ESA Easterns, Buxton, N.C., Sept. 19-25, 2004
by Art Baltrotsky 410-641-3329 art@tumblingmonkeys.com

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Please give photo credit: Art Baltrotsky
Captions are pasted below this press release.

MARYLAND SURFERS RECEIVE 16 AWARDS AT THE 2004 ESA EASTERN SURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS IN CAPE HATTERAS, N.C.

BUXTON, NC --September 25, 2004-- 16 Maryland surfers headed to the 2004 ESA Eastern Surfing Championships on North Carolina's Outer Banks last week to return with a phenomenal 16 awards. That's more than twice as many Maryland award recipients than any other Easterns in its 37 year history. Multiple Atlantic hurricanes and gale force northeast winds provided large and sometimes out-of-control storm surf that favored our Maryland District competitors.

To qualify for the Easterns, surfers compete in multiple events throughout the year for points in their age divisions. The top points finishers from each age division of the 8,000 ESA surfers receive a slot to compete in one of four regional championships. Then the top place finishers from the regional championships receive a slot to compete in the annual ESA Eastern Surfing Championships, the Easterns. 600 surfers from the entire East Coast including the Great Lakes and Florida's Gulf Coast travel to North Carolina's Outer Banks to compete in "The Best of the Best" annual competition. In the past, top world pro surfing champions have used the Easterns to launch their surfing careers.

This year's Maryland team amazingly took both of the "Hot Wave" awards. The Sr. Hot Wave award went an incredible outside wave caught by Ted Smith during his semi-final heat. Gale forced winds and 8' to 10' waves caused all of the Men's competitor's to surf the smaller reformed shorebreak except for Smith. Smith paddled through the huge storm surf to catch one of the biggest waves of the entire event and ride it until he was nearly out of sight down the beach, while he continually preformed scoring maneuvers. He received the highest score for any adult division, an 8.98 out of a possible 10. The Jr. Hot Wave award went to Wyatt Harrison for a gigantic wave during his Jr. Longboard semi-final. Harrison shocked spectators by running to the nose of his longboard while he was dropping into a very dangerous section of a huge storm surf set wave. Harrison received a 9.16 for his stunning performance.

Four of the Maryland competitors surfed into multiple finals while two others just missed double finals. Ted Smith, Art Baltrotsky, Charlie Birch and Chris Tilghman all out-surfed their competition and advanced into the finals for both of their shortboard and longboard divisions, while Chris Makibbin and Bill Helmuth both made it into their longboard finals and surfed all the way into the semi-main heats of their shortboard divisions. Three of Maryland's younger competitors, Jake Buchler, Logan Helmuth and Vince Boulanger also had outstanding performances earning them a 1st place in Menhune Bodyboard, a 3rd place finish in Menehune Longboard and a semi-final placing in the Boys division respectively. Hannah Preziosi also surfed her way into the semi-finals of the Womens Longboard division.

The 2004 Easterns' Jr. Sportsman Award went to Maryland District's Joe Ferrara for his admirable conduct handling a protest in his Jr. Bodyboard competition. The most coveted award, the Colin J. Couture Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service to Eastern Surfing, went to Maryland District Director Jeff Phillips for his 25 years of volunteer service.

For more information on the Maryland district of the Eastern Surfing Association please visit www.marylandesa.org.


2004 Easterns Maryland team award recipients are:

Ted Smith - Sr. Hot Wave Award, 3rd Place Men Shortboard (ages 18-24), 6th Place Mens Longboard (ages 18-29)
Wyatt Harrison - Jr. Hot Wave Award, 3rd Place Jr. Longboard (ages 15-17)
Art Baltrotsky - 2nd Place Sr. Mens Shortboard (ages 35-44), 2nd Place Masters Longboard (ages 30-39)
Charlie Birch - 2nd Place Legends Shortboard (ages 55-64), 4th Place Legends Longboard (ages 50+)
Chris Tilghman - 4th Place Sr. Longboard (ages 40-49), 6th Place Grandmasters Shortboard (ages 45-54)
Chris Makibbin - 4th Place Mens Longboard (ages 18-29)
Logan Helmuth - 3rd Place Menehune Longboard (ages 14 & under)
Bill Helmuth - 6th Place Legends Longboard (ages 50+)
Jake Buchler - 1st Place Menehune Bodyboard (ages 14 & under)
Joe Ferrara - Jr. Sportsman Award
Jeff Phillips - Colin J. Couture Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service to Eastern Surfing

Photo Captions:

1_BALTROTSKY_EASTERNS.jpg - BUXTON, NC.--- Wyatt Harrison turns to avoid a large closeout section during the Jr. Longboard semi-finals at the 2004 ESA Eastern Surfing Championships in Buxton, NC. photo by ART BALTROTSKY, 410-641-3329, art@tumblingmonkeys.com

2_BALTROTSKY_EASTERNS.jpg - BUXTON, NC.--- Ted Smith works an inside section during the Mens final at the 2004 ESA Eastern Surfing Championships in Buxton, NC. photo by ART BALTROTSKY, 410-641-3329, art@tumblingmonkeys.com

3_BALTROTSKY_EASTERNS.jpg - BUXTON, NC.--- Charlie Birch carves into a second place finish during the Legends finals at the 2004 ESA Eastern Surfing Championships in Buxton, NC. photo by ART BALTROTSKY, 410-641-3329, art@tumblingmonkeys.com

4_BALTROTSKY_EASTERNS.jpg - BUXTON, NC.--- Bill Helmuth works a wave during the Legends semi-finals at the 2004 ESA Eastern Surfing Championships in Buxton, NC. photo by ART BALTROTSKY, 410-641-3329, art@tumblingmonkeys.com

5_BALTROTSKY_EASTERNS.jpg - BUXTON, NC.--- Joe Ferrara prepares for an early morning Jr. Bodyboard heat at the 2004 ESA Eastern Surfing Championships in Buxton, NC. photo by ART BALTROTSKY, 410-641-3329, art@tumblingmonkeys.com

6_BALTROTSKY_EASTERNS.jpg - BUXTON, NC.--- Ted Smith waits for the start of the Mens final at the 2004 ESA Eastern Surfing Championships in Buxton, NC. photo by ART BALTROTSKY, 410-641-3329, art@tumblingmonkeys.com

7_BALTROTSKY_EASTERNS.jpg - BUXTON, NC.--- Wyatt Harrison walks out of the water after the Jr. Longboard final at the 2004 ESA Eastern Surfing Championships in Buxton, NC. photo by ART BALTROTSKY, 410-641-3329, art@tumblingmonkeys.com

8_BALTROTSKY_EASTERNS.jpg - BUXTON, NC.--- Logan Helmuth, left, and Wyatt Harrison display their matching 3rd Place longboard trophies during the awards ceremony at the 2004 ESA Eastern Surfing Championships in Buxton, NC. photo by ART BALTROTSKY, 410-641-3329, art@tumblingmonkeys.com

9_BALTROTSKY_EASTERNS.jpg - BUXTON, NC.--- Maryland District awards recipients at the 2004 ESA Eastern Surfing Championships in Buxton, NC are, from left, Art Baltrotsky, Wyatt Harrison, Ted Smith, Logan Helmuth, Bill Helmuth, Jake Buchler, Chris Tilghman, Jeff Phillips and Kathy Phillips. photo by Ian Tilghman

The Eastern Surfing Association (ESA), a non-profit, IRS tax-exempt corporation, is the largest amateur surfing organization in the world. It is dedicated to the sport of amateur surfing, to the operation of a program of amateur competition for surfers of all ages and abilities, and to the establishment and preservation of free access to a clean shoreline and ocean environment. The association’s activities are organized in a total of twenty-eight districts, which extend along nearly 2,000 miles of coastline, stretching from Maine through the Gulf Coast of Florida and Alabama and also around the Great Lakes.

For more information about the Eastern Surfing Association contact:

Art Baltrotsky
Maryland ESA District Director
Tumbling Monkeys

314 N. Main Street
Berlin, MD 21811
410-641-3329
art@tumblingmonkeys.com