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Wahines dominate the Washout

Surfin' Safari

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Surfer girls are hot. It’s a fact, and it’s recognized by females as much as it is by males. But there were many reasons besides sun-bleached hair and killer abs to attend the Wahine Classic surfing tournament at the Washout on Folly Beach last weekend.

Sponsored by the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA), the Wahine Classic pits the girls against each other in 16 different events, including longboard, shortboard, tandem, and “fun one.” Approximately 85 girls and women competed this year. Plenty of locals came out, including favorites Jenny Brown, Veronica Bolus, and Kristen Tanner, but they weren’t the only ones. Girls also traveled from North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida for the annual event.

The tournament lasted from around 8 a.m. until approximately 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Each day, about 200 spectators showed up to enjoy the action. The temperature was easily in the 90s on Saturday, with a push into the blazing 100s on Sunday, but luckily a cool breeze rode the waves all weekend long.

And anyone who’s been to the Washout knows there are waves to ride. Known as the best surfing spot in South Carolina, the Washout sits at the far east end of Folly Beach. The waves weren’t exactly awe-inspiring, but the girls were able to make some great rides nonetheless. Judging worked like this: the girls had 15 minutes to catch up to 10 waves in the quarter- and semi-finals, and 20 minutes to catch up to 12 waves in the finals. A panel of five judges — local volunteers who compete in ESA events — judged them on their two best waves. They looked for things like good wave selection, good maneuvers on critical parts of the wave, smacking the top of the wave, and whole lot of other stuff that means absolutely nothing to those who aren’t familiar with surfing vernacular (like, “nice trim”).

The last event wasn’t judged at all, but it was just as fun to watch. Parents took their little ones into the water for Push ‘N Surf to show them what it’s all about. After that, each girl was presented with a little surfboard charm to wear around her neck. There were six different types of charms, one for each place.

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