Four Floors Of New Awards: 2008 ESA Easterns Concludes

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Cole Richards on his backhand. Photo: AJ Neste/Surfing America.

From the beginning of the season kids on the East Coast bust their asses for a chance at making it to Hatteras in September. Every ESA surfer knows that being invited to the Outer Banks during the ninth month of the year is a privilege and an honor. This year the Atlantic mustered up a nor’easter that hit the Outer Banks with 50mph+ winds, which caused the flood-induced closing of Highway 12, a tropical storm that filled in on the last two days, and East Coast surf that was bigger than most of the Transworld crew had experienced. With the completion of the 41st ESA Easterns, champions were crowned, the 2009 All-star team was named, and the 2008 season has come to an end.

At the ESA Championships it’s all about the kids; and the ‘meat and potatoes’ divisions at Easterns are the Jr. Womens, Jr. Mens, Open Shortboard, and Boys. Two of these champions this year both dominated their respective previous divisions in 2007, and this year were thrown into the bigger ponds only to assert their dominance once again. The other two of these 2008 champs both finished out their last year in their respective divisions with a solid East Coast title now under their belts.

After winning the Girls division the last year, Keenan Lineback made the move up to the Jr. Womens division. Stepping up an age division is always a difficult thing to do, but the PacSun USA Surf Team and ESA All-star member was still looking to make an impact in her first year in the division: “I felt confident going into it, but I knew I was going to have to do my best,” Keenan said.

With dumpy lefts that were running down the beach, Keenan didn’t fault, and laid down some solid backside turns to come up with the big win. This step-up victory at Easterns solidifies Keenan as the current East Coast amateur women’s surfer to beat.

Another surfer who holds titles in younger divisions and put up big this year in his new age bracket was North Carolinian Nick Rupp. The Jr. Mens division is one of the most coveted titles on the East Coast, and Nick knew he had to make a mark in his first year: “My first year in Jr. Mens I wanted to win the title because I didn’t do it in my first year of boys.”

In a final that saw some of the East Coast’s top young men, it was anything but easy for Nick. With Peter Polanski, Cole Richards, and Chris Tucker all raising the bar in the water, Nick remained focused and picked off some of the best lefts in the heat that ran down the beach and allowed for him to unload on his backhand. The win for Nick in his inaugural Jr. Mens year is evidence that he’ll be at a threat in this division for the next few years.

This year was also the first time in five years that Easterns didn’t see a surfer establish his total supremacy by taking the sweep of both Jr. Mens and Open Shortboard. “It was sick the last few years because all the guys got the sweep,” said Rupp, “but it’s still awesome to take this title.” Don’t be surprised if Nick goes for broke attempting to achieve this highly coveted achievement.

Speaking of the Open Shortboard division, the other half of the sweep in years past, this final saw Keto Burns, Cody Leutgans, aforementioned Rupp, Chris Kelly, Cole Richards, and Billy Olsen all battling it out earlier this week amidst the sand-blasting nor’easter conditions. This heat was insanely close, and every surfer threw down at least one legitimate wave. Anticipation mounted throughout the week, as the ESA rightly opts to announce all the kids divisions together at the end of competition. In his final year before graduating from the ESA, Billy Olsen wanted to end his hard work on a good note. “I know I had one good solid wave, and an okay back-up wave, so I felt pretty good about it,” Olsen said. “When I came out of the water everybody said I definitely got top three, and a chance at the win.”

There was another surfer looking to end things on a good note as well. This year was Florida boy Keto Burns’ last year in the Boys division before making that hefty jump up to the Jr. Mens powerhouse division. And since last year’s hurt ankle at Easterns hindered his hopes, he was looking to bounce back big.

Though Cam Richards’ stylish cover-up and Julian Payne’s air-drop left, which he blasted the top off of, were ridiculous, they proved no match for Keto’s frontside attack that consisted of one of the better barrels at this year’s Easterns. Don’t take my word for it though: “I dropped in a bit late and just kept sliding down the face,” said Keto. “I barely made it out, the lip hit me in the head, but I wasn’t sure if they saw I was still on my board. So I threw my hands up to make sure they saw it.”

This was only a glimpse of the excitement that the 41st Eastern Surfing Association Eastern Championships offered the entire week. From Menehunes charging to first-time titles to some of the craziest conditions at Easterns in recent years, this year the Banks showed us a good ol’ time. It’s apparent that the ESA is about family and providing East Coast surfers with great opportunities.

We’d like to thank everyone involved with the ESA, especially Executive Director Debbie Hodges and Interim Competition Director Mary Ann Mangiacapre, for all their hard work and doing the best they could with what the Atlantic supplied. We’d also like to thank the great people of the Outer Banks for sharing their quiet strip of amazing sand that acts as the backbone of the East Coast, and for showing us that Southern hospitality. That wraps up the 2008 ESA Easterns and stay tuned for a complete photo gallery on the site and full coverage in the next issue of Transworld SURF. –Ryan Brower

2009 All-star Team (Now under new All-star Coach Kai Dilling):
Keenan Lineback
Kate Easton
Nikki Viesens
Savanah Bradley
Brittney Hickey
Chelsea Gresham
Liza Caban
Dylan Andrews
Michael Ciarmella
Daniel Glenn
Corey Howell
Dylan Kowalski
Christian Miller
Cam Richards
Cole Richards
Nick Rupp
Weston Williams
Chris Kelly
Peter Polanski
Mason Barnes
Keto Burns

Results Of The 41st Eastern Surfing Association Easterns:

Menehunes
1. Tristan Thompson
2. Justin Croteau
3. Jake Fairly
4. Daniel Glenn
5. Matt Kaltenback
6. Chad Bruce

Boys
1. Keto Burns
2. Christian Miller
3. Cam Richards
4. Julian Payne
5. Ryan Croteau
6. Jonathan Hatton

Junior Mens
1. Nick Rupp
2. Chris Tucker
3. Peter Polanski
4. Cole Richards
5. Kevin Cox
6. Mikee Fitts
7. Jonathan Mincher
8. Frank Roper

Girls
1. Jasset Umbel
2. Quincy Davis
3. Rachel Harrell
4. Brittney Hickey
5. Emily Ruppert
6. Nikki Viesins

Junior Womens
1. Keenan Lineback
2. Leila Geesey
3. Liza Caban
4. Chelsea Gresham
5. Haley Watson
6. Alex Geesey

Open Shortboard
1. Billy Olsen
2. Cole Richards
3. Chris Kelly
4. Nick Rupp
5. Cody Leutgens
6. Keto Burns

Mens
1. David Holloway
2. Tanner Deprin
3. Austin Allen
4. Jeff Anthony
5. Alex Fawess
6. Tom-Zac Kenny

Masters
1. Shawn Clark
2. Travis Ajay
3. Chris Costa
4. Chris Lisanti
5. Chad Carr
6. Chris Kretzer

Senior Mens
1. Rodrigo Miranda
2. Pat McManus
3. Bill Bowman
4. Todd Brazell
5. Charlie Hajak
6. Jason Motes

Grandmasters
1. Rick Anson
2. Bill Whatley
3. Resse Patterson
4. Jim Miller
5. Joe Grottola
6. Lynn Harrington

Legends
1. David Sledge
2. Keith Thompson
3. Bill Helmuth
4. Bill Roach
5. Kevin Brandt
6. Mark Mitchell

Grand Legends
1. Rich Kinney
2. Bryant Hungerford
3. John “Chum” McCraniels
4. Robert Gillinder
5. Kitty Pechet

Womens
1. Mallory Turner
2. Leanne Foster
3. Jessie Carnes
4. Lauren McLean
5. Kayla Beckmann
6. Jennifer Morris

Ladies (Senior Womens)
1. Ana Barend
2. Mindy Fitzpatrick
3. Vivian Jordan
4. Marty Mentzer
5. Cayce Patterson
6. Nathalie Glenn

Menehune Longboard
1. Zach Tomlinson
2. Daniel Glenn
3. Patrick Nichols
4. Michael Ciaramella
5. Josh Richardson
6. Zach Greaser

Junior Longboard
1. Asher King
2. Patrick Fallon
3. Jake Buchler
4. Alex Strangways
5. Kevin DeWald
6. Anthony Mariano

Mens Longboard
1. Ty Roach
2. Robert Brad Long
3. Thomas Capps
4. Alex Fawess
5. David Taylor
6. Kyle Sumer

Masters Longboard
1. Tom O’Brien
2. Buddy Evans
3. Bill Whatley
4. Jason Motes
5. Les Carrithers
6. Reese Patterson

Legends Longboard
1. Bill Roach
2. Kevin Grondin
3. Bobby Holland
4. Rick Anson
5. David Sledge
6. Tom Leonik

Womens Longboard
1. Chelsea Gresham
2. Kate Easton
3. Allison Parks
4. Brittney Hickey
5. Lisa Autrey
6. Mallory Turner

Ladies (Senior Womens) Longboard
1. Ana Barend
2. Mindy Fitzpatrick
3. Jo Pickett
4. Beth Schub
5. Tina Tyrone
6. Heather Jenkins

Menehune Bodyboard
1. Michael Bain
2. Caleb Buchler
3. Morgan-Taylor Leavel
4. John Joyce
5. Zach Greaser
6. Cyrus Lewis

Open Bodyboard
1. Jorge Colomer
2. Austin Dalton
3. John Heyman
4. Caleb Buchler
5. Forrest Roberts
6. Bo Hickey

East Coast Hall of Fame

1. Peter Pan
2. Dick Meseroll

ESA All-Star Tag Team

1. NCFL Team
2. NSC Team
3. SNJ Team
4. Transworld SURF Team
5. SNC Team
6. TCFL Team
7. CFL Team