Surf team dominates

Photo by Tad Mask
Flagler College surf team was ranked No. 1 on the East Coast in 2006. After a one-year hiatus this year they hope to regain that ranking.

A young but experienced group of surfers says the team is ready to take on any competitors in the East Coast Championships

By Brandon Volbrecht |

The Flagler College Surf Team is getting ready to win back the NSSA East Coast Championship title.

After taking a year hiatus from their first place finish in 2006, the men are anxious to get back in the water and compete. The team selected six surfers to represent Flagler March 27-30 at the Sebastian Inlet.

Ben McLeod, Bill Stanley, Andrew Gregorie, Mike Pimental, Adam Muller and Eric Taylor will travel a few hours South for their Spring Break. The team doesn’t have any doubt that the title will be returning to the historic grounds of Flagler.

“Our A-team is a great group of surfers,” McLeod said. “We are going to win the East Coast Championships for sure.”

Why are they so sure? “Flagler is going to do well because we have Eric Taylor,” Stanley said. Taylor won the Quicksilver King of the Peak at Sebastian Inlet in 2007 which is a professional contest.

Surfer Magazine published an article in 2006 that ranked Flagler the No. 1 surfing school on the East Coast. However, the team has had to reach from sources beyond their own school for funding. “I think we are the school’s best team and it lures more kids in,” Stanley said. “It would be the cheapest team the school would have.”

The Surf-Station, The Bailey Group, Oakley, Reef and Anheuser-Busch are only some of the big companies that have been willing to go out of their way to help out.

“We are better than any team at Flagler and yet the school doesn’t even recognize us,” McLeod said.

The team also separates themselves from any other at Flagler because they do not have a coach. The decisions for the contests and who competes is handled internally among the surfers. If any discrepancies occur, the Atlantic Ocean, observers and the talent of the surfer determine who will compete when. The team also practices at their own free will by getting out and having fun whenever St. Augustine is blessed with good waves.

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