild with applause. Photo: Mez

Contest judge Rob Kelly, who usually chases these storms as his job, was relegated to a judges’ chair with nary a peep or negative aside, doing the job with class and nothing but positive vibes for the kids. So who could say anything negative about him for taking a little 15-minute break from the action to pull up into a few shacks before getting back to throwing numbers? Photo: Mez

The ESA All-Star-caliber judging panel with (R-L) Dylan O’Donnell, Chip Hall, Dave Portch (behind Chip), Chris Burnette, Rob Kelly, Barry Pasonski, and Skip Axelson. — some of the hardest working people you will ever meet. Photo: Mez

Some of Evan Tyson’s heatmates elected to surf the inside reform while he somehow made it outside and snagged heat-winning bombs like these. Photo: Mez

Kai DeLorenzo about to unleash on a frothy one. Photo: Mez

Truth in advertising. It was experts only for this event. Photo: Mez

SUP winner Bryce Jernigan. Photo: Mez

Logan Kamen. Photo: Mez

Carson Mosely interviews Logan and shows event announcers Mike Beech and her dad, Jeff, how to get it done. Photo: Mez

What didn’t he win? Logan Kamen with a career performance that will long be remembered at the 2017 ESA Eastern Surfing Championships. Photo: Mez

After five days of contest shooting, editing, processing, and Facebook posting, you just can’t get them all! Luckily ESA Executive Director Michelle Sommers helped out with this ID on Elsa Quillin. Photo: Mez

Leah Thompson is one of the brightest lights emerging from the East Coast and showed no fear all event long. Photo: Mez

Sharkbanz Boys U14 winner Blake Tanner carving up the inside reform bowl at Jennette’s. Photo: Mez

Bree Labiak, Iron Woman award winner. Photo: Mez

Trevor Francis working from the outside peak and banking off the inside bowl for extra scoring cheddar. Photo: Mez

One of the in-form competitors on both long and short equipment, New Hammy’s Kainalu Nichols also earned the Sportsmanship Award for selflessly helping assist a younger competitor’s rescue from the boiling cauldron of exploding backwash and riptides under the pier. Photo: Mez

Menehune Bodyboard winner Kai Nau and his fellow competitors had their work cut out for them, but young Kai got it done in the end. Photo: Mez

CJ Mangio might have come up a little short on a division title, but he certainly left a huge impression on judges, fellow contestants, and spectators alike with keen rail work and barrel riding savvy beyond his years. Photo: Mez

Judges’ view. Photo: Mez

GoPro Shortboard finalists (left-right) Dylon Weeks, Logan Kamen, ESA Director Michelle Sommers, Kai Nichols, and Colin Anderson, who also won the Unsinkable Men’s division. Photo: Mez

As a tribute to East Coast legend and soon-to-be East Coast Surfing Hall Of Fame Class of 2018 member Mickey McCarthy, the ESA had the Junior Men’s U18 finalists like Kai DeLorenzo (pictured here) carry flowers out into the lineup before their heat started to celebrate and remember this icon and his work for the ESA over many years. Photo: Mez

It was THE perfect closer to the 50-year-old event, which featured two 10-point barrel rides in the opening minute. Somewhere 2M was smiling down upon us. Photo: Mez

Remembering 2M. Photo: Mez

Photo: Ruddy


Junior Men U18 (17 & under)

1 – Logan Kamen CNJ

2 – Kai Delorenzo SAFL

3 – Ted Eberhart VA

4 – Kai Barton VA

Menehune U12 (11 & under, M/F)

1 – Evan Tyson SAFL

2 – Carl Burger SAFL

3 – CJ Mangio NY

4 – Chase Lieder NY

“Sharkbanz” Boys U14 (13 & under)

1 – Blake Tanner NFL

2 – Alexander Harris SNC

3 – CJ Mangio NY

4 – Kanoa Wong VA

Boys U16 (15 & under)

1 – Logan Kamen CNJ

2 – Shawn Arthur, Jr. SAFL

3 – Dylon Weeks SNC

4 – Blayr Barton VA

“Sharkbanz” Girls U14 (13 & under)

1 – Sarah Abbott PBFL

2 – Rachel Wilson VA

3 – Bree Labiak NSC

4 – Abbie Yates CFL

Girls U16 (15 & under)

1 – Anna Bloess GA

2 – Leah Thompson SNC

3 – Bree Labiak NSC

4 – Audrey Presti CFL

Junior Women U18 (17 & under)

1 – Maddie Ryan NNE

2 – Leah Thompson SNC

3 – Jasmine Gailey CFL

4 – Sophie Falzone NFL

Menehune Longboard U14 (13 & under, M/F)

1 – Scott Pieno VA

2 – Dakota Cottle CNC

3 – Katelyn Sewell SNC

4 – Trelane McLaughlin NFL

Junior Longboard U18 (17 & under)

1 – Noah Ferrell SNC

2 – Cory Jackson SSC

3 – Trip Chandler NSC

4 – Kainalu Nichols NNE

Junior Womens Longboard U18 (17 & under)

1 – Callie Summerlin SNC

2 – Jasmine Gailey CFL

3 – Georgia Cook GA

4 – Elsa Quillin DMV

Menehune Bodyboard U14 (13 & under, M/F)

1 – Kai Nau SNC

2 – Mako Musilunas NSC

3 – Noah Harrell SNC

4 – Ben Allen SSC

Junior Iron Man –

Logan Kamen CNJ

Iron Man –

Jason Motes NFL

Iron Woman –

Bree Labiak NSC

Hot Wave –

Kai Delorenzo SAFL

Noah Ferrell SNC

Logan Kamen CNJ

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