Haley Watson, Matty Zaccaria win May Day Memorial

Braeden Kopec, 7, took first place in the open bodyboard event and sixth place in the groms division at the 2014 May Day Memorial Surf Classic May 10. (Photo by Joey LoMonaco.)
Braeden Kopec, 7, took first place in the open bodyboard event and sixth place in the groms division at the 2014 May Day Memorial Surf Classic May 10. (Photo by Joey LoMonaco.)
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About 100 surfers turned out for the May Day Memorial Surf Contest Saturday, almost triple the number that showed up when Flagler Beach surfer Haley Watson founded the contest four years ago.

This year, the contest raised $2,500 for the cardiology department of Halifax Health. Watson founded the surf contest to raise awareness of heart disease in women and to honor her mother Dollie Sue Watson, who died of heart disease at 48.

“It’s such an amazing way to bring the community together while still honoring my Mom,” Watson said.

This year, the contest fell on Mother’s Day weekend, and Watson won the Women’s Pro division.

Surfers came from as far away as Puerto Rico, and the number of spectators increased, too, Watson said.

“This is the first year we’ve had it up on the boardwalk, and it’s definitely made a difference in the number of spectators,” she said. “People that aren’t competitors drive by, wonder what’s going on, and end up staying.”

Ormond Beach resident Matty Zaccaria, 17, picked up surfing at 14 from some friends, but soon was practicing every day.

Learning aerials, maneuvers in which a surfer launches themself and their board off a wave, and then comes back down on the same wave, were the hardest to learn, he said.

“Just the technique of it — the kind of wave you have to have, getting things in the right order to know what to do, what the wave is offering,” he said. It took him about two years to get the hang of it, he said.

Saturday, Zaccaria placed first in the Men’s Pro division.

One of the youngest surfers in the grom division at Saturday’s event was seven-year-old Hammock resident Braeden Kopec, who placed sixth n the grom division and first in the open bodyboard event.

Braeden said he surfs every day after school.

“I just like going out there and having fun,” he said.

Braeden said he enjoyed mastering the technique of speed creation, and that he’d like to be wants a pro surfer one day.

His father, Brian Kopec, said Braeden has already picked up some sponsorships and surfed more than 100 contests.

Brian Kopec said he and his wife are also surfers, but “not like he is,” he said, pointing to Braeden. “He puts mom and dad to shame.”

BOX: May Day Memorial Surf Classic results

1 Matty Zaccaria
2 Logan Hayes
3 Robbie McCormick
4 Tommy Grooms

1 Haley Watson
2 Jazmine Dean
3 Hannah Blevins
4 Jillian Bontempo

1 Jay Smith
2 Mark "Big Mon" Kincade
3 Gus Rodriquez
4 Phil Spoerle

1 Isabelle Perlmutter
2 Jillian Bontempo
3 Shawna Wentzel
4 Hannah Blevins
5 Taylor Eddy
6 Kelsea McCormick
7 Olivia Beaven

1 Tyler Dean
2 Patrick Conklin
3 Christian Wilson
4 Todd Ayers
5 Ryan Conklin
6 Phil Spoerle

1 Hannah Blevins
2 Jillian Bontempo
3 Lisa Tanner
4 Ariana Melendez
5 Nicole Fulford
6 Daylon Muenzner

1 Blaize Carroll
2 Logan Hayes
3 Chase Elmore
4 Austin Tavares
5 Dylan Martin
6 Nic Muller

1 Chuck Lanham
2 Nic Stephens

1 Jimmy Blumenfeld
2 Stephen Nipple
3 Todd Ayers
4 Andy Delerenzo

1 Braeden Kopec
2 Patrick Conklin

Logan Hayes

1 Blake Elmore
2 Matt Edwards
3 Sean Fox
4 Kai Delerenzo
5 Tom Burger
6 Braeden Kopec

1 Hannah Blevins
2 Isabelle Perlmutter
3 Nicole Fulford
4 Olivia Beaven
5 Daylon Muenzner
6 Taylor Eddy

1 Robbie McCormick
2 Blake Elmore
3 Forrest Linder
4 CJ Garren
5 Tom Burger
6 Izaya Beams

SURF MOMS FINALISTS (no placing order)
Rachael Kopec
Elana Carroll
Bettina Fulford
Dawn Flye
Lisa Tanner
Jennifer Blumenfeld
Heather Beaven
Shelly Blumenfeld
Lisa McCormick

MINNOWS FINALISTS (no placing order)
Makenna Dipersua
Kailee Pruitt
Kirra Stone
Riley Eddy
Jarred Petracca
Koa Barnard
Joey Linquist
Charlotte Carroll
Keigan Eddy
Skylar Stone


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