More than 200 girls, boys, men, and women surfers will be testing South Coast surf during this weekend’s Rincon Classic competition. Waves from chest height to well overhead are expected during the heats, said contest director Chris Keet, which launch from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 23 and 24. “And we’ll be running in the cove for the first time,” he said excitedly, explaining that the relatively flat winter has left the sand on the bottom. Long period west-northwest swells are expected locally, according to the National Weather Service, with possible light offshore winds.
The competitors include professional and amateur surfers from the area, who are favored by the entry rules, as are those who entered early. The divisions run from Gremlins to Legends, with an event exclusive to pros and local “wild cards” sponsored by Rincon Brewery, and area surf shops fielding six-person teams of all ages. This year, the heats will run 20 minutes, instead of the previous 15 minutes.
The Rincon Classic draws huge crowds. To manage parking, a “Be Green to the Queen” shuttle service will run from Channel Islands Surfboards’ factory (1160 Mark Avenue in Carpinteria) to Rincon Point. Event organizers advise BYORM (Bring Your Own Reusable Mug). See rinconclassic.com for more.