19th Annual Venice Surf-A-Thon Surf contest results and report.

PacagainWaking to an incessant and familiar buzzing of the alarm clock, I promptly roll over to my left after turning the alarm off, . As I once again drift off to never-never land, my eyes and conscience snap open as I say out loud, “SURFATHON!”  Feet hitting the floor I rise to the occasion  peering at the digital display of the clock, which reads 5:00 am. Cool plenty of time. In the past I have been guilty of oversleeping , resulting in anxious surfers and worse, anxious parents of surf hyped  Groms! I bust a quick but thorough  military indoctrinated  SSS and the old first formation hustle, out the door I go. Having the trusty and durable Toyota Matrix loaded to the gills with surf contest equipment from the night before, I turn the key and the machine fires up. 2000,0000 hard miles on the car and she never misses a beat. Enough of the vehicle endorsement you say? On with the contest results!? Curses!

Motoring quickly to the beach, I reflect on 19 years of producing the Venice Surf-A-Thon Surf Contest. The surfers, yeah the surfers. Several of the original contestants have GRAND KIDS in the  Venice Surf-A-Thon now! Glancing in the mirror I notice all the gray in what is left of my hair. “Sheeeeeshhhhh. What a trip, what a freaking trip,” I wince. In the past I worried and fretted about all the details and especially the waves, the waves, the waves and yes, the waves but about Surf-A-thon #6 or#7 I stopped  tripping on things I had no control over. Seriously out of 365 days in a year, to have quality surf in Venice on a given calender day is a crap shoot for sure and more than likely you will crap out. The odds in Las Vegas are better for sure.

Arriving at the beach parking lot at the end of Venice Blvd, I notice the the Die- Hards,  THE CREW, year after year, these cats and their families support Surf-A-Thon without question and their loyalty is a blessing. Adrian and Norm are on post, checking the surf as the sun rises, sipping coffee. I notice the steam from the coffee and their breath. It is cold out this am. I cant see the surf from the car due to the sand berms piled about 12 ft high by L.A county Dept of Beaches and Harbor but I can tell by the Die Hard’s faces that the surf is small.

Stepping out of the car , I climb up on the 3ft wall and view the surf. It is flat! 1 foot lake like ripples lap the shore, placidly. It’s flat!  The three of us hang our heads. What to do? What to do? Cancelling  Surf-A-Thon is an option but I really want to get it over with. The club has been reserved for the awards party, bands booked etc.    Norm and Adrian ask simultaneously, “Is it on?” “Its, on,” I say. The one thing I have learned after years of being in the entertainment business is the show must go on!

Shleping the tents, tables, and surfing paraphernalia through the sand to the shoreline, we began setting up as the surfers arrive one by one or in groups. Surf-A-Thon has become a family tradition and many familiar  faces arrive as well as first timers. Waves or not the competiton is on! The 12 and under set are always charged up no matter! We gathered in a circle and Pastor Papik prayed for us. Now here is the supernatural event I will testify to a bon-e-fide  spiritual miracle and I kid you not, as I looked up from prayer, a nice clean two foot wave appeared breaking cleanly left and right!   As the first heat of super groms paddled out the sets continued to build with a rising tide including sets of threes!

The waves held up all day long and provided enough juice to give every level of surfer a canvas to paint, so to speak. Men , women and children all had a gas as the sun shined and the predicted rain never showed up. The level of surfing was excellent with the Pro-Am and Long Board divisions wowing the spectators with high caliber surfing maneuvers and style! The Stoke -O-Meter registered top ranking as the intensity,competition,  and camaraderie was enjoyed by all!  The Surf-A-thon also hosted the second year of body surfing, which was also very interesting hosting 6 body surfer using hand plane devices, the competitors showing off  El Rollos in the tube!

The 2012 Venice Surf-A-Thon hosted 49 surfers in six surfing divisions and raised$ 825.00  for the MLD School in Mindanao P.I! Great job everyone! Big shout out to Heidi Lemmon, Victor Blue, Masao Miyashiro, Wade Martin, Bart Saric, Peck, Norman, Jess and   Brock,Craig Bonner, Dan Simcox, Dj Jacques   Ray Rae Goldman, Noah and Ninna Adrian Reef, Jeff Shelp,Wade Martin, Six12 photography, Kevin Hahn, Sector 9, BDS, Arbor,SMA, Juice Mag, Carver, Maui and Sons,Abbots Habit,   DTS, Oliveres surfboards, Slyde Handboards, Interiors Made EEEzy, Cove, Hecho in Venice, Skater Made,1978 and if I failed to give you a mention, my bad and I apologize the plate has a tendency to slip! Thank you  and see you next year!

Super Groms

1st place-Vegas Massie

2nd place-Oshi Massie


1st place-Kelly Bennet

2nd place- Jesse Papick

3rd -place  Will. I Am

Jr.Mens #1

1st place-Cameron Packem

2nd place-Ryan C.

3rd place- Cory Cash

Jr. Men #2

1st place-Cameron Packem

2nd place- Kenta Elwell

3rd place-Jimmy


1st place Peter Carpenter

2nd-place Joe Shmo

3rd-place Jack Santa Cruz


1st place-Tammy Mowery

2nd place-Victoria V


1st place -Tonan

2nd place-Brock Landloc

3rd place-Norm A.


1st place-Pastor Papick

2nd Place Joe Shmo

3rd place Sal T. Nuts

Body Surfing

1st place-Syd Syd

2nd place -C-rock

3rd place-Andrew L.G


1st place-Tyler Packem

2nd-place Foster

3rd Place- “Bustin” Justin Swartz

Most Outstanding Surfer Award

Masao Miyashiro


cam d man


One Response to “19th Annual Venice Surf-A-Thon Surf contest results and report.”

  1. Reblogged this on gerilewis and commented:

    Thoughts on producing and coordinating a surf contest.

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