By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
It's going to be a weekend of epic surfing proportions in Crescent City.
On Saturday and Sunday, surfers and those who are interested in the sport will flock to South Beach for the 12th Annual Noll Longboard Classic.
The event will bring out contestants, from young children to seniors, who will cut through the waves, riding on boards which are 9 feet or longer.
"It's just a slower movement to execute," said Beverly Noll, one of the key organizers of the event about riding a longboard. She said people admire how beautiful and graceful the longboarders are as they glide through the ocean waves.
Noll was excited on Thursday to see people arriving already for the contest.
Cars with longboards strapped to their tops bringing in a wide variety of peoplemany with their dogs enthusiastically sticking their heads out the windowwere beginning to arrive.
Noll said many of the surfers could be seen stopping at the beach, looking at the surf and checking out the conditions.
What Noll loves about the the event is that it brings out so many people and their families who enjoy a weekend of surfing together, giving them a chance to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.
Noll said participants are coming from all over, including Florida and Hawaii.
On Thursday afternoon, Noll said 254 people had already signed up and only around three to five spots were left. But, she said, there can be last minute cancelations so people still interestedeven on the day of the event, should check to see if a spot is still available in their division.
Each year at the surf classic, South Beach is packed full of surfers and those interested in watching them compete. Because of the large crowds, parking spots normally fill up quickly. After a two-year absence, a shuttle will now be available to pick up people every 30 minutes at different locations.
The shuttles will be provided by the Elk Valley Rancheria. Stops include the overflow parking lot at the Crescent City Harbor, which will have signs to direct people. People can pick the shuttle up at the Elk Valley Casino and at the Best Western Northwoods Inn, the Curly Redwood Lodge and the Anchor Beach Inn.
Saturday, the event starts at 7:30 a.m. and will go "until it's over," Noll said.
Sunday, the surf classic will start again at 7:30 a.m. and go until about 4 p.m.
At 10:30 a.m. on Sunday is one of Noll's favorite events, the longboard event for children under 12.
She said it's special to watch children, some as young as 3 or 4 years old riding the waves with the help of their families.
"It's so enjoyable to watch these kids," she said.
There is a $40 fee to register and a T-shirt and goody bag is provided. The fee is $45 on the day of the event, if space is available.
For more information, call Noll Surf & Skate at 465-4400, check out their Web site at www.noll.net, or go to the store at 275 L Street in Crescent City.