Local surfer Christopher Herbert is making another trip to the Eastern Surfing Association Championships in North Carolina and is looking to put on a show after a strong outing in last year's contest. Last year, Herbert qualified for
Local surfer Christopher Herbert is making another trip to the Eastern Surfing Association Championships in North Carolina and is looking to put on a show after a strong outing in last year’s contest.
Last year, Herbert qualified for four events – stand up paddleboard, bodyboard, longboard and shortboard – and reached the finals in both the stand up and shortboard competitions.
This year, he qualified for the same four events and will be competing in all but bodyboard, which he elected to pass on due to expected wave conditions. In the Northeast Regional competition, which determines who will reach the next leg, he took home a second-place finish in stand up, third in longboard, fourth in shortboard and fifth in bodyboard.
Herbert has a little extra motivation to shine this year after failing to take first place at the Northeast Regionals, where he took two first-place finishes last year.
“I thought for sure in longboard that I was in the lead, I thought, ‘I’ve got this one,’ but one of the guys on the last wave scored very high and was able to knock me down a couple spots. I know that it’s not over until the final horn sounds and even though I thought I had it in the bag, this sucker came out of nowhere and got me,” Herbert said.
Over the past few weeks, he has been zeroing in on his cardio and conditioning in preparation for North Carolina.
“I think it’s conditioning. Around here in Rhode Island, it’s smaller waves, they’re laid back, it’s a family thing. In Ocean City, the competition is top-notch. I have been working on my cardio and conditioning so that I can push myself to catch that extra wave and not be dog tired. Some people go down there for one discipline and I do four, so I am usually dog tired. With one less this year, that should help me out,” Herbert said.
Now, as he gets set to make his fourth trip to the ESA Championships, Herbert is confident in his experience and looks to make some noise in his final year in his age group.
“The butterflies are out, I’ve turned the page and I am ready to go and to knock this out. This is also my last year of competing in this age group, next year I will be with the old-timers. This is my last hurrah. This is my last chance to do well in this age group which is a big motivator for me,” Herbert said. “I just need to do what I can do. Pick the right waves, pull out the best maneuvers and leave nothing to chance. I can’t sit back on my heels like I did in Maryland. I want to be so far ahead that I don’t give anyone else a chance.”
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