Cape Hatteras Wave Classic  2017 – Patagonia

Text by Aslon Durham –

The 2017 Cape Hatteras Wave Classic presented by Patagonia lined up with what some have been calling a “perfect storm”. Hurricane Jose posted up just offshore of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, sending pumping swell and strong wind for conditions that tested competitors limits in powerful surf. 24 men and 6 women entered to compete for $10,000 in prize money, the stakes have never been higher! The stage was set, conditions were firing and the competitors put on an incredible show.


The forecast leading up to the event showed more promise than we have ever seen. With winds up to 40 mph and a swell up to 18’ forecasted, we were sure to witness the raw power of mother nature. Would we be able to compete? How big is too big? These are questions we all had before the event but were confidently answered during. With a hurricane on the map we’re either going to score, or get rocked on Cape Hatteras. Fortunately, Jose stayed far enough away to send conditions that pushed the limits but remained shreddable without inflicting too much damage.


On the first day of competition, Sunday, September 17th, the wind filled in throughout the afternoon and Round 1 kicked off at 3 pm. If you are familiar with Cape Hatteras, you know it’s all about scouting locations and being flexible about where you are going to take sessions. REAL Watersports and the Cape Hatteras National Park Service lined up permits to hold the competition on all corners of the island to compete in the most favorable conditions. Day 1 brought strong winds to the Tri-Village area, so the crew set up at the Rodanthe Beach Access to compete in winds in the upper twenties with well overhead surf until sundown. Both Men’s and Women’s open divisions competed and got some great rides in big, hollow conditions. Southeast swell with Northeast wind created interesting conditions, with minimal current taking riders upwind and most of the good waves coming in as against the grain rights, the session was truly unique. With the first, non-elimination round completed, the competitors and staff retired to rest up for the following day’s stronger conditions.


With a slight shift in swell and wind directions, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse became the ideal competition venue. Heats began at 9am and ran all the way through the evening when the men’s final round was completed. As the day progressed the heats became more and more competitive. With local underdogs like Esben Boxer and Brock Skiperdene taking on international pro’s like Jason Slezak and Reider Decker, the heats were full of tension, stoke and some serious competition. The waves were well overhead all day and everyone had their chance to pull into the barrel and claim bragging rights. The building conditions matched the building competition with the semi-final and final rounds being absolutely insane.


2017 Cape Hatteras Wave Classic Results:

Men’s Division
1st Reider Decker $4000
2nd Mark Miedama $2500
3rd Jason Slezak $1500
4th Esben Boxer
4th Will Sizemore
4th Luke Johnson
7th Brock Skiperdene
7th Matt Keenan
7th Evan Netsch
10th Nick Baines
10th Billy Ackerman
10th Robert Bisantz
10th Doug Dockray
10th Brandon Cordina
10th Jonathan Wilken
16th Cody Cornett
16th Rich Greenup
16th Nate Scheu
16th Jason McCaffrey
16th Ryan Lamb
16th Glen Morden
16th Chris Hussell
16th Alex Kappes
16th Chris Shenton

Women’s Division
1st Gage Fichter $800
1st Emily Reich $800
3rd Annie Carrier $200
3rd Jessie Kilgour $200
5th Adrienne Kina
6th Tonia Farman

Chucktown Charger Award
Mark Miedama