OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Surf Club’s 2019 O.C. Surf Fest last weekend was a huge success with a weekend-long festival of contests, parties and the club’s typical positive community message.
The annual event got underway last Friday with a kick-off party and legends induction at Barn 34, just a few blocks from the weekend’s contest site in front of the Castle in the Sand. Legends inducted this year included Eric Green, Chris Farren, Denny Riordon, Troy Purnell and Steve Harmon, who was inducted posthumously.
During the Friday night event, Isabel Emond of Stephen Decatur High School, this year’s recipient of the O.C. Surf Club’s $4,000 scholarship was acknowledged. In addition, Decatur’s Kennedy Duke was awarded a $2,000 college donation from the surf club. Laurie Chetelat was honored with the 2019 O.C. Surf Club Volunteer of the Year Award, while Rick Vach of Longboard Café was named the club’s 2019 Sponsor of the Year and the Maryland Coastal Bays Program was awarded the 2019 O.C. Surf Club Community Service Award.
All in all, the 2019 O.C. Surf Fest was another great success with the club raising record funds for scholarships, youth mentoring programs, environmental programs and other charities and community service. New to the festival this year, the Ocean City Beach Patrol did live demonstrations with actual victims showing how they rescue swimmers in riptides and how they remove victims from the ocean with serious head, neck or spine injuries. The OCPD also provided information on how to escape rip currents and recognize swimmers in distress.
On Saturday, the festival’s focus turned back to the waves with the annual Anything Goes Team Challenge, an amateur contest featuring teams of five surfers competing for trophies and bragging rights for the entire year. On Sunday, the main event was the Walk Da Plank Pro Invitational featuring 14 professional long-boarders from all over the country.
The longboard professionals competed for the contest’s $5,000 in prize money. Despite rough and choppy surf, the pros did not disappoint with a stunning array of maneuvers delighting the fans on the beach. For the record, professional long-boarder Tony Silvagni repeated as the contest’s winner.