Kevin Cody

Family that surfs together wins Jimmy Miller Surf Fiesta

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by Kevin Cody

The family theme promoted at the Jimmy Miller Surf Fiesta on Sunday carried through all the way to the finals, where brothers Jeff and Greg Browning and Greg’s sons Parker and Drew met Aaron Rosenberg and his sons Jake and Zack. The Browning family prevailed after Parker Browning ran up one of the contests highest scores on a big, outside wave. Parker surfs for South High, where dad is an assistant coach.

Sets that approached double overhead at 42nd Street in Manhattan Beach led to  broken boards, broken leashes and plenty of crowd pleasing heroics. Members of the 32 teams ranged from novices to professionals.

The annual fall contest benefits the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, which provides ocean therapy to the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Pendleton. Battalion Commander Lt. Colonel Stephen Mount competed in Sunday’s contest. Mount joined the Marines after graduating from UC Riverside. He lost his right eye piloting a Huey helicopter in Iraq in 2004.

“I was providing close air support for ground troops in Najaf (near Mosul) when a bullet entered the bridge of my nose and and hit my right eye before exiting,” he said.

His bullet-riddled helicopter crashed in a cemetery. Except for the loss of an eye, he fully recovered.

As Commander of the Wounded Warrior Battalion West, Mount is responsible for helping wounded Marines return to their combat platoons, or transition back into civilian life.

A big part of that effort, he said, “is helping the Marines to focus on what they can do, as opposed to what they can’t do. So we do a lot of sports, including surfing, bicycling, basketball, rock climbing, horseback riding and swimming.”

The Jimmy Miller Foundation provides surf instruction and ocean therapy at Camp Pendleton twice a month.

At the contest, participants rode Firewire demo boards, ate Fresh Brothers Pizza, and bid on auction items that included surfboards, spa visits and vacations in Indonesia and Palm Springs. Phil, Bill and Rose Laolagi performed Hawaiian music throughout the day.

First Place: Greg, Parker and Drew Browning, Jeff Browing, Jamie Wilhelm, Nic Cerofia and Kyra Williams. Second place: Gus McConnell, Aaron, Jake, and Zach Rosenberg and Phillip Barnett. Third place: Steve Fairbrother, daughter Sara, McKenna Hawkes, Garret Grombach and Slader Bark.

Spyder Surf Best Move: Parker Browning

ET Surfboard Beach Lounger Award for best beach set up: Jay Gleason and Chris Druliner

Spy Optics Best Wipeout: Jay Gleason.

Richer Poorer Best Performance by a Family:  Rosenberg Family.

Trilogy Spa Best Performance by Female: Megan Seth.

Fresh Brothers Pizza Best Performance by a Grommet: Jett Prefontaine. 7.

LA Car Guy Pure Surfing Experience Award: Trey Mahan. ER

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