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Words, Photos & Captions By Tom Dugan 

The Mike Martin Pro presented by the Smyrna Surfari Club was held April 15th, 2023 at the New Smyrna Beach Inlet. This was the second Pro contest held in Mike’s honor.  The waves were in the three foot range with clean conditions throughout the event, with the tides making little difference as the contest rolled on.

The person this event honors for all he did for the surfing world, Mike Martin in his happy place at a surf contest. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The day was sunny with a light breeze, making it a perfect beach day. The contest offered up a total prize purse of $13,000.00 with both Men’s and Women’s each getting a $3000.00 check for a first place finish. There was a field of 32 men and 16 women looking to take home the grand prize. The first Mike Martin Pro was held in 2019 and then Covid put the event on hold until now.

Evan Geiselman won every heat he surfed on his way to the finals. Having the event at your home-break, in memory of one of your good friends you knew your whole life growing up makes it extra special for the win. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The contest was put together to honor Mike for all he did for Pro surfing and surfers around the world.  Mike was born June 5th, 1949 and died at home from cancer October 22, 1916.  He was 67 yrs old.

Beautiful beach day in New Smyrna for the Mike Martin Pro. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Mike was born in Evansville, Indiana and moved to Florida in 1965 when he began surfing. He judged his first contest in 1972 and traveled to Australia to judge his first pro event in 1982.  When the world’s pro surfing community organized themselves, the “ASP” or Association of Surfing Professionals was born.

Event winner Zoe Benedetto got two seconds in her heats leading up to the finals but put it together for the win to take home the $3000.00 prize and first place trophy. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Mike took on the role of running the ASP’s East Coast office from 1983 to 1987.  Later, between 2006 and 2009, he was the  ASP’s North America tour manager.  He was also the head ASP judge for many years.  To say the least, Mike was all about surfing .

No doubt inspired and influenced by Mike who mentored them in their younger days, Judges Jeremy Saukel, head judge Dylan Fiendt, Gordon Lawson and Asher Nolan held it down all day long heat after heat till the last horn sounded. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

On October 28th, 2016 writer Nick Carroll (big brother to 2X World Campion Tom Carroll) wrote on Surfline: “Mike was the gentleman judge, respected by all the outlandish crew on the mad pirate ship that was pro surfing in the mid-1980s. He oversaw some of the most renowned heats it tour history with a calm authority that led even the most hectic competitors-not to mention the judges themselves-to trust him.”

More than a family affair, Mike Martin’s niece Lindsey Baldwin has surfed Smyrna her whole life and you can see by her turn here that she’s got the place wired. She was there to represent the memory of her uncle and all he did for the surfing community. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Thanks to the competitors and all who attended, sponsors:  Landshark Lager Beer (for the beachside beer garden), Smyrna Surfari Club, Clancy’s Cantina, Jimmy Hulas(for the great food), Cap’N Lu’s, Red Dogs Surf Shop, and Richard B. Troutman Law Offices to name just a few.  A big thank you goes out to Stephanie Brown for her tireless work in making the Mike Martin Pro happen in 2023.

Results :

Mens Pro 

1-Evan Geiselman
2-Robbie McCormick
3-Noah Schweizer

4-Cam Richards

Rasta Rob Mc Cormick doing what he does best – breaking out the move of the event. Full Gif Sequence below by @tomduganphotos

Womens Pro 
1-Zoe Benedetto
2-Lanea Mons
3-Daya McCart

4-Madison Lavender

The 2023 Women’s Mike Martin Pro winners : ( L to R ) Madison Lavender 4th, Daya McCart 3rd, Lanea Mons 2nd, and Zoe Benedetto 1st. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Cam Richards surfed into the finals and got a 4th place that kept him in the money, Morning wrap around. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

As usual Eros Exarhou surfed with speed and flair, throwing all caution to the wind with highflying moves to minimize scoring potential. Fins out, tail blow for the score. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Backside attack from Logan Radd. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The Mike Martin Pro trophies. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Carl Burger surfed the second heat of the day and put his stamp on it with clean backside hits like this one. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Down from Jacksonville, Lanea Mons surfed her way to a second place finish . Keep an eye on this girl, she is definitely on the move in her young surfing career. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Evan Geiselman getting a Landshark beer bath for winning the Mike Martin Pro from his good friend Nils Schweizer. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The storm threatened but never delivered. New Smyrna Beach noon-time clouds. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Surfing on-point throughout the contest, Tommy Coleman was put out in semi-final heat, getting a third place finish that took him out of the road to the finals. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

A few cold ones going down in the Landshark Beer Garden. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The two people that made it happen: promotor Stephanie Brown and judge Gordon “Gordo” Lawson. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

High flying airs like this is what helped put Robbie McCormick into second place in the final. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Announcers Mason Sapp and Dane Jefferys kept the beach informed heat after heat, all day long. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos