The 2011 NSSA National Championships wrapped up on July 3rd at the legendary Huntington Beach Pier, and when the dust finally settled on all the surfing madness, Arnette team riders CAM RICHARDS (Open Mens Champion), TYLER GUNTER (Open Mini Groms Champion), and ZEKE LAU (Airshow Champion) were three of the day's big winners. Congrats fellas!
As the Open Mens Champ, South Carolina's Cam Richards definitely took home the most significant honor of the day. Here's what the crew at Surfline had to say about his impressive victory:
...15-year-old Cam Richards, fresh off a King of the Groms HB win and a Standout Performance at the Quilksilver USA Champs, challenged the gutless walls to let off some steam on the older division -- and dominated. "I was really bummed I didn't make Open Juniors, 'cause that was the main division I was focusing on. So I just took out my anger on the Open Mens."
A pretty carefree Richards breezed through the early rounds. But once the field was chopped to twelve surfers, he began to realize the weight of what was happening. Richards reflects, "Once it got down to the quarters and semis, I started feeling the pressure because I knew I was in the running to win -- it was scary."
In the 30-minute final, Cam mixed tailslides and precise rail carves on the numbered lefts to take over the lead from start to finish. This marks only the second time an East Coaster has won the prestigious Open Mens title -- the last time it happened was in the summer of 1978, NSSA's inaugural year...