Written by Scott VanDerripe | Northern Regional Captain
Santa Cruz, CA (20 November 2022)—A crisp clean morning at the Lane in Santa Cruz for the 1st stop of the 2022/23 West Coast Board riders Northern Division. There are 5 teams in the northern division this year, with a new team from San Mateo joining the host team Santa Cruz, along with SLO County, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
The morning started out with some chilly temps in the low forties, light winds, and some fun contestable waves in the 2-4’ range. The morning high tide kept most contestants hugging the cliff with the set waves running through the middle peak. The 15-19 year olds hit the water first with Ventura jumping out to an early lead through the first division.
Santa Cruz bounced back with a solid performance from the 14 and under groms to take the overall lead. SLO County came back strong by winning the 50’s division, in a stacked Legends heat that included Pete Mel, and Ruffo from Santa Cruz, Britt Merrick from Santa Barbara, Sean ‘Purple’ Hayes, from Ventura and Walt Cerny from SLO. SLO kept the momentum into the 40’s division by clocking the highest heat score of the day with a 36.96 to take the 40’s division.
The women came out strong, and posted some serious scores. Zoe Chait from San Mateo double whammy’d a perfect 10, for the highest wave score of the day adding 20 points for her team. The Santa Cruz women battled back throwing some high scores of their own. Keanna Miller smashed a 9.33 and Autumn Hays threw a 8.83 to take the high score in the women’s division. Santa Cruz continued their home field advantage in the last 2 heats of the day, taking the high score in the 30’s and 20’s division.
The sun was out shining all day, temps warmed up to the upper 60’s, and the waves delivered all day. The tide dropped out mid day exposing the rocks and kelp, and turned on the middle peak. The back half of the day split the peak with some contestants surfing up top and others choosing to surf the inside middle peak. It was a great competition hosted by the local Santa Cruz Board Riders with smiles all around.
At the end of the day Santa Cruz took the win and maintained an undefeated record in West Coast Board Riders events at The Lane. Santa Barbara took second place with SLO County coming in a close third. Ventura finished in forth and San Mateo wrapped up in fifth.
Here are the final scores:
Santa Cruz. 222.21
Santa Barbara. 169.25
SLO County. 161.42
San Mateo. 132.72