|The East Coast Wahine Championships is open to amateur surfer girls on the East Coast. The annual event is held every August in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.
The contest began in 1997 under the leadership of Tammy Kennedy. Tammy, a Florida native, was a wildly successful competitor in the Eastern Surfing Association, and her move to Wilmington, NC didn't stop her winning streak. She inspired and encouraged many local girls to surf in competition and wanted to see an event special to them. With the backing of the Southern North Carolina ESA, she organized the first wahine championships and 76 girls from several states competed.
In 1998 Tammy moved on to California and Anne Beasley (Weber) and Paula Bushardt tried to fill her shoes. Anne implemented this very website for contest information, photos, results, and a way to keep east coast wahines connected. Anne was also an ESA surfer in Southern North Carolina and she too moved to California (San Clemente to be exact) in 2000 to pursue a career in writing and promoting women's surfing. She started an internship with Surfing magazine and was soon hired as the Associate Editor of Surfing Girl magazine. She helped launch the magazine from an insert within Surfing to its own publication, which is today know as SG. In 2002, Anne had the unique opportunity to help launch a surfing magazine geared toward women her own age. She accepted the position of Editor in Chief and worked with publisher Sunshine Makarow to help launch Surf Life for Women. In summer 2004 Anne set her sights on a freelance career and has become a regular contributor to various publications. She takes care of all sponsorship and fundraising for the East Coast Wahine Championships and continues to update the website. She makes the trek back east every August and misses her home and friends tremendously!
Paula is the technical director. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and over 20 years of experience in design and technical management in Aerospace and Commercial applications, this surely gives her the qualifications to organize the beach setup, handle the accounting, and anything else technical! She's also a longtime surfer with a cute little surf grom daughter, Alea, who has charged every wahine contest since 1997.
The latest wahine to step up to the plate and take on a major job with the event is Erin Whittle. Erin, a professional photographer and darn good surfer, has taken on the responsibility of accepting all the contest entries, working with the heat sheets, and supervising the contestants check-in. We welcome her to the team and honestly don't know what we'd do without her!
In 1998, the second annual wahine contest had 111 competitors coming from New Jersey to Florida. The third year, 1999 was even more successful with 176 girls traveling from New York to Miami. In 2000, there were wahines from every state on the eastern seaboard, Texas, California, and one gal all the way from Australia! The ECWC has received national coverage from surfing magazines, websites, newsprint, and television. In 2000, the ECWC was blessed with the first named hurricane of the season, and scored head high plus surf. In 2001, the ECWC had over 200 competitors and realized that was about all the event could handle due to time constraints.
The contest changed locations in 2001 and 2002 being held a little further south in Kure Beach. In 2002 about 175 girls entered and contest directors introduced a Pro Longboard division with St. Augustine, Florida's Lauren Hill taking home $500. An Advanced Shortboard Division was also introduced with Florida's Connie Arias taking first place. A Surf Clinic was also hosted by WB Surf Camp and all contestants viewed a private screening of the Hollywood movie Blue Crush. In 2003 the event returned to Wrightsville Beach and NC native Kelly Nicely made a name for herself by winning both the Pro Longboard and the Sponsored Shortboard divisions. In 2004 Kelly once again retained both of her titles! She will be the returning champ in 2005.
In 2005, the ECWC will introduce a Pro Shortboard Division to replace the Advanced Shortboard divison.
The contest format features shortboard, Pro/Am longboard, and bodyboard divisions with a novice division for beginners.
|Although ECWC surfers are not required to be ESA members, the ECWC uses ESA equipment, judges, point system, and rules. We are promoting and supporting women's surfing, the confidence, strength, and bonds of friendship it brings. We hope one day the ESA will implement several women stand alone events a year.|
The ECWC has received national coverage!
Surf Life for Women Magazine
Surfing Girl Magazine
Eastern Surf Magazine
Northeast Surf News
Wilmington Star News
Rock 104.5 FM
Surf 107.5 FM.
|2003 ECWC Results, Photos|
|2002 ECWC Results, Photos|
|2000 ECWC Results, Photos|
|1999 ECWC Results, Photos|
|1998 ECWC Results, Photos|
|1997 ECWC Results, Photos|