Florida State Surfing Championship
Pre-Party Vero Beach Mulligan's
Judges and Pro Competitors Meeting
Pro Divisions: SKINS Format Heat Selection
Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023 @ 6:30pm
Occy Bells Skinned – 1997
Pre-Party – October 12, 2023
Mulligan’s – Vero Beach at 6:30pm
State Championship – October 13 – 15, 2023
Sebastian Inlet State Park (Northside)
The Excalibur could not be defeated in battle…
In the surfing world it started during a game of tennis in Australia between Ted Deerhurst and Rabbit Bartholomew. Ted, one of Britain’s top surfers of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, had the idea of a singles, one-on-one format which led at the inaugural event in 1982 at Burleigh Heads. Hawaii’s Michael Ho beat Australian Cheyne Horan in the final heat claiming the first EXCALIBUR CUP. The cup winner would reenact the legend of King Arthur and receive a magnificent handcrafted English sword.
In 1986 the pro-am EXCALIBUR CUP was held at the Sebastian Inlet. Then, 17-year-old Sean Slater competed against his 14-year-old, 85 pound, brother KELLY. For years, Sean and Kelly were packaged in surfing ads and trade-show promotions as Florida’s young hotshots. The waves that day were head-high, and all the local pros were there watching when in their heat, Sean swears he had the winning wave when in the last 10 seconds, His fins had clipped a camera guy causing him to fall and Kelly beating him. Kelly won the championship a day later, and his 1st of many PRO victories. The victor, Kelly, pulled the sword from the stone. Ted had written that when Kelly had taken the title, “the youngest proved the most worthy.” 11 years later when Mark Occhilupo ran the field at a now infamous Skins event in 1997 in Victoria, Occy had knocked off 11 straight competitors (The EXCALIBUR could not be defeated in battle…) enroute to winning $55,000 at a six-foot Bells and also winning a new JEEP WRANGLER.
For those who may not know about The Sebastian Inlet, the waves reflect off the jetty, and wedge up with shape and power. First peak is the area in the lineup closest to the jetty and generally the center of action. However, depending on swell directions there are more peaks and lineups to the north. Fall in Sebastian produces waves from northeast groundswells and contributed from tropical activity. This October, the Sebastian Inlet State Park will be the site for the 2023 Florida State Surfing Championship – THE EXCALIBUR CUP.
Skins format gives points to the top WAVE of a heat. Each surfer can catch as many waves as possible but once the surfer rides a wave, and they feel they have a high score, the surfer must raise their hands to claim it for it to count. The surfer with the highest count earns $100 and goes on to another heat. Matt Kechele, Florida native and a main founder of aerial surfing in the late 70s and early 80s, loves this format, and says that it brings up the level of surfing, “It allows you to be more selective and take your chances, be more aggressive allowing you to take more chances.” (As mentioned in many articles in the past years.)
Surfers’ names are drawn from a hat to determine heat pairings/times (at Pre-Party). If you place anything other than 1st in your heat, you’re out for the day. Each heat win (i.e “skin”) is worth $100. Heats are won with the single highest scoring wave, which needs to be visibly claimed by the surfer. When a surfer claims the highest scoring wave of the heat, he must exit the water and sit on the water’s edge. If one of the competitors claims a higher score, the waiting surfer may re-enter the water to win back the high score. However, a surfer can only claim twice in a single heat.
Join our Non-Profit mission October 12th at Mulligan’s Vero Beach for a Party and at Sebastian Inlet Friday, October 13th for the start of the 3 day State Championship Event. We strive to provide a platform for community gatherings, camaraderie, with Professional and Amateur athletes around the State of Florida. This years sponsors include : SunBurn Cannabis, Mulligan’s Vero Beach, Dale Sorensen Real Estate, SharkTooth Surf Co, Dyer Chevy, OT Surf Designs, Dunkin’ Donuts® – Indian River, Psycho Tuna, Spunky’s Surf Shop, Creatures of Leisure, LEUS, 4Ocean, Turtle Cove, Celsius Energy Drink, Electric Oranges, St. Lucie Battery & Tire, Mick Miller Surfboards, Savage Surfboards, Ten Over, East of 1, Beach Bowls, Mazzarella’s Auto Sales, Zada Salon & Spa, Shark Eyes, Ohana Surf Shop, SpinnerMedia, Pura Vida Surf School, CVRD Canopies, Pure Aloha Surf School, Freestyle Watches and Treasure Coast Board Riders Club.
Florida State Surfing Championship
Our Non-Profit mission is to provide a platform for community gatherings, camaraderie, with Professional and Amateur athletes around the State of Florida.
Division leaders will be crowned Florida State Champions