The Second Annual Legend Surf Classic Puerto Rico takes place from the 16th to the 19th of January 2015 in Rincon, Puerto Rico. This year’s event proudly features two of surfing’s greatest champions: Hawaii’s Fred Hemmings, the winner of the 1968 World Championship which was held in Rincon, Puerto Rico and Australia’s Nat Young, the 1966 World Champion and a finalist in the 1968 World Contest.
Introduced by Monty Smith in 2014, The Legend Surf Classic Puerto Rico has embraced its mission to “Promote and Celebrate the Surfing History and Culture of Puerto Rico.” This nonprofit event does so by recognizing the original surfers who started surfing in Puerto Rico and by recognizing surf legends from around the world who have had an impact on Puerto Rico’s surf culture.
The 1968 World Surfing Championship brought international recognition by surfers and beach lovers worldwide to the natural beauty and consistent winter surf of Puerto Rico and RIncon in particular. The 1968 World Surfing Championship proved to be the major catalyst in the economic development of the Northwest part of the Island that continues to this day.
The 1968 World Championship is also the contest that put the short board revolution on center stage with the futuristic surfing of Wayne Lynch and Reno Abellira charging on an early Brewer mini gun and was won by Hemmings in a close decision over Midget Farrelly in excellent eight foot Rincon Point surf.
As participants in the historic 1968 contest, Hemmings and Young are very appropriate guests for this year’s event. In addition to winning his 1968 world title in Rincon, Hemmings has a strong resume of international contest victories in Hawaii and Peru. After retiring from competitive surfing, Hemmings continued to be a major influence in the sport as a professional surf contest promoter. In 1971, he created the Pipeline Masters. In 1976 he was the driving force in the formation of the International Professional Surfers (IPS), the first worldwide surfing circuit and predecessor to the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) tour. And, in 1983, he founded Hawaii’s Triple Crown of Surfing.
Young won his 1966 world title and in the process became one of the world’s leading proponents of short board surfing. After a hiatus from competitive surfing, Young reignited his competitive drive and reinvented his surfing during the early years of professional longboarding, winning world titles in 1986, 1988, 1989, and 1990.
Smith, a legendary figure himself in the development of surfing in Puerto Rico, is dedicated to bringing surf legends from all over to participate. In addition to Hemmings and Young, prominent East Coast Surf Legends Dick Catri, Jack “Murph the Surf” Murphy and Bill Yerkes among others will be in Rincon to celebrate the role surfing has played in contemporary Puerto Rican culture and in the development of the town of Rincon and surrounding area.
Smith states that, “The Legend Surf Classic Puerto Rico will grow in size and scope each year in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the 1968 World Surfing Championship and our hope is to inspire generations to come.” The 2nd Legend Surf Classic Puerto Rico has a 4 day window for the two day contest and one day for a Paddle board event and expression sessions. The Contest entry fee is $70 per division with two divisions costing $100. Contestants will be invited to special Legend activities and each participant will receive great goodie bags worth $60 or more. Online contestant entry forms can be found at, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/legend-surf-classic-puerto-rico-tickets-14693579893?aff=efblike
The event website is: http://www.legendsurfclassicpr.org/