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Well, as predicted, the top name at the Coastal Edge 2010 East Coast Surfing Championships wasn't from VB, Indialantic, or even San Clemente. No sir. This year, all the talk was about a girl named Danielle who traveled over from Africa.
|Vah Beach in August, head high and not closing out.|
Hurricane Danielle (which was a Cat 2, well offshore) swell showed up on Saturday, but really kicked into full gear on Sunday. In addition to the other beach sports and sideshows, this event boasted 868 surfers. Imagine an event where almost 900 people surf over four days in 30 amateur heats and ten pro. The ECSC are generally four days of surf and mayhem. After three days of emphasizing the mayhem with surfers from all over the East Coast, California, South America, and Australia, yesterday all eyes were on the surf.
Last winter, we ran a piece on Jeremy Johnston, exploring the bad luck he has had with paychecks. One after another, his sponsors seem to keep folding. The most recent was Zoo York, which was sold in 2009 and dissolved its surf team.
|JJ and the spin that win (or won.)|
Johnston has continued to blow minds this year, with a little help from Seven Tiki Rum, but nothing on the nose of his board. He missed the entry deadline for the ECSC Mens Pro and had to surf through the trials. Starting his campaign on Thursday morning, JJ surfed nine heats to win the whole thing. He was the clear winner in the finals with a massive frontside air reverse going into the jetty. And don't think the Mens Pro was a cakewalk this year with the top surfers chasing waves in the Outer Banks or Montauk. They were all there, including Aaron Cormican, Nils Schweitzer, and Oliver Kurtz.
In the Womens Pro, it was largely a New York show, with Quincy Davis and Alexis Engstrom, both Montauk locals taking first and second respectively, followed by Jamie DeWitt Baittinger, a former US Team rider, who took six years off and is making a competitive comeback for the heck of it.
"I've been to Virginia Beach before and there were fun waves. This year, there were head high sets. It was really fun," said Davis.
|Jairo Perez crushed the Pro Junio and excelled in the Pro. Good thing they didn't let him in the Beach Soccer matches.|
Another great story to come out of the weekend was that of Justin Quintal. With Vans backing the event, Joel Tudor came out to Vah Beach with his duct tape invitational -- a division where he flew in the top traditional loggers in the world for a singlefin noseriding showdown. Quintal, of Neptune Beach, Florida was the local wildcard and even blew away Tudor, hanging heals en route to victory. He was the only surfer at the ECSC's to get tens across the board and had enough mojo to also win the Longboard Pro.
A surfer of note was Cost Rica's Jairo Perez, who won the Junior Pro and made the Pro semifinals. Jared Diamond has a very interesting story in today's Virginia Pilot about Perez and how long he had to petition the Costa Rican government for a visa to leave his country and compete in the states.
|The Reef Swimsuit comp. Just one of the many sideshows.|
Things certainly worked out nicely for the 48th Annual event. Vah Beach is taking a few deep breaths before Labor Day weekend and Hurricane Earl isn't far off on the horizon.2010 Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championships Pro Results
For full results of all divisions, check out Surf USA.