San Clemente High dominates NSSA State Championships and more good news from our local waters
The San Clemente High surf team has once again asserted its dominance in the great state of California, as the varsity and junior varsity squads both earned NSSA state titles in Huntington Beach last weekend.
For the varsity surfers, hammering home a big win for the Tritons in the highly competitive Shortboard division was the hard-charging, powerful regular-footer Ben Brantell. He was joined in the final by team members Dane Matson, who finished in third, and Brayden Burch who landed in sixth.
In the Women’s division, Sierra Downer finished runner-up, while Addison McPhillips took third. Then there’s the oh-so-stylish Wesley Rehberg, who cross-stepped his way into second place in the Longboard division.
The future is bright for the Tritons, as evidenced by the junior varsity crew enjoying even more success. Putting together a clean sweep, Kai Finn won the Shortboard division. He was joined in the final by Charlie Stevens, who finished fourth, and Dax McPhillips, who finished fifth.
The McPhillips clan featured prominently in the event, as Ezra McPhillips got the win in the Girls division, with Audrey Denos coming in second. Rounding out the results, Zeke Rose earned the win in the Longboard division.
Congrats to all the surfers who put in the time and dedication to compete and represent their school.
In other surf news this week, San Clemente-based Rip Curl announced that it is now B Corp-certified. Parent company Kathmandu made the announcement earlier this week. The new B Corp status will hold Rip Curl to a high standard of transparency and accountability, as well as social issues and environmental matters.
Last year, Rip Curl launched its wetsuit recycling program, and most recently, it announced the steps it has been taking in its Reconciliation Action Plan with the Indigenous communities in Australia.
“We are so proud to receive B Corp Certification. Our Rip Curl crew have welcomed the challenge of certifying against the high standards required of running responsible business,” Rip Curl CEO Brooke Farris said in a prepared statement. “We are motivated by the positive impact we can make both now and in the future.”
Rip Curl is headquartered in San Clemente and sponsors the annual WSL Finals at Lower Trestles in September. This week, the MEO Rip Curl Portugal Pro kicks off at Supertubos in Peniche, Portugal.
Local star Griffin Colapinto is coming off a big, runner-up finish last month in Hawaii and will be looking to continue to solidify his spot for the world title-deciding WSL Finals.
Kolohe Andino is another big threat in Portugal. The surf forecast looks very promising, and with a knack for hollow, heavy beach breaks, both surfers should do well.
In environmental news, the beach erosion conundrum continues. With all the recent rains, the San Juan and San Mateo Creeks, as well as various other smaller arroyos, have been flowing to the ocean and depositing some much-needed sediment.
It remains to be seen how it will all shake out when winter finally ends (please make it stop), but it’s a very positive sign to see more sand on the beaches around Beach Road and down at Trestles.
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) appears to be getting closer to figuring out what to do with the railroad tracks at Cotton’s Point. Reported by Mass Transit Magazine, a two-part proposal has been made to shore up the tracks.
With an estimated price tag of $7 million, it would continue to fund the emergency stabilization, as well as provide money to study and better understand the coastal erosion issue, in addition to exploring potential solutions—including potentially moving the tracks.
“When we began the emergency stabilization effort, it was clear that we needed to address the immediate issues first and also to speed up the process of working with all stakeholders to find longer-term solutions,” said OCTA Chair and Yorba Linda Mayor Gene Hernandez. “I’m pleased to see this comprehensive effort moving forward.”
San Clemente High wins again, Rip Curl goes B Corp, progress is made on beach erosion; all told, it’s been a pretty good week in surfing around here—now we just need some swell.
Jake Howard is a local surfer and freelance writer who lives in San Clemente. A former editor at Surfer Magazine, The Surfer’s Journal and ESPN, today he writes for a number of publications, including Picket Fence Media, Surfline and the World Surf League. He also works with philanthropic organizations such as the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center and the Positive Vibe Warriors Foundation.