Children had returned to school and the art festivals had concluded their shows in Laguna Beach, but for dozens of resident surfers, a summer at home is incomplete without the Brooks Street Surfing Classic.
A hometown staple, the dates of the contest are always a moving target, owing to the need for a south swell to provide rideable surf throughout an entire weekend.
Event organizers were following the path of Hurricane Jova in hopes that it would deliver the necessary swell. This weekend, residents made their way down to the beach and hopped on their boards.
“It was the only way we could have run the event,” said Brandy Faber, the contest director. “We had been watching and tracking this hurricane, and it was taking a very favorable track to deliver a swell in Southern California. The fact that it was going to deliver that swell on Saturday and Sunday was what enabled us to run an event.”
The Brooks Street Surfing Classic, a Laguna Beach resident-only contest, has been held since 1955. The 57th running of the event featured 14 divisions, spanning a variety of ages, as well as categories for short and longboarding, paddleboarding and bodyboarding.
Trey Lockhart won the pro-am division, taking home a $1,000 top prize. Dante Madrigal (second, $750), Hudson Saunders (third, $500) and Christian Schenk (fourth, $250) rounded out the top four.
Additional victorious surfers were Kerry Pedlow (Legends, 60 and over), Hans Hagen (Grand Masters, 50-59), Micah Byrne (Sr. Masters, 40-49), Eli Viszolay (Masters, 30-39), Nate Madigan (Sr. Men, 24-29), Liam McCue (Men’s, 18-23), Hudson Saunders (Jr. Men’s, 14-17), Ace Halpern (Boys, 13 and under), Leah Pakpour (Women, 16 and over), and Piper Halpern (Girls, 15 and under).
Chance Gaul (longboard), Wes Van Meter (bodyboard) and James Ahearn (paddleboard) also won their divisions.
The window for the competition to take place begins in June and extends to the end of October.
“Even though Labor Day signals the end of summer, Brooks Street kind of signaled the end of summer,” Faber added.
The Cy Chambers Award, given annually for excellence in surfing, sportsmanship and academics, went to Maia Miller. Ruby Samson was the recipient of the Thom Chambers Award, which goes to an individual for excellence in surfing and the arts.