One of Bogue Banks most beloved events returns to the Oceana Pier in Atlantic Beach this summer. The Buddy Pelletier Memorial Longboard Classic takes over the seashore July 28-29, luring amateurs and professionals alike for a little friendly competition in a variety of categories. Annually, competitors range in age from 8 to 55 and over.
The surfing competition isn’t just for surfers, though. Entry fees, T-shirt sales and other donations help fund three college scholarships to members of the East Coast surfing community.
For many, this mid-summer contest has become a tradition, not only for the prime chance to catch a few waves, but also to pay homage to the competition’s namesake, Buddy Pelletier. A top-ranked professional surfer and three-time winner of the Puerto Rican National Longboard Championship, Pelletier came home to the Crystal Coast in the early 1990s to spend his final days with friends and family before succumbing to cancer. It is through those same friends and family members, as well as new ones made along the way, that his legacy lives on through the nonprofit Buddy Pelletier Surfing Scholarship Foundation, which provides humanitarian aid and scholarships to the surfing community.
Longboards, unlike their shorter counterparts, allow competitors to ride even the smallest of waves, leaving onlookers with plenty of action to take in and giving entrants the opportunity to showcase their skill. While adult boards measure about nine feet, junior boards must be three feet longer than the youngster’s height. The annual competition is sanctioned by the Eastern Surfing Association and sponsored by AB Surf Shop. Entry fees start at just $25 for all age divisions.
Surfing begins each day at 7am and generally lasts until 5pm on Saturday. A beach party with live music by local favorite Selah Dub is planned for Saturday evening at 7pm. The awards ceremony takes place Sunday afternoon.
The entry form and additional information about the contest, sponsorship opportunities and the foundation can be found at www.buddypelletier.com