Ed Guzman, Head of Water Safety

Thank you for the Invitation to participate in the Unvitational Big Wave surfing contest at Nelscott Reef this year.  Being the head of Water Safety and working with my team, to provide a safety net for the athletes was very rewarding. I misunderstood the roll of Eric Akiskaian. I thought he was registered and participating in the contest. From my understanding, he was helping with safety on his Jet Ski. I was disappointed with his total disregard for safety and his lack of respect for the participants in the contest.

He rode his Jet Ski on waves during the contest like it was his own private Rodeo. This was unsafe, causing wakes in the line up and distracting the Water Patrol from their job. I thought he was supposed to help with safety. Instead he was very selfishly assisting only one contestant and ignoring everyone else. Towards the end of the paddling segment of the contest he started Tow Surfing in the middle of the contest! What was that about?

Later, I find out that he is not even in the contest. He blatantly rode waves like he was competing in the Tow In part of the contest. He interfered with the contest, as there was still paddlers, myself included trying to catch our last waves prior the Tow In segment of the contest. He added an element of confusion to the water that was not in the spirit of the contest.

I would like to see Eric Akiskalian banned from the area on contest day so the Water Patrol can safely assist participants without interference.