North Carolina’s Jesse Hines Scores Summer’s Best Barrel In Billabong Freewave Challenge

Outer Banks Tube Wins, Geoff Moysa Is Second Out West, Zander Morton Is Third In The Gulf

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — (October 16, 2008) — Three rides along three separate coastlines were in contention, but it was Jesse Hines of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, who captured the award for Best Barrel of the summer surfing season in the Billabong Freewave Challenge Mainland edition. Caught near his home along NC’s Outer Banks, Hines challenged one of the thickest tubes ever seen on the East Coast and his successful escape from the spitting beast earned him the respect of the surfing world and $3,000 in Freewave prize money. Joe Cheshire of Digital Wunderland will receive $750 for capturing the epic moment on video tape. The wave was ridden on September 7, 2008 and was generated by Hurricane Ike as it tracked across the Atlantic Ocean.

Click HERE to see all the Best Barrel finalist rides.

The Best Barrel award is just one of five divisions which acknowledge the finest freesurfing to take place in the USA this summer outside of regular surf contests. Other category winners to be revealed over the next few days include Small Fries (16 and Under surfers) and the coveted Monster Maneuver Award. The placings in the Heartbreaker Female Performance Award and the Longest Ride were announced yesterday.    In total, the event offers $40,000 in prize money for the surfers and videographers. Full rules and event format details can be accessed at the event website at www.FreewaveChallenge.com

Second place in the Best Barrel category went to Geoff Moysa of Newport Beach, California who slid into another long left-hand tube at Newport’s 52nd Street on a southern hemisphere-generated swell on June 20 — the opening day of the summer-long Freewave event.   Moysa collects a cool $2,000 for his weaving West Coast cover-up and escape through the doggy-door as the wave closed out. Local underground filmmaker Lugo Lugo of Shorescrew.com takes home $500 for providing the visual evidence.

Although Hurricane Ike may have been the third most destructive Hurricane to strike the US, it was a boon to Freewave surfers, and as the Category 4 storm continued on into the Gulf of Mexico it provided the juice for the third place finisher in the Best Barrel category. Alexander “Zander” Morton of St. Augustine, Florida, drove across the state to catch Ike’s surf in the Panama City area of his state’s Panhandle and was rewarded with an exceptionally deep backside tube (on yet another left). Although Morton slipped from his feet and recovered at the end of his ride, it was still enough to secure third place in the virtual free-surfing challenge and $1,500. Highly mobile surf videographer Jerry Ricciotti of Maryland now pockets $400 for capturing the image on camera.

According to the published Freewave rules, the “The surfer executing the most skillful demonstration of the art of surfing in the tube shall be the winner. Length, depth and overall degree of difficulty will all be considered.”  The rankings of the finalists were determined by a large voting panel made up of the surfers and videographers registered in the event along with select surfing media members from around the world.  Over 150 video clips of spectacular surfing were uploaded to the Freewave website with nominees qualifying from a diverse number of surf breaks from all over the East, West and Gulf Coasts of the USA.  All the original clips can still be viewed by clicking on the  Freewave Video Hub.

BEST BARREL AWARD FINAL RESULTS

1.  Jesse Hines (Kitty Hawk, North Carolina) at the Outer Banks on September 7 ($3,000). Video by Joe Cheshire ($750)
2.  Geoff Moysa (Newport Beach, California) at 52nd Street, Newport on June 20 ($2,000).   Video by Lugo Lugo.
3.  Zander Morton (St. Augustine, Florida) on the Gulf Coast on September 11 ($1,500).   Video by Jerry Ricciotti ($400)