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Serious riding begins

September 04, 2003

Mike Sciacca

The start of the school year marks the beginning of the National

Scholastic Surfing Assn.'s competition season each year.

Tuesday, at Goldenwest Street beach, a group of nine surfers from

the 14-member Huntington Surf and Sport amateur team, ranging in age

from 12 to 16, gathered for a contest scrimmage in preparation for

the upcoming 10-event season that begins this weekend in Oceanside

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and concludes in June.

"It helps the riders get back into the competitive scene after a

long summer of traveling," said Scott Waring, Huntington Surf and

Sport team manager. "They get the chance to put on jerseys again,

which will help them get in the mind-frame of competition."

Tuesday's contest scrimmage featured man-on-man practice runs, two

semifinal heats of four surfers each and then the finals.

"I think the scrimmage is cool because it gets me back into the

swing of things," said Logan Strook, 14, who will enter his freshman

year at Huntington Beach High on Monday and begin his fourth year in

NSSA competition. "It helps me get my competitive game on."

Strook is one of the key members on a Huntington Surf and Sport

amateur team consisting of past Western Regional champions, NSSA

season title holders as well as local high school and middle school

"rippers," Waring said.

Also on the amateur team is Waring's son, Chris.

The 16-year-old, who begins his junior year at Huntington Beach

High on Monday, just returned with the rest of the Oiler surf team

from a 24-day surf safari at Jeffries Bay in South Africa.

Chris Waring has been a Western Regional champion, a NSSA Explorer

boys' season champion and an NSAA national finalist.

He has never finished below third-place in any competition he's

entered since he began competing in NSSA events at age 7.

"Before the age of 16, many of these surfers have traveled to such

exotic locations as South Africa, Indonesia -- including an Andamen

Islands boat trip with world-class photographer Art Brewer -- Figi,

Mexico, Costa Rica and Hawaii. The list goes on," Scott Waring said.

"Many of these young surfers have even competed in professional

events against some of the top professionals.

"Huntington Surf and Sport has the strongest surf shop team in the

United States and we proudly continue to represent the best surf shop

in the world."

Scott Waring, who has been the team manager for just over a year,

ran a similar contest scrimmage for the professional surfers just

prior to the start of the U.S. Open held in Huntington in August.

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