The day started out with pretty raw conditions producing waves of 40'+. After a slight holding period in the morning, organizers decided to start the contest at ten o'clock. Faced with a gigantic beach break with no channel, it took almost an hour for the first heat to make it into the water. By the time they did make it out, they were greeted with perfect conditions.
"I am surfed out. Conditions were spectacular all day long. Waves were doubling off the reef, a lot of them, just a great day of surfing", said Rusty Long said.
John Forse, event organizer and Nelscott pioneer noted that he saw the biggest wave ever on the reef in the morning. There was some talk in the days leading up to the event that this swell might actually be too large to paddle into. Organizers were confident that the reef could hold that large of a swell and they were right.
The swell peaked during the semi finals. Big Wave World Tour Director, Gary Linden, was out in the water all day "It was an extremely high level of intensity. The semi final heats were really mayhem".
After an amazing day of surfing on the reef, six men made it to the finals. Kohl Christensen, Chris Bertish, Kealii Mamala, Rusty Long, Peter Mel, and Jamie Sterling battled it out for the hour finals. This is great news for their rankings in the Jim Beam Bourbon Big Wave World Tour. Jamie Sterling, the current points leader on the tour, will solidify his position. Peter Mel will move into second.
The Women's event will be run first thing in the morning, while the swell is still pounding the Oregon Coast. Conditions look to be holding nicely for one more morning of surf.
The Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic has now successfully run six consecutive years. This was the first year as a paddle in only event, and the first to include Women.
Top Surfers of the 2010 Nelscott Reef Big Wave Surfing Contest