OLD GUYS RULE!

posted by / News / September 22, 2004

Surf: Still blown but slightly cleaner chest to overhead surf
Events Held: Finals of Men, Women, Masters, Senior Men, Senior Women, Grand Masters, Men’s Longboard, Masters Longboard, Senior Longboard, Legends, Grand Legends, {{{Legend}}} Longboard and Men’s Bodyboard.
Nature’s Call: What did you expect? I always save my best stuff for the youth divisions.
Predicted: A lot of young bucks eating their Wheaties for Wednesday’s Open Shortboard showdown.

HEAT OF THE DAY:
Senior Longboard Final. No shit. Who knows whether it was the increased paddling power of their longer equipment, the lucky timing of the day’s better-formed waves, or just the experience of some of the ESA most seasoned vets, but these “middle aged” men proved they were more rock than rocking chair. Right at the horn, Florida’s Bill Whatley hooked a solid barrel outside, came out, and tapdanced his way to the beach, basically wining the title his very first wave. Not that his competition didn’t try, resulting in some of the most hellacious drops, pits and wipeouts of the whole event. Actually, it was if the whole day was gender biased toward the more geriatric. The Grand Masters final, which also featured four of the six Senior Longboard names, was a close second for excitement, with South Carolina Iron Man Glenn Tanner taming a heaving barrel several snaps. But what do you expect from an Iron Man with two — wait, make that three Easterns titles — in this division alone. As the new champion Tanner noted after his heat, “I’ve got a couple Bill [Whatley] has three or four, Joe Grotolla’s got a few, Kevin Grondin’s got something like 10. There’s probably 20 Easterns titles in the heat alone. It’s cool; this year we kind of al got back into it and it’s really made it a lot tougher — and a lot more fun.”

PERFORMERS OF THE DAY:
Kelly Nicely. Actually, she’s performer of the year — wait, make that two years. With a US Championships crown, two East Coast Wahine titles, a spot on the US Team and now another Women’s championships, Kelly Nicely is proving to be the East Coast’s latest overachiever. And it’s not just in the water. “I’m really putting myself between a rock and a hard place, ” says thea biochem/botany double major. “I’ve got test and a paper Thursday, and I haven’t been able to pick up a book.” Maybe she can write about how to synthesize an Easterns win out of saltwater and iron, in this case, patiently waiting for one the final’s heaviest bombs, navigating a nasty overhead drop and cracking the top off it before working the reform well to the beach — the only performance the whole heat to steal any attention from the kiteboarders sailing 20-foot spinning aerials just off the groin. That one ride was enough for the win, but Kelly wasn’t content to just take a title, she went for a personal best by pigdogging another outside pit right at the horn and suffering, what she proudly claimed as “her worst wipeout ever.”

But not all today’s heroes were in the water. Three noble watchdogs put in a superhuman effort without ever leaving the beach. With an early morning glare making it impossible to see the surfers bobbing between peaks on the outside, you could barely tell when someone stood up, much less pick out what color jersey. As one frustrated surfer noted after his heat, “I heard the announcer say yellow was up and I was wearing blue.” But, while the man on the mike needed an infrared telescope, the judges had an even better solution: NY”s Rick Anthony, St. Augustine’s Burgess Autrey and CFL’s Rob Henry followed the sun along the beach until past noon, using a set of wireless headgear to communicate with the judges, making sure no ride was missed, and no hue was confused. So what sort of qualifications does one need for such an important position? “I don’t’ know. Basically I got drafted last year and I guess I did a good job because [Head Judge] Sal [Ropero] walked up to me this morning with the headset and said, “‘Here ya go.’”

COMPETITIVE HIGHLIGHTS:
Repeat Men’s Longboard Champ Todd Kinsey and Master’s Longboard Cinderella Brad Musselman’s high performance log cutting . . .Mark Ramsdell’s rollo flips . . . Spanky Passarelli’s toppling of US champ Pat Emery . . . South Florida Grand Legend Chummer McCrannels looking half his age in the 60+ Grand Legend division — there’s really too many to list. But the most impressive showing of all was the showing of camaraderie between competitors. Not just the showering of cheers each district showed their own but all the pre-heat handshakes (“Good luck out there, bro.”), post-heat apologies, ( ‘Sorry about that interference’), and mid-heat encouragement. When NJ’s Drew McCoy buckled his board after a nasty pull-in in the closing minutes of the Men’s final, nearby homeboy Emery rushed over one his own and pushed him right back in the water. Nice thing to do for a fellow Jerseyite, Pat. “Nah. I’d have done it for any of ‘em.”

SHOCKERS:
The whole Men’s final. Talk about disappointing, after waiting hours for what shoud’ve been the marquis showdown, the ocean wouldn’t put out enough good waves for the days’ only four-man final. The heat even started — or should way say mis-started — badly when Ted Smith stood up on a wave 40 second before the horn blew. Then local boy Will Skudin, Jersey’s Drew McCoy and NC’s Slater Powell each took turns either bogging on cutties or not connecting sections until a mid-heat flurry of heavy action that saw Smith comeback with a succession three solid scores and McCoy pulling into a board-buckling barrel. But nothing could overtake Powell’s sole, start-to-finish snapfest to the beach, giving last year’s semi-finalist his first Easterns crown.

QUOTABLES:
“Yeah, I’m an All-Star until December 31. Then I can go back to throwing my jersey in the sand after I lose.” ESA All-Star Joe Gillen on the joys of sportsmanship, not realizing he’d be reclaiming his 2005 position on the adult All Star team just a few hours later.

“Some of these guys here have been surfing since 1955. Come September they probably just jump in their car and hit a button that says, “Hatteras.” Announcer during the Legends final.

“If you think my board’s dinged you should see my body. “ 74-year-old Jovial Grand Legends Great Lakes runner-up Don Harrison, accepting his trophy and admitting he got “pretty jammed up there.” Matt Walker

RESULTS:
Mens Bodyboard
1st Place MARK RAMSDELLCNJ/AS
2nd Place RAY PEARSONCNC
3rd Place PAT REDMONDSNE
4th Place AXEL ARENASCNJ
5th Place JOE JARVISCNC
6th Place DERRICK WADECNC

Mens Longboard
1st Place TODD KINSEYNCFL/AS
2nd Place ALEX FAWESSNY
3rd Place SHAWN CLARKNSC
4th Place CHRIS MAKIBBINMD
5th Place JEREMY WYCHEPBFL
6th Place TED SMITHMD

Masters Longboard
1st Place BRAD MUSSELMANOBNC
2nd Place ART BALTROTSKYMD
3rd Place LES CARRITHERSNCFL
4th Place JASON MOTESNFL
5th Place CRAIG SHERIFFNCFL
6th Place DANIEL SACCHI SNC

Senior Longboard
1st Place BILL WHATLEYNCFL
2nd Place KEVIN GRONDINNNE
3rd Place GLENN TANNERSSC
4th Place CHRIS TILGHMANMD
5th Place TOM O’BRIENSNJ
6th Place JIM MILLERPBFL

Legends Longboard
1st Place BILL ROACHCNC
2nd Place BOBBY HOLLANDVA
3rd Place DAVID SLEDGECNC
4th Place CHARLIE BIRCHMD
5th Place TOM WARNKEPBFL
6th Place BILL HELMUTHMD

Women
1st Place KELLY NICELYCNC/AS
2nd Place SARAH DODDSCNJ
3rd Place LAURA BUTLERSSC
4th Place KATIE MARIENNY
5th Place NATASSJA GWIZDAKNFL
6th Place CHARLOTTE WITTESSC

Senior Women
1st Place JENNY BROWNSSC
2nd Place BETH SCHUBCNC
3rd Place MARTY MENTZERSNC
4th Place JENNIFER GROTTOLASNJ
5th Place LORRAINE COSTANY
6th Place JO PICKETTSNC
Masters
1st Place ANTHONY PASARELLICFL
2nd Place PAT EMERYCNJ
3rd Place BRIAN CARPENTERCNC/AS
4th Place WILLIAM KIMBALLPBFL
5th Place LES CARRITHERSNCFL
6th Place RODNEY MOORECNC
Senior Men
1st Place DAVE HOAGPBFL
2nd Place ART BALTROTSKYMD
3rd Place JOE GILLENOBNC
4th Place SEAN HAYESCFL
5th Place KEVIN MOONCFL
6th Place MIKE BEVERIDGEOBNC
Grandmasters
1st Place GLENN TANNERSSC/AS
2nd Place TOM NEILSONCFL
3rd Place BILL WHATLEYNCFL
4th Place KEVIN GRONDINNNE
5th Place JOE GROTTOLASNJ
6th Place CHRIS TILGHMANMD
Legends
1st Place DAVID SLEDGECNC /AS
2nd Place CHARLIE BIRCHMD
3rd Place TOM WARNKEPBFL
4th Place TOM McCLARENSNJ
5th Place ROGER SMITHVA
6th Place TOM YOUNGNY
Grand Legends
1st Place CHUM McCRANELSPBFL
2nd Place DONALD HARRISONGRLK
Senior Sportsman MIKE CLARK & CARMEN GARCIA
Men
1st Place SLATER POWELLCNC
2nd Place WILL SKUDINOBNC
3rd Place TED SMITHMD
4th Place DREW McCOYCNJ

District Abbreviations
CFL Central Florida
CNC Central North Carolina
CNJ Central New Jersey
DE Delaware
FCFL First Coast Florida
GA Georgia
GRLK Great Lakes
NSC Northern South Carolina
MD Maryland
NCFL North Central Florida
NFL North Florida
NE New England
OBNC Outer Banks
PBFL Palm Beach Florida
SNC Southern North Carolina
SNJ Southern New Jersey
SSC Southern South Carolina
SAFL St. Augustine, Florida
TCFL Treasure Coast, Florida
VA Virginia
WFL West Florida

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