Brooks St. is a classic

The waiting game came to an end last weekend and the 2010 Brooks Street Classic surf contest is in the books.

Encouraged by sunny skies and increasing swells in what has been a mostly otherwise bleak-looking summer, the much-anticipated annual contest concluded Sunday with champions crowned in 12 divisions, ranging from paddleboard through Pro/Am.

The two-day event started Saturday.

"I thought the competition was great," said Brandy Faber, who was the contest director.

Faber has worked for Ron Lutz, who retired in July from his position as Senior Recreation Department Supervisor for the City of Laguna Beach, for the past 15 years in running the contest. Faber said that Lutz, who was on vacation over the weekend, missed the contest for the first time since 1969 after spending nearly 40 years organizing the event.

"Without the city's involvement, this contest wouldn't go on," Faber said.

The Brooks Street Classic was first held in the 1955. The annual event had a three-year hiatus (2006 through 2008) because of poor surf conditions.

It resumed last year.

"My goal is to hold the event every year," Faber said. "I'd rather had sub-par conditions than not have the contest, at all.

"Considering how strange this summer has been with the odd weather, this weekend was fantastic. We had sun and everyone was stoked. The waves weren't great but everyone had a great time."

Faber, 40, who has won contest titles in three different divisions but didn't compete this year, said that consecutive days of decent surf conditions are needed in order for the contest to run.

"I watched closely for the 10-day forecast at Surfline and the Brooks Street-specific forecast for last weekend," he said. "They projected the swells to come in around noon on Saturday and get bigger on Sunday. The swells were decent."

Faber estimated the swells to average 4 feet, with sets as high as 8 feet coming off the second reef at Brooks Street.

The waiting period for this year's contest started June 1. The latest the contest has been held in a single year was in early- to mid-October, Faber said.

Jeff Booth, 40, won the Pro/Am Division and earned $1,000 for his victory. Faber said Booth is the "most decorated" winner in the history of the contest. Tristram Miller, who won the Pro/Am last year, finished fourth Sunday.

Faber estimated the contest drew 120 contestants.

The 49th annual Brooks Street Classic was held in honor of the late-John "Jack" Denny, who died at age 33 in September of 1998 after battling cancer. Faber said that Denny, a Laguna Beach resident, was a force in the local surfing community and worked as a designer for Gotcha International in Irvine before launching his own clothing line, World Jungle, in 1990.

The 49th annual Brooks Street Classic

(in memory of Jack Denny)

Cy Chambers Award: Adam Mejia

Tom Chambers Award: Austin Silvers

Paddleboard Division: 1. Dave Vanderveen; 2. Ted Taylor.

Bodyboard Division: 1. Ted Taylor; 2. Tobie Grierson; 3. James Henry; 4. George Vitolo; 5. Paul McMannus.

Longboard Division: 1. Travis Sampson; 2. Dave Vanderveen; 3. Paul "Pablo" Cernich; 4. Walter Viszolay.

Girls/Women Division: 1. Leah Pakpour; 2. Taylor Pitz; 3. Hannah Fait; 4. Brenda Joseph; 5. Lauren Hampton.

Boys 13-Under Division: 1. Shane Chapman; 2. Tobie Grierson; 3. Michael Chapman; 4. Harrison Kirkman.

Junior Men (14-17): 1. Austin Silvers; 2. Adam Mejia; 3. Chris Williams; 4. Derek Strombotne.

Men (18-23): 1. Porter Hogan; 2. Brad Burdick; 3. Issac Zoller; 4. Tyler Stanaland.

Senior Men (24-29): 1. Steve Manee; 2. Mike Todd; 3. Clayton Snyder; 4. Blake Pettit.

Masters (30-39) Division: 1. Hans Hagen; 2. Eric "Frog" Nelson; 3. Steve Hurst; 4. Tristram Miller.

Senior Masters (40-49) Division: 1. Jason Steris; 2. Bobby Lockhart; 3. Sean Brown; 4. Paul "Pablo" Cernich.

Grand Masters (50-plus) Division: 1. Scott Holt; 2. Phil Johnson; 3. Doug Bunting; 4. Keith Gregg.

Pro/Am Division: 1. Jeff Booth ($1,000); 2. Bobby Chapman ($750); 3. Eric "Frog" Nelson ($500); 4. Tristram Miller ($250).

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