Well, as the Billabong Pro Mundaka wrapped up, there are a few events about to throw down closer to home. And how ironic is it that these East Coast contests are about to be beefier than the whole European leg of the Dream Tour?
The key to these upcoming events is that they are "on call." As with any contest, waves are going to make or break the event. We're seeing a trend to have a flexible date to ensure better swell. Of course, the Eddie
would be the granddaddy of all "on call" events. If they don't get the swell they want, they just can the thing.
October is to the East Coast what May is to Puerto or December is to the North Shore, only more fleeting, hence why everyone sets up their on call events for this month. And since the month has been average to slow thus far, we're looking at the possibility of seeing three major unsanctioned contests go down on this swell that's winding up for the weekend.
Most of the models and forecasters
are in general agreement that we will see a very powerful low and fetch off the Mid-Atlantic starting on Friday. And while we are looking at prolonged periods of north and northeast winds, it does look like the swell will be hanging around.
Here are the three events that could fire on this swell:
Premise: Civil War.
The Outer Banks have had a love/hate relationship with Virginia Beach folks since the days of Orville and Wilbur Wright. Apparently, a group of V.B. folks had taken up all the parking spaces at Jockey's Ridge and almost ruined the first airplane flight. But there wasn't much Orville and Wilbur could do because on lonely off-season nights, they were known to go up to Peabody's to look for chicks.
This event brings that VB/OB rivalry to center stage with a team turf war.
Waiting Period: October 7th November 7th
Location: Whichever sandbar looks the heaviest.
History: This one just started last year, but Tarheel Patrick McManus edged out VB's Andrew Meyer for the crown in very heavy water thanks to a deep Atlantic low. Jesse Hines, Lucas Rogers, Noah Snyder, and Jason Borte took third through sixth respectively. But overall, this one went to the VB boys.
Premise: Beat up on your friends.
You always hurt the ones you love, and in New Jersey, there's a certain pride that comes from beating down your brothers. 32 of the best in the state surf man-on-man heats to the death to determine who the head of La Famiglia is. There is a Qualifier in the spring or summer, where they open the books to see who the new made men will be.
Waiting Period: October 1st October 31
Purse: $3,500 (winner take all)
Location: Casino Pier, Seaside Heights
History: Now in its eighth year, the Grudge has been won by Dean Randazzo in 2002 and 2007, Matt Keenan in 2003, Frank Walsh in 2004, Sam Hammer in 2005 and 2008, and Mike Gleason in 2006. Last year, Sam Hammer found a seven second backside barrel for the win over Gleason.
"Man, I want it to be on Sunday," Hammer told me earlier this week, " I know it might be cleaner later, but I just want them to hold it in the biggest possible surf."
There's never a shortage of reasons to go toe to toe in the most densely populated state in the country, but everyone has a bone to pick with someone and whether it's the old guard vs. the hungry kids, North vs. South, or simply because someone's ego was hurt, every heat is personal.
Premise: "Lets have a contest befah it gets too cold, buddy."
The idea is to bring the top surfers from all over New England together for a one-day hockey brawl of a surf contest. And contrary to popular belief, these boys can grab their rails through 5-millimeters of rubber and they can stick big air-reverses.
Waiting Period: Sept 1st October 31st (weekends only)
Location: 2nd Beach, Newport, Rhode Island
History: This one just came about last year as well. York, Maine's Sam Boardman (a house painter) collected the win in decent head-high waves in Newport last October. A few marquis names missed the contest in 2008, but with the buzz building this year, you can be sure they want a big chunk of that chowda.