Sonny Owens, Head Judge
I was head judge at the recent Nelscott Reef Event, and was wanting to bring to your attention the interference that the Judges and contestants observed with Surfers that were not listed in the event within the contest area. The outsiders seemed to be organized and was taking waves in front of and around the contestants with no regard to the safety of the contestants or themselves for that matter. In addition, a couple of them were wearing contest jerseys that made it impossible from our viewpoint to tell them from the contestants.
For a good part of the event day the group also had tow-in surfers which pulled right through the event area, at one point encircling one of the SUP surfers, causing him to have a very bad wipeout in a position that was difficult for the safety craft to get to him right away.
I’m not sure how or if there is a way of keeping these events all to the contestants and personnel. But maybe if there was positive proof of the identity to these folks causing the safety issues that they could be ticketed for operating equipment in an unsafe manner with disregard to public safety or something…