OCEAN CITY- The first-ever Walk Da Plank Longboard Pro Challenge, representing the first professional surfing event held in Ocean City since the early 1980s, was a huge success last weekend with 16 pro surfers from all over the East Coast competing for thousands in prize money.
Promoted by the recently formed Ocean City Surf Club and conceived of by surf club members Chris Tilghman and Brad Hoffman, the Walk Da Plank Pro was designed to highlight Ocean City’s longstanding heritage of surfing and ocean involvement. Competing last Sunday at the Castle in the Sand’s 37th Street Beach were 16 of the East Coast’s top longboard surfers from New Jersey to Florida and everywhere in between.
The competition features surfers ranging from as young as 14 to seasoned professionals in their 30s, all competing for a total cash purse of $4,700 with the winner taking home the lion’s share at $1,500. Conditions at the outset of the event were near perfect with clean, waist- to chest-high swells. Many heats were extremely close, making decisions by the judge’s very difficult.
When the final horn sounded, well known professional longboarder Tony Silvagni of Carolina Beach, N.C. took first place and a $1,500 big check along with an impressive wooden trophy created locally by Plak That. Carolina Beach swept the top three spots with Brad Rose taking second and $1,000, while Steve Mangiacapre took third and $750. Breaking the Carolina Beach stronghold on the event was Patrick Nichols of South Florida, who finished in fourth. Rounding out the top eight were Tom Cannon, Steve Mangiacapre, Chris Makibbin of Ocean City and Grey Copenhaver.