The ESA Scholastic Championships went down this past weekend in New Smyrna Beach, Florida amidst spring break. Despite the small surf, titles were won and kids were ripping. Jeremy Johnston took the Open Shortboard title and UNCW took home the Tag Team title.
Facing a solid contingent of East Coast’s finest, “JJ” pulled out a close heat win to claim the $1,250 first place Open Shortboard prize. Facing Liam Michelbrink, Michael Powell and Sebastian Moreno in the final, Jeremy demonstrated his local knowledge of the peaky conditions with two solid scores to secure another East Coast win.
“Friday and Saturday had some fun waves wrapping around the jetty, but Sunday was a whole different ballgame. It was a matter of finding the right waves in the semis and finals because there were a lot of wedges and closeouts. Having grown up here I was super comfortable throughout the event and I’m glad I could take the win against a stacked group of surfers,” stated Johnston.
In the Open Longboard final Justin Quintal styled his way to the win over Bradley Rose, Corey Williams and Dylan Andrews. Although the conditions weren’t ideal for the Longboard final, everyone posted a solid heat score, but Justin’s vertical surfing, wave selection and cat-like balance elevated him above the others.
The Collegiate Men’s final featured Wes Beck, Shane Wiggins, Michael Powell and Ben Powell, with Ben Powell taking home the scholarship monies for his college expenses. The Brothers Powell battled throughout the final with Ben barely edging out his brother with an 11.84 to Michael’s 11.17 for the victory.
Amy Nicholl won the Collegiate Women’s event over Brittany Tupaj, Nicole Hagopian, and Chelsea Gresham. Posting a 13.50 final heat score, Amy demonstrated she continues to be a force in the water whenever she puts on a jersey.
In the Boys final, Sam Duggan edged out Noah Schweizer, Daniel Glenn and Eros Exarhou to take the win in a close heat. With a total heat score of 14.37, Sam’s forehand proved too formidable for the other experienced surfers.
In the Junior Men final, Evan Barton posted to solid scores to take the win against a contingent of fellow North Carolinians including Shane Burn and Mason Barnes, and Ormond Beach’s Austin Clouse. Posting a heat score of 12.84, Evan demonstrated the years of surfing that has made him a force in any contest he enters.
The Junior Women final, consisting of Chelsea Gresham, Kayla Durden and Chandler Von Cannon, and Savannah Bradley, witnessed Savannah dominating the difficult conditions and coming away the victor.
For contest organizers Debbie Hodges of ESA and Julie Doyle of TGSA, the event demonstrated how two organizations could come together, throw an insane contest- with a concert tied into the festivities- and provide monetary benefit for surfers and a community.
“I’m so glad ESA and TGSA work so well together. Everything came together flawlessly and we definitely achieved the goal of this event by giving back to the next generation of surfers. Next year will have an even bigger prize purse and attract more competition. This event is going to be around for a long time!” stated Hodges.
“This event validated the level of surfing coming out of the Texas region. We placed surfers into the semis and finals of all the divisions and I couldn’t be prouder of the event we put on. We’re definitely doing this again!” stated Doyle.
For more on the 2010 Scholastics and the ESA, head to surfESA.org.
All photos by Tupat. If you see yourself in a photo let us know in the comments below that it’s you!
1st Jeremy Johnston 14.84
2nd Sebastian Moreno 11.74
3rd Michael Powell 10.83
4th Liam Michelbrink 8.03
1st Sam Duggan 14.37
2nd Noah Schweizer 13.00
3rd Daniel Glenn 12.57
4th Eros Exarhou 5.10
1st Evan Barton 12.84
2nd Shane Burn 7.37
3rd Austin Clouse 7.17
4th Mason Barnes 7.13
1st Savannah Bradley 9.60
2nd Chandler Von Cannon 7.50
3rd Kayla Durden 5.53
4th Chelsea Gresham 4.07
1st Ben Powell 11.84
2nd Michael Powell 11.17
3rd Shane Wiggins 8.66
4th Wesley Beck II 6.97
1st Amy Nicholl 13.50
2nd Chelsea Gresham 8.10
3rd Nicol Hagopian 6.76
4th Brittany Tupaj 4.16
1st Justin Quintal 14.66
2nd Dylan Andrews 9.33
3rd Corey Williams 9.23
4th Bradley Rose 7.67
Continue on to page 2 for more photos….