OCEAN CITY – On Saturday, Sept. 6, Tropical Storm Hanna
roared through town, bringing heavy rains and winds of 30 to 40 knots. That
evening however, as the storm passed, the winds shifted offshore and began to
groom some of the best waves seen at a local contest in years, just in time for
the 2008 K-Coast/Reef Open.
With only four
divisions, it made for a smooth running contest and four man heats, a rare
treat for such events. As usual, the Open Shortboard was the most hotly
contested. Lots of great surfing went down as they worked through the
elimination rounds, then the quarterfinals, then semi finals, until only four
were left. Vince Boulanger was going bigger than ever on Sunday, pulling a
couple of reverses and lots of vertical snaps to take first place over Travis
Knight, who almost matched Boulanger wave for wave. Down the beach a little,
Brad Beach linked together a series of good snaps to take third place over Roy
Harrell who came in fourth.
In the Open Girls, the
friendly rivalry between Jasset Umbel and Rachel Harrell that has gone on for a
few years now, completed yet another chapter, with a close finish that saw
Harrell taking first place. Jenna Landon put together a couple of nice snaps
and took third, edging out Katilyn Curran who finished fourth.
Jasset Umbel still
managed to score a first-place win as she entered the Open Groms as the only
girl and ended up taking first place in a surprise upset. Austin Deppe pulled
off some nice fin free snaps taking second place over third place Seth Conboy
and Brad Flora in fourth
Big, hollow waves aren’t
necessarily the best conditions for longboarding, but don’t tell that to Jake
Buchler, who seems to thrive when it gets gnarly. He managed to walk the nose,
hang five and do some high performance maneuvering to take first place.
Meanwhile, old school Dean Thompson took out his 1962 vintage Greg Noll and got
a barrel to take third place over a ripping Colin Herlily who came in third
over fourth place finisher and K-Coast partner Chris Shanahan.
Another big winner for
the day was the Ocean City Firefighters and Paramedics Association, the
beneficiary of all proceeds raised from the contest. K-Coast Surf Shops in Ocean City
along with the Eastern Surfing Association created this event 10 years ago as
an annual fundraiser for the Ocean City Career Firefighters and Paramedics
Association. This year’s event raised approximately $2,000.