This year’s addition of the Moment of Madness Shortboard Contest went off this weekend in beautiful fall conditions. Head high surf and sunny skies welcomed 32 competitors from around the Northwest to Pacific City. A bunch of familiar faces joined a couple of new ones to battle it out for the prized “broken board” trophies and severe bragging rights. Also up for grabs was a prize purse totaling $475 and a bunch of products from our generous sponsors, Salty Crew, O’Neill, Xcel, Billabong, Leus and more. This included a brand new O’Neill Psycho Tech 4/3 Hooded wetsuit valued at $450 to the competitor who picked the correct winners of the event in our own version of Fantasy Surf League.
Competitors study the lineup before the first heats on a crisp October morning
We kept the contest small this year because we tried to roll out several new ways of running a contest. One of the major things we tried to put in place was using live scoring which competitors and spectators alike could follow on television screens on the beach and over a PA system. As we tried to kick off the morning, just about everything that could go wrong with our equipment did, however after a slight delay, we got the main live scoring system and the viewer screens up and working, however were never able to salvage the PA system. Even so, having the spectators be able to know how the heat was playing out in real time, and having competitors be able to know how they did immediately after coming in was a huge step in the right direction for the small event. Overall it was a huge success and we look forward to dialing it in next year.
The morning got delayed due to a faulty generator
This year's event saw Amelia O'Connor and Charlene Mercer take on the guys!
The usual suspects won their first heats and jumped straight through to the quarterfinals, with Jeremy Rasmussen, Kirk Tice, Greg Urata, Rob Russo, Decklyn Wood, Ben Harper, and Tyler Muth all advancing. The minor shocker of round one was Ollie Richardson taking down local pro Tony Perez and forcing him into surfing the elimination round number 2.
Tyler Muth enroute to a round 1 win
This years judges, using a new scoring / judging system that could be used with a smartphone
Justin Buford after his round 2 heat.
Surfers who placed 2nd through 4th in their first round heats were sent into the elimination round 2, which consisted of 3 man heats, with the top surfer advancing. As the tide maxed out, surfers were pushed to dig deep against a heavy southerly current, and sift through lots of lumpy, mushy waves in order to find a decent section to get a turn or two off. Nick Zajicek, Erik Thompson, Mattie Starr, Ebon Bergeron, Christian Anderson, Ken Lagula, Jessee Henton, and Tony Perez all took care of business in round 2, and got themselves back to a quarterfinal berth. Standouts of the round included Jesse Henton who won his heat over Charlene Mercer and Tyler Cunningham with the best turn of round 2, Ken Lagula and Tony Perez who tied for the highest wave score of the round.
Mattie Starr making the most of the softer morning conditions
Kai Huggin impressed the crowd with one of the better waves of round 1
Tyler Cunningham digging deep
As the quarterfinals commenced, the waves started to turn on, and a consistent right-hander started to reel off right in front of the judges tents. The first quarterfinal had Nick Zajicek and Ben Harper edging out Rob Russo and Erik Thompson for a Semi Final berth. The second quarterfinal was the Kirk Tice show, with him dominating the heat, while the battle for second place went to Mattie Starr by less than four tenths of a point over Decklyn Wood and Ebon Bergeron. Quarterfinal number three was a lopsided battle between Tyler Muth and Greg Urata for first and second, while Christian Anderson and Ken Lagula were never able to find their rhythm during the heat. The final quarterfinal was dominated by best friends Jeremy Rasmussen and Tony Perez, with Ollie Richardson and Jesse Henton putting up a good show, but ultimately falling short.
Tony Perez with a crisp turn
Kirk Tice with a nice finish
The first semifinal hit the water with Kirk Tice, Ben Harper, Nick Zajicek and Mattie Starr. Again, Kirk Tice stole the show, leaving Ben, Nick and Mattie battling it out for second place. Ultimately Ben’s decision to sit wide and catch the tail end of the sectiony and shifty right paid off, defeating Nick and Mattie for a slot in the finals. Semifinal number two wasn’t as clear cut as the first. All four surfers ended the heat within a point of each other, with Greg Urata and Tony Perez emerging victorious over Jeremy Rasmussen and Tyler Muth.
Tony Perez banking it for a heat win
As the final paddled out, the stakes were high with $475 on the line. At first, Ben Harper and Greg Urata took early leads, however as expected, Kirk Tice came charging back with a series of backhand maneuvers on some of the longer waves of the event. However it was Ben Harper in the dying minutes of the heat who was able to navigate through the best barrel of the event, and finish with a strong closing maneuver to take the win over Kirk Tice, Greg Urata, and Tony Perez.
This years trophies
2017 Finalists (L to R) Tony Perez, Greg Urata, Kirk Tice & Ben Harper
Overall, the event was a huge success, and we look forward to taking the lessons learned from this event and applying it to a bigger stage next year! You can view full results below
Rob Russo off the top
A round 2 heat chats before their heat
There was plenty of fun to be had between heats
Gathering some pre-heat advice