Surf's Up! Lake Huron Fresh Water Classic 2013

This past Sunday morning, we got up at the ridiculous hour of 4:00am (AM!) packed up the boards and snacks, plus winter gear and warm socks, made a quick stop at Timmies for some morning fuel, and started the long drive over to Kincardine, on the shore of Lake Huron.  It was the end of October, which means that fall surf was in full swing, and the Lake Huron Fresh Water Classic surf contest was starting at sunrise.

I can officially say that surfers are out of their minds.

It was pouring rain, mixed with bouts of hail and icy roads, and the forecast was calling for a high of 6*C.  Throw some 30-40km winds at our faces, and it was looking to be a good day.  At least it was looking to be a good day for the crazy people.  

I really don't understand the desire to get up so early, to put on wetsuits (still cold and wet from the previous day's surfing adventures!) and get into frigid water, while being pelted with giant chunks of hail and rain.  Sounds like the worst beach day ever.  I was completely bundled up in my winter clothes, long johns plus leg warmers, scarf, toque (that's a beanie for all you americans!), mittens, and I stood huddled by the heater in the little tent we had on the beach for the judges and spectators.  All of the competitors happily ran into the water for the whole morning, taking on the rough waves (that weren't really cooperating) with huge smiles on their faces.  I know that Josh and the friends that came with us were totally stoked, so it was kind of easy to take on a little of their excitement while watching from the shore.
Tim, waxing up for the day
Helene, Scott and Josh heading out for one of the shortboard heats
Helene and Josh ripping up the competition
Helene happy to be back in the warm tent with coffee!
Josh just finding out that he made the finals!
Serious swag for the prizes!  That's a 12' SUP for the shortboard winner!
After the event, we all packed up and headed over to a local pub for the award ceremony.  Our friends Helene and Antonio both won Aloha Spirit Awards, and Antonio won the Longboard division, plus placing second in Shortboard.  Tim's friend Matt won the Shortboard division, taking home a GIANT Stand Up Paddleboard as his prize!  That was an adventure to pack into the truck.  It was pretty sweet for Matt, since it was his first time surfing the lakes.  He grew up ocean surfing in Barbados, and his still was definitely visible on our little lake waves. 

It was so nice to see the community between all these surfers, even though they all live so far apart!  We had people from all over, including Sudbury, Rochester, NY, Toronto, and although they live here now, a few guys from Peru and Barbados!  Everyone was so nice and chill (do you expect anything less with surfers?), and I'm looking forward to going to more contests.  I just hope that the next one isn't so cold and wet.