A weekend at the Cleanwater Classic - Lost River Photos

This past weekend was filled with sunshine, good waves, new friends, and all the surfing one could want. The 16th annual Cleanwater Classic was held in Westport, WA this past weekend and if you have never been it's defiantly a must-see event. I'll admit that I know next to zero about surfing and not being a strong swimmer there is pretty much no chance I'll take it up heck if I'm really being honest I'll admit that I didn't even know people surfed in Washington prior to moving here to Westport. Now just because I can't surf certainly doesn't mean I don't appreciate the sport and the talent and dedication it takes to be out there and I must say there was quite a bit of talent on display this weekend. 

Earlier this summer I acquired a couple new zoom lens and since that time I have been slowly dabbling in surf photography so with this event in town I figured now was the time to take things up a notch. Now if you are just here for the images you will find some on this page but the full gallery can be accessed by clicking HERE or simply just click the image at the top of the page as well.

The event is organized by the Surfrider Foundation which if you are not familiar with their work you should be. With chapters up and down both coasts including the Great Lakes region, Hawaii and Puerto Rico there is most likely one close by. These folks volunteer their time and energy to Coastal protection and cleanup, beach access and clean water just to name a few things. According to their website, they have 104 active campaigns going right now and specifically 4 here in Washington. Of those 4 campaigns, 2 include us here in Grays Harbor so I again encourage you to go check these out.

Day 1 started bright and early with heats beginning at 7:30 am. As is typical here on the coast things started a little grey but quickly turned into a mix of sun and clouds as the waves rolled in one right after the other. Never having attended a surf competition I didn't know what to expect so I was really surprised at how fast things moved along. Approximately every 16 minutes a new group of competitors would be headed out in their brightly colored jerseys. For those of you not familiar like I this is done so that the judges are able to clearly see the competitors especially since they are seated quite far back from the action. For a newbie like me, it helped me focus on the action as there was a constant stream of surfers on either side.

As day rolled into the night and things were dying down on the beach the party was just beginning to heat up at The Loge. Since its grand opening back in May Loge Camps has quickly become the place to stay in Westport. You can book a room, campsite or even stay in one of the hostel bunk beds all in an environment geared towards bringing people together. If you don't have your own surf gear Loge has partnered with EVO to supply rentals of boards and wetsuits, if you're hungry there is an onsite cafe/coffee shop/bar and during the summer they show movies on Friday nights with live music on Saturdays. Seriously where else would you want to stay?

Okay onto the festivities with free BBQ being provided by Aloha Alabama and title sponsor/Loge partner 10 Barrel Brewing Co. providing the beer it allowed everyone to kick back by the firepits, meet some new friends, maybe win a raffle prize or two and listen to the sounds of band Headwaves.

Yet another 7:30 am start time on Sunday got things rolling for the 2nd and final day; man surfers get up early. Albeit a bit cooler the weather was even nicer with no marine layer and just plenty of sun and waves. Images from Day 1 and Day 2 can be found in Cleanwater Classic Gallery <-----just click the link. I hope you all enjoy viewing the images as much as I did taking them. See you all next year.

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