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Brooks St. is a classic

Weather provides better surfing conditions, leading to a successful Brooks Street Classic.

August 26, 2010|By Mike Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com
  • Shane Chapman drives a big floater, showing no fear on a big set wave in the boys' 13-and-under final at the 49th annual Brooks St. Classic held last weekend.
Shane Chapman drives a big floater, showing no fear on… (DON LEACH, Coastline…)

The waiting game came to an end last weekend and the 2010 Brooks Street Classic surf contest is in the books.

Encouraged by sunny skies and increasing swells in what has been a mostly otherwise bleak-looking summer, the much-anticipated annual contest concluded Sunday with champions crowned in 12 divisions, ranging from paddleboard through Pro/Am.

The two-day event started Saturday.

"I thought the competition was great," said Brandy Faber, who was the contest director.

Faber has worked for Ron Lutz, who retired in July from his position as Senior Recreation Department Supervisor for the City of Laguna Beach, for the past 15 years in running the contest. Faber said that Lutz, who was on vacation over the weekend, missed the contest for the first time since 1969 after spending nearly 40 years organizing the event.

"Without the city's involvement, this contest wouldn't go on," Faber said.

The Brooks Street Classic was first held in the 1955. The annual event had a three-year hiatus (2006 through 2008) because of poor surf conditions.

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It resumed last year.

"My goal is to hold the event every year," Faber said. "I'd rather had sub-par conditions than not have the contest, at all.

"Considering how strange this summer has been with the odd weather, this weekend was fantastic. We had sun and everyone was stoked. The waves weren't great but everyone had a great time."

Faber, 40, who has won contest titles in three different divisions but didn't compete this year, said that consecutive days of decent surf conditions are needed in order for the contest to run.

"I watched closely for the 10-day forecast at Surfline and the Brooks Street-specific forecast for last weekend," he said. "They projected the swells to come in around noon on Saturday and get bigger on Sunday. The swells were decent."

Faber estimated the swells to average 4 feet, with sets as high as 8 feet coming off the second reef at Brooks Street.

The waiting period for this year's contest started June 1. The latest the contest has been held in a single year was in early- to mid-October, Faber said.

Jeff Booth, 40, won the Pro/Am Division and earned $1,000 for his victory. Faber said Booth is the "most decorated" winner in the history of the contest. Tristram Miller, who won the Pro/Am last year, finished fourth Sunday.

Faber estimated the contest drew 120 contestants.

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