Resurrecting The ESA Easterns Sweep, Part 1

Things were still heaving today in Hatteras. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Things were still heaving today in Hatteras. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The famed ESA Easterns sweep has the major potential to be alive and well this year. It’s been since 2007 when Rob Kelly came and stole both the Junior Men’s and Open Shortboard divisions. But after yesterday’s Open Shortboard final it’s apparent that that title will be going to either Nick Rupp or Chris Tucker, both of whom are two of the favorites for the Junior Men’s title as well.

That Junior Men’s division got kicking today and ended up deciding all the quarterfinalists. And no surprise, Tucker and Rupp were the top two performers of the day, garnering the top two waves (9.43 and 8.67, respectively) and the top two heat totals as well (17.93 and 15.80, respectively). It’s obvious that these two are vying hard to resurrect the sweep.

Keto Burns with the air of the event, so far. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Keto Burns with the air of the event, so far. Keto might have something to say about that sweep going down... Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Here's that vicious backhand of Rupp's I was talking about. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Here's that vicious backhand of Rupp's I was talking about. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Chris Tucker was looking inform to potentially take a sweep back home to Florida. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Chris Tucker was looking inform to potentially take a sweep back home to Florida. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Nick Rupp could be the poster boy for the ESA. He’s got more ESA titles than you can count on hands, sets an example for all competitors in and out of the water, is the captain of the Allstar team, and is just a good ol’ southern boy. He’s the two-time defending Junior Men’s champ and this being his last year he certainly wants to add that elusive sweep to his treasure chest (not to mention three-peating to end his ESA career).

As I mentioned yesterday, he skipped firing S-turns to save his energy for the all-Wednesday heats of the Open division. The North Carolinian has a backhand repertoire that fits perfectly with the lefts that run off the Cape Hatteras groin, and today was no different. After grabbing his jersey for his round of 24 heat he strolled over to me and held up the red rashguard as I noticed his red boardies, “I hate when that happens,” he snickered. Obviously he takes things as they come.

Nick Rupp pulled out this backside air revo today and nearly rode out of it. I think if it wasn't for that little cross-warble you can see he would've pulled it off. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Nick Rupp pulled out this backside air revo today and nearly rode out of it. I think if it wasn't for that little cross-warble you can see he would've pulled it off. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Matt Lopez showing a little bit of that Lopez steez. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Matt Lopez showing a little bit of that Lopez steez. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

He proceeded to decimate everything that came his way, making things look incredibly easy. He’s been coming to Hatteras and putting up big for years, so it’s almost become natural for him here. We paddled out north of the groin together after his heat and he told me how in the first five weeks of this school year he’s been there for one-and-a-half of them, “I was at the ECSCs, then the Unsound Pro and Pro Junior, then almost did the Belmar Pro last week but decided to come back down here.” Nick Rupp is an East Coast contest machine.

Giorgio Gomez getting in one of the many freesurfing covers that were on tap today at the Lighthouse. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Giorgio Gomez getting in one of the many freesurfing covers that were on tap today at the Lighthouse. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Only at the ESA Easterns... Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Only at the ESA Easterns... Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Cam Richards was blasting air reverses with ease today, and yes, he did land this here nosepick. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Cam Richards was blasting air reverses with ease today, and yes, he did land this here nosepick. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

He also gave me his thoughts on yesterday’s final, modestly saying he thinks Tucker took the title. But since they don’t announce the victor until all competition is finished he’s staying positive about it.

Tomorrow at 7 a.m. sharp the Junior Men’s quarters will begin and the possibility of the sweep’s return will be steps closer. Oh, and we’ll have a little rundown with the other possible sweep go-getter Chris Tucker for tomorrow’s wrap-up.—Ryan Brower

Head to surfesa.org for more info on the 2010 Easterns.

I don't think this grom needed to even tuck but it's still earning points with us! Photo: Bielmann/SPL

I don't think this grom needed to even tuck but it's still earning points with us! Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The Best Of The East. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The Best Of The East. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The Outer Banks' own Julian Payne. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The Outer Banks' own Julian Payne. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Look out below. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Look out below. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The famed Cape Hatteras groin, with a little scenic beauty in the foreground. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

The famed Cape Hatteras groin, with a little scenic beauty in the foreground. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Nathan Behl making the most of this rampy closeout section. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Nathan Behl making the most of this rampy closeout section. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Evan Barton. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Evan Barton. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Dylan Kowalski. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Dylan Kowalski. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Who da guy? Let us know in the comments below. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Who da guy? Let us know in the comments below. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

That's Keto Burns tucked all up in there. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

That's Keto Burns tucked all up in there. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Giorgio Gomez letting the fins come out for a little air. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Giorgio Gomez letting the fins come out for a little air. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

We caught this girl just brushing up on the latest issue of her favorite publication. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

We caught this girl just brushing up on the latest issue of her favorite publication. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Kate Easton heading out for a little log time. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Kate Easton heading out for a little log time. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Matt Lopez, son of legend Pete Lopez and brother to Shea and Cory. Quite a lineage there. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Matt Lopez, son of legend Pete Lopez and brother to Shea and Cory. Quite a lineage there. Photo: Bielmann/SPL