a freelance journal


NSSA East Coast Champions-UNCW

The UNCW surf team defended their NSSA East Coast victory of 2009 with another win this year.  The victory qualifies the team for Nationals in Salt Creek, California.  This year the team featured 9 riders-6 male shortboarders, 2 woman, and 1 longboarder.  Of the 6 shortboarders on the team, 4 of the guys were in the final.  Mike Powell went on to win his second straight east coast title.  Thomas Bruce, Ian Tilghman, and Ben Powell were the remaining 3 riders. Bruce took 4th, Tilghman took 5th and Ben Powell finished 6th.  As if 66% of the final heat was not enough domination, Liza Dean finished 4th for the woman and Drake Courie won the longboard by a long distance.  When it was all over, UNCW would put 119 points on the board with the next nearest competitor-FIT- scoring 68.

After disappearing into obscurity during the late 90’s, the team saw a renewed interest early in 2000’s and is now thriving again under the team captain Cody Leutgens.  Local surfers are quick to grumble about the influx of surfers in the water due to UNCW.  These days they need to worry more about being shown up than just keeping their spot.  Not that anyone on the team cares.  All are laid back, kind and talented young men and woman.  They deserve the success they have worked for and, perhaps most importantly, they have fun.  ‘Course it never feels bad to be the champ.  Congrats Seahawks.

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