Local Surfers Earn Honors At Surfing Championships

BERLIN – Vince Boulanger of Ocean City and Matt Landon of Newark took top awards along with six other Delmarva surfers during the 40th Annual ESA Eastern Surfing Championships in Cape Hatteras, N.C. last week.

For the second year in a row, ESA All-Star Boulanger stole the show with his powerful surfing and huge aerial maneuvers. This year Boulanger received the $500 "Most Progressive Rider" award from Spy Eyeware, Transworld Surf Magazine and The Eastern Surfing Association. Boulanger also took second place in the Junior Mens division and was selected to be on the 2008 ESA All-Star team.

The Delmarva Peninsula has a long standing tradition of producing some of the top professional bodyboarders in the world including Jay Reale and Brian Stoehr. This year the tradition continues with four Delmarva surfers making it into the bodyboarding finals.

Landon picked off some of the best waves to become the 2007 Menehune Bodyboarding East Coast Champion. Following in a close second place was Caleb Buchler of Fenwick Island and taking fifth was Jacob Lahr of Berlin. Former ESA Iron Man Jake Buchler of Fenwick Island placed fourth in the Open Bodyboard division.

In the surfing divisions, Logan Helmuth of Ocean Pines took fifth place in Junior Longboard division while his dad, Bill Helmuth, received sixth place in the Legends Shortboard division. Jon Ashton of Berlin made it to the Legends Longboard final with a sixth place finish.

To qualify for the Easterns, surfers compete in multiple events throughout the year for points in their age divisions. The top points finishers from each division of the 11,000 ESA surfers receive a slot to compete in one of three regional championships. The top place finishers from each regional championship receive an invitation to compete in the ESA Eastern Surfing Championships, the Easterns, where 600 of the most talented surfers from every state on the east coast, Puerto Rico, the Great Lakes and Florida’s Gulf Coast compete in "The Best of the Best" competition.

The next Delmarva ESA event will be the K-Coast Open at 35th Street in Ocean City on Oct. 13.