The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) is calling all surfers to grab their vintage longboards and paddle out for a nostalgic competition at the 26th annual Classic Longboard Surfing Contest on Saturday, Sept. 14. The event will take place at the North Side of Crystal Pier starting at 8:15 a.m.
The competition is an opportunity for surfers and spectators to gather and pay homage to the “Golden Age” of surfing. All contestants must surf on longboards made in 1969 or older, nine feet or longer, with no leash.
The two divisions include the Open Division for men and women ages 17 and up and the “Menehune” Division for men and women 16 years of age and younger.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego, previously known as the San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation.
Prevent Drowning Foundation, whose mission since 2009 has been to save lives by funding swim lessons for underserved youth and providing aquatic safety education for all, has impacted tens of thousands of young people in San Diego County including John Cofield, a 15-year old San Diego native who learned to surf through the foundation. The program provides more than just swim lessons; it provides a community.
“I love to surf, and I wouldn’t know how to if it hadn’t been for Junior Lifeguards,” says Cofield, the three-year veteran to the program and recipient of the JG scholarship. “I couldn’t imagine my summer without this annual tradition that brings friends together on the beach and teaches us the importance of ocean safety and education.”
The foundation also provides scholarships to underserved youth like Cofield, who without the help of the Prevent Drowning Foundation, might not have known how to swim. Now he gives back to his community by lifeguarding at his neighborhood pool.
Check-in for contestants will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the first heat scheduled to paddle out at 8:15 a.m. Advance registration to participate is $30 per person and day of registration is $40 per person. There is no fee for spectators.
Those who are interested in competing in the contest, or watching the action, can find more information at ombac.org/omsurf/.