Keala Kennelly Wins 2010 Nelscott Reef Women's Exhibition
World’s First Women’s Big Wave Event a Success
Savannah and Keala
LINCOLN CITY, Oregon, November 3, 2010, Keala Kennelly wins the
2010 Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic Women’s Exhibition, making the
history books and opening the door for women’s big wave surfing.
In perfect conditions on the Oregon coast, three women became
the first to surf at Nelscott Reef, during the world’s first Women’s big
wave event. Keala Kennely, Mercedes Maidana, and Savannah
Shaughnessy battled it out during a 1-hour heat. Each surfer was able
to get at least two scoring waves, making it a very even playing field.
Big Wave World Tour Director, Gary Linden suited up and got out in
the water with the women to share his knowledge of the reef and
ensure that they were able to capitalize on the one-hour heat. Keala
broke the ice by catching the first wave, followed by a nasty wipeout
by Savannah. Both girls caught several nice waves as the heat
progressed. Mercedes had a very strong finish, catching one of the
nicest waves of the day during the last set of the heat. In the end,
Keala’s scores were strong enough to take the win.
For the past five years, Nelscott Reef operated as a tow in event.
Organizers had been trying to get women involved in their contest for
several years, but there were not enough all female tow in teams to
make a heat. It was not until this year, when they made the switch to
an all paddle in event, and with the help of sponsors RedBull and the
Nelscott Reef Surf Shop, that they were able to finally put this
"We have been wanting to do this for years. I am so stoked that
you three were able to make it and take part in the first ever women’s
big wave event", said John Forse, event organizer.
The women were equally as excited and grateful. They came up to
Oregon to show world what they do and that they can compete in
conditions like this.
"Thank you Nelscott Reef for giving us the chance to surf this
amazing wave", said Mercedes Maidana. "Thanks to all the organizers
and crew for believing in us girls and for giving us this space to show
the world what we love to do the most. We’ll see you next year for
sure, hopefully with more women and bigger waves!"
After learning that she was the first woman to ride a wave at
Nelscott, Keala replied with a surprised and excited "Really..REALLY"?
"Now that I know, it makes it that much more special", said Keala
during the award ceremony. "I want to dedicate this to Andy Irons,
who was like a brother to me", referring to the sudden loss of surfing
great, Andy Irons. A moment of silence was also held during the
trophy presentation for the men, led by Kealii Mamala.
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. The women’s exhibition closes out a
perfect contest under absolutely unreal conditions and opens the door
for future womens events. The RedBull team was on hand taking
video and photos of the event, which will be available on the web
Kohl Christensen Wins 2010 Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic
Perfect conditions prevail for 6th consecutive year
LINCOLN CITY, Oregon, November 2, 2010, Kohl Christensen took the win in what turned out to be the biggest conditions ever surfed at Nelscott Reef. Chris Bertish took second, and third went to Jamie Sterling.
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.
Finalist, Rusty Long said, "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"
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.
NELSCOTT REEF GREEN LIGHT FOR MASSIVE SWELL
Swell forecast at 20’+ @ 16-18 Seconds
LINCOLN CITY, Oregon, October 30, 2010, Nelscott organizers have given the green light for the 2010 Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic. The event will run on Tuesday, November 2nd under what looks to be the biggest conditions for a Nelscott Event ever.
Conditions forecast for Tuesday are for light and variable winds, and very large surf. If the system continues to develop as expected, swell should be 21’+ at 16-18 seconds. That is quite a bit larger than previous years. The largest swell that the event has run in was 17’@17 seconds, which produced waves in the range of 30-40’+.
"This swell caught my eye the second it started showing up on the charts. The wind and a competing South swell were my only concerns, and now it looks as though neither will be an issue", said John Forse, event founder.
Forse has proven his knack for calling the contests at Nelscott Reef. On top of the fact the Nelscott Reef event is the only big wave event to have been held every year since its inception, it has been called on what turned out to be the best days of each year.
Conditions this size will be a true test for the organizers and competitors, as the 2010 contest will be the first year the event is paddle in only.
The change to paddle in coupled with the event being a part of the Big Wave World Tour has ensured that some of the top names in the industry will be present on Tuesday. To top it off, Nelscott looks to be the first big wave contest to feature women. Tuesday is set for an amazing day of surfing in huge Oregon surf.
Nelscott Reef to hold worlds first Womens Big Wave Event
Status Changed to Yellow as Well
LINCOLN CITY, Oregon, October 26, 2010, Nelscott Reef promoters are
very proud to announce that a women’s exhibition has been added to the
2010 Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic.
Nelscott Reef announced a format change for 2010, migrating from tow
in to paddle in only. Organizers had been interested in the past with
including women, but there not enough female only tow teams. Nelscott
organizers feel the women that are capable of paddling into the kind
of waves Nelscott can produce deserve an opportunity to compete in the
same conditions as the men. Seven of the world’s best women have been
invited to compete in this years’ Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic.
"We have been pushing for this for years", said event founder, John
Forse. "Things finally fell into place this year, as we changed the
format to paddle in. We are stoked to see what these women can do out
The women’s event is possible thanks to the support of two late
sponsors, Red Bull Surfing and the Nelscott Reef Surf Shop, who have
stepped up to the plate to help with the women’s event. Assistance
also comes from Jim Beam Bourbon directly from the Big Wave World Tour.
Event organizers also changed the status of the contest to Yellow on
Monday morning. The news comes as the Pacific Northwest is getting
battered by the first storm of the season, and it is a big one.
Although the winds are over 50 MPH on the coast, the storm is
producing some head turning waves, with swells over 30 Ft. Organizers
are eyeing a storm that has the potential to match the energy from
this storm, and is forecast to develop later in the week. They will
continue to monitor that swell over the next few days.
The Nelscott Reef contest is now in its sixth year and is a stop on
the Big Wave World Tour. Nelscott Reef is the first annual Big Wave
Contest to add a womens event.
The holding period for 2010 opens today. The holding period starts October 1 and extends through December 31st.
COMPETITORS AND ALTERNATES
NELSCOTT REEF JOINS BIG WAVE WORLD TOUR
2010 Nelscott Reef Contest shifts to paddle in
LINCOLN CITY, Oregon, April 16, 2010, Behemoth, LLC is proud to
announce that the 2010 contest will be a paddle in event and will be
part of the Big Wave World Tour. After 5 years of operating as a Tow
In focused event, the contest will now become a paddle in big wave
surfing event. The Big Wave World Tour will include Nelscott Reef as
one of its stops for the 2010 season.
The Big Wave World Tour is the brainchild of legendary big wave
surfer, Gary Linden of Oceanside, California. After 20 years of being
Contest Director and Organizer of big wave events all over the world,
Gary’s company, Rogue Wave Events, has formed the world’s first big
wave tour, with events in Chile, Peru, Mexico, and California. 2010
will be the second season for the tour, which will grow from 4 events
to 5, including Nelscott Reef.
The Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic was started as a Tow In surfing
contest in 2005. For the first three years the event operated as a tow
in only contest and in 2008 added a paddle in heat as a test to see if
the pros could paddle Nelscott. Everyone caught waves and agreed
Nelscott was a great paddle in venue. In response to the demand to
paddle, the organizers added a second heat the following year. The
Paddle In event in 2009 proved to be the most popular, with the pros
and fans alike prompting the expansion of the Paddle In to a full 24
man, 7 heat event for the 2010 contest.
"This was a natural progression for us", said John Forse, event
founder and Nelscott Pioneer. "I was so stoked that for the second
year in a row all the pros were more excited about the challenge
of paddling into huge waves than towing in. This year we listened
and changed the format to accommodate them".
Having run every year since the first contest in 2005, the Nelscott
Reef Big Wave Classic is now the longest continuously running big
wave event in the World. While other big wave events have stopped
and started due to lack of contestable surf, adequate purse or
organizational problems, Nelscott Reef organizers have managed to
provide the perfect venue and overcome budget shortfalls every year
to become the most consistent big wave contest in the world.