Entering water at Wrightsville Beach

The East Coast Wahine Championships is open to amateur surfer girls on the East Coast. The annual event is held every August in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

The contest began in 1997 under the leadership of Tammy Kennedy. Tammy, a Florida native, was a wildly successful competitor in the Eastern Surfing Association, and her move to Wilmington, NC didn't stop her winning streak. She inspired and encouraged many local girls to surf in competition and wanted to see an event special to them. With the backing of the Southern North Carolina ESA, she organized the first wahine championships and 76 girls from several states competed.

In 1998 Tammy moved on to California and Anne Beasley, Karen Allison, and Paula Bushardt tried to fill her shoes. Anne was also an ESA surfer in Southern North Carolina and she too moved to California in 2000 to pursue a career writing and promoting women's surfing. She spent a year and a half as the associate editor for Surfing Girl magazine and in 2002, she accepted the position of editor for Surf Life for Women magazine. Anne implemented this website for contest information, photos, and results and is in charge of sponsor support for the wahine championships. She makes the trek back east every August and misses her home and friends tremendously!

Paula is the technical director. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and over 20 years of experience in design and technical management in Aerospace and Commercial applications, this surely gives her the qualifications to organize the heat sheets, process the entry forms, layout the beach setup, and anything else technical! She's also a longtime surfer with a cute little surf grom daughter, Alea, who has charged every wahine contest since 1997.

In 1998, the second annual wahine contest had 111 competitors coming from New Jersey to Florida. The third year, 1999 was even more successful with 176 girls traveling from New York to Miami. In 2000 we had a wahine from every state on the eastern seaboard, Texas, California, and one gal all the way from Australia! We have received national coverage from surfing magazines, websites, newsprint, and television. In 2000 we were blessed with the first named hurricane of the season, and scored head high plus surf! In 2001, we lost count after 200. We had a waiting list of surfers just trying to get in the event! The contest changed locations in 2001 and 2002 being held a little further south in Kure Beach. In 2002 about 175 girls entered and contest directors introduced a Pro Longboard division with St. Augustine, Florida's Lauren Hill taking home $500. A Sponsored Division was also introduced with Florida's Connie Arias taking first place. A Surf Clinic was also hosted by WB Surf Camp and all contestants viewed a private screening of the Hollywood movie Blue Crush. In 2003 the event returned to Wrightsville Beach and we had to limit the number of entries in order to run the contest in the alloted time. NC native Kelly Nicely made a name for herself by winning both the Pro Longboard and the Sponsored Shortboard divisions. She will be the returning champ in 2004.

The contest format features shortboard, Pro/Am longboard, and bodyboard divisions with a novice division for beginners. 

The ECWC is backed by our local Southern North Carolina Eastern Surfing Association
Although ECWC surfers are not required to be ESA members, the ECWC uses ESA equipment, judges,  point system, and rules. We are promoting and supporting women's surfing, the confidence, strength, and bonds of friendship it brings. We hope one day the ESA will implement several women stand alone events a year.

 The ECWC solely exists through the help of local and national sponsors. Surf Shops, Surf Industry, and other businesses are encouraged to support the ECWC through monetary and product donations. A few of our past national Sponsors include Billabong, Reef, Spy, Aaron Chang, and Water Girl. Local Surf Shops like Sweetwater, Aussie Island, Surf City, and Hot Wax, have generously donated money and prizes each year.

The ECWC has  received national coverage! 

 Surf Life for Women Magazine
Surfing Girl Magazine
Surfing magazine
Surfer magazine
Juice magazine
Longboard Magazine
 Encore magazine
Wahine magazine
Paper Magazine
 Eastern Surf Magazine
Northeast Surf News
USA Today
Wilmington Star News
NBC News
 Rock 104.5 FM
Surf 107.5 FM. 
Pacific Sunwear.com

2003 ECWC Results, Photos
2002 ECWC Results, Photos
2000 ECWC Results, Photos
1999 ECWC Results, Photos
1998 ECWC Results, Photos
1997 ECWC Results, Photos

Wrightsville Beach Home Page