Past Events


Wrightsville Beach Wahine Classic 2018


Wrightsville Beach Wahine Classic 2017

The ocean delivered challenging waves to the contestants at this year’s WB Wahine Classic, celebrating its fifth anniversary! As we negotiated sporadic storm conditions, the girls maneuvered through waves as big as they are, and performed admirably, scoring points for multiple turns per wave.

Our standout on the amateur side is Callie Summerlin of Surf City, NC, and Roanoke, Virginia. Her high scores of 9.2 and 8.2 out of a possible perfect 10 definitely set the mark for the rest of the competitors. Competing in short and long board categories, she advanced through both divisions with high scores, placing first in both!

On the pro side, our star is Kat Neff of Carolina Beach, NC, winning pro short board and placing 2nd in pro long board. Kat is on her way to her freshman year at University North Florida, with her contest winnings in her pocket!

In the five years since transitioning from the East Coast Wahine Championships to the Wrightsville Beach Wahine Classic, some of our local girls have stepped up their game. Contestants Samantha Newkirk, Gabby Viorel and Katelyn Sewell, dedicated SNC competitors, both finaled in their respective long and short board events. These girls, along with Virginia Beach contestants Camden Hoover and Rachel Wilson, and South Carolina Bree Labiak, surf short board and long board with impressive skill. South Carolina surfer Bailey Kaiser competes here every year, making the finals. Local Alyssa Parker also scored her personal best, winning Girls short board. Most of these girls also competed in the tandem event, which is a crowd favorite. The SUP surf event has grown, with Camden Hoover making the final with much older competitors! Camden gets the “most heats surfed” award! Our local / international SUP star, April Zilg, placed first in SUP surf. She somehow fit our event into her packed event schedule! On Sunday, during finals, lightning caused the contest to go on hold during two of the final heats. As finals reconvened, the Pro Long board final was held in a downpour. Hundreds of spectators and many competitors lined the beach anyway, watching Karson Lewis and Kat Neff walk to the nose. Both girls were hanging 5 toes over the nose, and Karson hung 10 for the win! Mother / daughter team Jo and Leilani Pickett also competed together in this final, splitting peaks. Much cheering ensued, almost as much as the tandem event! Leilani first surfed this wahine contest in 1997, when she was 7 years old. She is now 27, still surfs this event, and makes the event poster each year. This year’s “best maneuver awards” go to Grace Muckenfuss, 2nd place finalist in pro short board, and Karson Lewis, 1st place finalist pro long board.

The support of community businesses is heartwarming, and allows this event to continue. Thirty local businesses contributed to this event. Our event sponsor, Marine Warehouse Center, contributes the biggest financial donation to support our Wahine Classic. This family business supports surfing, especially for girls, including the owner’s two daughters!

Our next sponsor tier includes supporters Oceanic Restaurant, The Blockade Runner Resort Hotel, Maddie Merriweather, Crystal South Surf Community, Wilmington Oral Surgery, and Intracoastal Realty.

The surf shops that donated product for awards are Aussie Island, Surf City Surf Shop, 17th St Surf Shop, South End Surf Shop, Hot Wax Surf Shop, Sweetwater Surf Shop, and Recon Surf Shop. . Distributors Eastern Skateboard Supply, Dakine, L Space, Sea Folly, and Rip Curl also donated product.

South End Surf Shop owner Jeff DeGroote hosted our Friday evening social, cooking hot dogs and providing space for competitors to check in and enjoy Kent Knorr of North Carolina Ukulele Academy ( as he played for our families. Upstairs at Sundays Café, owner Marissa graciously provided space for film screening, where Cucalorus organizer Dan Brawley screened short films produced by women, featuring women surfers. Local competitor Samantha Newkirk presented her films as they screened. Businesses who also contributed are Tower 7 (Live Eat Surf), Cape Fear Commercial, Clontz Newkirk Real Estate Group, Wrightsville Beach Landscaping, Thomson, Corder and Co., Carolina Marine Terminal, Old Fort Construction, and Bob King Buick GMC. Jimmy Johns fed sub sandwiches to everyone on the beach during the entire weekend, and Surf Berry brought their famous smoothies to us on Sunday. King Neptune Restaurant teamed up with Surf City Surf Shop to provide a pink surfboard for the raffle, and Recon Surf Shop donated a rinse kit for the raffle.

Thank you to everyone involved for your support. The one group that is most important in the setup, execution, and takedown of this entire event, and absolutely the best administrative team, is the Southern North Carolina District Director Amy Rose, and her husband Sandy, along with Rhonda Yohe, announcer Mike Beech, and Mary Ann Mangiacapre.  Our judges include Eric Knight, Steven Mangiacapre, John Sideris, Mason Yohe, Dylan Stone, Brennan Plotner, and Jed Jeffrey. Big “props” to scaffolding crew Johnny Langone, Craig Newkirk, and Will McEachern, and t shirt design and print CSI Promotions. Also, thank you to Daniel and Maria Thompson, and Peter Lamporte for their financial support. Our beautiful award trophies were hand made by Bev Cordero in Puerto Rico! Bev is from Emerald Isle, NC. Our faithful photographer, Ed Potter, as well as Susan Yerry, Rob of East Coast Surf Project, Michelle Leyrer, Grace Muckenfuss and others graciously endured the long hours, crazy weather, and provide all their photos on social media free of charge!

Support sometimes comes from unexpected places. Will Page and Intracoastal Realty teamed up to fund and produce the contest video that you can view on our community facebook page, Wrightsville Beach Wahine Classic, and business facebook page Crystal South Surf Camp. This video will also be linked to our website, Ellen Bassett of Maddie Merriweather designed and updated this website daily for 3 months!

And so, this contest is a wrap. Until next year, girls, keep surfing and enjoying each others’ company!

Jo Pickett

SPONSORS (Thank you!)

Presenting Sponsor: Marine Warehouse Center
Silver Sponsors: Blockade Runner, Crystal South Surf Camp, Maddie Merriweather, Oceanic Oceanfront Dining, Wilmington Oral Surgery – Dr. Michael L. Hasson, D.D.S, P.A.
Bronze Sponsors: Aussie Island Surf Shop, Bob King, Carolina Marine Terminal, Inc., CapeFear Commercial, Dakine, Eastern Skateboard Supply, Hot Wax, Jimmy Johns, Jolyn, Live.Eat.Surf Restaurants, Old Fort Building and Development, Rip Curl, 17th Street (Surf – Skate – Style), SNC (Eastern Surfing Association), SurfBerry, South End Surf Shop, Surf City Surf Shop, Sweetwater Surf Shop, The Clontz Newkirk Real Estate Group, Thomson, Corder & Co. Civil Contractors, Wrightsville Beach Landscaping
Friends: Daniel and Maria Thompson, Peter Lamporte

WINNERS – Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Wahine Classic

Pro Shortboard
1. Kat Neff, Carolina Beach, NC
2. Grace Muckenfuss, Folly Beach, SC / Wilmington, NC
3. Bree Labiak, Surfside, SC
4. Samantha Newkirk, Wrightsville Beach, NC
Pro Longboard
1. Karson Lewis, Wilmington, NC
2. Kat Neff, Carolina Beach, NC
3. Leilani Pickett, Wilmington, NC
4. Jo Pickett, Wilmington, NC
Open Shortboard
1. Rachel Wilson, Virginia Beach, VA
2. Callie Summerlin, Surf City, NC / Roanoke, VA
3. Katelyn Sewell, Wilmington, NC
4. Caitlyn Biggs, Wilmington, NC
SUP / Surf
1. April Zilg, Wilmington, NC
2. Jenny Alderman, Charleston, SC
3. Camden Hoover, Virginia Beach, VA
4. Ella Newkirk, Wrightsville Beach, NC
Women’s Shortboard
1. Willow Rea, Manteo, NC
2. Michaela Boone, Wilmington, NC
3. Leanne Young, Wrightsville Beach, NC
4. Aria Diliberto, Newark, Delaware
Girl’s Longboard
1. Bree Labiak, Surfside, SC
2. Rachel Wilson, Virginia Beach, VA
3. Camden Hoover, Virginia Beach, VA
4. Betsy Lewis, New Bern, NC
Girls Shortboard
1. Alyssa Parker, Wilmington, NC
2. Betsy Lewis, New Bern, NC
3. Kensey Ginsberg, Kure Beach, NC
4. Lily Skipper, Wilmington, NC
Women’s Longboard
1. Samantha Newkirk, Wrightsville Beach, NC
2. Willow Rea, Manteo , NC
3. Jenny Alderman, Charleston, SC
4. Nicole Nason, Wilmington, NC
Jr. Women Shortboard
1. Callie Summerlin, Surf City, NC / Roanoke, VA
2. Gabby Viorel, Wrightsville Beach, NC
3. Rachel Wilson, Virginia Beach, VA
4. Katelyn Sewell, Wilmington, NC
Jr. Women Longboard
1. Callie Summerlin, Surf City, NC / Roanoke, VA
2. Katelyn Sewell, Wilmington, NC
3. Bailey Kaiser, Mount Pleasant, SC
4. Gabby Viorel, Wrightsville Beach, NC
Guppies Shortboard
1. Camden Hoover, Virginia Beach, VA
2. Ella Champion, Oak Island, NC
3. Kylee Heath, Wilmington, NC
4. Krista Grace Hammel, Surfside Beach, SC
1. Samantha Newkirk and Bailey Fort, both from Wilmington, NC
2. Alyssa Parker and Gabby Viorel, both from Wilmington, NC
3. Kylee Heath, Wilmington, NC, and Camden Hoover, Virginia Beach, VA
4. Callie Summerlin, Surf City, NC, and Katelyn Sewell, Wilmington, NC


Jo Pickett, Event Organizer
Mary Ann Mangiacapre, Co-Director
Amy Rose, Co-Director
Taylor Pietrantozzi, Event Planner, Summer Intern
Rhonda Yohe, Tabulator
Craig Newkirk, Emergency Medical Technician


Swain Curtin, Kat Neff, Leah Thompson


Heads: Bradley Rose, Steven Mangiacapre
Judges: Eric Knight, Dylan Stone, Jed Jeffries, John Sideris


Will McEachern, Scaffolding
Johnny Langone, Scaffolding
Craig Newkirk, Scaffolding


Roots to Recovery
SNC, Southeastern Surfing Association


Roxy Chaney, Delilah Hutchins, Samantha Newkirk


To see pictures from our 2017 Event, please visit Ed Potter’s Photography website: 

Marine Warehouse Center (presenting sponsor), Blockade Runner, Sea Scape Properties, Bob King, Thomas Construction Group, Oceanic Oceanfront Dining, Maddie Merriweather, Wilmington Oral Sugery, Jolyn Swimwear & Clothing Company, Carolina Marine Terminal, Cape Fear Commercial, Hot Wax Surf Shop, Dakine, Crystal South Surf Community,, Aussie Island Surf Shop, Sweetwater Surf Shop, Rip Curl, South End Surf Shop, Jimmy John’s, Surf City Surf Shop, Surf Dreams Foundation, SNC Surf Team, Eastern Skateboard Supply, CSI Promotions, Wrightsville Beach Landscaping, Thomson, Corder & Co., Surf Berry and 17th Street.

Pro Longboard
1st Cat Sizemore – Folly Beach, SC
2nd Leah Thompson – Wrightsville Beach, NC
3rd Carly Carter – Wrightsville Beach, NC
4th Julia Eckel – Wrightsville Beach, NC

Stand Up Paddleboard
1st Carrie Copenhaver – Virginia Beach, VA
2nd Saylor Emmart – Wrightsville Beach, NC
3rd Jenna Blackburn – Wrightsville Beach, NC
4th Ella Newkirk – Wrightsville Beach, NC
Girls Longboard
1st Reece Blue – Carolina Beach, NC
2nd Katelyn Sewell – Wilmington, NC
3rd Olivia Wendell – Pauley’s Island, SC
4th Saylor Emmart – Wrightsville Beach
Open Shortboard
1st Leah Thompson – Wrightsville Beach
2nd Olivia Wendell – Pauley’s Island, SC
3rd Swain Curtin – Virginia Beach, VA
4th Terry Green – Garden City, SC
Junior Women Longboard
1st Bailey Kaiser – Mount Pleasant, SC
2nd Rose Steingold – Virginia Beach, VA
3rd Ragan Curtin – Virginia Beach, VA
4th Hadie Winslow – Wrightsville Beach, NC
Girls Shortboard
1st Katelyn Sewell – Wilmington, NC
2nd Saylor Emmart – Wrightsville Beach, NC
3rd Gabby Viorel – Wrightsville Beach, NC
4th Alyssa Parker – Wilmington, NC
Women Longboard
1st Samantha Newkirk – Wrightsville Beach, NC
2nd Swain Curtin – Virginia Beach, VA
3rd Carrie Copenhaver – Virginia Beach, NC
4th Trish Steingold – Virginia Beach, VA
Junior Women Shortboard
1st Leah Thompson – Wrightsville Beach, NC
2nd Michaela Boone – Wilmington, NC
3rd Caitlin Biggs – Wilmington, NC
4th Sarah Bimson – Virginia Beach, VA
1st Ella Champion – Oak Island, NC
2nd Annie Mulligan – Wrightsville Beach, NC
3rd Natalie Fox – Wilmington, NC
4th Julia Boos – Carolina Beach, NC
Women Shortboard
1st Leilani Pickett – Wrightsville Beach, NC
2nd Samantha Newkirk – Wrightsville Beach, NC
3rd Swain Curtin – Virginia Beach, VA
4th Terry Green – Garden City, SC
1st Leah Thompson / Madeline Eckel
2nd Sarah Brimson / Ragan Curtin
3rd Samantha Newkirk / Alyssa Parker
4th Mary Lamporte / Lexi Poindexter
click here

Title sponsor: Wilmington Oral Surgery. Sea Scape Properties sponsored the banquet. Our major sponsors include Carolina Marine Terminal, Cape Fear Commercial Realty, Thomas Construction Group, Oceanic Restaurant, Bob King GMC, Marine Warehouse Center, and The Blockade Runner Resort. Surf Shops and businesses also sponsor our Wahine Classic, and our beloved Southern North Carolina district of the Eastern Surfing Association, Director Amy Rose, along with Sandy Rose and Mary Ann Mangiacapre and Misty Mangiacapre, coordinate this event. Big thanks to announcers Mike Beech and Phil Jackson, and scaffolding crew Will McEathern, manager of 17th St Surf Shop Wilmington, Johnny Langone and Craig Newkirk.

Ninety-six female competitors greeted sunny skies and perfect three foot waves on Saturday morning, August 15, 2015. The amateur categories, divided into age groups, demonstrated the expansion of girls’ surfing, as the under 14 age group had 32 competitors! The girls who advanced through their heats surfed three rounds to reach the final. Ocean conditions got a bit testy in the afternoon with the falling tide and southwest wind, but the hard chargers prevailed. By request, atandem division of two preliminary heats provided the most spectator approval of the day. After the banquet on Saturday evening, with a drawing for a Costa Rica surf trip (won by the caterer’s daughter), we started promptly at eight 8 am Sunday with similar wave offerings. Our teenie wahine division, the assisted group of age 10 and under, was a big hit as always, with many happy girls receiving awards for their skills. Big thanks to Jack Viorel of Indo Jax Surf School for organizing the teenie wahine heats!

Our pro divisions of longboard and shortboard were well represented, with local longboard finalists joined by Kate Barratini of Folly Beach, and traveling shortboard pros making the most of wave conditions that suited the younger competitors better. Florida and South Carolina’s Savannah Bradley, Grace Muckenfuss and Kayla Durden surfed into the shortboard finals. Our local pro longboard finalists were Karson Lewis, Julia Eckel, and Kat Neff. Kat also finaled in the pro shortboard division. On the amateur side, South Carolina’s Bree Labiak dominated again, winning two divisions. Our local standouts, Leah Thompson, Madeline Eckel, and Laurel Senick surfed their way into multiple finals. The Virginia Beach Wahine Surf Club boosted our numbers and our morale, bringing a wahine from Maui, Marylee Sakas, who finaled in her longboard category. Wahine Surf Club’s Carrie Copenhaver, Ragan Curtin, and Camden Hoover surfed into the finals in their divisions, as well as Laura Coyne from Virginia.  Folly Beach, South Carolina, which hosts the Folly Beach Wahine Classic in June, also showcased their skills in their divisions, with stylish surfing by Perng Huston and South Carolina’s Terry Green and Olivia Wendell surfing their way into the finals. Topsail Beach’s Jacqueline Reece joined the finalists, as did Swain Curtin, (1st place Women’s shortboard), Malia Harrell of Oak Island, and Wilmington’s Cameron Paul, Saylor Emmart, Gabby Viorel, Amelia Fitzpatrick, Samantha Newkirk, and Nicole Nason.

Two categories that are receiving rave reviews are the tandem event and the SUP surf events. The local girls that I coach begged me to include the tandem event, and it was a huge hit! The SUP finalists were Anna and Jenna Blackburn and Saylor Emmart of Wilmington and Carrie Copenhaver of Virginia Beach. -Jo Pickett, Event Organizer


Bob King GMC, Wilmington Oral Surgery, Butler Daniel & Associates, Sea Scape Adventures and Wrightsville Beach Adventures, Surf Quest, Blockade Runner Resort Hotel, Thomas Construction Group, Chaney Construction, Senn Dunn Insurance, South End Surf Shop, Aussie Island Surf Shop, Hot Wax Surf Shop, Sweetwater Surf Shop, Cape Fear Commercial Realty, Intracoastal Realty, Clontz Newkirk Real Estate Group, Indo Jax Surf School, Crystal South Surf Camp, Freestyle, Lucid, Dakine, Smith, Eastern Surf Supply, Globe, 17th Street Surf Shop, Silver Gull Hotel

We’re working on getting the results up online. Thanks!


Bob King GMC, Wilmington Oral Surgery, Butler Daniel & Associates, Sea Scape Adventures and Wrightsville Beach Adventures, Surf Quest, Blockade Runner Resort Hotel, Thomas Construction Group, Chaney Construction, Senn Dunn Insurance, South End Surf Shop, Aussie Island Surf Shop, Hot Wax Surf Shop, Sweetwater Surf Shop, Cape Fear Commercial Realty, Intracoastal Realty, Clontz Newkirk Real Estate Group, Indo Jax Surf School, Crystal South Surf Camp, Freestyle, Lucid, Dakine, Smith, Eastern Surf Supply, Globe, 17th Street Surf Shop, Silver Gull Hotel

Surfer girls, undeterred by the elements, showed up en masse to surf in the rain on Saturday. Laughing, blinded by the rain, they surfed on, heat by heat, through squall after squall. When the rain abated on Saturday, we called our last heat, and the sun came shining through! Participants and parents enjoyed a golden evening of gentle surf. Airlie Pickett described this wahine event as “Dads and daughters”, an apt description!

All one hundred twelve wahines surfed, regardless of weather. Sunday presented clear skies and small, clean surf. Teenie Wahines gathered in droves to surf with their Dads, and twenty-five young ladies gleefully received their awards from “Kids Making It”.

Categories including novice “first contest” to pros “cash prize”, and contestants patiently waited for the occasional quality wave that offered scoring potential. Judges, announcers, and administrators diligently monitored each heat, recording results and preparing the advancing surfers for the next round as the highest scoring surfers advanced to the finals.

This contest brackets the age groups in order to maximize the girls’ opportunity to make the finals. For instance, 13 and 14 year olds have their own age group, because this is a large enough constituency to fill a preliminary round, a semifinal round, and a final. Stand Up Paddle surfing and racing events made their debut at our event, and the SUP surfers endured rough conditions on Saturday. Girls who made the finals surfed much cleaner conditions on Sunday. Jarod Covington of Wrightsville SUP organized the SUP race on Sunday, setting three buoys and monitoring the racers from start to finish.

For the record, I am listing our sponsors. I think we have thirty! The results are posted below the sponsor list. I also owe a huge thank you to the Eastern Surfing Association Southern North Carolina District Director Amy Rose, her husband Sandy Rose, and daughter Gina Grey. Also, ESA contest director MaryAnn Mangiacapre, Head Judge Liz Hauser, judges Dylan Stone, Glenn Corey, Dale Pigford, Derrick Pigford, Johnny Langone, and EMT Craig Newkirk, and of course, my husband Ed Pickett, and my daughter Airlie Pickett. Carol Eckel organized and directed the games that the girls enjoyed on Sunday. Thanks to everyone who sheltered competitors under tents during the rain on Saturday. Vendors included Robert Parker of Surf Quest and Stephanie Webb of Folia Jewels. – Jo Pickett, Event Organizer

Pro Shortboard

1st Darsha Pigford
2nd Airlie Pickett
3rd Leilani Pickett
4th Cat Rogerson

Pro Longboard
1st Morgan Knight
2nd Chandler von Cannon
3rd Leilani Pickett
4th Patti Hook

Guppies 12 and under
1st Madeline Eckel
2nd Lean Thompson
3rd Malia Harrell
4th Elizabeth Head

Girls 13 and 14
1st Julia Eckel
2nd Kat Neff
3rd Swain Curtin
4th Micaela Boone

Junior Women 15 to 17
1st Madison Huckabee
2nd Hannah Milligan
3rd Samantha Newkirk
4th Nina Long

Novice 15 and under
1st Savannah Meek
2nd Mary Claire Haldeman
3rd Kirby Smith
4th Anna Haldeman

Novice 16 and up
1st Jessie van Hurst
2nd Johanna Ksebo
3rd Greta Barnes
4th Kate Zeissler

Women 18-29
1st Chandler von Cannon
2nd Deanna Wells
3rd Rachel Breitner
4th Sinetta Ruiz

Ladies 30+
1st Jo Pickett
2nd Patti Hook
3rd Ashley Barnes
4th Fran Reynolds

Longboard 14 and under
1st Julia Eckel
2nd Carly Carter
3rd Kat Neff
4th Laney Brooks

Longboard 15-19
1st Nina Long
2nd Hannah Milligan
3rd Madison Huckabee
4th Samantha Newkirk

Longboard 20-39
1st Misty Wilbanks
2nd Liza Dean
3rd Deanna Wells
4th Leigh Powell

Ladies SUP Surf
1st Jackie Fisher
2nd Johanna Kjesbo
3rd Ryan Dadds
4th Anna Blackburn

Ladies SUP Race
1st Karen Wilson
2nd Anna Blackburn
3rd Dana Stephens