New England Midwinter Surfing Championships
Narragansett, Rhode Isalnd
22 - 23 February, 2014
Waiting out the storm pays off for the New England Midwinter Champs
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 24 February, 2014 - A nasty New England winter snowstorm dumped over two feet of snow on the scheduled day of the 46th Annual New England Midwinter Surfing Championships.
This turned out to be a good thing, because on the following weekend, after the postponement, a coastal storm provided some of the best surf of the entire winter for the contest.
Despite the icy cold 35-degree water and cold air temperatures, the waves stayed a consistent 3-6 feet with moderate offshore winds for the duration of the event. This set up the stage for some great competitive surfing, with fast, well formed left and right peaks pumping through the contest zone.
For the first time ever, there was open competition in the kayak category, which turned out to be a big hit with both the surfers and spectators. Ron Johnson, local professional kayaker, coordinated the kayak event, and assisted with educating the judges on the kayak moves in the surf.
“It turned out to be a real close one,” said Ron. “Bert Dubois was surfing the waves, but James managed to pull off some great tricks on the faces, especially the Blunts and Flat Spins, which put him in first place.”
Surfing competitors got a chance to mingle with the kayak surfers, and realized that they were not that much different than themselves.
“The idea of having us compete in the contest, will hopefully give surfers a better attitude toward the kayakers, when they are out in the line-up with them,” said Ron.
Another new division growing in popularity was the Men’s and Women’s Stand-up Paddleboard event, which drew some great competitors. In the Men’s Final, John Pariseault had the lead going into the last minute. Jim Blakeney picked off the best right slide of the entire heat just before the horn sounded, edging him out on the last ride.
In the Women’s final, it was veteran Stacey McLoughlin grabbing a long right to top Sarah Prince for the win. Corran Moore had the left peak wired, as the goofy-footer had an outstanding day, picking off the biggest set waves and ripping them to both the Men’s and Open titles.
Local veteran John Pariseault was also tearing up the place, and showed his versatility with top showings in every category. Working both the inside and outside right walls, John won the Senior Men and Senior Longboard Finals. He then proceeded to take a 2nd place behind Moore in the Open Shortboard and 2nd place in the Open Stand-up Paddleboard Final.
Katie Zullo found some nice hollow barrels to win both front and backside in the Women’s Shortboard and Women’s Longboard divisions. Sara Procaccini picked off a perfect right peak to beat out Sarah Prince in the Ladies Shortboard Final.
In the youth events, Joe Doherty had a big day, winning both the Boys and Menehune Longboard Finals, as well as finishing 6th in the Open Final. Braydon Bennett was ripping up the insiders, taking the Menehune and Menehune Bodyboard titles with ease.
In the older categories, it was Peter Pan winning the Legends and Legends Longboard divisions, picking off the biggest right walls in the middle of the beach. Kitty Pechet rode the inside sections to win the Grand Legends title. In the Open Bodyboard division, it was another successful day for Pat Redmond and his 360’s.
The next rated ESA contest of the season will take place on April 19th at First Beach in Newport, Rhode Island. For more information, contact the ESA at 401-575-0003.