A tsunami advisory delayed the starting time of the Rincon Classic Weekend Saturday Morning. As a result, all first round heats will be 15 minutes long.
“There was a surge that was noticeable about 2 hours after the warning. It was an intense day, before that there was a windstorm. Mother nature is wild and in control. It started off with the wrong directed wind. Some tents got blown away. It started to get out of control before the sun even came up. In the name of safety we improvised. The first head was already in the water and we had to pull them out. We postponed the event by an hour and ten minutes,” Chris Keet, co-founder of Surf Happens, told the News-Press. Chris and Jenny Keet are the founders of Surf Happens.
Saturday and today marks the return of the Classic after a one year hiatus due to the pandemic. This weekend was the 40-year anniversary of the 2022 Channel Island Surfboards Rincon Classic, which is produced by Surf Happens. The two day event has a total of 217 participants.
“It’s an annual gathering of the local tribe. We all know each other. There are kids as young as ten and surfers as old as 72. Some of them have been surfing for all 40 years,” said Mr. Keet.
The event is taking place in the iconic Rincon Cove. The event is free for spectators. Parking is limited and shuttles will run daily from 1160 Mark Ave. The entire Surf Happens family is invited to come and watch all skill levels from top amateurs to professional surfers. There will be a raffle benefiting the Surf Happens Foundation. Prizes include a Channel Island SurfBoard and a Carver Skateboard.
“It is a community treasure and when you bring everyone together and it’s magic,” said Mr. Keet.
This will be the 22nd year that Surf Happens has hosted the event. Attendees will be able to purchase 40-year anniversary memorabilia from sponsors and get autographs from professionals. The classic includes a surfing competition with age groups ranging from 12 and under to 65+.
“The main thing is that we had a lot of people pull out of the event due to being sick. People look forward to this like Christmas,” said Mr. Keet, concerning how the event has looked different due to the pandemic than in previous years.
“You are watching everyone you know. There’s people from San Diego and Santa Cruz, to see this perfect wave, with the people that call this place home it is a gift to the community,” said Mr. Keet.
The Vissla Expression Session was one of the highlights of the day. “Watching some of the top surfers go out on vintage Channel Island surfboards ranging from the 60s to the 90s,” said Mr. Keet. Another highlight was watching the youngest division of the day.
“Watching everything that went wrong turn into everything going right, was the big highlight of the day for me,” said Mr. Keet.
“We are Super grateful for the Channel Islands being the headlining sponsor and all the other sponsors, as well as the community and participants helping out, to make everything go right. This is a community event,” said Mr. Keet.