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Local surfers compete at Gudauskas brothers’ second annual Stoke-o-Rama at T Street in San Clemente
(updated with photo slideshow September 19)
By Andrea Swayne
September 14, the eve of the start of the Hurley Pro at Trestles, the brothers Gudauskas—Dane, Patrick and Tanner—chose to spend their time putting on a surf contest for groms to benefit their home town of San Clemente. It was an especially selfless gesture for Patrick who would be surfing at the Hurley Pro the following day.
The Stoke-o-Rama surf contest went off without a hitch when 100 groms and their families converged at T Street for the second annual event to benefit the Friends of the San Clemente Beaches Parks and Recreation Foundation.
An entry fee of $25 apiece, for each of the competitors, was paid for by the Gudauskas brothers so the kids could surf for free. Event sponsors also kicked in funds to benefit the Friends. Additional money was raised in a raffle.
“The waves came together for a perfect day. All the kids are having a great time and ripping. That’s all we can ask for,” said Dane Gudauskas. “All the sponsors lent huge support, not only for the kids but also for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches Parks and Recreation.”
The fun on the beach was amplified as the groms were invited to collect autographs from their pro surfer idols, the likes of 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater and from San Clemente, Nathan Yeomans and the Gudauskas clan.
Competitor Zoe Mortensen was thrilled to have a chance to meet Slater and get her event T-shirt autographed by him.
“I was so stoked to meet Kelly Slater. It was really awesome,” Mortensen said. “I thank the Gudauskases a lot because this is just for local kids and it gives us a chance to show what we can do and stuff.”
The city held this contest in previous years as part of the SC Open surf and skate contest. It was renamed last year when the Gudauskas took charge of it.
We asked Dane Gudauskas if he and his brothers intend to continue this tradition next year.
“I hope so. It’s so fun. As long as there are groms in the community I’m sure there will be a home for the Stoke-o-Rama,” Gudauskas said.
“We’d like to thank all the volunteers for their time because everyone here is volunteering. Also to the sponsors and the city for letting us do an event like this. Without them we wouldn’t be able to do this. To see it come together is real special.”
The event raised $10,500 for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches Parks and Recreation Foundation which, according to Friends board member John Dorey, will go toward supporting the San Clemente City Lifeguards and Jr. Lifeguards programs.
All contestants took home a handmade medallion, goodie bags filled with prizes from event sponsors and a bright red, kid-sized Fender electric guitar.
Simon Christensen, 10, was the lucky winner of a brand new Al Merrick Channel Islands surfboard in the raffle.
BOYS 8U: 1. Brayden Burch, 2. Bryce Pinkerton, 3. Hendrick Osterkamp, 4. Jack Crane, 5. Noah Henderson, 6. Dane Matson.
BOYS 10U: 1. Jett Schilling, 2. Taj Lindblad, 3. Hagan Johnson, 4. Nicholas Coli, 5. Jimmy Wynne, 6. Dax McPhillips.
BOYS 12U: 1. Kade Matson, 2, Kai McPhillips, 3. Noah Hohenester, 4. Gus Day, 5. Crosby Colapinto, 6. Ryan Martin.
GIRLS 14U: 1. Kirra Pinkerton, 2. Alexxa Elseewi, 3. Tera Richardson, 4. Samantha Sibley, 5. Zoe Mortensen, 6. Kamryn Martin.
BOYS 14U: 1. Gunner Day, 2. Nathan Carabba, 3. Jacob Atwood, 4. Ethan Mudge, 5. Jaric Fink, 6. Noah Atwood.
MOST STOKED AWARD: Saige Reale.
TIM DOWELL SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD: Bryce Crane.
MIDGET SMITH INSPIRATION AWARD: Charlie Stevens.