Local surfers dominate O’Neill Pro/Am Surf Contest

The O’Neill/Sweetwater Pro-Am Surf Contest held annually in Wrightsville Beach, NC draws some of the biggest names along the East Coast to compete in the three day event.

Featuring six amateur divisions, and one professional division, the event typically pulls in over 300 surfers to compete for prizes and a $15,000 pro purse.

Enhanced by waves from the storm formerly known as Tropical Storm Chantal, this year’s event wrapped up today with a very strong showing by Grand Strand surfers.

In the Guys 14 and under division, Pawleys Island’s Luke Gordon won 1st place, with Seth Brown picking up 4th place.

The Guys 15 and above division typically draws the most advanced amateur surfers to compete at a level you would expect from many of the pros. Myrtle Beach’s Addision Miles placed first in the division, throwing multiple airs and reverses throughout the contest. “That was a big win for him today,” Miles’ coach David Nuckles said. “He was surfing against some of the best East Coast surfers and Addison took it to another level.  He took out every single kid 15 and over.”

Pawleys Island’s McClary sisters picked up wins in each of their divisions as well. Leldon McClary won the Girls Open Longboard, which is open to female surfers of all ages. And 14 year old surfer Emory McClary (pictured) won the Girls Open division.

Emory McClary described the conditions; “The waves were really good. They were a pretty good size and had a nice form.”

McClary’s Girls Open division win was especially impressive. Surfing against older and sometimes more experienced competitors, Emory McClary dominated from start to finish. “She won every heat, all rounds, and the Finals. She crushed it. We are very proud of her,” said Coach, Nuckles, an East Coast surfing legend himself.

For Emory, her first wave of the finals heat was her favorite, “It was a set wave and I rode it all the way to the inside and did a big snap in the shore break and landed with my fins in the sand.” Nuckles said “It was a big move, and the crowd went wild. Emory is the new poster child for Billabong on the East Coast. She’s a student of the game.”

Grand Strand surfers ended up winning 4 out of the 6 amateur divisions of the contest, losing out in only Guys Open Longboard and Guppies (for kids needing assistance).

Photo Credit: David Nuckles

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