WELLFLEET – The stoke level at White Crest Beach on Sunday was off the charts, just as it is every year at the Cape Cod Oldtimers Longboard Surfing Classic.
The audience was the largest I’ve ever seen. The parking lot filled well before the 5 p.m. start to the contest, and the top of the dune was lined with beach chairs as was the path down the dune to the beach.
The beach itself also had a large appreciative audience, including the many folks in the tight-knit Cape Cod surfing community who were gathered for what is always the best day of the year.
It is a surfing contest that isn’t serious, and usually does not have great wave conditions. But it is, by all accounts, something akin to Christmas and your birthday combined into one glorious afternoon on the beach in which the only presents are the best ones – waves and friends.
Ken Merrill was there with a U-Haul full of classic surfboards, so it was fitting that he won the Sparky Merrill award for the best board, named after Ken’s brother, Dave, (nicknamed ‘Sparky’) an avid surfer, who died in a motorcycle accident in 1988. Ken Merrill is the embodiment of stoked. (See Cape Cod Wave’s interview with Ken Merrill and tour of his home “surfboard museum”
Willie Lindbloom, aka “Willie Wipeout,” brought his special concoction of some kind of alcohol, a different alcohol, maybe more alcohol, fruit and other things – the red stuff in the white bucket. He calls it “Wipeout,” thus his nickname. Willie has been making his secret-recipe Wipeout for Cape Cod surf parties, including this annual one, for about 50 years.
And of course, there was Edward Gurnett, the saltiest, funniest
and also the nicest announcer of any major sport anywhere, back up on the lifeguard stand with a megaphone in his hand, making light of what he saw.
Gurnett later summed up the event as, “Mayhem, debauchery. The usual thing… It was like it always is. Great things never change.”
This video is accompanied by music by one of our favorites, the great guitarist Bruce Maclean
, with “Surf Medley in E Major.”
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