Pro surfers from around the globe converged on the small coastal town of Lincoln City, OR on Friday to ride some of the largest waves on the West Coast. The 2006 Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic, presented by Liquid Militia and the Nelscott Reef Surf Shop, was held Friday December 8th in perfect 30-40’ conditions. The day long contest started just after 8am and the finals were finished 5 minutes after sunset. The winds held off all day, making for glassy conditions for the entire event.
After months of planning, and nearing the end of their 3 month holding period, Behemoth, LLC, the contest promoters, turned on the green light on Tuesday, Dec. 5th. “We wanted to give everyone a few extra days to get here. We knew we had the swell and the weather, it was just a little iffy on the winds”, said organizer Adam Wagner. The winds were forecasted as 20-25 mph from the East (offshore). However, on the Friday morning, it seems that was the only part of the forecast that was wrong. The swell was pumping, the ocean glassy, and 30 Waverunners lined the beach ready to compete for the $20,000 purse.
The Nelscott Reef contest has a non traditional format in that there are no elimination rounds leading up to a final. This non-elimination format is focused on letting the contestants get the maximum amount of time in the water. Each team competes in two 45 minute heats, in which each member surfs the entire heat. The top two waves from each heat are combined to get the final scores. The five teams with the highest score move directly to the finals, which consisted of two 25 minute heats.
The field was stacked with the best names in big wave surfing from the West Coast of the US, Hawaii, Australia, South Africa, and Canada, which made for an exciting day of surfing.
The final results are as follows:
- First Place ($7,000): Garrett McNamara and Kealii Mamala
- Second Place ($4,000): Brad Gerlach and Mike Parsons
- Third Place ($3,000): Adam Replogle and Alistair Craft
- Fourth Place ($2,000): Raph Bruhwiler and Keith Malloy
- Fifth Place ($1,000): Greg Long and Rusty Long
The K38 MVP Award ($600) was given to Vince Collier after all of the contestants unanimously voted him the MVP of the contest. For many of the folks in the contest, Collier is an idol. Jeff Clark pointed out that Vince was one of the first guys to surf Mavericks with him.
“We thought there was no way were going to beat last year’s contest, which went off in near perfect conditions and 20’+ waves”, said event organizer, John Forse. “But somehow, mother nature smiled on us with incredibly glassy 30-40’ surf all day. Combine that with the high caliber of talent that showed up, and we had an unbelievable day of big wave surfing”.
The Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic is Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic is Nelscott Reef Oregon’s only Professional Surfing Contest and one of only a handful of Tow In Contests globally.