Vans: Six stars for ECSC this August

Vans will bring an elite six-star pro to the ECSC for its 50th anniversary. Rosenberg/East Beach Photography

California shoe and apparel company Vans and directors of the East Coast Surfing Championships, the longest running surf contest on the right coast, announced Wednesday that the Coastal Edge ECSC presented by Vans will include an ASP 6-Star rated event for its 50-year anniversary.

Vans first partnered with the ECSC, held annually in Virginia Beach, in 2010, to bring the Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational. Vans upped the ante last year by bringing a 4-Star rated ASP event to the table. This year's 6-Star will now be the most high-profile event on the East Coast with the loss of the Quiksilver Pro New York World Tour stop and boast a $155,000 purse. Vans has also upped the Junior Pro to a 6-Star rating.

"The Coastal Edge ECSC's historic standing of 50 years in 2012 is just a few years more than Vans' 45-plus years supporting surf and skate," says Doug Palladini, Vans' vice president of marketing. "We're excited to help lead the 50th annual Coastal Edge ECSC giving North American surfers the opportunity to gain ASP ratings points and prize money while literally taking part in surf history."

While this event banks on the Atlantic hurricane season each year, 2011 got a little too close for comfort, as the pro and junior pro had to be condensed into three days of action before Hurricane Irene tore up the mid-Atlantic. San Clemente's (Calif.) Kolohe Andino surfed through seven heats on the final day to win the pro and take fourth in the junior pro, which was won by Santa Cruz's (Calif.) Nat Young. Young also clinched the ASP North American Junior title here.

The dozens of amateur divisions were shuffled and peripheral beach sports and concerts had to be completely canceled as the storm claimed four lives in Virginia and caused power outage to 2.5 million residents. This year, the ams are back, along with the volleyball, 8K race, skimboarding, golf … and the cornhole tournament.

A 6-Star will also bring more global talent to Virginia Beach, a city steeped in surfing history and home to Wes Laine, who surfed the ASP World Tour from 1982 to 1988. The additional points and prize money will make it worth the stop for high-profile West Coast and international competition. The event will take place Aug. 20-26.