Monday, October 18, 2010

Contest Wrap Up: The Dempsey Holder Ocean Festival in Imperial Beach

The Dempsey went down this weekend here in Imperial Beach. The contest is our annual, small town, home-grown surf competition and it's the one paddle surfing event that I enter every year. I dig it because it's more of a chance to catch up with friends than it is full-blown surf contest. Don't get me wrong, the competitiveness is there- and the rippers do crawl out of the woodwork, but in the end it's more about having fun than anything else. Some highlights (to see contest photos be sure to check out Liza's Surf: Zero to Sixty Blog):

The Final Results for the Stand Up Paddle Division.
• Kristy Murphy: She should've won the "Most Stoked Competitor" award- this Ironwoman took second in Stand Up Paddle (see, I called it!), second in Open Women's (riding a tiny egg she calls the Biscuit) and fourth in Longboard. I saw her as she got out of the water after her third and last final and she was cashed out... laughing and exhausted. I challenge you to find me any other thirty-something gal surfing three finals in one contest. That girl is an inspiration and I was happy to be able to surf with her in the stand up paddle final. Watch out girls- this one's a ripper!

• North Side of the Pier: Going off all day long- most notably during the second stand up paddle heat. Local Legend Jeff Knox who scored that heat was frothing about some of the hundred yard long lefts pouring through. Jeff and his brother Jim predate I.B's current pier- they've seen and surfed it all- so when this guy is that excited you know it's legit. Unfortunately, the SUP final was held on the southside (unluck of the draw) which was at it's crumbly, thumpy, closed out, south wind worst.

• Dave Parra: So is this guy in his late fifties or mid-thirties? I glanced over to the northside and saw the big natural foot go upside down twice on his 6'1 Carbon Fiber Stu Kenson then wrap a big round up for a whitewash rebound. Are you kidding me? Big Dave's surfing was on point and he was just handling dudes ten to fifteen years younger than him. Yeah Dave!

• Ross McBride: Like I said before- the stand up paddle final was held in horrible conditions; big, thumpy, lowtide, southwind closeouts. I couldn't even find a wave to bottom turn out of- it was dismal. Still, winners find a way to get it done and in this heat (similar to last year's final) Ross found corners where there were none and put together enough of a score to smoke us all. I remember seeing him come off the lip cleanly and ride the move out to the beach. It was deja vu- I swear I saw that last year too. And just like last year, I knew he had us beat. Good job Ross.

• Cash: Nelz and his hot girlfriend Lara brought their little buddy Cash to the beach with them. Man, if I wasn't all messed up on Westies, I am sure I'd have a French Bulldog. Cash was one cool character-  Lilly dug him too.

It was, in all, a super fun event and I'm definitely looking forward to it again for next year. Thanks Serge Dedina and the whole WildCoast crew for putting on another slick event- this one was better than ever!

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