Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation’s Fifth Annual Surf For A Cause Pro-Am

“If Dean wins his own contest, all of his friends are going to give him so much shit,” was John Logan’s (Dean’s best friend and most brutal critic) response to hearing about in-form Randazzo’s ‘CT-level performance in the final of the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation’s Fifth Annual Surf For A Cause Pro-Am. Is it lame to win your own contest? Not when the prize money goes back into the foundation. And this year’s Surf For A Cause raised over $24,000. The money raised will aid someone — usually a surfer — with cancer who is lacking medical benefits. How many surfers do you know with health {{{insurance}}}? Exactly.

The foundation began when Dean, who qualified for the WCT in 1996 (and will again soon) and was voted MVP for the winning East Coast team of the 2004 X-Games, beat Hodgkin’s Disease (a cancer of the lymph nodes) into remission in 2000. Dean’s mom, Mary Lou Randazzo (a retired nurse and tireless giver), his brother Joe (great surfer and all-around great guy) and Dean decided to start the non-profit organization.

The early round contestants were treated to head-high to over-head surf with light offshores, and super-fun left bowls peeling off the jetty and shallow sandbar, which is overlooked by the silly national landmark Lucy the Elephant — a giant elephant standing on valuable Margate, NJ beachfront property. By mid-day, Miss Hurricane Ophelia, who took out some of her PMS symptoms on North Carolina the day prior, had gotten over her menstrual cramps and drifted quietly out to sea, leaving behind waist-high wind slop — better than flat, but a far cry from the morning conditions she spoiled contestants with.

With the Unsound Pro still running in New York, there were a few expected big name pros missing from the roster, but the competition was fierce nonetheless, as all who were knocked out jammed down to make their heats. With the promise of epic morning conditions, the call was made to push the Unsound Pro semi’s and finals back to Saturday morning, unfortunately conflicting with the Surf For A Cause. Dean had made it through his quarterfinal in New York the previous afternoon, but he knows where his priorities lie, and he shined the semi’s and possible finals berth in the WQS event to be at his fundraiser.

The Randazzler did get his finals berth — but at an event far more important to every cancer survivor. Along with Jersey-devil Dean, the final was rounded out by stellar performances by West Coasters Jeremy Ryan, Travis Molina, Adam Virs, and Tarik Khashoggi, and lone Floridian grom, Kris Wiernicki. Jeremy caused the grom-filled water’s edge to repeatedly belt out prepubescent four letter epithets by cleanly landing airs, reverses and fin-free snaps, which landed him second place and ${{{600}}}. Travis Molina was ultra-smooth and polished, which smoothed and polished his pocket with a handy $400 for third. Energizer meatball Adam Virs threw some serious chunks with devastating backside hits, but his waves were too short ("hey, Adam, are you sure you’re really 5′ 4″?") for him to get the scores he needed. He put ${{{300}}} of trouble-making money in his pocket for fourth. Considering the close proximity to Atlantic City, it’s probably a good thing he didn’t place higher.

15-year-old Floridian freak Kris Wiernicki surfed fluidly and powerfully, but didn’t quite complete his big maneuvers, landing him his first pro final, and a fifth place check for ${{{200}}}. Tarik Khashoggi couldn’t seem to make sense of the difficult-to-navigate wind slop, and scored ${{{100}}} for sixth. Dean surfed with the strength and determination it takes to beat Hodgkin’s Disease. He was on another level, executing the type of critical and powerful turns that can only be found on the WCT. His buddies might tease him about winning his own contest, but the cancer-victim who receives the check for $24,000 (it would have been $23,000 had Dean not won) for medical costs will have nothing but gratitude.Thanks to the sponsors who made the Dean Randazzo Fifth Annual Surf For A Cause possible with their generation contributions:Harrison Beverage, Dino’s Sub Shop, Electric, Lost, Da Kine, NJ Surf, Dreg’s, Fat Steaks, Copier’s Plus, DeNafo and Walkoff LLC, 7th Street Surf Shop, and Jon Baker; artist.For more information, visit or call Mary Lou Randazzo at (609) 927-4705