Photos by Mike Vuocolo and Dan Stockdale

The surf Gods do listen to prayers, we are absolutely convinced! It’s either that, or it’s just Don Tarrant’s remarkable “Irish luck”. The debate on that still continues. Whatever it may be, consider this: no waiting period, only a 3-day window, same weekend every year, NEVER been called off for lack of surf … and for 20 years straight!

Belmar Pro creator, Eastern Lines Surf Shop owner, Don “Luck ‘O The Irish” Tarrant with Mary Lou Lear, wife of surfing icon Cecil Lear to whom the 2022 event was dedicated to. Photo : Mez

The Belmar Pro consistently gets waves, and its not just because either the “surf Gods” or “Don’s luck”, but also because the Belmar Pro is scheduled right at the climatological peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season on that very same weekend with statistically, the most probability for waves. W’d like to think the Leprechaun’s have the Pro’s back year after year but we won’t argue against is just a darn smart scheduling move thats paid off handsomely for the competitors, spectators and event organizers.

Caribbean kingpin by way of Barbados, Josh Burke on his way to the Pro division win. Photo: Dan Stockdale @drstockdalephotography

Although it started out glassy with shoulder to head high sets, Day 3 saw gradually deteriorating conditions as the tide dropped, and then the wind swung around from out of the southeast. Once it hit dead low (full moon too?) at the same time the wind switched and the infamous rip that forms in the middle showed up with sideshore texture, gradually getting choppier as most waves ended by dumping into a few inches of water. These conditions made it challenging for competitors to complete ending maneuvers, but for those that held on through the mechanical bull like ride, heat wins were had.

Let’s get right to the Mens Open winner for a perfect example; putting together a stellar performance through those conditions, Barbados pro Josh Burke laid down three 9+ rides in his Semi heat against a ripping Tucker Collins, and two 8+ rides in the final against one of the other in-form surfers of the event Bo Raynor, garnering both the single highest wave score, and, highest heat score of the event.

We’re used to seeing Bo Raynor either deep in a beastly thick Outer Banks barrel or doing crazy, high above the lip aerial antics on the reg. At the Belmar Pro he had his rail game sharpened and at the highest level. Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshost

Cassidy McClain achieved her 6th Playa Bowls Womens victory continuing her dominance as the one to beat in the women’s category. Cassidy surfed consistent through her heats and toughed out the declining conditions to score a well-earned 14.17 pt heat. The Womens final was a heated battle with all competitors getting solid scores.

South Jersey’s Cassidy Mc Clain is one of the all time greats of both East Coast and New Jersey women’s surfers. And guys, you wouldn’t want to draw her in one of your heats either. Photo: Dan Stockdale

In possibly one of the most feel-good energy vide moments of finals day, Belmar’s own colorful character Colin McNamara, otherwise known as “C-MAC” peeled off some rights from down at the south end of the contest zone off the 18th ave jetty and surfed himself to a victory in the Creatures Of Leisure Masters Open over fellow “Belmartian” Mark Gilmartin, longtime belmar pro competitor FL’s Josh Nicastro, and Dane Hoskins. C-Mac exited the water to being chaired up the beach from his friends and loud hoots and applause from the beach.

Belmar local C-Mac, otherwise known as Colin Mc Namara took out the the Creatures Of Leisure Masters Open over fellow “Belmartian” Mark Gilmartin. Photo: Daniel Stockdale

To no surprise to anyone who’s been following this event for enough years, The Blue Moon Longboard Open was once again completed dominated by East Coast longboard pro Tony Silvagni. This is Tony’s 11th, yes, 11th Longboard victory at this event, and his surfing on a longboard is so next level you regularly overhear the peanut gallery whispering “why doesn’t he ride shortboard?”. He’s that good. Tony floatered, lippered and cutbacked his way to a win over Jake DeMatteo, Ty Roach and Kai St George who all were ripping and putting in solid scores.

Gee, wonder who the favorite might be to win the mens Pro longboard division ? This is, of course, a rhetorical question folks as North Carolina’s Tony Silvagni bashes one off the top to take out his 11 Belmar Pro win out of the events 20 years of existence. Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

The Kahuna Sr Men, Belmar Legends, and Jack’s Surf Shack Legends Longboards divisions had several crossovers that entered all three divisions like Gary Finnegan, George Melton, Charlie Vanderlindhe, but it was Puerto Rico’s Robert Ferrer who took both the Legends Longboard and Sr Men categories while still getting a 2nd place in the Legends shortboard as well. Longtime industry rep and former ESA surfer Dean Schoonover took the Legends open over Finnegan, Ferrer and Gerry Matthews.

Legends Open winner Dean Schoonover still schralping like a young buck like back in the day when guys like he, Scott Duerr, T.R. Deveney, Chris Rooney, Charlie King, Brian Soden among others were ruling the Peak at Manasquan Inlet. it’s super cool and amazing to see this generation showing todays groms what the level can be as long as you keep the passion and stoke for the sport burning inside your heart. Photo: Mike Vuocolo

We would like to wish many heartfelt thanks to all the sponsors who helped make this year’s event a success! Also a colossal thanks to Don and Darby Tarrant, and all the staff and judges who worked behind the scenes to make the event go strong in its 20th year.

Josh Burke beyond flairing ! Did he make it? “Absolutely” according to our main man and Jersey shooter, Mike V. And that’s good enough for us plus we know Burke can pull these off in his sleep. Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Check please ! Mens finalist Bo Raynor ( at left ) with the stoked winner of the 2022 Belmar Pro In Memory of Cecil Lear, Josh Burke. Photo: Dan Stockdale @drstockdalephotography

Mia Gallagher, second place Playa Bowls women’s open final. Photo Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Tucker Collins. Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Long time Monmouth County standouts, Gary Finnegan ( red jersey ) and Gerry Matthews exit the water after the Belmar Legends Open finals winning 1’st and 4th place respectively. Photo Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Buxton NC young gun, Kai Westcoat felt right at home in the dumping sandbar style surf at 16th Street. Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Another East Coast young gun, Cruz Dinofa totally destroying this section during the Mens Open. Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshost

Third place finisher of the Blue Moon Longboard Pro, Jake De Matteo Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Local legend Scotty Duerr backside slashing. Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Virginia Beach wave killer, Blayr Barton committing surfing slaughter in the first degree.Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Jersey boy Logan Kamen giving his homies a show. Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

The Big Winner, Josh Burke. Photo: Dan Stockdale @drstockdalephotography