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ECSC Legends

20 Aug 2017

55th Annual ECSC

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CE ECSC Legends – Hall of Fame

In 2005 during the 43rd annual East Coast Surfing Championships, the Virginia Beach Jaycees established a formal distinction for the “Legends” who have played pivotal roles to the growth and success of our local surfing contest. These men and women helped shape the sport of surfing not only in Hampton Roads, but up and down the entire East Coast.

At this year’s 55th ECSC celebration, the Virginia Beach Jaycees will induct 10 new members to the Surfing Legends Hall of Fame. The honorees include:

2017 Inductees

Rick Banta
Jimbo Brothers
Bobby Chenman
Lowery “Tuck” Finley
Grace Frierson
Myron Nahra
Harry Purkey
Les Shaw
Todd Spencer
Jodie Woodward

Class of 2012

Mimi Munro
John Holland
Buddy Riggs
Cecil Lear
Lee Tolliver
Paul West

Learn more

Class of 2009

Webb Brown
Ron Swan
Bobby Holland
Wes Laine
Kevin Gaydosh

Learn more

Class of 2006

Bill Frierson
Pete Smith
Don Fentress
George Desgain
Bob Holland, Sr.

Learn more

2017 Legend Inductees

At this year’s 55 th ECSC celebration, the Virginia Beach Jaycees will induct 10 new members to the Surfing Legends Hall of Fame. The honorees include:

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Rick Banta

Rick is the originator of possibly the most popular and eagerly anticipated event at ECSC: the Super Groms! Super Groms is a division for the next generation of surfers – competitors range from XX to 14 years old. Before establishing Super Groms, Rick was one of Quiksilver's very first east coast sales reps and stayed with the brand for well over 30 years. It was during his tenure with the brands that he started Super Groms and has since grown to be one of the most sought after divisions at surf events worldwide. Rick still surfs and remains very active in the surf apparel industry, though he will go down in our history books as a key leader in introducing ECSC to future surfers both in our area and elsewhere. Thanks, Rick!

Jimbo Brothers

One of the top proponents of the East Coast short board revolution, Jimbo was the charismatic kingpin of the Steel Pier surfing contest during it’s heyday (mid 1960s-mid- 70s). A perennial ECSC competitor, he was our first Pro winner in 1972. He was a team rider for Al Sneblin’s Surf Shop (located on the base of the Steel Pier) and also rode for Vardeman Surfboards helping to usher-in the Australian V-bottom surfboard designs. Thank you, Jimbo, for being such an inspiration to the surfing community and supporting ECSC over the years!

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Bobby Chenman

Virginia Beach’s own “Godfather of the Longboard” began surfing the Steel Pier at the ripe old age of 12. Once he got older, he traveled to Hawaii and California in the 60s and 70s, and merged the West Coast surfing style to the East Coast waves. As a diehard ECSC supporter, Bobby been both a judge and top contest promoter for ECSC. Forever a surfer, Bobby has rode waves in 49 of 56 ECSC contests. Thank you for your support, Bobby!

Lowery “Tuck” Finley

Where do we begin? Tuck has worn several hats for the ECSC team, including serving as a past ECSC chairman, ECSC committee member, VB Jaycees chapter officer and longtime surfer. Tuck played an integral role to ECSC’s survival during the crucial era of the late 1960s/early 70s. During this time, ECSC almost didn’t happen – the VB Oceanfront was considering banning the event and that was almost cancelled indefinitely. Tuck and his small team of VB Jaycees had to prove that the 7 th Annual ECSC could be both fiscally successful and one that could pacify critics of surfing and doubters in the community. Clearly Tuck surpassed those goals as we are celebrating the 55 th year of ECSC! Tuck – THANK YOU for believing in our cause and fighting for the future of surfing in Virginia Beach; without you, we might literally not be here today.

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Grace Frierson

We’re not sure the name “Grace” has ever been as appropriate as for Grace Frierson. For nearly 40 years, Grace “volunteered” for the surf contests just to ensure the contest heats were handled professionally and with respect for the sport – every year she would generously donate her pay back to the event organizers. A constant influence behind the scenes who never wanted leadership recognition, she worked to prove surfing as a healthy sport and out of the pureness of her character – to simply give back to the community. Grace was at home around the judges scaffolding and the competitor’s area, working in the trenches alongside future ECSC Legends for decades. Grace – without your dedication we’d still be trying to organize ourselves, thank you!

Myron Nahra

Myron first became involved with ECSC during his inaugural year with the VB Jaycees in 1996. Even when he aged-out of the VB Jaycees, he continued to sever his community as a JCI Senator and VB Jaycees Life Member. He’s best known as the Master of Beach Set Up. Myron has been involved with many beach innovations over the years, such as the installation of the first skateboard half-pipe, larger stages and scaffolding, and the multi- year sponsorship contract with Virginia Tourism Corp. In addition, he co-chaired 28th Annual ECSC and served as the ECSC Executive Director from the late 90s to early-2000s. Thank you for pushing us into new territories, Myron!

Harry Purkey

With an ECSC career that spans over 50 years, Harry served the ESA as a competitor, judge, executive director, contest director and many other thankless jobs that directly contributed to ECSC’s amazing growth during those decades. Harry worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure our surfing contest ran seamlessly. He remains active today as a competitor and director. Thank you Harry for your dedication and being an all-around good guy.

Les Shaw

Les, along with fellow ECSC Legend Bill Frierson, co-founded Wave Riding Vehicles and later became the sole owner. Les was a principal ECSC financial sponsor and in-kind prize contributor for more than 20 years. His company’s outreach into Hawaii and the Outer Banks has helped keep Virginia Beach on the radar of the globe’s surfing elite; today the company and its iconic brand remain synonymous with Virginia Beach surfing. Thank you for expanding our horizons, Les!

Todd Spencer

For nearly 20 years, Todd’s surfing photographs have appeared in the pages of the Virginian Pilot newspaper often illustrating articles penned by ECSC Legend Lee Tolliver. His photojournalism has won multiple awards yet he continues to “shoot ECSC” each year. Todd’s artistic approach and journalistic eye helped advance the sport of surfing beyond a mere curiosity and portrayed surfers, the surfing community and ECSC in a positive light; much of what Hampton Roads knows about ECSC came through his camera lens. Thank you for “shooting” us, Todd!

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Jodie Woodward

For nearly 20 years, Jodie and her company, Sponsorships Unlimited, contributed greatly to the financial viability and infused marketing professionalism into ECSC’s business practices. Now retired from ECSC, she remains instrumental in promoting the Steel Pier Classic and the VB Surf Art Expo, now going on its 10th year. Jodie is also the originator of the Surf Legends of ECSC Hall of Fame, we can all thank Jodie for helping the Legends live on for future generations to come.

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