Coquina Jam Returns to Brant Beach

The Jetty Coquina Jam, showcasing feminine surfers of all ages, goes down at 68th Street in Brant Beach, 8 a.m. Sunday, July 25. (Photo by Dan Przygocki)
The 2020 Jetty Coquina Jam was unusual. Masks on the beach front was just the begin. From the sanitizing of jerseys concerning heats to the weird structure of the sponsors, it was a surf contest like no one particular experienced ever noticed, and just one of the only seaside functions to happen on LBI past calendar year.
But it was necessary to make the 12th annual Coquina Jam, the once-a-year all-female surf contest that places the highlight on girls of all ages by regionally-centered life style apparel company Jetty, occur and occur properly.
What might have appeared like an odd calendar year was especially excellent as it saw an elevated degree of women surfing and a history $88,281 raised that went to David’s Aspiration & Believe that Cancer Foundation and Jetty’s charitable arm, The Jetty Rock Basis in the midst of a world pandemic with out a one coronavirus circumstance affiliated to the collecting.
“I was so stoked about very last year’s celebration and fundraising endeavours achieving $88,000. It’s the a single occasion out of the whole year that I hate to skip since it definitely retains a specific location in my heart,” said David Caldarella, founder of DDBCF, who survived Phase 4 throat cancer in 2009, the very first calendar year of the Coquina Jam. He has because devoted his lifetime to encouraging family members in New Jersey afflicted by most cancers by way of money assistance, wellness products and services and hope.
Due to the fact he is immune-compromised, it broke his coronary heart not to show up at as he had to stay mostly quarantined for a whole yr, even by past summertime.
The tricky work that went into the party allowed it to operate safely and increase plenty of resources to preserve DDBCF afloat in a calendar year with no in-human being fundraisers.
“I’ve identified Jeremy DeFilippis (co-founder and associate of Jetty) for a really long time. Coquina Jam 2011 was the ignition that fueled DDBCF’s Mission of Hope for people battling a most cancers prognosis. Jetty will be receiving our 2021 DDBCF Beacon of Hope Award at this year’s LBI Summer time Soiree,” Caldarella extra.
In the past 10 years, the occasion has elevated $197,500. This calendar year, with the pandemic mainly in the rearview for New Jersey, the party will be back to regular, potentially with a greater existence, and aiming to elevate $100,000 that the two nonprofits will disperse to families of sufferers throughout the point out. The contest will choose position Sunday, July 25 at the 68th Road beach front in Brant Beach.
“I am 100 per cent vaccinated,” Caldarella claimed. “I will completely be in attendance this calendar year less than the DDBCF tent. I was basically emotional when I acquired vaccinated because I was not only guarding my immunocompromised self, but the persons about me that I adore and, quite frankly, humanity,” he additional excitedly.
When some of the most focused gals surf through the wintertime, most surf only from Might to October, and female surfing tends to get even bigger each summer season. This party follows the lengthy-standing Jetty tradition that goes back to the quite 1st Clam Jam (Jetty’s brother function to the Coquina), whereby the opponents are split into two age teams. A more youthful surfer is paired with a veteran by pulling names, written on clam shells, out of a hat. This year’s surfers array from women who have been surfing for two decades to females who have been browsing for 55 many years. The format produces 64 teams of random pairings that compete by the day. It also serves to blend the generations and establish the spirit of local community.
Very last 12 months Beach Haven native turned Florida professional surf instructor Jamie DeWitt and younger Mia Gallagher of Ocean Metropolis bested Seashore Haven’s Kristen Labin and Mia’s more mature sister, Brynn Gallagher, to get the Coquina trophy, an ornate piece of shell and woodwork performed by community artist Joel Dramis for the initial function.
Living legend Mary Frack of Barnegat is established to surf her 13th Coquina Jam. She has been surfing since 1966. (Image by Kyle Gronostajski)
But that energy duo was split up this calendar year in the attract. DeWitt, who competed with the major newbie surfers in the entire world as a teen, has her truthful share of professional contest outcomes. She has been a Jetty ambassador for the previous 10 many years and a short while ago begun her possess surf faculty in New Smyrna Beach with her husband. Dewitt is flying back again to spend time with her loved ones on the Island and compete with young Monmouth County partner Amanda Flaherty.
After she gained the celebration for the third time, very last 12 months, Jetty additional Gallagher, 15, to its crew in August.
“I to start with read about the Coquina Jam from a close friend that experienced completed the contest already. She mentioned it was the most pleasurable contest of the yr, so I experienced to signal up,” remembered Gallagher.
“I’ve gotten to know Jetty as a brand, and it is no shock to me that they would create a platform like this to aid people today in will need. The surfing is usually enjoyment, but the fundraising that allows these families is the most significant.”
Gallagher, a member of the Junior Olympics U.S. Surf Group, received the 2020 Open Women’s and Explorer Women titles at the National Scholastic Surfing Association East Coastline Championships. She also took out Californians, Hawaiians and Floridians at the Nationals to make many finals. She is now also getting practical experience in some Planet Surf League Junior Pro functions.
“The Coquina Jam actually afforded me the chance to fulfill the Jetty staff and actually get to know them. They care about me as a particular person, not just a surfer, letting me to help with acquiring the future of their women’s attire line, which I am super stoked on. Most of all, nevertheless, Jetty has showed me that I can use my aggressive surfing as a system for the in general excellent – sharing my like of the ocean, supporting my nearby shop, Heritage in Ocean Town, and our group.”
Among the the community surfers, or individuals with area ties, to view are Kali Emery, Lauren Zodl, Dana Rose Brown, Lizzy Beyer, Hannah Todd, Allie Panetta, Sammy Jo Alvarez, Sophia Beyer, Krystal Aguilar,  Bakelja, Lauren Rothman, Amalie Werner, Carolina Labin and Isla Carvajal. Carvajal led all the surfers in fundraising past year.
“I’m so enthusiastic to be competing all over again this 12 months in Coquina Jam!” exclaimed Allie Nagel, a speech language pathologist. “I sat out the final handful of just after obtaining two toddlers in two several years, but so stoked to get back again in the drinking water this time, with two tiny ones seeing me from the beach front! I obtain it a good deal much more hard these days, timetable intelligent, to get in the h2o with my heart and fingers totally full, but I’m seriously making an attempt to embrace all the moments I get, just soaking in the gratitude for the toughness and capability that bounced back in just my physique. I set a objective to get out there all over again, coming comprehensive circle, very first competing in this occasion 13 a long time ago and now staying able to set an example for my possess little ones.”
Allie Panetta. (Image by Ann Coen)
Every single surfer will be elevating consciousness and funds on her have major up to the event. The groups will contend head on in brackets. The bracket sponsors – Fantasy Island Amusement Park, The Wright Legislation Business, The Tide Desk Group, Farias Surf and 506 Boutique – will match the funds elevated in each bracket up to $2,500.
The seaside will have a sponsor village with foods by The Tide Table Group, together with the conventional clams on the 50 % shell. Donations can be manufactured via your favored surfer or by texting “Coquina” to 71777.
The contest begins at 8 a.m. this Sunday. The public is invited to be part of in the festivities, cheer on the surfers and assist the induce. The forecast calls for little surf with swell creating by means of the day. In circumstance of uncooperative circumstances, the contest will be rescheduled for Sunday, Aug. 1.
Jon Coen

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