13-Year-Old Girl Dominates Deerfield Surf Contest

This past Sunday, groms and grownups alike gathered in Deerfield Beach to compete in the last of four contests run by the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) for its South Florida Surf Contest Series. With onshore winds gusting at 10 to 15 knots, a receding swell, and an uncooperative tide, South Florida’s notorious messy and unorganized wind chop was still super fun for surfers who paddled out into the churning sea.

ESA is the largest amateur surfing association in the world, with a focus on family-oriented programs that promote a healthy and active lifestyle. Many world class surfers from Florida's East Coast — like Kelly Slater and C.J. Hobgood — can attribute their success to the competitive skills they learned while in the ESA.

ESA works with local sponsors to let participants compete on a national level against other talented surfers. Even though riders jockey for position in standings throughout the year, the competitive surfing community is pretty tight-knit. There is a relaxed atmosphere amongst competitors and they can regularly be seen cheering each other on.

Raina Clark, surf star.EXPAND
Raina Clark, surf star.
James Argyropoulos

Linsey Cottrell, owner of Island Water Sports, coordinates and directs the South Florida ESA Surf Contests. “This was our first year with ESA and there was a huge learning experience," she says. "Like how things run and which ways make them run smoother. And how to pull together a team and [today] was just a testament to that.”

Cottrell is from Deerfield Beach but grew up in Cape Town, South Africa — a surf mecca. She has experience in live stage production and has been around surfing her whole life. Still, she is humble: “This is definitely not something I do myself. We do it all together.”

Raina Clark, 13, from Deerfield Beach was one of the most decorated athletes, taking home first place honors in girls under 14, under 16, and under 18.  She makes her wins sound easy: “I waited for the perfect wave, just paddled for it and caught it.”

Anyone who is interested in more information or becoming a member of the Eastern Surfing Association they can visit the website at surfesa.org.

Prizes and trophies were doled out to winners. Here's a complete list of them: 

Shortboard Divisions
New Surfer:
1st – Chiara Hanna
2nd – Sam Eastaugh

Menehune under 12
1st – Reef Coote
2nd – Corbin Buckly
3rd – Shane Figas
4th – Sam Eastaugh
5th – Julia Rock

Boys u14
1st – Reef Coote
2nd – Nicholas Calice
3rd – Corbin Buckly

Girls u14
1st – Raina Clark
2nd Chiara Hannan

Boys u16
1st – Chris Caldwell
2nd – Nicholas Calice
3rd – Dylan Crawford
4th – Ben Altschuler
5th – Jesse Beaudry

Girls u16
1st – Raina Clark
2nd – Kaylee Berryhill
3rd – Sereh O’Keefe
4th – Chiara Hannan

Junior Men u18
1st – Marco Grisei
2nd – Jack helveka
3rd – Ben Granath
4th – Chris Caldwell

Womens u18
1st – Raina Clark
2nd – Kaylee Berryhill
3rd – Chiara Hannan

Men 18 – 29
1st – Keahi Kam
2nd – Cappy Cheshire
3rd – Kevin Alzate

Womens Shortboard 18 - 34
1st – Marina Lefkimiotis
2nd – Kimberly Crawford
3rd – Sydney Osborne

Masters 30 – 39
1st – Casey Coote
2nd – Cappy Cheshire
3rd – Chip Hunt
4th – Ryan Fernandez
5th – Matthew Santana
6th – Justin Williams

Senior Mens
1st – Matthew Santana
2nd – Darlan Lopez
3rd – Bernardo Gamboa

1st - Jerry Gruhur

Mens Open shortboard
1st - Cappy Cheshire
2nd – Casey Coote
3rd - Keahi Kam
4th – Darlan Lopez

Longboard and SUP Divisions

Menehune Longboard u12
1st – Corbin Buckley

Junior Longboard u18
1st – Billy Marshall
2nd – Jack Helveka
3rd – Mason Cummings
4th – Jake Fairbanks
5th – Ben Altschuler

Womens Longboard 18 – 34
1st – Kimberly Crawford

Masters Longboard 35 – 49
1st – Rolando Williams
2nd – Chris Beeman
3rd – Ian Halliday

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