Bodysurfing championships set to hit Oceanside this weekend

Bodysurfing championships set to hit Oceanside this weekend

OCEANSIDE — The annual World Bodysurfing Championships are set to hit the waves alongside Oceanside Pier from Aug. 18 to Aug. 19. 

For spectators the location offers great views. Bodysurfers compete on both sides of the pier. This allows viewers to see competitors fly right past them.

“It’s pretty cool for spectators,” Tim Casinelli, contest director, said. “There are heats going on each side of the pier.”

For competitors waves range from small swells to 6-foot faces. Waves usually come in between 3 to 4 feet.

“It’s the most consistent spot for waves during the summer because the beach faces south,” Casinelli said.

Competitors range in age from 12 to 80.

Championship match ups are set in age group divisions. During the two-day event there are eight men’s divisions and four women’s divisions that award winners.

This year a 65 and older age division was added to include longtime competitors who have aged out of the ages 55 to 64 division.

Some of the best competitors are over age 50. John Shearer, Mark Cunningham and Mike Cunningham will be grand masters to watch this year.

Another notable competitor is Spencer Ford, last year’s grand champion.

The competition is organized by Scott Hubbell Productions.

It has been held annually for over 35 years.

Casinelli said the close-knit group of competitors principally learns by word of mouth about the contest that draws the best regional body surfers with minimal advertising.

“There are some people who have attended for 30 years and not missed a year,” Casinelli said. “They use the event as a meet up for a family gathering.”

Competition is fierce, but friendly.

“Bodysurfers work to build a better sport rather than a hard-nosed competition,” Casinelli said.

No prize money is involved. Winners go home with bragging rights and trophies.

Competition runs from 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. both days.

For more information go to worldboadrsurfing.org.

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