(July 5, 2019) The 51st annual Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) Summer Surf Series Maryland Surfing competition is scheduled to take place next Saturday, July 13, where amateur surfers can compete to win prizes and a chance to qualify for the ESA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship and the ESA Eastern Surfing Championship.

Competitors of all ages will participate in divisions including Bodyboard, Shortboard, Longboard and Stand Up Paddleboard. There is also an “Open” division for Shortboard and Bodyboard where all ages are eligible to compete.

Competitors must arrive to the designated ready area 15 minutes before their competition begins. Next Saturday’s event will take place either on 35th Street or at Assateague State Park from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather permitting. Competitors should arrive at 7:30 a.m.

The deadline to sign up for this event is Thursday, July 11.

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Around 50-60 competitors are estimated to perform in the competition next weekend.

Depending on the waves or the weather, the competition could be moved to either location, as both have been rented ahead of the event. Competitors should check the Delmarva ESA Facebook page closer to the end of the week for updates.

The first contest of the 2019 Summer Surf Series was held May 11 on 35th Street in Ocean City. More than 50 competitors ages 8-58 participated in the event.

The second event, which was scheduled to take place June 15, was canceled due to a lack of waves, Laura Deeley Bren, co-director of the Delmarva District, said.

“We expect to have 50-60 competitors ages anywhere from 6 years to 70 years old and the [competition] will beginning with shortboard, longboard and bodyboard,” Bren said.

Winners will also be competing for points to earn trophies at the awards banquet held in the fall.

After the initial competition, which is split up between age, gender and type of surfing, the Maryland State Championship Open Shortboard tournament will begin, which is open to all ages and genders. 

The fourth and sixth events will be held at Assateague State Park on Aug. 17 and Oct. 12. The deadlines to sign up for these two events are Aug. 15 and Oct. 10, respectively.

The fifth contest will take place in Ocean City on Sept. 28, on 35th Street. The deadline for this contest is Sept. 26.

“It’s just a great day on the beach with lots of families and lots of different businesses sponsored throughout the year,” Bren said. “It’s a fun spectator event.”

This year, there will be an open body division for all ages. It will no longer be separated from children to adults.

In addition, the contest will now include a Girls U-12 division instead an overall U-12 division.

This year is also different because the ESA Surf Series is partnering with the World Surf League. Competitors who win in the district events can compete for a chance to join some East Coast World Surf League events next year.

Each division will have trophies and plaques, as well as sponsor-donated prizes given away. The list of sponsors can be found at surfesa.org.

Surf Series participants must be ESA members. Those who are interested in signing up to compete in later events or prepare for the following year can purchase a family membership for $150, or $75 for an individual.

A fee of $25 covers the first event during each contest, and $10 for every other division after. Supporting membership cost $35 and is for non-competitors. To become a lifetime member the cost is $1,000 (includes five divisions).

Founded in 1967 by East Coast Surfers, ESA was created to promote, preserve and protect the sport of surfing on the East Coast. ESA is dedicated to the sport of amateur surfing, as well as the operation of a program of amateur competition for surfers of all ages and abilities.

In addition, ESA promotes the establishment and preservation of free access to a clean shoreline and ocean environment.

ESA is the largest amateur surfing association in the world. The association’s activities are organized into 25 districts, which extend along nearly 2,000 miles of coastline.

Stretching from Maine through the Gulf Coast of Florida, Alabama and the Great Lakes, each district’s programs are developed and operated by a dedicated group of volunteer directors and staff.

Scheduling info can be found on the delmarva.surfesa.org website or Delmarva ESA Facebook. Updates on ESA’s website and social media will be frequent since the association will occasionally have to make adjustments due to surf/weather forecast.

Anyone interested in signing up for the events can do so at Delmarva.surfsignup.com. A list of events can be found on the Delmarva ESA Facebook page and Delmarva website, delmarva.surfesa.org.

Those who are looking for age-specific events can find the age divisions at www.surfesa.org. Questions can be sent to delmarva@surfesa.org or through messenger on Delmarva ESA’s Facebook page.

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