Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Beaches Surfer Wins Big at Eastern Competition in North Carolina

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Beaches Surfer Wins Big at Eastern Competition in North Carolina

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Longenecker

"I won my very first contest when I was 8. It was an ESA [Eastern Surfing Association] contest in St. Augustine. A friend asked me to enter. After that, I didn't win again until a couple of years ago."

But just last month, Wayne Satterwhite Jr. really won big.

Wayne is the 2007 men's ESA surfing champion. He is 21 and started surfing with his father, Wayne Sr., at 10th Street in Atlantic Beach when he was 7. He went to Neptune Beach Elementary, Mayport Middle School and graduated from Fletcher High. He is a screen printer for Stitches And Screens.

The ESA sponsors the weeklong amateur competition each September at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. The East Coast is divided into districts and surfers must qualify to attend. Wayne qualified in our North Florida district.

"The surf was 4 to 5 feet, but choppy and windy with overhead sets. [It's] like around here, but there are groins [short jetties] that stick out into the water near the lighthouse," Wayne said of the surf conditions he faced.

Wayne recalled the final heat. "Throughout the contest, I felt I was really doing good. During the finals, the surf wasn't as good. They score your top two waves and near the end, I only had one good ride. They stopped announcing the scores with five minutes left.

"I don't really pay attention to the other surfers [in my heats]. I know when I'm doing good. With a few minutes left, I knew I had to get a good ride and pull maneuvers. My last wave was chest-high. A two-turn wave, a fast, steep turn and then I laid back into the white water and was able to rebound."

He took home a hand-carved wooden model of the famous lighthouse mounted on a glass mirror as the winner's trophy. It hangs in his Jacksonville Beach apartment.

Just a month earlier, he had traveled to the Avon Pier on the Outer Banks for the ECSC, the East Coast Surfing Championships, where he entered his first pro contest. …

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