America’s finest military surfers faced off against Britain’s best Army Surfers/ Bodyboarders in the first international edition of the Red Bull Rivals Surf Competition at Del Mar Jetties, Camp Pendleton, Sothern California on Saturday, May 24th 2014. First place went to the men and woman of the U.S. team, while a halftime body boarding battle went to two men from the British team.
The British Army Surfing Team traveled to California to take part in Ex So Cal Rider 14. Our base location was Camp Pendleton. The team then spent the next 12 days, prior to the contest surfing along the coastline training, getting used to the waves and enjoying the trip at Trestles, Salt Creek and other world class breaks.
Red Bull also sponsored the teams to an evening at the San Diego Wave House, a mechanical barrel wave that proved to be allot of painful fun/ wipeouts!
Speaking with members of the British Army Surf Team, it was clear, after days of practicing together, both teams were predicting an American win. However, scores at one point in the bottom half of the fourth inning (of four) was tied at 81. The scoreboard froze for the remainder of the inning to add suspense, but the U.S. indeed came out on top. In the Bodyboard contest though, the British team triumphed and beat the US team with Capt Mick Peters RLC and Sgt Alastair Sharman- Courtney taking the top prize.
The format was, according to an official facilitating the competition, an alternative program from normal surf competition rules. The four 12-minute ‘innings,’ were structured like a baseball game. The British team won the coin toss and went first, leaving the Americans to close out the day.
Emerging from the water victorious, the American military surf team stood opposite the British Army team as the British team picked up the prize, custom Red Bull boards, and handed them over to the Americans.
The two teams had battled it out in a healthy spirit of competition, respect and friendly rivalry. Having spent time building camaraderie with each other in and out of the water in the days prior, all the surfers said they had a great time, and all agreed it had been an experience of a lifetime.
The teams were:
British Army Surf Team:
Capt Richard Griffiths RE, Capt Clyde Bundy RAMC, Capt Joseph Robinson RE, Capt Thomas Harrison R Sig, Capt Nicholas Davis RE, Captain Simon Davies RE, WO2 Dean Jones (RA), SPR Harvey Brennan (RE), SGT Joseph Burrell (RA), LCPL Kit Calvert (AGC), SGT Alastair Sharman-Courtney (RA), CAPT Michael Peters RLC
United States Military Surf Team:
MSgt Eric Franklin (USMC), MGySgt Jay Michael Auwae (USMC), LCDR John Bannon (Coast Guard), GySgt Michael Steven (USMC), Captain Josh Showalter (USMC), E-4 Robin DagDag (Navy), AWR1 Nick Barringer (Navy), 2nd Class Petty Officer Kristopher Grimm (Coast Guard), AD3/ Petty Officer 3rd Class Dane Lee Gabriel (Navy), ADC Vincent Negrin (Navy), MK2 Mathew Merel (Coast Guard), Petty Officer Third Class Kuilee Murphy (Coast Guard), Sgt Travis Nardi (USMC), HM1 Randy Adalin (Navy)