OCEAN CITY — The Annual K-Coast Gromfest Kids Surfing Festival took place Saturday, Aug. 22 in some challenging conditions for the young surfers.
Significant on-shore winds and a strong south sweeping current made for some sizeable surf for the under 15-year-old contestants. The annual contest is an outreach and membership drive to introduce young kids to the world of competitive surfing in partnership with the Eastern Surfing Association. Every contestant received a free entry by simply joining the local Delmarva Chapter of the ESA.
K-Coast co-owner Chris Shanahan and General Manager Mark Harrell spearheaded this year’s membership drive and secured several prizes for the young contestants.
“It’s great to see kids that only a few years ago were being pushed in by parents now taking the lead and charging some pretty big waves today,” said Shanahan.
In addition to a beach festival with Ponzetti’s Pizza, raffles, give aways and games, the contest consisted of divisions specifically designed for young and beginning surfers including bodyboarding, Beater board and parent push-in.
Shanahan and Harrell went out of their way as event MC’s to thank all the contest sponsors and volunteers along with the Town of Ocean City and the Ocean City Beach Patrol that made the event a continuing success.
Individual finishers are listed in order of finish:
Open Beater Board: Jake Adams, Nash Rogers, Ben Carper, Fin Fineran, Reif Leonard and Will Bragg.
Open Girls Shortboard: Sarah Engle, Brittan Lyra Leonard, Lucy Wess, Amelia Baker, Charli White and Caroline Markovich.
Beginner Bodyboard: Lance Adams, Brittan Lyra Leonard, Austin Bren, Will Kennington, Kevin Ryan and Grady Bridges.
Parent Push In: Chappy Stokes, Katie Mitchell, Gavin Bren, Grady Bridges, Callie Cunningham and Gavin Harrell.
Open Longboard: Noah Selt, Sarah Engle, Caroline Markovich, Sawyer Hill, Zoe Hargrove, Cassidy Roarke and Ava Van Dornick.
Open Shortboard: Noah Selt, Ben Carper, Reif Leonard, Nash Rogers, Reese Vandell and Aiden Villalobos.
Beginner Girls: Ava Van Dornick, Maddie Shanahan, Liza Moore and Abigail Bridges.
Beginning Boys 12-14: Will Bragg, Ted Aldridge, Sawyer Hill and Fin Fineran.
Beginner Menehune: Kai Haughey, Austin Bren, Gavin Harrell, Will Kennington and Noah Aldridge.