Marines, the Green Pickle, waves make for memorable Miller Fest
The weather was balmy, the surf head high and 175 surfers helped raise over $20,000 at the Sixth Annual Jimmy Miller Surf Fiesta on Sunday at 42nd Street in El Porto.
Among the participants were eight US Marines from Camp Pendleton’s Wounded Warrior Battalion, whom the Jimmy Miller Foundation taught to surf through its ocean therapy program. The foundation was established in memory of Jimmy Miller, a former lifeguard and surf school owner.
The 31 teams were each assigned five surfers, ranked from expert to beginner. Among the expert surfers were former pro Chris Frohoff and topped ranked college surfer Dayton Silva. The beginners included the Marines and MTV “The Hills” star Justin Brescia.
Competitors are not allowed to surf their own boards. Fortunately, Steve Meidroth of JS surfboards showed up with 30 demo boards for the surfers to choose from. But another distinguishing quality of the contest is that the top ranked surfers are assigned boards from the Miller Foundation’s collection of unrideable boards. These include the infamous Green Pickle, which resembles a garage-built kneeboard with rope handles. New to the unrideable collection this year was a Tom Wegener-shaped, 6-foot-2, 16 inches wide, finless Alaia Tuna. But the board proved only to look unrideable. After Matt Singley pulled off multiple 360s on head high waves riding the finless board in the third heat, the top ranked surfers were asking for it.
At the awards dinner at Sangria, the results showed the closest finish in the contest’s history. The team of Ian O’ Keefe, John Ward, Ethan Ward, Jeff Miller, Jake Johnston and substitute David Schafer rang up 60 points to the 59.5 points scored by the team of Chris Frohoff, Andy Dellenbach, David Ginsberg, Alison Pickering and Justin Brescia.
Other awards were: Spyder Surfboards Best Maneuver Award — Dayton Silva; ET Surfboards Beach Lounger Award — The Ulrich Family and Friends; Body Glove Best Performance by a Family — Brent and Logan Broza; Anarchy Eyewear Best Wipeout — Andy Dellenbach; Rip Curl Longest Traveler Award – Wounded Warrior Marine Casey Ryan from Florida; Spy Optic Best female — Alison Pickering; Sector 9 Best Performance by a grommet — Kieran Walls; Karmaky “Biggest Bro” Award for Sportsmanship — Steve Meidroth for bringing the 30 demo board from JS; Pure Surfing Experience Award: Ethan Ward for recovering from an injury last year at the Jimmy to being on the winning team.
South Bay Surf Series
The South Bay Boardriders Club has announced the schedule for its 2011-12 South Bay Surf Series. The contests are open to non club members: Sunday December 4, El Porto, sponsored by Becker/Billabong. Saturday, January 21, 26th St., Manhattan, sponsored by E.T. Surf. Saturday, Feb. 18, El Porto, sponsored by Dive N’ Surf. Saturday, March 17, 26th Street, Manhattan, sponsored by Pier Surf. Saturday, April 21, El Porto, sponsored by Surf concepts. Saturday May 19, Manhattan Pier, sponsored by Spyder Surf. For details go to southbayboardriders.com. ER