Rockstock & Barrels Surf Contest Recap
What a great day all around, with this now massive event of Rockstock & Barrels. We were greeted with some OK waves in the 2-3’ size and some chest high sets on the occasion. I had a little trouble in the set-up which caused a delay, some tent legs wouldn’t work and the P.A. I bought for the Rockaway Beach Surfer’s Association decided not to work after charging the battery for a few days, ho hum. But that didn’t stop the action in the water.
The idea to do away with quarters, semis and finals made the day so much more fluid, and this could be a go to format for future contests held by the Rockaway Beach Surfer’s Association. The one-hour EXPRESSION SESSION with the BEST WAVE WINNING was interesting in that 3 out of the 4 sessions had the heat winner getting the top ride inside the last 10 minutes of the hour long heat. Interesting when you think about how riders have to come up with two magic rides inside 15-20 minutes heats at regular contests.
Winners in each of the Divisions were Jeff Anthony in Men’s, this was only because his dad was judging, I clearly had the win, but you know, that’s bias for you ;-). Boy’s 16 & Under was a greatly contested event with a see-saw battle between the Long Beach twins, Kyle and Drew Caracciolo against Sandon Karinsky. Judges told me that Sandon was in the lead for most of the heat until Kyle found a wave to smack 4 turns out of it and securing the win in the last minutes.
The Girls 16 & Under was rough going as the conditions worsened with gusting onshore winds, lower tide and an influx of kookery in the lineup, most likely from Brooklyn. Eventual winner was O.G. 13 year old Kailani Mergen who came back to Rockaway after 6-8 months in California with her family, where she won multiple contests out there and trained on the school’s surf team.
The heat of the day though went to the Women’s event. With the tide bottoming out even further and creating critical sections for the women, the competiveness came on strong. Ashley Wood came out with the first blow, scoring a super long ride through various sections that put her way into the lead. Then Casey Mergen hit back with a nice flowing ride and throwing in a few tricks like a pirouette at the end of her ride. Bridget Klapinski came back with a solid ride to have the scores even across the board. It wasn’t until the dying moments that Bridget pulled out a gem of a left that had the lip dancing on her back as she heroically held on to the very end of the wave, only just bettering her previous score to take the win!
Thanks to all the competitors and testing out this new contest format and also for the RBSA board members who were on hand to help, Jeff Anthony, Conrad Karl and Rick Anthony. Biggest thanks goes to the man, Jimmy Dowd, for all the efforts and strengths to put on such a rockin’ day! Cheers buddy!