No Cam but other locals hit surf at ESA Championships

Where’s Cameron?

Contrary to the vitriol spewed out on North Carolina’s Outer Banks by Hurricane Irene several weeks ago, this year’s Eastern Surfing Championships (surfesa.org) were held last weekend in Nags Head, N.C.

Hurricane Irene could not keep the “Best of the East” from showing off and blowing up in typical Outer Banks contestable surf. We saw some of the Sandlapper State’s finest doing well in their respective divisions Wednesday and Thursday.

Longtime Pawleys Island surfer Bob Weaver placed third in the Legends Longboard final and Garden City Beach local Shaun Bess took third place in the Senior Men’s final.

As the week progressed, Luke Gordon of Pawleys Island took first place in the Menehune Final, followed by Boyd Brown in third. Katie Gordon finished second in the Girls Final (14 & under) and Addison Miles finished third in the Boys final.

Thursday was supposed to see then-15-year-old Cam Richards surf his early round heats. His name was on the webcast early Thursday morning but there was no singlet in the water for his heat.

Despite his absence, Cam was celebrating his 16th birthday in style on Sunday.

So where has Cam been? Wait, where hasn’t Cam been over the past year? I’ll paraphrase his summer now but this ain’t all.

First he won a national title in California and was almost immediately hurried off to feast on some of Bali’s pristine lefts. A little more home time, a local contest and then he thrust into Tahiti only to watch the ASP World Tour surfers tackle some of the best waves that contest has ever seen.

Only one day in the Tahitian paradise and the lad took ill before coming home again. The week prior to the Eastern Championships, Cam and brother Cole Richards took a road trip up to New Jersey, where Cole tied for fifth place at the Fins’ Junior Pro.

Cam is eying another trip across the pond to France and has a November contest in San Francisco, but hysteria won’t set in just by failing to finish one contest.

In fact, it’s a big East Coast honor just to participate in the event and we are certainly proud of our crew.

By Steven Pierce

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