OP CLEAN WATER CLASSIC 2003 by Adrian Nelson
Sacrifices to the surf gods must have been made for the beautiful weather at this yearís OP CLEAN WATER CLASSIC. At 7am on Saturday I rolled out of the van over still- wet board bags and suits, to find the skies cloudy, heavy rain, and the surf anything but exciting. But almost on cue with the first heat horn, the clouds split open with sunshine, and the waves started pealing further out.
The Surfrider foundation must be doing well with the surf gods as Mother Ocean felt the contest was worthy enough to provide, on cue, sunshine for both days. The contest went off without a hitch having an amazing turnout of both competitors and spectators. Surfers and surf fanatics, young and old, from all corners of the earth converged on the small fishing town of Westport Washington.
The parking lot was an eclectic gathering with the local rusted-out pick-up trucks nestled nicely against the chic Saabs and fully loaded Westphalias. The occupants themselves were just as diverse, from the family of five with a dog to the pick-up truck full of girls. No matter what age, gender, or origin, all were here for one thing, surf; and surf they did!
Right from round one the competition was fierce. Each competitor tried to out-do the last with powerful cutbacks and graceful floaters. They all worked very hard to get in a few quick moves before the short waves broke, smashing boards and bodies into the sand that lays only inches below. The first round alone claimed victim to a board as well as shredding Gutemberg's wetsuit.
The longboards hit the shore break next. Trying with difficulty to execute graceful cross steps and soul arches before being closed out. Again the waves claimed the life of another board.
The Masters were to follow, showing all of us the origin of style. They paid particular attention to proper wave selection and opted out of powerful moves for more elegant clean lines.
The day closed with the menís Pro/Am shortboards going to battle once more - trying to whittle down the competition. The evening wrapped up with live entertainment from The Manatees. Rumor has it that the surfers later brought down the house at a local drinking establishment. Out of respect (and fear of reprisals) I wonít go into any details.
The second day opened much the same as day 1; with the sun splitting the gray skies on command. Although some athletes seemed to show the after effects of the night before, all were ready to wage battle yet again. The women took to the waves first. Each took their turn showing us the combination of grace and power that only a woman can link together. They were all picking great lines and executing graceful turns before meeting the powerful blow of the closeout.
The juniors stepped up next to show us the future of surfing. The determination to throw down powerful and aggressive moves was outstanding. Weíre all going to have to push our surfing further if we want to stay ahead of this up-and-coming young breed of wave riders.
As if prompted by these aggressive youngsters, the menís shortboard stepped up a notch, for the final rounds. Sharp cutbacks and floaters were the norm, as each rider tried to pull new moves from their bag of tricks. They were tossing out anything and everything to impress the judges completing roundhouses and 360ís. Each competitor put up a fight right to the end and no one allowed anyone to just walk away with the prize.
After the competition, a lighthearted award ceremony was held, and the outstanding support of the local shops and event sponsors shone through. Boxes of clothes, gear, skateboards, surfboards, and even surf trips were raffled off. The sheer volume of prizes was outstanding. Itís wonderful to see an amateur competition receive such wonderful support from the local surf community.
The second annual CLEAN WATER CLASSIC ended with outstanding results. There were four chapters of the Surfrider Foundation involved in running this event: Seattle, Northwest Straits, Westport, and Olympic Peninsula. All should be commended for stepping up and putting on a fabulous event. If you didnít make it out this year, make sure you plan for next, because this is an event well worth attending.
more photos @ http://www.seattlesurfrider.org
video wmv 6 megs
Raph won "best wave" on this one
Heet Sheets - day 1
heat sheet pro/am quarter finals
heat sheet 04 day1
| Men's Pro/Am:
1st Raph Bruhwiler, Tofino 5.30
2nd Kahale Ahina 5.25
3rd Adam Guy 4.50
4th Guto Goulart, Sooke 4.39
Junior Men's Shortboard:
1st Jordan Chabot, Victoria 2.81
2nd Brian Tingley 2.58
3rd Reid Jackson, Victoria 2.45
4th Nathan Hadzariga 1.53
| Women's Shortboard:
1st Jenny Stewart, Tofino 3.11
2nd Leah Oke, Port Renfrew 2.58
3rd Melanie Smith, Sooke 2.56
4th Katie Corliss 1.94
1st Rose Sharp 1.50
2nd Angela Maciel 1.42
3rd Willow Jorgenson 1.00
4th Rochelle Parry 0.91
| Men's Longboard:
1st Adam Guy, Seattle WA 6.17
2nd Derek Parker 5.44
3rd Peter Lansdowne 4.42
4th Bryan Bates 4.33
1st Sam Bullock, Orcas Isl 3.95
2nd Anthony Redpath, Van 3.67
3rd Bobby Arzadon 3.58
4th Mike Webb 3.36