The Battle of the Beach
-- the surf contest hosted in South County that hails the end of a summer season and the beginning of the surf season in New England. This year was the 7th inaugural event, hosted in mid September out of Matunuck by Conrad Ferla. I was invited to photograph the competition from the water, and we had perhaps almost perfect weather with sun and warmth.
The remnants of Hurricane Florence swell were still lingering, but by the time Saturday rolled they were certainly fading, as heat after heat was carried out in what started as waist high swell that turned to knee high by the afternoon with low tide. But I wasn't complaining too much, it was a great excuse to get another beach day out of Rhode Island before the leaves would start changing color.
Surf heats were 5–8 people, and there were divisions for Open Shortboard, Mens Longboard, Women's Longboard, Grom Shortboard, and Grom Longboard. The longboarders certainly made the best out of the conditions as the final heats rolled around in the afternoon. To top off the end-of-summer fun was the single fin showdown, as a bunch of surfers took to the water in their approved retro surfcraft to ride as many party waves as they could before the swell completely died.
The young and talented New Hampshire surfer, Kai Nichols, took the day in the open division as surfboards and gear bags were passed around to all the winners at the end of competition.