The organizers of the Rincon Classic have confirmed that the local surf contest will indeed be taking place this Saturday and Sunday, the very first waiting weekend of a scheduled eight-week window.
Though Saturday’s surf is forecast to be inconsistent, swells on Sunday are expected to be ideal for the competition.
Roger Nance and Jeff White founded the Rincon Classic in 1979. Contest director and Santa Barbara native Chris Keet restarted the annual competition in 2001, after a period of dormancy since the 1996 competition.
Keet is also the founder and head instructor of Surf Happens, the local surf school that puts on the contest. The proceeds of the event will support the Surf Happens Foundation, which runs surf camps for children battling cancer and provides surf scholarships for underprivileged youth.
A raffle for prizes such as a surf trip for two to El Salvador, VIP tickets to the event, and merchandise provided by contest sponsors will be held to raise money for the foundation.
Competitors in the unique locals-only contest were registered to participate in November and December. Approximately 225 surfers ranging in age from Gremlin (11 and under) to Legend (55 and over) will compete in heats this weekend.
The contest organizers have made efforts to ensure that spectators and surfers will not disturb local residents by parking in neighborhoods, and will disqualify participants who park without permits.
Security guards and traffic directors will be present.
According to Surf Happens employee Malia Maitland, the staff is working hard to be very conscious not to upset anyone in the area.
Organizers are also focusing on ways to make the event eco-friendly by distributing reusable bags, urging visitors to bring reusable water bottles and mugs, and encouraging attendees to pick up trash on the beach.
Maitland says it has been “awesome” to work with the sponsors of the event.
Main sponsors include Hurley and Channel Island Surfboards, who have provided merchandise for prize bags awarded to surfers, made unique bean bags and umbrellas for the event’s VIP lounge, and respectively donated a wetsuit and surfboard for the raffle prize.
Other sponsors include Arbor Skateboards, Whole Foods, The Independent, SIMA Management, Scoshe, and Cox Communications.