West Coast Wins In Marines Vs. Marines Battle At Red Bull Rivals Surf Event
Camp Pendleton may be home to thousands of Marines – arguably the most serious and well-trained branch of the military – but on Saturday at Del Mar Beach, there was a lighter mood to the famed base’s proceedings. While hundreds of Marines and their families looked on, 20 surfers took to the restricted base waters to compete in Red Bull Rivals. The surf event played off the East Coast / West Coast rivalry that exists between Marines trained at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) on the West Coast and Marines trained at Paris Island on the East Coast.
The competition format saw ten surfers from each coast (boot camp) going head-to-head in a 150 minute tag team format, where one surfer from the East and one from the West entered the water together and surfed their best three waves. They then ran to shore and tagged a teammate to go out anddo the same. Judges scored the best two waves of the three for each surfer. Judges included members of the National Surf League and renowned waterman and stand up paddle champion Kai Lenny. During the half-time break, Lenny utilized the steady onshore winds to entertain the crowd with some kite surfing acrobatics.
With surf knee to waist high with occasional shoulder high sets and clean sections mixed in, the Marines were able show off their skills and have fun at the same time. While the East Coast team acknowledged the lack of home-field advantage could be a problem, they felt confident they could use the smaller, East Coast-style conditions of the day to their benefit, and were determined to prove themselves. The two teams took opposing tactical strategies – the West Coast Team sending their strongest surfers into the water first, gambling that conditions were at their best and the East Coast holding their best surfers back, hoping for conditions to improve.
The West Coast seemed to have the better strategy as the early conditions proved the best of the day, and as they jumped out to an early lead. The lead was so significant that it looked as though the contest might prove severely one-sided despite the East Coast Team’s best efforts. However as the day progressed, the East Coast narrowed the gap significantly, reducing their 10 point deficit to almost a tie. The East Coast comeback was lead by a very strong session by SSgt Chris Mulcany, who earned the highest score of the day with a 7.5, and with it a surfboard as a prize.
In the end the East Coast fell just short of victory, as the final score stood at East Coast 43.5 and West Coast 46.0. The East Coast team had the dubious honor of presenting the winning team with their prize – new surfboards for each team member. Although no Marine likes to lose, and the East Coast team was primed for a rematch, everyone shook hands, joked with each other and the overall vibe was one of comradery and brotherhood.
-Courtesy Red Bull Communications
Competing Marines / Navy included:
East Coast /West Coast
Maj Trevor Clark HT1 Louis Deforest
Capt Sean Forester Sgt Callahan Welsh
Maj Gary Humphries GySgt Mike Stevens
Sgt Kevin Herring Sgt Craig Mcatee
LCpl Pedro Dasilva LtCol Matthew Kent
SSgt Chris Mulcany Sgt David Bye
Sgt Bruce Bennett LtCol Stephane Keane
SSgt Ryan Blaire Capt Robert Kono
HM2 Randy Adalin MGySgt Jay Michael A. Auwae
Photo Credits – Chris Baldwin and Shawn Rossmiller, Red Bull Content Pool