The 2018 Channel Islands Surfboards Rincon Classic, Community Strong

“We all needed this” were the words that I heard the most from all surfers who participated in the 2018 Channel Islands Surfboards Rincon Classic. They were referencing needing to come together as a community to share stories, support one another, and have time to heal and build strength before the next storm, while enjoying a few waves and some fun.

Most years, the main headlines surrounding the storied event are the waves, and the stand out performances by the areas top amateur and professional surfers. 2017/2018 will be remembered for the tragedies that struck our community, first the Thomas Fire, and then the flood and debris flow. Many were displaced, homes evaporated, lives lost, and normalcy uprooted. On top of that, it has been the slowest year for waves in what the elders were claiming some 55 years.

The 8 week waiting period went by in a flash with a two week extension granted in hopes of finding good waves. In the first 8 weeks not one single weekend featured a substantial swell event and so with the Surfline forecasts agreeing on a few pulses, a little wind swell, and good weather the event was called on for Saturday and Sunday March 17 & 18.

Sunny skies, warm weather, and fun 2-3 foot surf remained consistent throughout the event. In between heats kids enjoyed the 70 degree weather with a huge slip n slide, beach games, and the Hydroflask sponsored Surf Happens Foundation High Five Program and beach clean up.

The action was equally hot in the water as surfers from 8 to 70 competed in their respective divisions in search of a coveted Rincon Classic title. Kilian Garland blitzed the field in the Rincon Brewery Pro division with his characteristic smooth style, unparalleled wave selection, and sparky air game, winning his 7th career pro title, making it two in a row. Mike McCabe posted the highest point total of the pro division of a 17.5 taking home the Scosche In Rythym Award, and $500 cash.

Matty Pierce put forth a display of speed and punctuation taking home titles in the U17 and Open Mens earning a wildcard into the 2019 Pro event. Also taking home multiple titles was Ventura’s Makena Burke who slashed her way to U17 Wahines, and the Open Womens final.

The U12 Division was won by Jak Ziets who used his power base to blast the lip and land in first. U14 division was won by Trevor Berry who utilized excellent wave selection, solid rail work, and flair to earn his first title. Masters division was won by Sean O’toole who dug deep and linked together big turns for the win.

Grand Masters division was won by  Bromi Krock with his characteristic smooth style and radical approach. Legends was won by beach Marshall Tony Luna who combed the field. Luna has surfed in every event since 1979 and took a long overdue title.

2018 was not about the waves as much as coming together and supporting one another. The raffle and silent auction benefitted Mike Organista and family who lost their home in the Thomas fire helping to raise the last bit they needed to start rebuilding.

Thank you to the community, staff, Rincon Homeowners, California State Parks, and sponsors for making this possible.