Fitcher took fourth in the girls 12 and under division of the contest, but as her father Nick said, it was more about getting a chance to hit the water.
â€œItâ€™s a lot of fun,â€ said Fitcher, who watched his daughter compete from the beach. â€œItâ€™s a great way to kick off the season and the kids really like it.â€
The Fitchers found out about the longboard classic through its founder Chick Frodigh, a Pembroke resident who has surfed for over 40 years. Frodigh started the contest in New Hampshire 11 years ago, but has held the contest at Nantasket for 10 straight summers. The Longboard Classic has grown from a gathering of about 60 surfers the first year to one of the biggest in the area with close to 160 surfers ranging in ages from three to 72 and coming from as far away as Washington D.C.
â€œ[Marissa] got her board from Chick actually,â€ said Fitcher. â€œWeâ€™ve known him for many years; he does a great job with this.â€
While Frodigh spent most of the day with his bullhorn in hand running the contest, he did get a chance to hit the waves and help his daughter take second place in the girls division while Charlie Frodigh surfed into fourth in the junior menâ€™s class.Â With a light breeze and waves between one and three feet high, Frodigh said it was the perfect day for surfing.
â€œI couldnâ€™t have dreamed of a better day,â€ he said. â€œThe waves were just perfect for the type of contest. For the kids, it was just right and for older guys, it was more about goofing around and having a good time.â€
â€œThis is one of the most enjoyable competitions of the year because thereâ€™s not a lot of pressure to do well,â€ said Peter Pan, head of the Eastern Surfing Association. â€œItâ€™s basically for fun and everyone has a good time.â€
In addition to the contest, the day also included a party at the Red Parrot restaurant in Hull with music by local band PAK and a silent auction that raised nearly $1,100 dollars for Save The Children. The fundraising aspect of the contest started almost as an afterthought, but has also grown exponentially over the years.
PAK is fronted by another Duxbury resident, Andy Materna.Â Materna, who not only got into surfing through Frodigh, also met bandmate Peter Rea at one of the contests, which lead to the formation of the group.
â€œI met my bassist Pete the first time I was here playing solo, and weâ€™ve been playing ever since,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s a competition but not in the sense of competition, itâ€™s just people hanging out and having a good time.
Frodigh thanked Materna and Rae for helping with the logistics, and Pan for tabulating the results. He also thanked the Red Parrot for hosting the after party and auction year after year.
â€œThe Red Parrot did an unbelievable job,â€ he said. â€œSurfers can eat pretty good.â€
With the contest now behind them him for another year, Frodigh can turn his attention to other pressing matters.
â€œThe house looks like a warehouse and the grass is pretty long,â€ he said with a laugh. â€œNow, we can get back to regular things.â€