Women stand out in windy Surf Concepts/SB Boardriders contest in Manhattan Beach
When the South Bay Boardriders Surf Series began six years ago, organizers were criticized for not having enough women competitors. The club responded by adding women’s divisions and the women responded by ratcheting up their numbers and level of competition each year.
The results were evident during the challenging conditions at Saturday’s Surf Concepts/SBBC contest at 45th Street in Manhattan Beach. A powerful windswell from the previous day’s small craft warning winds, combined with a relentless rip led many of the competitors — men and women — to work the inside reform rather than fight the outside.
During the afternoon finals, the onshore wind was so strong that the judges’s and sponsors’s tents were blown across the beach.
But despite the conditions, nearly 50 girls and women competed. Judge Matt Walls said he awarded his two highest scores of the day to Bethany Zelasko, a Dana Hills High surfer and winner of the 2015 Interscholastic State Championships.
“I didn’t handicap her because she’s a woman. She just had the best rides I saw all day,” Walls said.
Zelasko edged out local pro Natalie Anzivino for the women’s open title. Mira Coast team rider Charlotte Sabina was third, followed by Manhattan Beach Middle School standout Megan Seth, Redondo High and Dive N’ Surf team rider Emma Waldinger and Mira Costa teamrider Lauren Friedrich.
For information about upcoming South Bay Boardriders contests visit SouthBayBoardriders.com