FOR THE GIRLS SURF CLASSIC by Carly Coble has big winners in A Walk on Water and The Ocean Is Female.

Words and Photos by Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Spring Lake, New Jersey 

The First Annual For The Girls Surf Classic, presented by Manasquan’s Carly Coble, was held on July 30, 2022 in Spring Lake, NJ and proceeds are to be split between A Walk On Water and The Ocean is Female charitable organizations. Coble, a Manasquan High School Senior Surf Team Member, presented the event with the help of “ this amazing Community” and her Mom and Dad, Gary and Sue.

Team FTGSC. “I am very grateful and blessed to have such a supportive community behind me” says seventeen year old For The Girls Surf Classic promoter Carly Coble, shown with her biggest supporters Dad Gary and
Mom Sue.

And if event sponsorships are an all important gauge to the success of any contest large or small get a load of who was on board and firmly in Carly and the all female competitors corner : Bare Wires Surf Shop, Sisstrevolution, I-Sea Sunglasses, FCS, Sun Bum, Chemistry Surfboards, FINS, Hammer Surf School, Skudin Surf at American Dream, JJF,  Pyzel surfboards, Sand and Sugar, Radcakes, Benny’s, Traveling Mermaid and Squan Tavern. And certainly not last or least local artist and Manasquan High School Senior Meghan Stehle designed the beautiful contest logo and awards.

After looking like a no-go in the morning the incoming tide offered contestable waves for all of the heats to be completed at Spring Lake N.J’s Remsen Avenue surf beach.

Unlike most of her peers, Carly “did not grow up in a Surfing family” but was raised in Manasquan, NJ. It is a ‘”beach town where I was surrounded by Surfers.” she said.  ‘Squan offers a world class Surf spot with deep Surf culture and is home to the Right Coast’s most successful Scholastic Surf Teams in recent years. Carly paddled out at age seven and after a surf lesson from Inlet/Outlet Surf Shop  entered her first Contest at age eleven, a Manasquan Board Riders Club event held at her home break Manasquan Inlet.  Today, at age seventeen, Coble was determined to bundle her passions for waveriding, competition, community and charity. The result was promoting a Female only Surf Contest to include first time competitors and donate all proceeds to organizations she grew attached to, those assisting people with special needs and women rebounding from abuse.

Carly Coble ( kneeling at center ) surrounded by For The Girls Surf Classic contestants who help make the 1 st Annual event a huge success. Carly, a Manasquan Inlet regular since age seven relied on social media and word-of-mouth to recruit sponsors, judges and all event staff and contestants as well.

“ I had a long standing goal to run my own event” says Carly, “As I continued to develop it I realized I could create something to tie in two organizations close to my heart: A Walk on Water and TheOisF.” It began “to feel like a calling from God” and a female only event was decided on to “encourage the upcoming generation of girls to compete in surfing.” What seemed like an avalanche of community support started to build. After initially reaching out to Jeremiah Hulsart and Adam Holoway, staples in the Monmouth County surf scene, “people just began to volunteer to help out.” And the event, staffed completely with volunteers, could not have run smoother.

Open Division Winner Kim Lesniak had the highest score of the contest on this wave to put it out of reach for the others in the championship heat.

 Through word of mouth and social media the event attracted enough competitors to fill the four divisions: Age 10 and under, 11-14 year olds, 15- 17 year olds and an Open Division. To insure that first time ever contestants be included the contest ran absent any Priority or interference penalties. Surfers brand new to competition got to literally bang rails with some red hot regional talent that included females from Long Beach, NY through southern Jersey.

While it first appeared that the surf was not cooperating some interesting (and challenging) shorebreak in the knee-high range appeared. So when volunteer Judges  Gary  Finnegan, Bill Brooks and Kurt Becker took their seats and Seamus “Moose” Carey grabbed the Mic it was game on and conditions seemed to improve for the duration of the heats. Ten year old Keira Soleau of Point Pleasant stole the show with her first place win in the 10 and under division. Callie Duff chalked up a surprise win in the 11-14 year old division and local favorite Audrey Iglay claimed the 15-17 year old crown.  Kim Lesniak of Point Pleasant put everyone out of reach with a pair of high scoring waves for the Open division win.

Ten year old Keira Soleau, Point Pleasant, piling up the points in the final heat to win the 10 year old and under division.

In closing, a huge thanks to not only all the smart and savvy sponsors who backed Carly’s – and all the stoked competitors – play but, as importantly, to all the good people who pitched in in every way possible start to finish to help provide such a great opportunity to a supremely deserving group of surfers, the young women rippers of east coast surfing.

Results for the 1st Annual For The Girls Surf Contest :

Age 10 and under:

1 Keira Soleau

2 Palmer Gallo

3 Preslie Marotta

4 Emerson Jordan

Sisterhood Jersey Style- from left: Olivia Warner, Audrey Iglay, Caroline Ireland, Ella Condon, Chloe
Gartside, Reese Miller and Seton Iglay.

11-14 Year Olds 

1 Callie Duff

2 Seton Iglay

3 Olive O’ Reilly

4 Gulia Gardella

Seton Iglay showed her strong backhand moves but needed to settle for 2 nd place where Callie Duff took the crown in the 11-14 year old division.

15-17 Year Olds

1 Audrey Iglay

2 Carley Tagliareni

3 Ella Condon

4 Courtney Schwinn

Local Favorite, ESA All Star team stand out and 15-17 year old winner Audrey Iglay celebrating with her sister Seton, from left, Reese Miller and Olivia Warner.

Open Division

1 Kim Lesniak

2 Aria Diliberto

3 Caroline Ireland

4 Chloe Gartside

Open Division winner Kim Lesniak, recently named to the coaching staff for the Point Boro High School Surf Team, gets the chair from Audrey Iglay and Reese Miller.

Seamus “Moose” Carey made the trek from South Jersey to volunteer his services where the sixteen year old astounded everyone with his abilities on the Mic.

Elle Tranger setting up a sweet little runner in the 11 -14 year old preliminary round.

Manasquan High School Senior Meg Stehle designed the contest logo and created all of the event’s hand crafted awards.

Girls just wanna have fun? She who is covered with the most sand head to toe wins the goodie bag and then goes home to clog their parents shower drains.

There were plenty of giveaways donated by sponsors but contestants needed to scramble for some. Carly tosses out a hat and then gets the heck out of the way.

Open Division Chloe Gartside, 4th, Caroline Ireland3rd, Winner Kim Lesniak and Aria Diliberto 2nd.

15-17 year old winners Carley Tagliareni, 2 nd place, Ella Condon 3 rd place and winner Audrey Iglay.

10 year old and under finalists ( l-r ) Preslie Marotta, 3 rd place, division winner Keira Soleau and Palmer Gallo, 2nd place with contest founder Carly Coble throws double shakas in approval.

Keira Soleau, age ten, has been surfing constests since she was six years old and won this one hands down.