Photos, captions, story and bonus photo gallery by Tom Dugan @tomduganphotos
The 20th Annual Tommy Tant Memorial Surf Classic Presented By By The Surf Station was held November 13 & 14 at the Flagler Beach Pier in Florida. The contest celebrates the life Flagler Beach local surf standout Tommy Tant who passed away in 1998 from an aortic aneurysm.
Hundreds of surfers competed in Pro, Open, and Amateur Divisions and the event attracted thousands of spectators from across the East Coast and locally. This year the event started out with a very foggy Saturday morning. Waves were in the 4 ft range, glassy, with no wind, very long lines, and a little tube thrown in every now and then. What this means is it was very contestable and when the fog started to lift around 8:00 the contest was on.
The first day saw incredible waves and surfing with all the Pro Divisions being completed. By the end of the day all heats had been run and a new record was set – all of the Pro Finalists who took a first place were from Flagler Beach and call the iconic Flagler Pier their homebreak. The first ever Tommy sweep by locals only had never been done before but it was a super crowd booster for the locals and contestants alike.
Sunday day two, was a little different with a bit of a drop in surf size and more wind from the north. The waves still had good size and clean sections but for sure Tommy Tant sent his blessings Saturday for the start of his Memorial Surf Classic. The contest was a bit shorter Sunday, ending around three when all the amateur divisions got their trophies.
As in years past at 12 noon, a paddle out was held for Tommy with his whole family, Mom Barbara, Dad Tommy, and brother Will making their way out to the lineup along with many friends to form a circle, throw flowers, and say a prayer for Tommy.
You have to give the family, friends and contest helpers and all the sponsors, including title sponsor Tory Strange at The Surf Station, huge thanks for their commitment and all they do each year to support the Tant family and the memories that have been made over storied it’s history. You can always feel the love and support of not only the local surfers, contestants, and beach goers, but the community too that always steps up to help out any way it can.
The 20th year is in the books and as many years past the weather was beautiful for a day at the beach and the waves could not have been better. Great days with fun waves are a winning combination that again blessed the Tommy Tant Memorial Surf Classic for its 20th year celebration. – Tom Dugan –