Kohl Christensen won the 2010 Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic yesterday with perfect conditions unleashing on the Oregon coast. The swell on tap ended up being even larger then forecast, with estimated wave faces in the 40+ range. Which actually seemed a bit ironic, being that this was the first time the event was paddle only (Murphy’s law at it’s finest) and didn’t allow the use of ski’s to tow in.
Contest directors put the event on hold till ten o’clock a.m. as the competitors were faced with a gigantic beach break without any signs of a makeable channel. But once the first heat got out into the lineup after taking nearly an hour to get out, they were greeted with absolutely perfect wave conditions, sunny weather, and light offshore winds. Nelscott reef came together for the contest and served up perfection all day.
Finalist, Rusty Long said, “I am surfed out. Conditions were spectacular all day long. Waves were doubling off the reef, a lot of them, just a great day of surfing.”
There was a good amount of spectators on hand as people were scaling hillsides, sitting on the top of cars, and poaching balconies in order to view the contest. With the warmest November temperature I can remember in years, and free Red Bulls being handed out to keep everyone cool, the vibe on the beach was upbeat and people were stoked to be seeing the largest waves probably most of them have ever seen. That is until the news broke about the passing of Andy Irons. Phones started going off all around me as people got phone calls and texts passing along the shocking news regarding the passing of one of surfing’s most colorful icons. For me, It was an erie reminder that life can be short, and you never know when your time will come. Very sad news for the surfing world and his family.
After an amazing day of surfing on the reef, six men made it to the finals. Kohl Christensen, Chris Bertish, Kealii Mamala, Rusty Long, Peter Mel, and Jamie Sterling battled it out for the hour finals. But it was an in form Kohl Christensen who took first place.
The Women’s event will be run first thing in the morning, while the swell is still pounding the Oregon Coast. Conditions look to be holding nicely for one more morning of surf.
The Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic has now successfully run six consecutive years. This was the first year as a paddle in only event, and the first to include Women.
Final placing of the 2010 Nelscott Reef Big Wave Surfing Contest
This post is dedicated to Andy Irons. You will be greatly missed.