Hundreds of people showed up under perfectly-painted blue skies to
witness Laguna’s Mike Stanaland win first place in the professional
division of the Victoria Pro/Am Skim Contest Sunday.
“He’s like a power skimmer. He stepped it up this year, it was
really close,” said Sumner Miller, Victoria’s manager.
Laguna had a strong showing in the pros at the event held at Aliso
Bill Bryan finished second, George Bryan finished third, Brandon
Sears fourth and Grady Archbald rounded out the top five.
“It was really good for Mike. He’s always finished in the top but
has never taken first in the pros. A lot of people were surprised and
really happy at the same time. Last year he took fifth place, and for
year turning pro and taking first place that’s awesome.”
Victoria Skimboards has held this competition for 26 years. The
event draws skimmers from all over the world to compete. The
competition had 100 contestants who competed in amateur and
Local skimmer Ben Wright competed in the 8-21 division and placed
“Last year I got fourth. This is the biggest contest right now.
It’s by far the most competition,” said Wright.
Wright said he thought the waves were good for the first couple of
hours but said that they faded off with the tide getting kind of
He also gave his kudos to Brandon Sears for placing fourth in the
“It was good seeing all the Victoria team doing so well and seeing
Mike take first,” said Wright.
Others who left an impression were Jeffery Helfrich for the oldest
competitor, 50 -- the youngest was Jared Green, 6; best wipeout was
had by Hiroko Ishida; Jesse Westgaard had the best maneuver; best
barrel was forged by Tyler Stanaland and the Martin Prietto
Sportsmanship award went to Conley Ware.
Miller was confident in the Laguna guys being the best and was
glad his quote before the competition remained true.
“All the guys who are best in the world, every single one of them
are from Laguna,” he said.
* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline
Pilot. She may be reached at 494-4321.