Monday, July 18, 2011

San Clemente - SoCal Bodysurfing Championships

Two weeks ago, as part of San Clemente's annual Ocean Festival ("The Greatest Show on Surf"), we staged the fifth annual Southern California Bodysurfing Championships, the first in the California circuit that continues with the International Bodysurfing Championships in Manhattan Beach as part of its Surf Festival (today) and the World Bodysurfing Championships in Oceanside in late August.  There is also a Huntington Beach contest in mid-August and a Santa Cruz competition in October. 

The San Clemente contest, initiated by Golden Triangle founding member, Eric EY_\ Yeisley, is hosted by the Golden Triangle, while Manhattan is hosted by the Gillis Beach club, Huntington by the Chubascos club and Santa Cruz by the Santa Cruz Bodysurfing Association.

Without "holding periods," where the contest may be held any time during a several week, or even month, period, the contests are on pre-set dates and at the mercy of nature for the conditions.  Unfortunately, too often, San Clemente and Manhattan have been plagued with poor waves.  This year was no exception.

As I did last year, I participated as time keeper for the event, which permits me to photograph as well as help to host the event.  However,with meager waves, I left the camera in the bag until after the heats...choosing instead to document the stoke and characters that comprise the broader California bodysurfing ohana. 

The album from the event is up at Picasa, which can be reached by clicking this blog's title above or this link here:


I've included a few choices below:

Russell "Riptide" Riopelle, one of our judges, joins Beachmaster Chuck "Kahuna" Herpick, above.  Russell and Chuck make regular appearance in my blog.

Below, event organizer Steve "Too Tall" Short is shown with one of the O'Gorman clan.  The O'Gormans, usually competing under the Golden Triangle banner, formed their "4 G" team for this event.  "4 G" refers to four generations of bodysurfers...something I hope to see the Haldeman ohana surpass sometime in the next decade.  We're also four generations at present, as both my grandfathers bodysurfed, as did my father, and both my sons.

Steve stepped into tough shoes as organizer when EY_\ departed for the frozen waves of Colorado.

Several O'Gorman generations are pictured above.  Great ambassadors for our sport!

Another superb ambassador for bodysurfing is Rodrigo ('rigo) Bruno.  As I wrote, and pictured, last year, 'rigo is from Brazil, who brings infectious enthusiasm wherever he goes.  Last year, he toured California, and was fortunate to encounter outstanding waves at the Wedge, and yet test the waters in San Diego, San Clemente and elsewhere during his stay.  He got another decent swell, not quite so large, at the Wedge this summer, and again was able to compete in our contest.

Rod Bruno is shown above with another valuable promoter of the sport, photographer Rod Hepburn.  A San Diego denizen, Rod's photos have become popular in the worldwide bodysurfing community.  His photos from the competition may be seen here:


Two weeks have passed, and I'm glad to get this posted, but no too happy about the reason.  Last weekend I was in Tahoe.  Two weeks ago, between meager surf and timing responsibilities, I only got a chance for a couple of waves.  I was looking forward to a good session today, in warm water with a moderate swell, but a West wind has decided to trash conditions the last couple of days.  So, I'm posting about the competition instead of what I'd hoped....
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