By Jennifer Grimes
Triplicate staff writer
Waves, sunshine and big crowds made the fifth annual Noll Longboard Classic spectacular this weekend, according to contest coordinator Bev Noll.
The weather was just so great and the vibe was so positive, Noll said.
A maximum capacity crowd of 230 filled every available contestant slot on Saturday and Sunday, 190 of which were from out of town.
Attendance did go up this year, Noll said. But its hard to gauge the total number of people that turned out to watch.
Noll theorized that many who came to compete would have never visited this area, but now come through four or five times a year.
Mike Lee of Good Harvest Cafe says he sees them coming through town again and again, too, she said.
The big turnout not only made for a successful contest, but generated revenue for local hotels, restaurants and shops, according to Noll.
Many of the surfers and their families came to town on Wednesday and stayed until Sunday.
Now, its a memory of a very pleasant weekend that we dont want to let go. Ive had people in and out of the surf shop all day to talk about it, she said.
Entries to this years event came from Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and all areas of California. And as many people entered as there were categories for them to fill.
There was one gigantic group for the women (The Gals) that covered all ages, and eight groups total for the men, spanning all ages from the Grand Dukes (60 and up) to the Menahunies with accompaniment (up to age 12).
A new competing division in the Noll Longboard Classic that began just last year, is the Super Heat.The contest was open to all first place finishers from 1999s event.
For those who didnt care to surf, many events were held on and off of the beach.
Beginning at 7 a.m., Saturday morning, beach concessions sold food, artwork, t-shirts, and other items.
Saturday night, a dance featuring Northswell Stomp and Wonderland Avenue, a trio out of Humboldt County, was held at the Fairgrounds Arts andamp; Crafts Building to entertain all age groups. Along with the dance was an Aloha Shirt Contest with comical categories of oldest, ugliest, gaudiest, most outgrown, and most elaborate collection.
Progressing throughout the entire day of Sunday, Oct.8, beginning at 7:30 a.m. will be the semi finals with the Menahunies division scheduled to start about noon.