O’Neill E.C. Grom Tour Champs Report From Buxton + MEGA Photo Gallery!

October 24, 2018 • Competition, East Coast Contests

Story by Jason Hoover:

The culmination of the sophomore season of the East Coast Grom Tour ( ECGT ) presented by O’Neill took place on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in pumping October conditions ranging in size from 5-8 feet.   After nine qualifying stops along the east coast from Maryland to Florida, event founders Phil Jackson and Seth Broudy, with assistance from Brad Beach and Hatteras local Elwood Wescoat, pulled the trigger to run the championship at the historic “Wave Magnet” also known simply as the first groin at the Hatteras lighthouse. The event kicked off with Grom Tour competitor Camden Hoover singing the national anthem and, from the opening heat, it was obvious that both spectators and competitors were in for a show that would hit plenty of high notes during the two day tilt.

The legendary “Wave Magnet” is back in play as a viable, east coast competition venue with the O’Neill ECGT availing themselves with the National Park Service’s blessings. Lighthouse front and center or not, is there a battlefield as rich in right coast comp history or surfing folklore than this rusted, left angled metal protrusion located so close to the edge of the Continental Shelf’s deep drop-off? We think not. Photo: Mez

Highlights included an air and rail show put on display by Blayr Barton, Kanoa Wong, Stephen Muglia, and Reid Largin as they battled it out in the Shortboard Open final. ESA All-Star Barton took the win in Open, Boys’ 11-13, and Boys’ longboard, earning himself $1500 cash!  Reid Largin snatched the Nixon Most Radical Maneuver award, and Kanoa surfed well all weekend, earning second place and a new AJW board in Boys’ 11-13 and a respectable 4th place in Open.  Floridian Preston Persichetti edged out the other push and go finalists to claim first prize and $250 cash, which he immediately said would be spent on a new Ben “Mr. Nub TV” Gravy board.

Blayr Barton has continued his stone cold roll since winning multiple, marquee divisions at the 2018 ESA Championships up in nearby Nags Head, NC. with his three division Grom Tour victories in the Boys 11-13, Open Shortboard and Longboard divisions. Photo: Mez

Born and bred Buxton local Max Bigney put his rail game on display while his crew raucously cheered him on from high atop their front row, sandbox seats on the north dune and came away with $500 by winning the Boys’ 14-17 division. On the Girls’ side, another top ESA All-Star, Callie Summerlin surfed her way to a $1000 cash and wins in both shortboard and longboard.  Noah Harrell took the top spot over Mako Musilinas and the other bodyboard finalists to secure the $250 prize, and Porter Hall was honored to win the Elijah Cox Stoked Grom award.

Max Bigney put his roots knowledge to good use with a huge victory in the marquee Boys 14-17 division in front of the hometown crowd. The Buxton boys are understated ( an understatement in and of itself ) and low profile by nature but could this victory have tasted any sweeter or be more of a reason for jubilant celebration by this tight knit, low key crew? On ya’ Max! Photo: Mez

Other highlights included a guest MC appearance by longtime O’Neill team rider and brand ambassador Cory Lopez, brave longboarder’s kamakazie-like charging on massive set waves, beach football games and, in a contset highlight, the young “push and go” division competitors and their parents getting their first taste of some heavy Hatteras conditions.  As the contest concluded, participants and their families met up at Real Watersports for the awards banquet, featuring incredible prize packs for the podium finalists including $500 cash for each first place contestant, and a brand new AJW surfboard provided by Sothis Glassing for second place!

Push and Go division second place winner Brynn Johnson . Photo: Mez

A beaming Phil Jackson and Seth Broudy were very thankful for all of the sponsors and volunteers who chipped in throughout the year, and during the awards mentioned “I think we conquered exactly what we set out to do which was bring new kids into the activity that we love, while encouraging some of the best young talent the East Coast has to offer, the contest series has brought camaraderie and excitement back into a competitive format”!

Not to mention how totally cool it was to see a high level contest format back in Buxton and the fabled break at the Lighthouse, the perfect place for a culmination of one of the east coast’s fastest rising events.

Guest MC Cory Lopez flanked by O’Neill’s Brad Beach ( left ) along with ECGT co-founder, Jersey Phil Jackson. Photo: Mez

With a third season confirmed and the addition of New Jersey to the schedule, the East Coast Grom Tour presented by O’neill continues to grow in popularity and in promoting a positive, family atmosphere while spreading the stoke along the East Coast! – Jason Hoover –

Buxton support crew cheering on local boy Max Bigney from their exclusive sand box seats up on the north dune. Photo: Mez


Boys -Girls 10 & Under

1st – Evan Oblinger $500

2nd – William Deane – AJW Surfboard

3rd – Palladin Pelliccia

4th – Gage Jackson

Boys 11-13
1st – Blayr Barton $500

2nd – Kanoa Wong wins AJW Surfboard

3rd – Kai Westcoat

4th – Mako Musilunas

Kanoa Wong, 2nd Boys 11-13 division. Photo: Mez

Boys 14-17

1st – Max Bigney  $500

2nd – Max Egerton wins AJW Surfboard

3rd – Stephen Muglia

4th – Reid Largin

Steven Muglia, 3rd Boys 14-17 division. Photo: Mez

Girls 17 & Under

1st – Callie Summerlin $500

2nd – Chloe Weinert wins AJW Surfboard

3rd – Sunny Barton

4th – Camden Hoover

Callie Summerlin, 1st Girls 17 and Under and Girls Longboard division. Photo: Mez

Girls Longboard

1st – Callie Summerlin $500

2nd – Camden Hoover wins AJW Surfboard

3rd – Lily Brooks

4th – Sunny Barton

Camden Hoover, 2nd Girls Longboard, singer of a pre-contest, knock-out version of our National Anthem and stand-in photog for story author, her dad Jason. Is there anything she does not do? Photo: Mez

Boys Longboard

1st – Blayr Barton $500

2nd – Scott Pieno AJW Surfboard

3rd – Bear Von Horn

4th – Mack Landry

Scott Pineo, 2nd Boys Longboard division. Photo: Jason Hoover

Open Shortboard

1st – Blayr Barton $500

2nd  _ Reid Largin wins AJW Surfboard

3rd – Stephen Muglia

4th – Kanoa Wong

Blayr Barton spraying a little liquid icing on his ECGT championship cake with a win in the coveted Open Shortboard division. Photo: Mez

Open Bodyboard

1st – Noah Harrell $250

2nd – Mako Musilunas

3rd – AJ Jackson

4th – Mack Landry

5th – Gage Jackson

Push & Go Super Groms

1st – Preston Persichetti $250

2nd – Brynn Johnson wins Womper

3rd– JB 2 Bayer

4th – Emery Oblinger

Elijah Cox Stoked Grom Award – Porter Hall

Nixon Most Radical Maneuver – Reid Largin

Reid Largin, 2nd in Open Shortboard division, 4th Boys 14-17 division and winner of Nixon’s Most Radical Maneuver award. Photo: Mez

Kano Wong negotiating another set wave at the Lighthouse. Photo: Mez

The judges ( r-l ) Denny Green, Adam Fills, Junior Dills and WSL judge Dave Portch were on it all day both days with their scoring and dedication to giving every ridden wave and the surfer who rode it the proper score. It’s as close to a thankless job in surfing as possible and, truth be told, most are cool with that and prefer no spotlight so they can just do the work fairly and accurately as possible for such a subjective sport. But hey dudes, a sincere huge THANKS from all of us! Photo: Mez

He may not have finaled but Hunter Clarke ripped one of the best backside top turns we saw during the entire two days of competition. Photo: Mez

Kai Westcoat, 3rd Boys 11-13 division. Photo: Mez

Open Shortboard finalists (l-r) Kanoa Wong, Blayr Barton, Reid Largin and Stephen Muglia. Photo: Mez

Mack Landy, 3rd Boys Longbaord and 4th Open Bodyboard division. Photo: Jason Hoover

Kanoa Wong with support crew stretching it out before the Open Shortboard semi’s. Photo: Mez

Largin and in chargin’,  Nixon Radical Maneuver winner Reid Largin earning it. Photo Mez

Mako Musilinas 4th Boys 11-13 division and 2nd in Bodyboard. Photo: Mez

Magnitized. Photo: Mez

Blayr Barton, 1st Boys Longboard division. Photo: Mez

O’Neill ECGT’s co-founder, Seth Broudy all smiles with trophy’s and the closing out of a super successfu second year. Above photo: Hoover

Girls 17 and Under finalists. Above photo: Hoover

Boys-Girls Under 10 finalists. Above photo: Hoover

Boys 11-13 finalists. Above photo: Hoover

Boys 14-17 finalists. Above photo: Hoover

Bodyboard finalists. Above photo: Hoover

Push and Go finalists. Above photo: Hoover

Open Shortboard Finalists. Above photo: Hoover

Girls Under 17 finalists. Above photo: Hoover

Stoked Grom winner, Porter Hall. Above photo: Hoover

Open Shortboard finalists. Above photo: Hoover

Push and Go winner Prseton Perschetti with Camden Hoover. Above photo: photo: Hoover

Going for the gold, sunset over the Pamlico, Buxton, NC. Photo: Mez