The Florida Board Riders’ Florida Cup championship competition came to a close on March 25, with the Space Coast and Jacksonville chapters heading to the national competition in California in May.
Surfers competed at the Flagler Beach pier over the course of the day. Flagler Board Riders, the local chapter, was in second place going into the championship but ended in third place.
Flagler Board Riders is one of the smallest groups in the area, Head Coach Bob Lindsley said, but still managed to hold its own during the competition.
“To be standing here with these guys shows that we are pretty dedicated to what we do,” Lindsley said. “And we’re a real strong crew.”
Each of the five competing teams also recognized a MVP: Flagler Board Riders Treasurer and President Kelly Brasol was Flagler’s choice.
“We couldn’t do it without her,” Lindsley said.
To consistently stay in second place for the entire season shows it wasn't a fluke. We really brought the talent. We brought the camaraderie. — Kelly Brasol, Flagler Board Riders executive director
The Board Riders competed across seven divisions: under 14, 15-19, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and the open women’s division. The Flagler Board Riders took first in the 15-19 bracket and placed second in the under-14 division.
Brasol said the Flagler Board Riders did a great job overall against the other chapters. They were honored just to be able to stay in second place ahead of St. Augustine through the season, she said.
“To consistently stay in second place for the entire season shows it wasn’t a fluke,” Brasol said. “We really brought the talent. We brought the camaraderie.”
In 2022, the Flagler Board Riders had finished fourth in the district. Even though they finished third this year, Lindsley said, their surfers did a great job.
“We’re doing really well for a small club,” Lindsley said. “I mean, we’re really happy with our performance.”
More importantly, Lindsley said, the competition and the local chapter help bring the community together. Brasol worked with the city and local businesses to support the competition.
Brasol said community businesses stepped in to support the championship: A1A Burrito Works set up a taco bar to feed the staff, judges and competitive surfers, and 7-Eleven donated drinks food.
“Residents of Flagler County win when businesses and events come together to attract visitors,” she said. “It trickles into the entire town.”
And it was the community support and that brought the championship to Flagler Beach — beyond the waves, of course. Florida Board Riders founder Dane Jeffries said Flagler Beach has the perfect surf-town atmosphere.
“You cannot think of a better environment and stadium, atmosphere,” Jeffries said. “The whole town is so responsive to our event.”
The Flagler Board Riders performed amazingly in the competition, Jeffries said, even though they had a few fumbles.
“When we started this thing, it was hard for them to even get a full team,” he said. “Today … they showed up.”
Jeffries said he hopes to be back next year for one of the series’ competitions, though the finals will likely be rotated to other areas.
“Flagler is just like a town stuck in time,” he said. “It’s perfect. It’s what a surf town should be.”