Skimboard contest short on skimmers, high in excitement
|Spencer Carper gets some big air during semifinal action at the EZ Skimmers skimboarding contest.
The third annual EZ Skimmers Back-To-School Skimboarding Contest took place Saturday, Aug. 21, on the Beach House Restaurant's beautiful beach. The number of contestants was less than half the expected 100 or so skimmers, due in part to Hurricane Charley, which seems to be keeping people closer to home of late.
The skimmers who did participate put on another outstanding show for the 100 or so spectators, despite less than stellar conditions for top notch skimming. The tide was out and waves were virtually nonexistent for most of the day, but as usual the cream rose to the top and after several challenging heats, champions were crowned in eight divisions.
Giorgio Gomez claimed top honors in the minis division for 5-8-year-olds with a dominating performance that featured his infamous headstand and some rides that produced "big air."
Fellow Islander Neal Carper took second place, while Lance Bleiweiss of Naples took third and Islander Austin Frische placed fourth.
The menehune division for 9-11-year-olds featured some fierce competition among finalists Trevor Bystrom, Jonah Caster, Michael Harrington and Phillip Biddulph, all of Holmes Beach. Bystrom claimed top honors with several strong rides. Caster, Harrington and Biddulph followed in the standings.
Christian Chamberlain of Holmes Beach was top dog among the boys in the age 12-14 division, beating out Spencer Carper, Tyler Cruickshank and Anthony Riccio for the top prize, while Katie Gardner took first place in the 11-14 girls division. Elise Schaney of Englewood came in second and Amber Weaver of Bradenton took third.
The junior division for boys age 15-17 was extremely competitive among Islanders Blake Tyre, Joey Mattay and Chase Parker, who followed Stephen Bradford of Largo in the chase for first place.
Dave Armstrong and Dion Davis, both of Venice, took first and second place in the men's 18-21 division. Chris Bowden and Islander Tom Sanger tied for third place with Bowden finishing ahead of Sanger on a tiebreaker.
The women's division was captured by Shannon Dambrioso, who finished just ahead of Stephanie Pritchett, both of Venice. Karla Christianson and Jessica Hopkins, both of Bradenton, followed in the standings.
Austin Bleiwiess of Naples took home top honors in the professional division over Pete Anderson of St. Pete and Dustin Boclair of Venice.
Though the number of contestants was down from last year, everyone who participated - both spectators and skimboarders - had a great time and are looking forward to the next contest Oct. 2 in Dania, Fla. For more information on the next contest, call the West Coast Surf Shop at 778-1001.
Soccer dates to remember
The 2004 soccer banquet will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30, at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. The banquet will feature an Italian-style dinner catered by Sean Murphy. Parents are asked to bring a dessert to share, while the Center will provide beverages.
Cost for the banquet is $5 for kids under 16 and $6 for adults. Take out will be available and everyone is invited to come out and support Island youth sports at this fundraiser.
Uniforms, season schedules and picture schedules will be distributed following dinner.
Spirit Week follows the soccer banquet with exhibition games starting Tuesday, Aug. 31, and continuing until Sept. 3. Teams will each play a couple of scrimmage games to get warmed up for the season. Fans will also have a chance to get warmed up with this year's fan spirit challenge. During the first 15 minutes of each game, a tally will be taken of how many spectators (fans) at the game are wearing their team's colors. Top-spirited teams will be announced during the awards ceremony.
Last chance to sign up to bowl, party
The always anticipated, never disappointing O'Connor Bowling Challenge led by Bill and George O'Connor and sponsored by The Islander is set for Saturday, Aug. 30, at the AMF Bradenton Lanes on Cortez Road.
If you haven't yet reserved your spot, get rolling to Duffy's Tavern, The Islander or the Center and sign up a team or individual. There still are lanes available for this can't-miss event, which raises money for Center sports programs.
Cost for the tournament is $20 per bowler, which includes three games and bowling shoes, that is if you get there early enough to find a pair your size. There will also be raffle tickets for sale for a chance to win a variety of items donated by area merchants and restaurants with the big prize being the Panasonic 32-inch flat-screen television set donated by The Islander with a great discount from Circuit City and Denny Thompson, Islander and manager of the local store. Thompson and friends are expected to join the challenge with a team this year.
You can sign up for the Bowling Challenge at The Islander, 5504 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach; Duffy's Tavern, Marina Drive at 58th Street, Holmes Beach; or at the Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria.
Charity golf tourney still looking for sponsors
The Anna Maria Oyster Bar charity golf tournament is still looking for sponsors for the much anticipated golf tourney which takes place Friday, Sept. 17, at El Conquistador Country Club in Bradenton.
Red tee sponsorships are available for $250 and provides the sponsor with two tickets to a VIP cocktail party, signage on the course and an ad on display at the Anna Maria Oyster Bar Landside restaurant for two months following the tournament. Green sponsorships go for $150, which displays your business ad on the course the day of the tournament.
Corporate sponsorships are also still available for $1,000, including your company logo on the golf shirts that all participants receive and four invites to the cocktail party.
For more information, contact Fred Hurley at 721-7773, or Gary Harkness at 792-0077.