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Dean Randazzo claims Smith Optics Grudge Match title


Dean Randazzo : photo Ann Coen

Smith Optics Grudge Match
Presented by Dakine

Seaside Heights New Jersey
3 October 2007

Dean Randazzo wins Smith Optics Garden State Grudge Match

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 October, 2007 : - - Ketchum Idaho -- The Smith Optics Garden State Grudge Match presented by Dakine went down in 3-5 foot glassy surf on Oct 3rd, 2007 in Seaside Heights NJ. 39 year old Dean Randazzo took down the field and became the first 2 time Grudge Match Champ.

It’s been five years since Dean hoisted the belt above his head but he returned to true form and left nothing to chance as he blitzed his way to the title. Dean took down Matt Keenan in the finals with his patented Randazzo front side hack. Matt Keenan looked to be the surfer to beat as he took down Sam Hammer in round two arguably the best heat of the day. But Keenan couldn’t get his groove on for the final and was stomped by The Jersey Devil!

Major upset was the story of the day as defending champ Mike Gleason, perennial semi finalist Ben McBrien, and former champ Frank Walsh had surprisingly early exits. Other notable standouts, East coast wonder kid Zack Humphreys and 2007 EC Champ Rob Kelly were taken out by Rob’s younger brother an alternate in the event. Newcomer Ben Graef surfed impressively all day making it all the way to the semis in his first Grudge Match ever!

But in the end the day belonged to Randazzo. Take note Randazzo was the first surfer to win the Grudge, the first to reclaim the belt, and maybe the first to defend it???? The rivalries are affirmed and the grudges will continue until the best from NJ get their shot at staking their claim to the belt a year from now. Can anyone unseat THE JERSEY DEVIL???

Special Thanks to Smith Optics, Dakine, DVS, Nixon, Zoo York, Oneill, Ezekiel, and Surf Taco for supporting the event!

Click here for images and video of The Smith Optics Garden State Grudge Match

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JP Collett

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