Surfer at Jetty Classic

Surfers competed in heats throughout the day and everyone seemed to revel in being on the water and together again. Adam Pardee / Review

The sun broke through early on Sunday morning welcoming dozens of surfers who flocked to the seventh annual Half Moon Bay Jetty Classic at Surfer’s Beach. Despite warnings of dangerous surf conditions over the weekend, more than 100 entrants signed up to compete and were rewarded with 5- to 7-foot waves throughout much of the day.

Surfers competed in seven categories while spectators lined the bluffs overlooking the waves. The enthusiastic crowd enjoyed an unseasonably warm day, live music, food and drink while watching groups of six surfers compete in 15-minute preliminary heats.

First up were the groms, young surfers under the age of 15, followed by menehunes, ages 15-17, pro-am, women, masters, longboarders and wavestorm riders.

Surfer in a heat of Jetty Classic

A group of surfers in one of the many divisions paddle out at the start of their heat in the Jetty Classic on Sunday. Adam Pardee / Reivew

As the day wore on Kerri Gardner, coach of the girls surf team at Half Moon Bay High School, diligently made sure everyone got into the water for their heats. As the judges tallied the scores, Gardner charted who advanced to the semifinals and finals.

“We’re still working out some kinks along the way, but we’re having fun,” said Chris Loeswick, organizer of the event, about midday.

The majority of participants were Coastsiders, feeding a sense of community, as classmates, neighbors and old friends mingled throughout the day. Jason Stark, coach of the boys team at the high school, worried that his own students would school him in the competition, but he ended up taking first place in the longboard category.

Crowds flock to Jetty Classic

Crowds gathered along the trail overlooking Surfer’s Beach to watch the Jetty Classic unfold. Adam Pardee / Review

Jake Davi, son of the legendary late big-wave surfer Pete Davi, came up from Monterey to join the Jetty Classic for the first time. Like a number of others, Davi entered multiple categories throughout the day, rushing to switch board types between heats. He ended up taking home third place in both the longboard and wavestorm categories.

The tournament concluded at 6 p.m., a long 10 hours after the first surfers hit the waves. After packing up, most of the crowd headed to Old Princeton Landing to hear the outcome. Loeswick thanked the audience for being part of a great day and encouraged them to “share the stoke.”

Rising star Zoe Chait received the most rousing applause as she snared first place in two categories.

Crowds watch Jetty Classic

A group of spectators watch as a surfer in the Jetty Classic cuts back on a wave at Surfers Beach on Sunday.. Adam Pardee / Review

After accepting one of the trophies fashioned by Stark from agave wood for besting her young peers in the groms category, Chait returned to the stage for the announcement of the pro-am winners. Surrounded by more experienced surfers who towered over her, Chait gleamed as it was announced that she would also take home the day’s top prize. She said she felt “great, surprised and excited” to win.

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