Former West Torrance High surfer Natalie Anzivino clinched the South Bay Boardriders Contest Series open women’s title by winning the Pier Surf Green Madness contest at 26th Street in Manhattan Beach, on Saturday.
The victory was Anzivino’s third top finish in as many events in the five-contest series.
Manhattan Beach Middle School student Noah Collins joined Anzivino in clinching his division series title with a third consecutive first place finish in the Boys (14 and under).
Body Glove team surfer Matt Pagan took the series’ Open Mens lead by winning his second consecutive contest series title. El Segundo High surfer Kent Nishia also won his second consecutive contest series title, in the Junior Boys division (18 and under).
Legends (50 and over) competitor Scott Daley and Masters (40 to 49) competitor Ted Robinson also claimed their second contest series titles on Saturday.
Another notable performance came from former top ranked pro and Hermosa Surfing Walk of Fame inductee Mike Purpus. The 63-year-old’s last serious competition was in Cabo in 1986, according to formal rival and South Bay Surf League director John Joseph.
Purpus was sidelined in the early 1990s by bad hips. Two years ago, he had both hips replaced. Since then, he has advanced from surfing on his belly to resurrecting his signature roundhouse cutback and fin first take-off. During his longboard heat on Saturday, Purpus looked rusty and finished fourth. But in the finals of the Legends (50-plus) heat, he reestablished his wave hog reputation and finished second behind Scott Daley and ahead of Derek Levy, both former contest rivals from the ‘70s.
“I had fun. I just wanted to surf well enough so no one could make butt of me,” Purpus said after the Legends heat.
SBBC co-founder Mike Balzer said of Purpus’ performance, “With everything Mike has gone through physically, if we were to give an award for most improved, for overcoming the odds, for overcoming physical issues, and having the best stories, it would go to Mike. I was blown away by how well he surfed, especially considering the conditions.”
The surf was waist- to head-high with a wave consistency that made paddling out difficult and a south current that required constant paddling to remain lined up.
SBBC was founded last year to support local competitive surfers and to encourage young, new surfers.
Judging from competitors’ comments after Saturday’s contest the club is succeeding in both areas.
Hermosa Beach surfer Derek Brewer, who finished second in the men’s open division, said surfing four heats, including a 20-minute final, was exhausting, but that he was motivated to step up his effort by watching Pagan, who recently turned professional.
Another competitor who stepped up his game was Hermosa View kindergartener Finn Bertino, one of 18 micro groms (9 and under) who surfed in the contest. After catching half a dozen waves with pushes from his father Dave, Finn sent his dad to the beach and continued catching waves on his own.
Karen Tominaga, whose daughter Rachel won the Junior Girls division (18 and under), told contest organizers, in an email, “We travel around to WSA and NSSA, Jr. contests a lot, so it’s really nice to finally have some contests in our own back yard.” She ended the email by offering to volunteer at future contests.
In recognition of St. Patrick’s Day, title sponsor Pier Surf and surf industry vendors supplied prizes for the Best Leprechaun Contest, won by Hudson Ritchie, 12, of Redondo Beach; and a Shamrock Garden treasure hunt, won by Stephanie Hunt, 12, of Manhattan Beach.
Industry sponsors included Electric, Von Zipper, Body Glove, Waterman’s and El Gringo.
The final two contests in the series are scheduled for April 16 at 45th Street in Manhattan Beach, sponsored by Surf Concepts; and May 21 at the Manhattan Pier, sponsored by Spyder Surf. The contests are open to non SBBC members
For more information about SBBC visit SouthBayBoardRiders.com.
Open, men: Matt, Pagan, Derek Brewer, Kent Nishiya, Jamie Meistrell, Richard Silva, Eddie Lester. Boys, (14, &, under): Noah Collins, Sam Dunbar, Dylan Hyman, Henry Shea, Cody Stamis, Dillon Ragone. Open, Longboard (all, ages): Dave Shaeffer, Gus McConnell, Steve Compas, Jiro Ikeda, Bren, Bland, Evan Wagonan. Junior Girls (18, &, Under): Rachel, Tominaga, Ailiden Shelden, Filipp, Farrera, Juliett Ulrich. Open, Womens: Natalie Anzivino, Rachel Tominaga, Laurie Armer, Filippa Ferrara, Sarah Foley, Diana Mausser. Groms (12 and under): Kyle Beatty, Ron Sannes, Ryan Ulrich, Cole Warner, Clay Norian, Pat Komick. Masters, (40 – 49): Ted Robinson, Chris Frohoff, Scott Johnson, Ty Cukr, Jeff Jones, Jeff Bellandi. Junior Boys, (18 and under): Kent Nishia, David Slay, Angel, Luhrsen, Conner Beatty, Tucker Oshia, Noah Collins. Micro-Groms, (9 and under): Kieren Walls, Sam Collins, Noah Steinmetz, Ethan Ward, Sebastian Kuhr, Luke Snyder. Legends (50-plus): Scott Daley, Mike Purpus, Derek Levy, Tom Horton, Kevin Cody, Chris, Moseley. ER