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a young surfer shreds at Otter Rock and Roll


14th Annual Otter Rock and Roll Builds Stoke & Encourages Stewardship

The Surfrider Foundation’s Newport Chapter welcomed young competitors from across the Pacific Northwest on Saturday for the Otter Rock and Roll Youth Surf Contest and Beach Cleanup Challenge in honor of International Surfing Day. Observed globally, International Surfing Day celebrates the sport of surfing and helps raise awareness of issues facing our ocean, waves, and beaches. Celebrating its 14th year in the Newport community, the Otter Rock and Roll is Oregon’s longest-running and only surf contest designed exclusively for kids, even featuring a Best Beginner division to support young learners.

On Saturday, dozens within the surf community gathered at Devil’s Punchbowl State Park for the event. 55 youth surfers, along with their families and friends, plus many dedicated volunteers and contest sponsors hit the beach for some friendly competition and fun. “The Otter Rock and Roll Youth Surf Contest is a celebration of our love for the ocean and the stewardship and responsibility that comes with it,” said Mike Harrington, lead organizer of the event. 

The 18 and under surf contest and beach cleanup challenge kicked off in the morning under sunny skies. It featured 18 fifteen-minute heats across various divisions, ranging from “Best Beginner,” which includes a wetsuit and surfboard rental plus surf lessons provided by our volunteers, to the 16-18 year-old division composed of more experienced surfers. The most popular division this year was Parent with Child, which allows parents to get in the water with their kids to encourage and help them. This year, the competitors ranged on the young side, a whole new generation of beach stewards in the making. As is expected on the Oregon Coast, we cycled through periods of gorgeous sun and slight drizzle, with surf conditions becoming more challenging throughout the day. 

The Beach Cleanup Challenge, aiming to leave the beach better than we found it, awarded prizes for most microplastic collected, most items collected, and heaviest bag of debris collected. The challenge teaches beach stewardship and raises awareness of the growing marine debris crisis while rewarding and strengthening cleanup behaviors. The most commonly found item was microplastics, as is the case at most of Surfrider’s beach cleanups, however cans and bottles were also a frequently found item this year. The Friends of Otter Rock Marine Reserve Team joined to support our stewardship activities and help raise further awareness of this special place and its unique wildlife and habitat protections. Folks had a great time checking out the tidepools on the north end of the beach, and learning about all the critters that make it their home.

Video Credit: PNW Surfing

The Newport Chapter is extremely grateful to our sponsors who make this fun, family event so special for our community –

Beach Cleanup Sponsor: Pura Vida Surf Shop

Kahuna Level Sponsors: LeBoss Surfboards, South Beach Surf Shop, Mo’s Seafood and Chowder, Samaritan Health Services, Body Glove, Lazy Robot 

Surf Shop Sponsors: Ossies Surf Shop, Safari Town Surf Shop, Zuhg Life Surf Shop, Moment Surf Shop, Newport Surf Shop, The Surf Shop - Westport WA

Keiki Sponsors: NW Surf Sales, Dakine, Cliffside Coffee and Sweets, Cascade Coast Construction & Solar, Catch Surf - Arbor - ProTec, FCS - Surf Hardware, Volcom Women's - Rip Curl, Tastee Tiki

Contest Results: (1st,2nd,3rd respectively)

Child w/ parent: Charlotte Akretch, Kove Kauer, Benjamin Verdun

12/under Girls: Anneliese Akretch, Aislinn Lugo, Roslyn Pearce

12/under Boys: Bruce Jessal, Mason Baker

13-15 Boys: Uta Yamada, Tommy Jessal, Owen Wood

16-18 Girl: Sophi Carlucci, Jami Lee, Ina Yamada

16-18 Boys: Taylor Tice, SiriNarayan Khalsa