2003 ESA EASTERNS DAY 3: ADULT FINALS

posted by / News / October 27, 2003

Surf: 2- to 3-feet, sloppy in morning but gradually cleaning
Rounds Held:Adult Finals; Open Round One
Nature’s Call: You’ve been patient; here’s a bone
Predicted: Even better for the kiddies

HEAT OF THE DAY: Despite a full-on rip attack by Jason Motes, Kai Dilling, and Deannie Fantone in the Masters Longboard Final, there was one heat that had everyone talking. It was the Mens Final, the 100th heat of this 36th annual event, and it somehow managed to live up to its copious hype. Nevermind everyone chattering about the airs these unheralded fellows had been landing all event. For the simple fact that the torrential downpour finally subsided after three solid hours and the surf had morphed from gutless slop to shralp-able wedges, it was worth watching.

Your correspondent, for one, leapt from his seat when he witnessed the seriousness of this affair. First, Jacksonville’s Jay Gordon dropped into a stacking right, stylishly set up off the bottom, and . . .THWACK!, obliterated an unsuspecting section, sending spray to high heaven. Then, Palm Beacher Jeremy Stanely eased into the bowliest lefty of the day, corralled his gangly frame into position, and sped through a beautiful tube. Game on.

While the other two finalists nipped at their heels, Stanely backed his cause with a decent air and a few neat turns as Gordon continued his power assault. It could have gone either way, but props to the judging panel for rewarding Gordon’s more mature approach.

PERFORMER OF THE DAY: Jay Gordon, hands down, for begging the question, Who the hell is this kid? He certainly didn’t let on to his talent prior to the finals, finishing second and fourth in earlier heats (in the latter, four of six surfers advanced). Unleashed in the welcoming final-day peaks, the 20-year-old from Atlantic Beach in Jacksonville was a terror. His surfing was, dare I say it, Randazzo-esque, a compliment that isn’t dished out lightly.

Really, this shouldn’t be a surprise. In the last several years, North Florida has taken over from its neighbors to the south as THE breeding ground. Each year there seems to be a few more rippers coming out of the Sunshine State’s chillier region. “It’s so competitive there,” insists Gordon. “So many good surfers.”

SHOCKERS: Linda Davoli, the former world-beater from New Jersey who can still slap around most of the guys her age, fell one place short of the Senior Womens final.

Outer Banks tuberiding king Deannie Fantone finished second in the Masters Semi-main. However, he took off his jersey at the water’s edge (tsk-tsk), incurred a 2.5-point deduction, and was erased from the final.

Howie Lyons has to be {{{200}}} years old. The perennial competitor from Florida advanced to the Legends Semifinal and managed not to drown for another year.

QUOTABLES: “They always put the biggest competitor in the brightest color. Last year I was eight months pregnant and I had to wear orange. I was fifty pounds heavier then, but I’m still the biggest.” Linebacker-sized Mindy Fitzpatrick upon fetching her bright yellow jersey for the Senior Women Final. Jason Borte2003 ESA EAST COAST ADULT DIVISION CHAMPIONSMEN – JAY GORDON – NFL DISTRICTWOMEN – KELLY NICELY – CNC DISTRICTMASTERS – BRIAN CARPENTER – CNC DISTRICTSENIOR WOMEN – MINDY FITZPATRICK – CNC DISTRICTSENIOR MEN – MIKE BEVERIDGE – OBNC DISTRICTGRANDMASTERS – GLENN TANNER – SSC DISTRICTLEGENDS – ROGER FEIT – NY DISTRICTWOMENS BODYBOARD – BRITTANY DIGGS – OBNC DISTRICTMENS BODYBOARD – MARK RAMSDELL – CNC DISTRICTMENS LONGBOARD – RYAN HAMBY – NCFL DISTRICTMASTERS LONGBOARD – JASON MOTES – NFL DISTRICTSENIOR LONGBOARD – GLENN TANNER – SSC DISTRICTSENIOR SPORTSMAN – DEANNIE FANTONE – OBNC DISTRICTHOT WAVE – MARK RAMSDELL – CNC DISTRICT

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