Crowds flocked to the shore as surfers decked in rainbow colored rash guards battled the swirling surf and massive waves, on Sunday August 12th and due to the torrential downpour the day before~for the first time in many years the Rell Sunn Surf Competition held at Ditch Plains Beach was postponed a day. KDHamptons intern [and lifelong Montauk resident!] hit the main event with camera in one hand and a surfboard tucked under her tan arm!
This was the twelfth year of the popular competition: a fun-filled summer day alive with art, laughs, gromits [young surfers], family, sun, sand, waves, and yes~ SURF! All proceeds of the competition raise money for the Rell Sunn Educational fund.
The Rell Sunn Educational fund is an organization created in the honor of Rell Sunn, a Hawaiian native and woman of all water-sports but specifically surfing. Cancer tragically took her life in 1998, but she battled many years through the disease never losing her fierceness and passion for the ocean. Rell is an inspiriation to many locals of Montauk for her awesome attitude throughout hard times, and her love for the surf! Many locals come out to support her cause, if you would like to know more please visit rellsunn.org
The day kicked off way early in the morning, and the waves were chugging from the get-go. A local joke in Montauk is that the competition always falls on the flattest day of the year~ and for the past six this has definitely been true! But Sunday was different, the ocean was wild and churned up… The lifeguard’s water safety flag went from green [safest] to yellow [caution] to red [extreme caution] throughout the day. The events varied from: long board, short board, a paddling race, standup paddle, body boarding, and the signature wet & wild [who can be the craziet on the board!].
Even if you were not competing, the beach was pumping with people who want to just be a part of the scene. There was not a person without a bathing suit, glasses, and a Ditch Witch sandwich in hand! Vita Coco even showed up and gave out free healthy coconut water. The auction commenced at 2pm, offering artwork and grab bags from all local artists and Montauk shop owners. The coolest raffle? A super expensive surfboard!
Despite the crazy waves, the young kids loved it, the beach goers could not stop ogling at the ripped surfers and awesome rides, and the Rell Sunn organization raised tons of money for an awesome cause!
Check out Katrina’s great photo diary from the day…..