Manhattan Beach Jimmy Miller surf contest has weird rules

Body Glove team manager Matt Chernega shows teammates how to fill the frame of water photographer Scott Valor. Photo

The Annual Jimmy Miller Surf Fiesta has one of the strangest rules of any surf contests. Competitors can’t ride their own boards. Instead, each surfer on the weighted, four-member teams draws a playing card to decide the order of board selection. This year’s Jimmy Miller quiver of donated boards ranged from waterlogged long boards to ‘70s singlefins and a four-foot, rope-handled kneeboard.

The Sixth Annual Jimmy was held Sunday at 40th Street in Manhattan Beach. The surf was a fun, two-to three-foot, with water and sun warm enough for barebacking.

The 160 competitors ranged in ability from former Mira Costa standouts Kelly Zaun and Dayton Silva to grommets surfing their first contest and old guys surfing what could be their last. Over the years the contest has become a showcase for the area’s upcoming grommets.

Contest director Jeff Miller said the goal of the contest is to celebrate the spirit of his brother and former lifeguard Jimmy Miller, who died six years ago. Proceeds from the contest benefit the Jimmy Miller Foundation, which provides ocean therapy for the physically and mentally ill, including military veterans.

Body Glove surf team manager Matt Chernega led the winning team. His teammates were Hermosa Beach Surfing Hall of Famer Jeff Eick, Jimmy Miller Foundation co-founder Jim Miller, John Destafon and Sarah Fairbrother.

Body Glove marketing director Scott Daley led the second place team, which also included Max Cajuste, KcFlugar, Mark Gerold, Mike Mackerer and Miller foundation co-founder Nancy Miller.

Other honors bestowed at the Sunday night awards banquet at Sangria in Hermosa Beach were: Spyder Surfboards Best Maneuver: Matt Chernega. ET Surfboards Beach Long Board award: Chris Druliner. Sector 9 Best performance by a Grommet: Max Cajuste. Body Glove Best Performance by a Family: the Eick family. Angel Eyewear Best Performance by a Female: Becca Rosen. Volcom Longest Traveler Award: Marines from Wounded Warrior Battalion, 29 palm. Anarchy Eyewear Best Wipeout: Bowen Bouillon. Dakine Biggest Bro Award: Brent Broza. Pure Surfing Experience Award: the Ostendorf family.

For more about the foundation visit jimmymillerfoundation.org. ER

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chris wells

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