The Empire State Surfing Championships Trials for the Trials presented by Quiksilver took place, yesterday, July 17, at National Blvd in Long Beach, NY. The Empire State Surfing Championships is for the selected 16 New York surfers to earn one spot into the Quiksilver Pro New York ASP World Tour Trials presented by Unsound Surf, supported by Vitamin Water (Sept 1-3), which will advance one (1) of the sixteen (16) competitors into the main event for the Quiksilver Pro New York Asp World Tour Sept 4-15.
Yesterday, 16 New Yorkers came together to vie for one spot, of the 16 selected to compete in the Quiksilver Pro New York Trials. The competition and comradery went hand in hand, as fierce competition in the water, complimented with comments on land to have "New York's Best Surfers" representing on the world stage. The group pushed each other knowing the prestige of the opportunity the prestige of what this win would mean.
With an Early Call on Friday morning (July 15), competitors decided to hold off for better forecasted waves coming in Sunday.
With a 6:30am start on Sunday July 17, it proved to be the right decision. With 1'-3' surf conditions with light winds.
Leif Engstrom, 23 from Montauk, NY, battled out an otherwise all Long Beach Final, with TJ Gumiela, Chris Martin and Richie Bogart, to take the win.
When it was announced, all competitors cheered and high fived for their fellow New Yorker, who will be competing amongst some of the Nation's and world's best for a Wildcard Spot in the Quiksilver Pro New York ASP World Tour Trials presented by Unsound Surf, supported by Vitamin Water (Sept 1-3).
"I wish there was more opportunity for other New Yorkers (Surfers) to be in it, cause I think they deserve to be in it", says winner Leif Engstrom. "This is a big opportunity for me come September, and hopefully (I can) do well."
Congratulations to all the New York competitors! Thanks for coming out and representing!
1. Leif Engstrom
2. TJ Gumilea
3. Chris Martin
4. Richie Bogart
5. Alex Fawess, Jeff Anthony
7. Chris Rempe, Chris Tomlin
9. Shane Ward, Joe Parrino, Will Skudin, Jimmy Pallazoo
13. Brian Pollak, Chris Jones, Ryan Rochford, James Theobald
Photos courtesy of: Mike Nelson/Unsound Surf