Easterns get big surf for competition – too big
….WITH SLIDE SHOW
By DANIEL PULLEN
are always hoping for some good swells for the Eastern Surfing
Association’s Grand Final Championships in mid-September at the Cape
Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton.
This year, they got more surf than they wanted or needed.
As the championships were getting ready to start, powerful Hurricane
Igor was passing offshore near Bermuda, and that’s hundreds of miles
However, the storm sent large swells and high seas toward the Outer
Banks. It just turns out it was too messy for riding.
“The surf is really big, doubling up, and closing,” Gary McHatton of
Natural Art Surf Shop, headquarters for the Easterns, said just days
before the scheduled start of the competition on Sunday, Sept. 19.
If you aren’t a surfer that means, he said, that there’s “not much of a
wave to ride” and too much “white water.”
Indeed the ocean was like a washing machine – white water everywhere.
At the Lighthouse Beach, the waves washed over the beach at high tide,
and scoured away enough sand to expose sandbags that once protected the
lighthouse in its old location and huge rocks there were dumped in the
ocean at the base of one of the groins.
The start of the Easterns was postponed from Sunday to Monday and then
from Monday until Tuesday because of the ocean conditions.
On Sunday and Monday, locals, visitors, and would-be surfers gathered
on the Lighthouse Beach to watch the spectacle. They stepped
around sandbags and big, granite stones.
However, after that rocky start, so to speak, competition got underway
on Tuesday. The ocean was still pretty much out of control.
Tuesday and Wednesday were really difficult for competitors.
There were a lot of broken boards – and broken egos.
Wednesday was really good for surfing, but you had to know what you
A lot of locals were foaming at the mouth to get out in those
conditions. However, I know there were a lot of people who
didn’t paddle out in their heat on the out-of-control days or just went
It was surf you could get hurt in. One guy had a pretty bad
wipe-out and had to be helped to the beach. He thinks his
board hit him underwater.
The last few days leading up to the end of competition on Saturday,
Sept. 25, went pretty well.
It seemed to me that all the kids were having a good time, despite the
For more information on the competition and to see the winners, go to http://www.surfesa.org/
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