Surf team pays out of their own pockets

By Ray Jarvis

The Flagler College surf team, currently ranked first in the Southeast/North region of the National Scholastic Surfing Association, has been invited to the National Championships in Salt Creek, Calif. The traveling and registration expenses are costly, and the Flagler surf team remains to be one of the only teams without the financial support of their administration.

The team continues to dominate the leader board from competition to competition, and Flagler College remains recognized for their strong team. The men’s A-team consists of Andrew Gregorie, Jason Hewitt, Bill Stanley, Jeff Little and Adam Muller. Jamie Wylam and Daniela Octarvario have strengthened the team with solid surfing for the women this season. Body boarder Aaron O’Brien has won every contest he has been in, adding to the team’s overall lead.

The team now looks forward to competing in the future, although finances are still an issue. “We have no backing whatsoever for any of the competitions,” Gregorie said. “All the riders pay out of their pockets. We are the best team, by far, out of all the teams in Florida, and we are the only surf team with no backing from their school.”

As one of 22 clubs at Flagler College, the surf club has the opportunity to apply for funding from the InterClub Council. Although other clubs take advantage of such funding, the surf team has been reluctant to apply due to implied resistance.

Even Dean of Student Services Daniel Stewart has admitted that the team may have difficulty obtaining funding. “The club has had their strong years with good leadership,” Stewart said. “The club may have better success as an intramural sport.” As an intramural sport, more students would have the opportunity to take part, and it could open the door to possible funding. If it were changed to an intramural sport, the surf team would feel no effect.

Nationals present a new challenge and exciting possibilities for the Flagler surf team. The team has displayed great skill against competitors here in Florida, and hopes to continue their run in California this spring. The team has recognized their lack of funds and plans on hosting a community wide surf contest to raise money for future competitions.

A lack of past leadership in the club has caused fluctuating interest and action by the student body. However, this year Wylam has made a concerted effort to continue the club while strengthening the team with quality riders.

Events, meetings, good surf and a talented student body have all contributed to the strengthening of this year’s team. They have themselves to thank, and continue to plan their way through the season.

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