Island Gazette

Cape Fear Surf Fest

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By: Rachel N. Johnson
Features Editor

On Saturday and Sunday, April 14th and 15th the UNCW Surf Club sponsored and hosted the Cape Fear Surf Fest at Fort Fisher. The Cape Fear Surf Fest was put on by Will Mceachern.  Next weekend members of the club will participate in the Surfer Sweep to be held in Carolina Beach.  Results from this weekend’s tournament are as follows:  Collegiate Final: 1) Rob Cordero, 2) Tony Silvagni, 3) Michael Powell, 4) Erick Brock, 5) Zack Kenney, 6) Will McEachern
Final Point Standings for a $500.00 check to the first place college with the highest points overall: 1) UNCW Team 1 with 174 points, 2) UNCW Team 2 with 163 points,
3) Cape Fear Community College with 161 points, 4) Monmouth College with 21 points
5) Rhode Island University with 15 points.
Women’s Final:  1) Ashley Gainey, 2) Liz Hauser, 3) Ashley Baron, 4) Marianna Pferrle, 5) N/S, 6) N/S
Open Shortboard Final $2000.00 purse: 1) Richard Gilligan - won $500.00, 2) Rob Cordero - won $350.00, 3) Matt Gilligan - won $250.00, 4) Tony Silvagni - won $150.00, 5) Michael Powell - won $75.00, 6) Zack Kenney - won $75.00
Open Longboard Final: 1) Tony Silvagni, 2) Thomas Mangiacarpe, 3) Peter Armada,
4) Eric Draginis, 5) Kyle Summer, 6) Drake Courie. 
The UNCW Surf Club first began in 1977 and recently underwent a major renewal in 2001. “With its earliest foundations dating back to 1977, the UNCW Surf Club is a young and rising organization since its recent renewal in 2001. The purpose of the UNCW Surf Club is to provide a surf-oriented, recreational, instructional, competitive, and conservation-minded organization for current UNCW students, faculty, and staff.”
Members of the 2006-2007 Surf Club team are Andy Carter from New Jersey, Margy Coxe from Virginia, Drake Courie from Pleasure Island, Jon Luff from Maryland, Claire Magee from California, Thomas Mangiacarpe from North Carolina, Will McEachern from North Carolina, Harrison Palmer from North Carolina, Brian Parnigian of New Jersey is the team’s captain, Genene Peterson from Maryland, Marianna Pfefferle of North Carolina, Curtis Snyder of North Carolina, Travis Varga of Virginia, and Thomas Waldkirch of North Carolina. For more information on the team and tryouts, please contact:  Brian Parnigian, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
The UNCW Surf Club has a long and interesting history of how they have become the dynamic group they are today.  The following compiled by Peter Fritzler is a history of the Club.  The information appears on the Club’s Website and provides an inside glimpse at their past and their accomplishments: 1977–2003
 The University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) Surf Club is a young and rising club since its recent renewal in 2001. The roots of the original Surf Club had been started in 1977 by Rik Beitel and several of his friends. In what was one of their finest accomplishments, Beitel and company competed in the first All-American National Surfing Championships in Huntington Beach, CA in December 1977. By September 1980, the Surf Club held its first official meeting, and was competing soon thereafter. Late that fall, Surf Club members Andy Wigmore and Mark Venters were both honored at the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) annual banquet.  Wigmore was selected to the NSSA's National Surfing Team (Wigmore was first surfer from North Carolina to receive this honor) while Venters was awarded the Mercury Savings and Loan Scholarship and Bronzed Aussie Scholarship.
In March 1982, the Surf Club announced its official charter. Boasting 24 members, the Club was officially recognized by the University and further supported by its first advisor, Dr. Antonio Puente. In 1983, the Club had grown to 40 members and was primarily focused on competition.
At the 1985 Record Bar Pro-Am, held in Wrightsville Beach, Club alum Bryan Tracy took 3rd place in the Men's Amateur Division. In early November, the Surf Club also hosted the Fall Surf Challenge at Crystal Pier in Wrightsville Beach. The Surf Club took a 1st place team finish over East Carolina University and UNC-Chapel Hill, while taking the first three spots in the Individual Division as well. Enjoying a few more years of competitive success, the Surf Club capped off a beautiful decade with a sixth place team finish at the NSSA National Scholastic Championships in 1989.
Entering the nineties, the Surf Club capitalized on juicy surf that hit the area. Surf Club alum Steve Cox ('91-'94) remembers, "Some of the best waves that we surfed in Wrightsville were Halloween '91. The "Perfect Storm." Three storms merged in the mid to north Atlantic into one super storm. We surfed all day at the north end of Shell Island.  Those sandbars lined up perfect lefts all day long, about 3 feet overhead and they broke for about 100 yards down the beach. Like a machine. Perfect." Echoing Cox, Jay Burrell ('88-'92) recalls, " ... the Halloween swell was right on. That swell at Shell Island was one of the best waves I have ever surfed on the East Coast. Also we caught the south jetty during Hugo which was very memorable."
Yet as the 1990s unfolded, so did the Club, and by the end of the decade it was all but extinct.  Following in the footsteps of alum Jason Carlisi, and other Surf Club alumni, Pete Erickson and Jeff Weisler revitalized the energy of the Surf Club taking the membership from around five to over 40 people in their last two years of college. Establishing a fine sponsorship with Sweetwater Surf Shop, Erickson and Weisler also took the Club Team (Carl Wallin and Bradley Sutton) to the East Coast Scholastic Surfing Championships for two consecutive years (2002 and 2003) while also increasing the Club's participation in various community projects such as the Adopt-a-Thanksgiving and Tree Fest programs.
2003–Present - It is the Surf Club's goal in the coming years to continue its growth and activity. Open to students, faculty, and staff interested in surfing, the Surf Club strives to provide a surf oriented, recreational, instructional, and competitively minded organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Recent activities include a March 2004 trip to Costa Rica (PGNFA), a October 2004 trip to Hatteras, participation in the March 2005 ESA Scholastic Championships and October 2005 Clean Water Classic, and a trip to  Puerto Rico at the conclusion of 2005 fall semester. The Surf Club hopes to continue planning more surf trips, form a competitive travel team, and continue strengthening its participation in community-oriented programs and activities.
So whether you’re just learning to surf or a crusty old sailor, we would love to have you come check us out and hopefully become a part of our prestigious organization. We also hope that our former members will see the Surf Club Alumni page and share their club memories with the current crew.”
The UNCW Surf Club  | University of North Carolina Wilmington may be reached at
 601 South College Road, Wilmington, North Carolina 28403 or online at  www.uncw.edu/surf
 

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