Surfing championship ready for 56th year

The East Coast Surfing Championship runs Aug. 19-26 (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of ECSC)
The East Coast Surfing Championship runs Aug. 19-26 (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of ECSC)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Every year for the past 55 years the East Coast Surfing Championship has entertained area residents and tourists alike, and its 56th year, presented by Vans, won’t be any less entertaining.

The Virginia Beach Jaycees and a who’s-who of sponsors (a list that can be found here) will welcome surfers, bikers, volleyball players, artists and more to the 2018 event, which officially kicks-off Sunday (Aug. 19) and will feature events running through Aug. 26.

“It’s pretty exciting for us,” said Ron Wudarcyzk, chairman of this year’s Coastal Edge ECSC, which is billed as the second longest continuously running surf contest in the world.

When asked about this year’s highlights, Wudarcyzk mentioned the bands (the Original Wailers, who will play Friday night, and Saturday night’s musical act, Matisyahu, as well as the opportunity for attendees to get up-close and personal in the VIP Pit); the motocross events, which he said were very popular last year; and the volleyball tournament, which will feature $10,000 in total payouts.

This year there will also be promotions by iHeart and raffles by Monster and Pacifico – who will be giving away Beach Cruiser bikes.

Also new this year is an “adopt-a-puppy” event that will take place during the surfing competitions, while the judges tally up the scores.

One of the more interesting offerings is a “flash-art” type of event sponsored by Trinity Tattoo, during which one artist will start a painting and other artists will combine to finish it. Wudarcyzk said the finished product will be auctioned off and the proceeds will go to charity.

The main event is, of course, the surfing competition.

“All in all, there are so many different styles of surfing,” Wudarcyzk said. “It’s fun to see people come from across the world and to see what they can do on our little waves.”

He said that at least one surfer from Hawaii – where the waves can be… big – is entered.

Surfing heats will begin Tuesday and run through Sunday.

A full schedule of events can be found online.

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