Sign Up for Our Newsletter! »

October 19, 2011

U.S. and Latin American surfers benefit the ocean at the 8th Annual WiLDCOAST Dempsey Holder Ocean Festival and Surf Contest

“We all share the same coast and ocean,” Alfredo Ramirez, UAPO

By: Serge Dedina

Imperial Beach, CA (October 17). More than 150 surfers from California and Latin America joined together on Sunday October 16th at the Imperial Beach Pier to compete in the 8th Annual WiLDCOAST Dempsey Holder Ocean Festival and Surf Contest.

“This was the best and biggest Dempsey ever because we brought surfers from the U.S. and Latin America together to surf and celebrate the preservation of our common coastal and ocean heritage,” said Serge Dedina, Executive Director of WiLDCOAST.

The Dempsey is a fundraiser for WiLDCOAST’s efforts to protect the coast and ocean.

“The international nature of the event this year demonstrates that we all share the same coast and ocean and that surfers need to join the effort to preserve our natural heritage,” said Alfredo Ramirez of United Athletes of the Pacific Ocean (UAPO) who helped to organize the event with WiLDCOAST and invited the international surfers.

“I hope U.S. Dempsey participants will join us in Ensenada for an UAPO surfing event in March.”

Surfers from the U.S., Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela shredded the 2-4’ south swell A-frame peaks on both sides of the Imperial Beach Pier. Men’s competitors battled it out with Imperial Beach ripper Kevin Ferris taking top honors and Venezuelan standout Julio Nurse taking second. Sean Fowler a past winner of the Dempsey, placed third.

Breanne Custodio placed first in the Women’s division with Sean Malaban taking top honors in the Master’s. Mark Field took home the gold in the SUP division while Mike Gillard battled his brother Terry in the longboard division. Mike placed first and Terry second.

In the Junior Men’s division Jay Christansen placed first while Taylor Mathieson came in a close second. Aries Chavira ripped her way to a first place in the Junior Women’s division and Daniel Dedina repeated as the winner of the ultra-competitive Boys division. Finally Lilly Mann took first in the Menehune Girls followed by Mexican standout Emilia Perez. Sebastian Williams and Lance Mann were 1st and 2nd in the Menehune Boys and Anthony Zembrano placed first in the bodyboard division.

California Assemblyman Ben Hueso was on hand along with and City of Imperial Beach Jim King to hand out the trophies and awards.

Generous Dempsey sponsors include Billabong, County of San Diego, Oakley, REI, Pacific Realty, Emerald City the Boarding Source, Southwest Airlines, URT Clothing Company, Pacifica Companies, Alan Cunniff Construction, APS Marine Services and Equipment, Ocean Minded, The Surfer’s Journal, Firewire, Matuse, Surf Hut, Baja Bound and Cow-A-Bunga.

In addition, Katy’s Café donated gift cards and provided support and treats for the contestants and volunteers. Jay Novak of Novak Surf Designs and Brett Bender of Natural Selection Surfboards shaped boards for all of the junior winners. Additional supporters and donors include IB School of Surf, Beach Club Grille, K-Pasta, Jersey Boys, Volcom, DIZM, and Daphne’s CA Greek. Dozens of donors provided children’s scholarships and special thanks go to Todd Lange, Andrew Pate, and Cunniff Construction for their help.

“We also want to thank the City of Imperial Beach, especially Public Safety Director Tom Clark, the Public Works Department and the Lifeguards for all their extra help in making this the best Dempsey ever,” said Dedina.

Event sponsors such as REI carried out outdoor equipment demonstrations. Dempsey participants also enjoyed playing Laser tag courtesy of Equinox.

The family friendly nature of the Dempsey was highlighted by the experience of the Lopez family of Imperial Beach. The entire family made the finals of their respective divisions.

“It was the best day ever,” said Dave Lopez, a South Bay School Board member who competed in the event along with his children Loukas and Paloma.


Men (18+)
1st Kevin Ferris, 2nd Julio Nurse, 3rd Sean Fowler, 4th Matt Field, 5th Kovak Tunoco 6th Sean Malabanan 8f45ba8fe123eb19558d9befd07bcbc6

Women (18+)

1st Breanne Custodio, 2nd Landy Spencer-Daly, 3rd Chelsea Ramines, 4th Julianne Charland,5th Peachy Alldredge,6th Blaire Herron dsc_0097

Masters (40+)

1st Sean Malabanan, 2nd Mike Gillard, 3rd Mike Dean 4th John Carroll 5th Terry Gillard, 6th Dave Lopez


Stand-Up Paddle

1st Mark Field, 2nd Arthur Curtis, 3rd Matthew Bagby, 4th John Tolmosoff dsc_0115


1st Mike Gillard, 2nd Terry Gillard, 3rd John Carroll, 4th Sean Malabanan, 5th David Gotey, 6th Alex Pina dsc_0112



1st Anthony Zambrano, 2nd Mario Pena, 3rd Ritchie, 4th Peter Cosgrove, 5th Rory Arnavd, 6th Ian Boyea dsc_0106


Jr. Men

1st Jay Christiansen, 2nd Taylor Mathieson, 3rd Joshua Johnson, 4th Israel Dedina 5th Ismael Chavira, 6th Sean Franks


Jr. Women
1st Aries Chavira, 2nd Hannah Erbe Smith, 3rd Chase Putland, 4th Paloma Lopez, 5th Malana Larson, 6th Camryn Rockwell, 7th Micaela Branscomb, 8th Faith Larson 766bf562dbc9dd4a67eaccc5586f3954


1st Daniel Dedina, 2nd Joshua Johnson, 3rd Trevor Spera, 4th Alek Stephenson, 5th Erich Palafox, 6th Loukas Lopez dsc_0078


Menehune Girls

1st Lily Mann, 2nd Emilia Perez, 3rd Megan Slovtizki, 4th Valentina Perez, 5th Faith Larson, 6th Caro Corral, 7th Penny Smith


Menehune Boys
1st Sebastian Williams, 2nd Lance Mann, 3rd Gavin Doan, 4th Jackson Outlaw, 5th Cole Quinton, 6th Ian Jackson