2013 Pro Division winner Conner Coffin

Tom Long

2013 Pro Division winner Conner Coffin

Rincon Classic Surf Contest Running This Weekend

All systems are go for the 33rd Annual Rincon Classic to be held this weekend. The fabled locals-only surf contest will get underway bright and early Saturday morning at the Queen of the Coast as surfers of all ages from across the 805 will compete for the ultimate Santa Barbara surf-universe bragging rights.

This year marks the 16th time that the two-day event will be produced by Surf Happens and Contest Director Chris Keet. With a waiting period that lasts much of the winter, the contest is held when Keet and crew decide the conditions look most optimal. And, after consulting with forecasting experts, that weekend is now!

While this El Niño season has thus far proved to be rather light in the rain department, it has been delivering surf action in spades. Yet another round of west swell is on the charts for this weekend with fair and favorable weather also in the forecast. As of press time, Saturday, the contest’s first day, is looking to run anywhere from waist-high to overhead depending on tides, and there are supposed to be sunny skies and offshore winds for much of the morning.

Sunday, however, things could go nuclear. The swell is predicted to build throughout the weekend and peak on Sunday afternoon with sets well overhead. In fact, due to the potential of some serious surf on Sunday (the day when the finals of all the age divisions are typically held), Keet has decided to shift the scheduling a bit so that the younger competitors will only have to surf on Saturday.

Though registration to compete has long since closed — it sells out every year — the event is free and open to the public for what promises to be an action-packed, family-friendly weekend at the end of Bates Road. Simply head to Rincon and walk toward the river mouth — it is impossible to miss the judges’ scaffolding and assorted circus-like atmosphere.

For those of you looking to watch only the business end of the contest, the finals start in earnest at 2 p.m. on Sunday. If the parking lots are full — and they will be by late morning both days — simply head to the industrial zone on Mark Avenue in Carpinteria where the parking is plentiful, and look for the Jump On The School Bus, which will be running free shuttles to and from the contest every 30 minutes until after the competition ends late Sunday afternoon.

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