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The Award Winning & Best News on Anna Maria Island, FL Since 1992

"The Award Winning & Best News on Anna Maria Island, FL Since 1992"

Thursday, Nov, 27, 2014
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Story Tools

Date of Issue: July 15, 2005

Molly "Bam" Taylor, Ellie "Sharkbait" Beatey, Jake "The Snake" Ross, Kellen "Tumbleweed" Osmond, Courtney "Tweetie" Wash and Krista "Sunshine" Michaelsen pose with their instructors, Tommy Rudek, Joey Mattay, Kevin Kirn, Josh Riccio, Ben Handley, Pete Falks and Bluewater School of Surf owner William Kimball before the start of the final heat.
Click on image to enlarge
Matthew "The Rat" Robles shows good form on this waist-high wave at the White Avenue beach.
Click on image to enlarge
Kellen "Tumbleweed" Osmond captured first place in the camp surfing contest.
Click on image to enlarge
Ellie "Sharkbait" Beatey is a picture of concentration as she rides her wave all the way to the beach.
Click on image to enlarge
Courtney "Tweetie" Wash was a wave-catching machine during the contest.
Click on image to enlarge
Five-year-old Jake "The Snake" Ross told his mother Lee Ross that this (surf camp) was the greatest thing hed done in his "whole" life.
Click on image to enlarge

Bluewater School of Surfing splashes into AMI

"Let's go surfin' now, everybody's learnin' how, come on a safari with me."

Approximately 30 youngsters from the Island and Bradenton followed those Beach Boy lyrics over the July 4-11 week, learning the basic skills of surfing during the first-ever Bluewater School of Surfing Camp at the White Avenue Beach in Anna Maria.

The campers' surfer education started on the beach with basic instruction on water safety and assigning and choosing proper nicknames. Then Savannah "Linguini" Silenzi, Ellie "Sharkbait" Beatey, Kellen "Tumbleweed" Osmond and the rest of the campers received expert instruction on how to paddle and stand up before moving to the water where they got to apply the skills they learned onshore.

Each student surfer ventures into the water with an instructor, who first directs student surfers on how best to paddle out through the onslaught of incoming waves. When they reach their desired location beyond the breakers, the instructors relay the fine points of spotting good waves and how to get into the proper position to catch the waves. When a suitable wave arrives, the instructors give their protege's a helpful push - and off they go!

Bluewater School of Surfing owner William Kimball brought his school of surfing to Anna Maria Island at the request of Brandi Gomez, daughter of West Coast Surf Shop owners. Bluewater was founded in 1996 in Juno Beach by Kimball. It was the first surf school in Palm Beach County and it's one of the most successful surf schools in the state. Kimball's school boasts a 100-percent success rate among its students.

The surf camp ran Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-noon with a variety of activities to keep the kids interested, like dodgeball, paddling races, Indo boarding, snorkeling and personal watercraft "tow surfing."

While the school usually culminates with a surfing contest on Friday for trophies and prizes, the fickle nature of surf conditions in the Gulf of Mexico prompted the Bluewater camp to conduct the contest on Wednesday morning and the campers put on quite the show in the knee- to waste-high surf.

Kimball, who judges Eastern Surf Association surfing contests, said he had a very difficult time with judging the contest here. The final heat produced a five-way tie for first that had to be broken by a tiebreaker involving each surfer's highest scoring wave.

Kellen "Tumbleweed" Osmond emerged from the five-way tie to win the contest, while Courtney "Tweetie" Wash came in second. Jake "The Snake" Ross finished just ahead of Ellie "Sharkbait" Beatey, while Krista "Sunshine" Michaelsen and Molly "Bam" Taylor rounded out the top six.

Bluewater School of Surfing is offering another surf camp Aug. 1-5. The camp costs $205 per surfer, with additional family members receiving a $30 discount. For more information, contact Kimball at (561) 339-4386, or email him at william@bluewatersurfing.com.

Horseshoe update

Hurricane Dennis washed out the July 9 games, but Wednesday, July 6, had an unusually large turnout that resulted in an odd number of players. This created a "team of one" that had to walk back and forth between the pits. The "walker" turned out to be Tom Rhodes of Cortez.

Rhodes, aka Mr. T, threw a sparkling mix of ringers and single points to win three matches before defeating the Bradenton team of Jay Disbrow and Sam Samuels in the finals to capture the championship.

Games get under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday morning and are free and open to the public. The park is located just behind the Anna Maria City Hall at the corner of Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue. Residents and visitors are welcome and teams are drawn at random prior to the games beginning.

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