And fulfill your childhood dreams!
Late at night, long after the sun has gone down and you are laying in bed, do stray thoughts ever infect your mind? Like, do you ever think, “I wonder how it feels to be a professional surfing champion? To stand there, on the beach after vanquishing foes while the masses cheer. Hoisting a trophy. Being sprayed with champagne. Being forever known as a professional surfing champion…”
For sure you have, right? But then you sleep, wake, drink coffee, go surf and do a few hitchy cutbacks and think, “Well son of a bitch.” Champagne dreams evaporating into a cold, handicapped reality.
Well guess what. This Saturday and Sunday in Newport, Oregon there is an event you are guaranteed* to win. Let’s read about it!
In the competitive world of surfing, there’s a unique language. First, there’s the weather, which doesn’t necessarily mean rain or sunshine, but wind conditions, specifically the knots and direction. Then, swells, including height and direction, a big factor whether you’re a novice or advanced competitor. The swell dynamic is also important- choppy or smooth. Small waves are considered ankle busters. And, don’t forget the break- beach breaks put you on the sand. A barrel or a tube is considered the ultimate experience. Dumpers are not fun, they usually precipitate a wipeout.
Most important to any surfer is the ride and what he or she can do with it. The feeling of catching a ride or “taking the drop” down the face of a wave is exhilarating to any level of surfer. The combination of balance, stance, and agility can turn the experience from a drop to a masterful spin or aerial maneuver. This is why surfing draws all ages of men and women to gear up or enjoy the thrills of being a spectator.
The Oregon coast offers dynamic surfing opportunities. The rugged coastline, unparalleled views, and offshore winds create ideal conditions. With the right gear, surfers acclimate to the chilly 55 degree ocean temperatures.
On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, the City of Newport Parks and Recreation will host the second annual Agate Beach Surf Classic for surfers of all levels. According to Mike Cavanaugh, Sports Coordinator for the City’s Parks and Recreation department,
“This is a one of a kind event. It is sponsored by the City in collaboration with private businesses. Most people have never seen this; surfing contests are usually put on by surf shops.”
Cavanaugh says the iconic headlands and vast coastline make Agate Beach a good location.
“Last year we had 92 contestants and we expect a good turnout again,” he stated. Agate Beach is also ideal for spectators.”
Cavanaugh encourages surfers to pre-register online at www.newportsurfclassic.com. Fees are $40, or $50 onsite. “We want to be sure we can accommodate everyone,” he said. “Last year we had a huge boom of onsite registrations, so we had to change a few heats at the last minute.”
The competition is organized into the following divisions: Youth 12 & Under (with or without parent), Stand Up Paddleboard (non-age, non-gender), Junior Women 13-18 (long or shortboard), Men 19-49 (longboard), Pro/Am Men (shortboard), and Men 50+ in Honor of Bear Club Legends (long or shortboard).
Each division is broken down into heats. Saturday’s schedule will have sixteen 20-minute heats with four to six surfers per heat. There are two preliminary rounds for each heat. Organizers try to give surfers the most time available in the water to demonstrate their skills. Second rounds give people the benefit of competition, since conditions and sets vary. A competitor’s score is a lump sum of their first two rounds.
I surfed in Newport a few times as a wayward Oregonian youth. I saw some of the locals and while God blesses their hearts if you go, enter, surf you will guaranteed* win. And you will be a professional surfing champion for the rest of your life.
What is that worth to you?
*Margin of error is 50% in case you get eaten by a shark