Surf Jam takes advantage of big waves

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Young surfers race for the sea to catch the best waves. Young surfers race for the sea to catch the best waves.

This year’s Surf Jam was held Tuesday, Aug. 5. Surf contests can be difficult when it comes to relying on the weather. However, this year, it was not an issue with a tropical system poised off our coast. The storm not only produced some perfect 3-5 foot waves throughout the day, it also brought out some of the best surfers from Brigantine.

Fans and family members packed the beach and cheered on all the competitors throughout the day. It was truly a day to remember.

The body boarding divisions hit the water first and as always, was filled with action. The 10 and under body boarders reveled in the conditions. This year Joey Savell drew great lines across the face of the waves along with pulling off progressive maneuvers clearly defining him as the winner. Justin Kabala took top honors edging out Jake Crosson with some great moves in the 11-13 year old body boarding division.

The girl’s Wahine division showed some family flair as two last names in Brigantine surfing are sure to become big; the Wiggins and the Tates. Lauren and Lindsay Tate nabbed first and third place respectively. Talia Wiggins took home second place with some great surfing.

The menehune 10 and under boys surfing had last year’s body boarding 10 and under winner, Trevor Cohen come in first. Drew “switch stance” Marrandino came in second.

After all the 10 and under competitors finished impressing the judges and everyone on the beach, the contest and the waves revved up as the older competitors hit the water.

The 11-13 boys surfing division was won by Andrew Winchester edging out Nicholas McCall. Andrew was able to pull off multiple cutbacks on one wave earning him a first place finish. In the Jr. Girls division, Caitlin Schreiner brought home first place with some very long down the line waves. Caitlin was followed by Grace Emig and Kristi Goff who both had great scores.

The junior long boarders went out next. Pat McCarron picked off the perfect right handers that let him showcase exactly what the judges were looking for, his nose rides and style led him to a close victory over Chris Oliver who took off on some great outside waves. Third place was Kristi Goff, the only girl who competed in this division. Kristi made it count, proving she could mix it up with the boys.

The standup paddle board division went out to show off this popular offspring of the sport. This year with 5-foot sets rolling in consistently the disadvantages were clear. Some competitors spent the majority of their 15 minutes just trying to get past the breaking waves. The ones who did reveled in the great surf. Greg Fuller whipped his SUP around like he was on a short board performing cutbacks, floaters and perfectly timed top turns. In fact he impressed the judges and crowd so much with an unbelievable 360 he earned a nine-point ride and with that, the Wave of the Day trophy.

The senior longboard final took the water next. This year had a who’s who of Brigantine surfing legends in this final. Mike Laielli Sr. grabbed a few amazing long stylish rides earning him a third place finish. Jason Klemm went head to head with Tommy Cooker. In the end Jason narrowly missed out on the longboard title. Tom Cooker earned first place in an incredible final.

The men’s final went off in some great conditions. This year’s men’s division was stacked and easily on par with any professional contest. During the final there was an unbelievable level of surfing displayed. Former event winner Doug Brown and Zach Tomlinson both scored some incredible rides, but in the end Joe Demelia could not be matched and took home first place.

In the final event, the winners of all shortboard surfing divisions were thrown into a heat to decide the king of the jetty in the superheat. This made for an exciting conclusion to a perfect day. It was Pat McCarron taking home the title.

Coordinator Tim Daley provided a detailed analysis of the day’s events and the effort he put in organizing the Surf Jam.

“We really got so lucky to have such great waves and weather,” said Tim Daley. “I want to say thank you to all the volunteers, tabulators, judges, DJ Bewley, T-shirt designers, Mainstay Marketplace, chefs and anyone else who gave up their day to make this a success. I especially want to thank the Brigantine Beach Patrol for keeping us safe and public works for setting up, breaking down and cleaning up the contest area. I also want to thank and recognize the Brigantine Fire Department 2657, Brigantine PBA 204, and the CER for sponsoring and organizing this awesome community event.

“Finally, thank you to all the competitors and their parents for showing such great Aloha Spirit during the whole Surf Jam,” Daley said. “We should all be proud and consider ourselves lucky to be a part of such a great surfing community.”


2014 Brigantine Surf Jam results

Photos by John Egan

Chris Oliver performs a frontside snap. Chris Oliver performs a frontside snap.

Mike Garguilo rides a wave. Mike Garguilo rides a wave.

Tommy Cooker shows his longboarding skills. Tommy Cooker shows his longboarding skills.

Zach Tomlinson does a full rail curve. Zach Tomlinson does a full rail curve.

Joe Demelia powers through to win the 2014 Surf Jam. Joe Demelia powers through to win the 2014 Surf Jam.

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