"A little history of the Folly Beach Wahine Classic: It began in 2001 when my roommate at the time, Kelly Kane, and I decided that we had enough female surfing talent in the Charleston area that we could put on an event and draw women from other areas to really promote the sport. Kelly has since retired, so I'm the remaining founder. We now have a committee of girls who help out each year: Laura Butler Peirano, Patti Noe, Hale Horstman, Nancy Hussey, and me.
"Folly Beach is where I personally learned to surf. Charleston is a college town; we're an up-and-coming city and there's a wonderful opportunity for women to get involved in surfing here.
"When the Wahine Classic comes to the Washout, things get a little bit different. Our event is about the camaraderie of the women in the sport itself. On the beach you're going to have a lot of really good vibes, a lot of friendships being made at this event, and reunions. There are girls that travel on the East Coast contest circuit and they come here knowing they're going to see their buddies from other towns.
"I'm a graduate of the College of Charleston. I have a Bachelor's of Science degree in anthropology. I did an ethnography of the surfing sub-culture of South Carolina. My advisor, John Rashford, fully supported me incorporating surfing into my academic career. Balancing those was really cool.
"From there I was a member of the United States Surf Team for a year, and I traveled with them to the Pan-American games in Venezuela. After college, I was with the U.S. Surf Team for a year and switched over to the professional side of surfing.
"It's just the beginning of hurricane season and we're lucky enough to have a low pressure system off the coast that's giving us some really fun, probably waist-to-chest-high waves here at the Washout. Great conditions, it's nice this afternoon; the wind is great, a little bit of cloud cover, so we're not sweating out here." —as told to Jason A. Zwiker
Neighborhood Fact: The Washout at Folly Beach, a long stretch of beach break with jetties, is considered one of the top 30 spots for surfing along the East Coast.