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38th ESA Northeast Titles score great surf...

Kaylee Bennett © Joe McGovern


38th Annual ESA Northeast Titles

Eastern Surfing Assn
Narragansett Town Beach, Rhode Island
15 October 2011

Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York represent  

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 October, 2011 : - - The surf gods were certainly looking out for the Eastern Surfing Association contest organizers this past Saturday, and decided to send them a bonus day of overhead powerful swells that made for an exciting event. The big surf could not have happened on a better weekend, as the 38th Annual Northeast Surfing Championships was run on the biggest swell of the month.

The surf actually started off at head high and continued to increase throughout the day. By low tide, there were solid 6-8 foot sets roaring through and cleaning out surfers who did not hustle out fast enough past the hard pounding shorebreak.

The word was out on Friday night that the surf would be excellent for the contest, and this fact brought on the largest competition contingent of the year. There was representation from Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York. Intense competition ensued in many events, especially in the Men’s, Master Long board, Senior Men, and Open Division finals. And amazingly, as fast as the swell hit on Saturday, the surf went flat just as quickly on Sunday morning.

“No one could complain about the size and power of the surf for the contest,” said ESA South New England Competition Director Mario Frade. “It was the town beach at it’s best and worst, as those who did not manage to grab onto a shoulder, were slammed hard into the shallow sand bars. Those competitors who found the elusive hollow sections to work, came out on top. The rest spent the day cleaning the sand out of the ears.”

The main event was without a doubt the Open Division. It was a battle of the best surfers ripping up the best surf of the contest and there wasn’t much space between the first three when the final horn sounded. Newport’s Seamus Kirby and Narragansett’s James McGraghan traded off overhead tubes for most of the 20 minutes, with McGraghan grabbing some length on an inside left barrel to separate him on the last wave.

This was enough to pull out the win. Veteran big wave rider Jose Galvez led the senior charge, taking the 3rd spot with some nice slash backs.
The Men’s Division proved to be another big challenge for competitors, as URI Surf Team’s Chris Finn edged  out Newport’s Mike Corseri by less than ½ point in the final tally. It was another Newport ripper, Ben Hardy, taking the 3rd spot.

Newport and Middletown surfers did some serious damage at this contest, as they continued to win divisions, thanks to the strong team presence of Breakwater Surf Shop and Waterbrothers Surf and Skate. Riders from Narragansett Surf and Skate gave it their best, but could not keep up with the boys from across the bridges.

Middletown’s undefeated Liam O’Regan continued to dominate the Boys category, as he ripped apart the big rollers and topped Block Island’s Gavin Smith. Martha’s Vineyard’s Parker Hall made an impressive debut in the division, as he finished in the 3rd spot at his first ESA event.
In the elder categories, it was former Peruvian star, Jose Galvez shredding up the left inside sections to top Narragansett’s Paul Bennett for the Senior Men’s title. Claudio Paulino continued his undefeated streak as he carved up the Grandmaster’s division with a win over Cape Cod’s Tim Cole.

Narragansett’s Peter Pan snapped up two hollow rights to take the Legends crown and Boston’s Kitty Pechet continued undefeated in the Grand Legends division with a win in that event. In the Open Bodyboard category, it was a close battle between point leader Chance Hurley and Sean McKenzie with Hurley coming out on top with a great drop-knee barrel on his last wave. Rigby Bennett captured the Menehune Bodyboard title with two long lefts.

It was another great day of surfing for Westerly’s Sara Parker, who dominated the Women’s heat with some hot riding. Narragansett’s Kylee Bennett captured the Girl’s crown, as she worked the inside white water sections.

The longboard contests proved to be quite a challenge, with the heavy, body slamming close-out sections that made for some wild wipe-outs. Stylish Skylar Cole found the elusive sections and made it work and win the Menehune Longboard title, edging out Parker Hall. Newport’s Sean McKenzie took the Junior title while Narragansett’s James McGraghan grabbed his second win of the day, topping the Men’s Longboard heat.

One of the closest finals of the entire event was the Master Longboard Final, with back and forth tube rides between Paul Bennett and Jeff Smith. In the end, it was an outrageous overhead right grinder that Smith tucked into and out of, that gave him the nod over Bennett. Claudio Paulino took the 3rd spot. Peter Pan found two long right walls that peeled off the seawall, to top Nantasket’s Tim Cunningham in the Legends Longboard heat, while Sara Parker powered up two big lefts to edge out Newport’s Mary Aswell in the Women’s Longboard final. Sally Hall of Martha’s Vineyard topped the Senior Women’s category.

There is one more ESA rated surfing contest left on the 2011 schedule. That is the Annual Holiday Surfabout, set for November 19th, at the town beach. The ESA also has the First Annual Halloween Narrow River Stand-up Paddle Board Race planned for October 29th at Narrow River Kayak on Middlebridge Road. For more information concerning either event, email the ESA at, call the ESA at 401-575-0003, or go to the ESA website at or on the ESA SNE Facebook page.

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