“I can’t remember when I last won a contest,” exclaimed Jamie Meistrell upon learning he had eked out a victory over former pro Sean Burrell in the Dive N’ Surf/South Bay Boardriders Club surf contest Saturday in El Porto.
Burrell looked certain to win his second consecutive Open Mens title in this season’s Boardriders series when he showed off his signature speed on two long lefts early in the finals.. But that was before Meistrell rollercoastered across two set rights, finishing both with big floaters. After landing the second one he threw up his arms to be sure the judges didn’t miss him.
Jamie Meistrell celebrates his first First Place finish since “I can’t remember when.” Photo by Kevin Cody
The fact that the contest was sponsored by the company his recently deceased grandfather co-founded added to the exuberance Meistrell displayed on learning of his victory.
Another unexpected first place finish was awarded to Chester ZigZag in the longboard division. ZigZag left the water 10 minutes into the 20 minute heat. But that was long enough for him to qualify for “ride of the day” honors by walking to the nose on a blown-out overhead wave, then back pedal in time to land a floater.
“I thought the heat was only 10 minutes,” he explained.
What was predictable was Natalie Anzivino’s win in the Open Women division. Her strong, aggressive surfing has made her nearly unbeatable in Boardrider Series contests over the past two years.
But Mira Costa surfer Sara Kohrogi’s fluid style and whip-like turns made her appear a credible challenger in the series’ four remaining contests. Kohrogi finished second in the open and first in the strong Junior Girls division (18 and under).
Jake Chandler nails a floater and first place in the assisted micro groms division. Photo sequence by Steve Gaffney (SteveGaffney.com)
Rivaling ZigZag for “ride-of-the-day” honors was Jake Chandler in the assisted micro-groms division (nine and under). Chandler took first place on the strength of nearly getting air and then landing a floater on a head high (to a grom) wave.
In the Micro Groms division, Finn Bertino finally had the breakout performance he needed to capture a first, after consistently high finishes in earlier contests.
Kirra Troeger gets to her feet in the Assisted Micro division of her first Boardriders contest. Photo by Tim Tindall
Though Codee Stamis and Cody Purcell spell their first names differently, they pronounce them the same and had the same results on Saturday. Stamis won the Junior Boys (18 and under) and Purcell won the Boys (14 and under).
Rodney Buck won the crowded (36 competitors) Groms division and former South African pro Warren Kushner took first in the Masters division (40 and over)
Another member of the Dive N’ Surf family who went home with a first place swag bag, filled with Dive N’ Surf merchandise, was Scott Daley, the company’s marketing director. Daley snagged two long, fast rights while others in his heat struggled to find makeable waves.
Though waves were scarce in the Legends final, conditions overall were good with small soft waves graduating to big fast waves as the tide dropped and the swell built.
The mid-January contest also benefited from offshore winds and temperatures in the 80s. Despite nearly 250 surfers competing in 11 divisions, race director Matt Walls and fellow Boardrider club members succeeded in sounding the starter’s horn on time for the first heat, scheduled for 7 a.m. and for the final heat, scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
The next South Bay Boardriders contest will be sponsored by Becker Surf and held at 26th Street in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, February 8. ER
2014 SBBC South Bay Surf Series Dive n Surf Contest Results 01.18.14