Youth Division Titles Decided At The 44th Annual ESA Easterns—Despite Torrential Rains
The 2011 Easterns faced plenty of adversity: Relocation after Hurricane Irene, a week of strong NE winds, and a seemingly endless rain. But thanks to a staff of dedicated, committed, hard working ESA officials and a great group of competitors and their families, the 2011 championship event is in the books.
A few notes from the final day:
-Daniel Glenn, an ESA All-Star team captain at just 14 years of age, is a talented young surfer. Saturday he won the Boys final in the first 5 minutes of the heat with arguably the two best rides of the day. In fact, he was so confident in his scores that he left the final with 12 minutes remaining in order to surf his second round heat at the WRV/Hurley Outer Banks Pro on the other side of the pier. “I caught those first couple waves and they felt good, so I decided to get out and run over for my pro heat.” And how did he go there? “I was really close, I actually missed advancing to the money round by 7/10 of a point on my last wave. It’s okay though, I’m stoked I won Easterns! That was the main goal.”
-14-year-old Jazmine Dean—competing in her first Easterns, won the Women’s longboard title but ended up getting DQ’ed because her board was two inches short. “I was riding an 8’10 and I guess the minimum length requirement is 9’0.” After the heat they measured my board and decided to give me 4th. I’m bummed, but oh well.” It’s unfortunate but Jazmine remained in high spirits. She’ll be back and hungrier for the win next September, on a regulation length board this time. “I definitely won’t make that mistake again,” she joked afterwards.
-In his last amateur event Keto Burns handily won the Jr. Men title, bringing the trophy back to Saint Augustine, Florida for the first time since Chris Ropero won back in 2003. As a bonus, he finished runner up to Corey Howell in the Open final. “I really wanted to win both divisions, but I’m happy with the Jr’s title. I just want to thank the ESA for all of the fun years and it feels great to go out on top.”
Speaking of Corey—with his victory over Keto he also has a coveted Easterns title to his name, at last. “I finally won one!” he said, excitedly, after the result was announced. “I appreciate what the ESA has done for me and all of my family’s support. Thanks!”
-Luke Gordon, one of the East Coast’s most stylish youngsters, narrowly defeated rival Stevie Pittman to take the Menehune title. It’s funny to say Luke/Stevie are already locked in a rivalry at 10 years of age, but it’s clear that at the moment they are the best in their brackets.
-In Junior Women’s Nikki Viesins took the win with smooth, frontside snaps on small windswell rights under the day’s most torrential rains. If you weren’t watching the webcast or huddled under the pier, you most likely missed the best female surfing of the week.
-Over the course of the 7-day event $25,000 in goods and cash donations were collected to go towards Hurricane Irene relief for the devastated Hatteras Island—exactly the sort of help the ESA hoped to collect by running the contest in Nags Head this week.
There’s much work left before Hatteras reverts from its current state of decimation and returns to being a beautiful, quiet stretch of sandbar, but at this point every bit helps. Next year the Easterns and Outer Banks will be stronger than ever.
Hopefully, at least. After a rough month, they certainly deserve it.
For additional results/information visit the ESA website HERE.