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New England grom-only contest scores rare waves

Colby Champlin © ESA/Lisa Haase



Catch A Curl

Eastern Surfing Association
Westerly Town Beach, Rhode Island
19 - 20 September 2015

Local knowledge pays off for Westerly groms

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 22 September, 2015 - There was not even a hint of a swell at any break in Rhode Island, except at the one beach where the Annual “Catch A Curl” competition was scheduled to run, the Westerly Town Beach. 

Sponsored by the New England Science and Sailing Institute of Stonington, Connecticut, this “grom” only contest grows in popularity every year. This event was no different, drawing almost 40 of the hottest up and coming surfers in the New England region, as they competed for lots of prizes and bragging rights. A solid 2-3 foot swell gave surfers plenty of waves to ride, but finding the right ones was tough. This is where local knowledge played a key factor in the close contests.

An example of this came in the very competitive Boys event, which featured competitors battling through quarterfinals, a semi-main, and a final heat. After several rounds of action, it came down to a stand-off between local Jack Morrone and Narragansett’s Noah Gartner.

While Noah found the best formed rights for big points, Jack locked into some elusive left sections that only a local could find, giving him the final edge and tie-breaking 5th wave for the win. Jayden Parry moved off to the far side of the contest area, and found a couple of nice rights that he worked into a 3rd place finish. ESA newcomer Owen Costa advanced to the finals in his first main event, and took the 4th spot on one solid ride.

Page Hedde © ESA/Haase


There was some hot action in the heavyweight “Big Kahuna” contests, as surfers in the advanced category went head to head. Lily Gartner proved that it’s tough to beat the current ESA champion, as she scored on both left and rights, making close-out sections and sweeping to the win over Tate Melton.

Local Robbie Darling again proved that local knowledge pays off, as he knocked out a tie-breaking victory over Charlestown veteran ESA rider, Josh Hedde. The Girls/Wahine Final featured a high scoring battle between ESA hotshots, Page Hedde and Sophia Martino, with Sophia edging Page out on an inside left section that held up to the beach.

In the Under 10 year category, it was Phoebe Hedde topping Mikayla Sousa and Owen Faubert edging out Derin Yaworsky.

It was a great tribute to Meet Director Mistral Dobson and her staff, that the contest went so smoothly and that everyone had a great time. Surfrider’s Colin Hynes helped direct a beach clean up after the competition, which netted several huge bags of beach trash.

The next big ESA event takes place next Saturday at the Narragansett Town Beach, when the “Battle of the Beach” goes off. This fun event will feature several thousand dollars in prizes, music on the beach, skateboarding, and crazy events. The popular “Retro-Shortboard” contest will have 8 1970’s surfboards on the beach, and must be ridden by competitors in the event. Sign-ups are from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM and entry fee is only twenty bucks.

Derin Yaworsky © ESA/Haase


Final Results of the 4th Annual “Catch A Curl” Grom Fest, held in 1-3 foot surf

Ankle Biters /Boys (under 10 years old) 
1.Owen Faubert 
2.Derin Yaworsky 
3.Colby Champlin 
4.Grayson Simmons  

Ankle Biters/Girls (under 10 years old) 
1.Phoebe Hedde 
2.Mikayla Sousa  

Wahine Girls (intermediate 11-14 years) 
1.Sophia Martino 
2.Page Hedde 
3.Emily Brinton 
4.Marianna Meyer 
5.Lee Melton 
6.Chase Barclay  

Ho-Dad Boys  (intermediate 11-14 years) 
1.Jack Morrone 
2.Noah Gartner 
3.Jayden Parry 
4.Owen Costa 
5.Luke Marley 
6.Dylan Holtbakk 
7.Brayden Champlin 
8.Aiden Faubert 
9.Justin Parrilla 
10.Zander Baas 
11.Jake Serra 
12.Jim Robbin 
13.Shepard Simmons 
14.Max Garber 
15.Jack Sharbaca 
16.Jake Bredice 
17.James Powers  

Big Kahuna Girls (experienced under 17 years)  
1.Lily Gartner 
2.Tate Melton 
3.Sarah Billis 
4.Kelly Giffault  

Big Kahuna Boys (experienced under 17 years)  
1.Robbie Darling 
2.Josh Hedde 
3.James Adams 
4.Joe Hedde 
5.Douglas Sockbeson. 

Peter Pan

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