7th Time’s a Charm for Morley at Santa Cruz Kayak Surf Festival


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The stars aligned for both organizers and longtime competitor Sean Morley at this years Santa Cruz Kayak Surf Festival, with Morley pocketing his first-ever, prestigious high-performance win and organizers getting 10- to 15-foot swells and bluebird skies the entire weekend…

“Organizing surf events is never easy,” says the event’s Dennis Judson, whose event this year also included a hotly contested SUP category. “Waves are not a given, and when you do get them they often come with gale force storms. But this weekend was perfect, with up to 15-foot swell and gossamer skies. Add to this the camaraderie of the best paddle surfing athletes on the planet and you have a wonderful gathering. It was grand.”

It was also grand for Sean Morley. In his seventh time at the event, the 47-year-old made it count, winning the men’s High Performance category and taking second in the Masters division.
“I have been trying to win for seven years,” says Morley, who recently moved from the UK to Northern California, where he lives with his wife Gina and two kids. “It’s the perfect contest venue with low cliffs that allow you to literally look down on the surfers as they ride the waves that are formed on a series of reefs. It was a beautiful day and the waves and weather remained as good as it gets all weekend.”

Poised and relaxed, Morley turned in a performance that catapulted him to the podium.

“Despite the intense competition I felt more relaxed on the water than usual and that seemed to translate well into my surfing,” he says. “I normally find Steamer Lane rather confusing and caught in no-man’s-land between the Point and Middle Peak. But this year I was able to find my take-off spot and even managed to choose waves that sometimes connected all the way through.

“If you could only bottle up the feeling that you get from screaming down the line you could make a fortune selling it as the ultimate pick-me-up tonic,” he adds. “I was so stoked…who doesn’t want to win in front of their kids? I felt proud that at 47 years of age I could still compete with the best.”

Jim Grossman of Idaho also turned in a rousing performance, winning the Master’s Open division as well as Men’s International category.

Surf Fest Results
High Performance Men’s
1. Sean Morley, Fairfax CA
2. Julen Arrizabalaga, Spain
3. Ken King, Mill Valley CA
4. Darren Basson, GBR
5. Jeff Hille, San Francisco CA

High Performance Women’s
1. Kate Duncan, Truckee CA
2. Rachel Krugman, San Jose CA
3. Devon Barker, McCall ID

Masters Open Contestant
1. Jim Grossman, Sun Valley ID
2. Sean Morley, Fairfax CA
3. Matt Radis, Lerec CA
4. Ted Morris, Ontario, Canada
5. Dave Johnston, Santa Cruz CA

1. Jim Grossman, Sun Valley ID
2. Mathew Hoff, Monterey CA
3. Darren Basson, GBR
4. Eric Connor, Los Gatos CA
5. Dan Crandall, Lotus CA

1. Devon Barker, McCall ID
2. Kristie Koski, Livermore CA
3. Morlee Griswold

Wave Ski Open
1. Tyler Lausten, Haiku HI
2. Ken King, Mill Valley CA
3. Fletcher Burton, Arroyo Grande CA
4. Ed King, Berkeley CA
5. Steven Riordan, Woodbine GA

SUP Surfing Shootout, Men’s
1. Dave Boehne, Dana Point CA
2. Tommy Lloy, Dana Point CA
3. Brandon Rambo, San Clemente CA
4. Chuck Glynn, Carlsbad CA
5. Jeff Clark, Half Moon Bay CA

SUP Surfing Shootout, Women’s
1. Candice Appleby, Santa Cruz CA
2. Dianne Wenzel
3. Morgan Hoesterey, Honolulu HI
4. Kimberly Gomez, Santa Cruz CA
5. Terri Plunkettm San Clemente CA


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