Surfing tourney to benefit tsunami aid


The Maryland District of the Eastern Surfing Association is calling all able-bodied surfers and water enthusiasts to join in Ocean City’s 1st Frozen Surf Open Tournament to help benefit Southeast Asia’s tsunami victims.

The fund-raiser is to be held on a “good surf” weekend between Feb. 5 and 27 in downtown Ocean City between the inlet and the pier.

“We’re about 70 percent sure we’ll have the fund-raiser this Saturday (Feb. 5), due to the ideal conditions,” said Maryland District ESA Director Art Baltrotsky.

Area surfers and spectators can verify the events date and time one of three ways; the ESA Web site, marylandesa.org, contest hotline (410) 213-1374 or a mass e-mail will be distributed for those who already an ESA member.

Surfers from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia Beach, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey are expected to compete for this cause. Many of these surfers have been very active thus far this new year, surfing the turbulent winter waves.

“I try to get out there at least once a week depending on the waves,” said Salisbury University student Thomas Harris. “The waves are big and powerful because of the strong winds so it helps if you are familiar with the breaks.”

Surfers will be required to check in with tournament officials at 8:30 a.m. with their $20 entry fee and completed entry form. The event will start at approximately 9 a.m., with the first heat of six surfers and, from that, three surfers will advance to each round.

All preliminary heats will last 15 minutes and surfers can catch up to 10 waves with the top two scored. The competition will host a panel of three judges that will consist of competitors and non-competitors. Scores will be averaged amongst the three judges to total a final score.

The final round will last 20 minutes, and surfers will be allowed to catch 12 waves with the top three scored.

A raffle is open to all those who are interested in helping the victims of last month’s disaster. All proceeds from the raffle will be distributed to Surf Aid International, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of the Mentawai people, and to encourage and coordinate the support of the global surfing community. As a prize, K-Coast has donated a $500 gift card that can be redeemed at their 78th Street location or online at www.kcoast.com.