Mira Costa’s Rachel Tominaga goes for broke on her way to winning the Junior Women’s division. Photo by Mike Balzer
Fast, head high, with occasional double overhead surf, clean conditions and the presence of 18-year-old Brazilian pro Wesley Santos made the Surf Concepts/South Bay Boardriders contest the most dramatic in the contest series four year old history, according to SBBC president Mike Balzer. The contest was held two Saturdays ago in El Porto.
Men’s Open winner Wesley Santos of Brazil. Photo by Steve Gaffney
Judge Chris Wells backed Balzer’s observation.
“Most of us know the guys and out of no where Wesley Santos of Brazil shows up. In his first heat he dropped into a wave that I swore was a backdoor barrel. He dropped in critical and drove through the tube, coming out clean for the best barrel I’ve ever seen in SBBC history and a perfect 10. The beach erupted in cheers like at the Pipe Masters.”
“I had never before given one surfer two ‘10s’ in a contest. Santos was the first,” Wells said of the 18-year-old Brazilian. “Showing his versatility, Santos went to the air for a reverse into a tail slide, pulled it, and continued down the line whacking the lip.”
PV High’s Will Reid. Photo by Mike Balzer
Fresh of his North Shore trip with Matt Pagan and friends, Mira Costa High’s Noah Collins won the junior’s division and placed second behind Santos in the Open Men.
“If it hadn’t been for Santos, Collins would have been the hero of the day,” Wells said. “He’s the most improved surfer in the South Bay, ditching his airs and flicks for more polished speed power surfing, like a man,” Wells said.
Troy Campbell wins the Legends division on a borrowed board. Photo by Mike Balzer
The swell peaked mid morning during the Legends’ (50 and over) heat, which featured another surprise appearance. Troy Campbell used his experience charging Indo to drop into straight backside bombs to win the Legend’s division in his first SBBC contest.
“After snapping his board, Campbell sprinted to shore to pinch a board,” Wells said, “But when he grabbed boards, the owners would say, ‘I need that for my next heat.’ He finally got a longboard and won on the Legends division on the borrowed board.”
Donnie Wilson emerged from this barrel to score a perfect 10. Photo by Mike Balzer
Just paddling out was a challenge, especially for the younger surfers.
“Some of the groms took the hardest beat downs of their lives,” Wells said. “El Porto looked like Haleiwa on a mid sized day.”
Kai Kushner celebrates his first championship. Photo by Mike Balzer
Junior Women’s Division winner Rachel Tominaga was the only junior woman to test the outside and to drop into a few heavies.”
“Rachel’s mom, who’s very supportive of her daughter and helps out with the contest, started screaming, ‘Where’s my daughter?” Wells said.
Natalie Anzivino’s big wave experience earned first place in the Open Women’s divsion. Photo by Mike Balzer
Fresh off chasing the previous week’s big swell, Women’s winner Natalie Anzivino had no problem dominating her field.
Dave Schaefer won the longboard division with a performance that would have been impressive on any type of equipment.
Micro Grom champ Zach Rosenberg. Photo by Mike Balzer
“Schaefer would do these power floaters off the top and drop into the flats,” Wells said. “He’d disappear in the foam and suddenly reappear at the last second before getting collapsed on in the inside.”
“There were lots of broken boards and leashes but the lifeguards were always around,” Wells said.
The fifth and final contest in this year’s South Bay Boardriders Club series will be sponsored by Spyder Surf and held Saturday, April 26 at the Manhattan Beach pier.
Clay Norian lays down a rail. Photo by Mike Balzer
The club will hold a membership meeting, which is open to prospective members, Thursday, March 27 at the R10 Social House restaurant in King Harbor, next to Captain Kidd’s. Mike Balzer will screen his photos from this year’s contests and other photos from this winter.
To register online for the Spyder Surf contest, or to RSVP to the membership meeting, visit SouthBayBoardriders.com. ER
El Porto on fire for the Surf Concepts SBBC contest. Photo by Mike Balzer