Story, captions and photos by Tom Dugan @tomduganphotos

The first Eco Pro of the season was held at Ponce Inlet on October 3rd in 3 to 4ft  waves all day long. The conditions were clean most of the day with the usual afternoon winds picking up a bit, but when it was finals time the wind backed off just a bit and it was on.

Each heat leading up to the finals saw Chase Modelski surfing at a blazing pace and once the final heat hit the water you could see plain as day who was on point with clean surfing and great moves. Chase laying it down in the Men’s Pro for the win. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Originally slated to start around 8 in the morning, the contest was held up for about 45 minutes before they let the cars on the beach due to a mother turtle laying its eggs.  As soon as she made her way back into the water they let the cars onto the beach.  The crew scrambled to get every thing set up as quick as they could and the event was on.

Masters’ Pro Winners from left : Alex Casal 4th, Kent Compayre 3rd, Shea Lopez 2nd, and David Speir 1st place. PHOTO : Eco Pro / Stephane Brown

Morning high tide with light winds had the best waves of the day and the performances in the water reflected it.  As with all Eco Pro events, the caliber of surfing was thru the roof with too many top performances going down all day long.  With 65 heats to be run and the clock clicking away, it came down to the last two heats to be run when the beach police showed up saying it was time to go. 6:30 p.m. was the allotted time to be off the beach.  The judges’ tents and cars had to be moved back up the beach as high tide was back and washing out every car and tent that was still on the now closed beach.  By 6:50 p.m. the contest was over and once again it was a mad dash to break down the venue and head for drier grounds.

Women’s Pro Winner Zoe Benedetto straight up and into first place in the Eco’s stop 1 event. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The first event of the year was a success. Winners were Chase Modelski in Men’s, Ryan Huckabee in Juniors, Zoe Benedetto in Women’s, and David Spier in Masters. Congrats to all and thanks for another great day of competition. – Tom Dugan –

Eco Pro Stop 1 Results:

Men’s Pro
1-Chase Modelski
2- Noah Schweizer
3- Chauncey Robinson

Being an almost local coming from just across the inlet, Noah Schwizer is very familiar with how Ponce breaks and used that knowledge to his advantage getting some of the best waves in all his heats. Noah smacks a nice lip straight up on his way to a 2nd place in the Men’s Pro. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Junior Pro
1-Ryan Huckabee
2- Carl Burger
3- Braden Kopec

Ryan Huckabee was on a mission and surfed every wave with abandonment, ripping every one to shreds. His surfing took him all the way to a first place in the Junior Pro. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Women’s Pro
1-Zoe Benedetto
2- Kylie Pulcini
3- Ellie Borimo

The hardest working people at any pro surf contest are the judges. They spend a long day making sure every wave is scored heat after heat, and the best rise to the finish. Clockwise from left to right from back row : former longtime WSL judge Jeff Klugel, Jim Tolliver, ( front row ) Unidentified, Wiley Robinson and Eddie Guilbeau. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Masters Pro
1- David Spier
2- Shea Lopez
3- Kent Compayre

Can this guy be stopped? Once again David Speir took home a first place in the Masters’ Pro. His ECO winning streak is going to be hard to beat. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

1- Alyssa Gilreath
2-Ashley Von Voast
3- Leila Okenka

Ashley Von Voast charging in the Polywog Division. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Girls U13
1- Sienna Fleming
2- Marlynn Glaub
3- Lola Fleming

The comp site: The day was blessed with beautiful sunny skies and great surf all day long. Tent city at the Pro Stop One, Ponce Inlet, Fl. And watch out for those turtle hatchlings! PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Boys U13
1-Sebastian Peters
2- Vance Weyanat
3- Teddy Wittmann

A clean backside sweep off the top for Sebastian Peters. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Girls U17
1- Delaney Spruill
2- Lily Shroeder
3- Marlynn Glaub

Old friends catching up on the beach. Masters’ Pro winner David Spier (left) caught up with Billy “Hutch” States visiting down from New York. These two are both short boarders and rep the over 50 crowd. Buddies from Barbados’ trips, it was a surprise for both and Hutch was stoked to watch David surf to yet another Eco win. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Boys U17
1- Carl Burger
2- Logan Radd
3- Gavin Coluccio

Trying his best for a win, Carl Berger was all over the peaks throwing some great tail slides and airs. Carl did not win but was right there with a 2nd place in the Junior Pro. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Open Womens
1-Ahnikah Patten
2- Delaney Spruil
3- Annie Adams

Fast and the furious. Precise surfing always gets the score and clean power moves like this helped Rick Mellen get to the Open Men’s finals and a 4th place finish. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Women’s surfing is growing every year as more take to the water. When new talent emerges it is a win win for the future. Lanea Mons is what the new school is about. Here on her way to a 4th in the Women’s Pro. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Still fresh off 2021 Belmar Pro win, Chauncey Robinson hits a stalefish air with perfection on his way to a 3rd in the Men’s Pro. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Men’s Pro Winners from left : Chase Modelski 1st, Chauncy Robinson 3rd, Noah Schwizer 2nd, and Josh Nicastro 4th. PHOTO : Eco Pro / Stephane Brown

Tommy Coleman surfed up a storm and ended up getting an equal 5th along with Daniel Glenn in the Men’s Pro. “Only” a fifth for a guy of Tommy’s caliber tells you just how high the level was at this event as in off the hook high! PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

One man that has traveled the world and surfed more Pro heats than anyone in the One Eco Pro is Shea Lopez. And Shea is still at it ,taking down some of the best surfers in his division with new school moves like this air on his own Lopez Shapes boards. Shea surfed to a 2nd in the Masters’ Pro. Dave Speir, watch out! PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Smile for the camera. Corey Howell straight up backside for the points in the Men’s Pro and making for a good photo for everyone. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Jr. Pro surfer Teddy Wittermann is another surfer on his way to the Men’s Pro ranks. He’s a bit younger and has a few years to go to get to the men’s, but you can tell that he’ll be ready when his time comes. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Need an MC for your event? This is the man you want, Travis Ajay, die hard Eagles fan. He has the knowledge of surfing and brings it to the table every time he holds the mic. Travis also has a arsenal of voices and characters that always keep the crowds entertained plus he gives out important NFL updates if there are games going on. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Evan Geiselman backside on a nice little set wave 12 o’clock high tap in the Men’s Pro. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

When the show comes to your home break. you take advantage of it, and blow up on each and every wave. Tommy Grooms surfed the Men’s Pro and ripped on every wave that came his way. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Logan Hofstetter and a clear fan during his Jr. Pro heat. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The Jr. Pro is the litmus test for who will stand out in the Men’s competition when they age up. Next in line are many and Braeden Kopec is on his way to a Men’s Pro berth real soon. Braedon placed 3rd in the Jr. Pro. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Pro Surfer Randy Nolan (long sleeves) and friends enjoying the sun, waves, and competition during the Pro Stop One at Ponce Inlet. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

As a past winner ,Daniel Glenn knows what it takes to get the score. Putting that knowledge to full use in the Men’s Pro Daniel surfed to an equal 5th in the first event. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos