The summer lull in Charleston is officially over, and over in a big way.
This weekend is championship weekend for two of Charleston’s most enduring amateur sports: surfing and triathlon. After that, the calendar accelerates into a fall season chock-full of an array of events.
Celebrating its 25th year, the Governor’s Cup of Surfing, the championship contest for the Southern South Carolina district of the Eastern Surfing Association, is the big kahuna of the sport in the Lowcountry.
“It’s going to be the biggest ever,” predicts Marshall DePass, district co-director.
DePass notes that the district, with 400 paying members, has become the second largest of the 27 districts in the 6,000-member ESA. The association, which is the largest in the world, realigned with Surfing America.
As a result, qualifiers in ESA contests can compete in the National Scholastic Surfing Association National Championships in Huntington Beach, Calif., held each year in late July.
Because Governor’s Cup is a prominent contest in the region, it will be drawing about 40 competitors each from the northern district of South Carolina and the Georgia district.
Additionally, because of efforts to stoke interest in youth surfing, DePass says more than 40 surfers in the “Menehune” divisions (ages 11 and under for shortboard and 14 and under for longboard) are expected to compete.
In all, DePass expects about 150 surfers to compete, many in multiple divisions. He adds that the contest has reached capacity.
For spectators, Saturday’s competition will start at 8 a.m. and wrap up around 5:30 p.m. on a “double beach” format, two contests often going on at the same time. Sunday’s quarterfinals will start at 8 a.m. and finals should wrap up around 4 p.m.
So if you want to see a lot of surfers and do some people watching, go Saturday. If you want to see the cream of the surfing crop, go Sunday. The event, of course, is at The Washout on Folly Beach. Consider carpooling or biking as parking will be a challenge.
Other than the honors and contest points, surfers will be vying for about $1,000 in total cash and thousands more in donated goods, namely surfboards donated by an array of shops in Charleston and Myrtle Beach.
Sprint Tri finale
Shortly after the surfing quarterfinals start, the championship for the 23rd annual Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series will be decided just miles away at James Island County Park.
The championship is the fifth and final triathlon of the series. The triathlon features a 600-yard pond swim, 12-mile bike and 3.1-mile run.
Paul King, executive race director, says Sunday’s finale will be dedicated to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. Harpist and open water swimmer Kathleen Wilson will play the national anthem and “America the Beautiful” before the race
King expects in-person registration to remain open 5-7 p.m. Saturday. The cost is $60.
Like the surfing contest, the sprint tri is spectator-friendly near the transition area.
In the hopes of capturing some of the enthusiasm and charity dollars of the highly successful Pedal4Pattison’s, The Palmetto Palace is teaming with Mount Pleasant’s Journey Cycling and Fitness Studio for a spinning marathon.
The Palmetto Palace Spinning Marathon will be 1-5 p.m. Saturday at the Charleston Marriott, 170 Lockwood Blvd.
For those unfamiliar with Palmetto Palace, the nonprofit’s mission is to provide meals to the families and caregivers of people who have experienced a medical crisis. Referrals are made by nurses at most local hospitals who observe family members sleeping in waiting rooms because they can’t afford temporary lodging.
Tiffany Jacquay, co-owner and founder of Journey, expects about 50 teams of riders. Registration per team member is $30.
“Journey Cycling and Fitness Studio knew from our initial talks of development that we wanted to pair up with an organization in our community to help, guide, teach and reach people on a personal and emotional level,” says Jacquay.
When Palmetto Palace Founder Youlanda Gibbs approached Journey about the event, it seemed like “the perfect match” for helping a local charity.
“We are the kind of people and family that helps others and truly cares about the emotional and physical well being of our members and our community,” says Jacquay.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516 or dquick@postand courier.com.