2017 Will Surf For Food Contest pres. by VB Christian Surfers

April 15, 2017 • East Coast Contests

Written by Jason Hoover — This annual grassroots fundraiser is sponsored by the Virginia Beach chapter ofChristian Surfers.  As the sun surfaced over the jetty on April 8th, 2017, a small group of hardcore competitors were greeted at 1st Street Jetty with howling winds and semi-choppy knee- to thigh-high sets as the air temperature hovered around the 50-degree mark and the water was a brisk 46 degrees.

will surf for food

Dean Knight and the judging panel huddle up for the cold Will Surf For Food, organized by the Virginia Beach chapter of Christian Surfers. Photo: Jason Hoover

But being hungry sucks — especially when it’s a daily problem. Hunger can lead to health issues and malnutrition for both children and adults. Each year, the Virginia Beach Christian Surfers host a coldwater surf contest with all proceeds benefitting the Foodbank of Southeast Virginia and the Eastern Shore. Participants and spectators collect cans of food and monetary donations to help provide sustenance to underprivileged families across the commonwealth of Virginia. This year, a dozen hard-charging competitors ranging from ages 10 to 60 took on the challenging conditions to battle it out for bragging rights and a unique handcarved wooden wave and surfboard award created by Christian Surfer member Robert Schwartz.

Robert Schwartz, who made the unique trophies for this year’s contest, gets a selfie at the after party. Photo: Schwartz

Spectators watching the Open Longboard division witnessed a family affair as Virginia Longboard Federation captains Morgan and Sean Knight exchanged smooth noserides and stylish drop-knee turns, with little brother Sean earning the top spot while big sister Morgan finished right behind him in 2nd-place.

Sean Knight with a drop-knee turn. Photo: Jason Hoover

In the Grom Shortboard division, Whalebone Surf Shop team member and junior ESA All-Star Rachel Wilson earned a tough 1st-place victory over the youngest competitor of the contest, Camden Hoover. Rachel also served notice to the men in the Open Shortboard division by scoring the highest wave in the final with an 8.7, securing victory to the cheers of the crowd! When contest organizer Chris Huggins was asked what his favorite moment of the day was, he simply replied, “watching the reactions of grown men when they realized they had been beaten by a 13-year-old girl.”

Rachel Wilson and Camden Hoover, who finished 1st and 2nd in Grom Shortboard. Photo: Jason Hoover

Rachel (far left) and the other Open Shortboard finalists, Leon Dunning, Doug Cramer, and Tommy Nichols. Photo: Jason Hoover

Chris and his wife Cheryl were also thankful to everyone behind the scenes who helped make the event a success, as well as for head judge Dean Knight and his crew of volunteers. Overall, it was a fun day for both the participants and spectators, and most importantly a community worked together to help out others in need!

Open Longboard finalists (minus Sean and Morgan Knight). Photo: Jason Hoover

Grom Shortboard

1) Rachel Wilson

2) Camden Hoover

Open Longboard

1) Sean Knight

2) Morgan Knight

3) Hunter Carter

4) Tommy Nichols

5) Camden Hoover

6) Doug Cramer

Open Shortboard
1) Rachel Wilson

2) Leon Dunning

3) Doug Cramer

4) Tommy Nichols

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