November 21, 2012- The 13th annual Tommy Tant Memorial Surf Classic presented by Nautica breezed into the record books with Jesse Heilman reclaiming the Bright House Men's Pro Title. Heilman won a hard fought final against some of Florida's finest professional surfers, such as Jeremy Johnson, Evan Thompson, and former Tant Men's pro champion Asher Nolan. Florida surfer Eros Exarhou won the Skullcandy Junior Pro division. Rossi Klein took home a victory in the Women's Pro.
The annual weekend surf festival drew thousands of spectators despite challenging wind and weather. Large overhead waves tested the skills of over 300 contestants that filled the 11 amateur divisions. Out of the water, the community support of the event was evident with the jam-packed kick off celebration, art, food festival and concerts.
On Saturday night, the Red Bull Night Riders flew caution to the wind as six top professional surfers braved the nor'easter conditions. Over 2000 spectators lined the boardwalk and pier to witness this unique nighttime surf event. Local support weighed in for Flagler surfer Brandon Hoffman who battled it out against Evan Thompson, Jesse Heilman, Blake Jones, Oliver Kurtz, and Jake McQuire. However, Jacksonville surfer Evan Thompson aerial skills proved victorious as he was crowned the 2012 Red Bull Night Riders champion. Evan kept the title in the family since his older brother Cody won the event last year. In the end, both his brothers Tristan and Cody Thompson hoisted Evan up the beach.
The Tommy Tant Memorial Surf Classic awarded fourteen scholarships to local high school and college students who volunteered throughout the weekend. A donation will also be made to the local food bank that provides meals to local families during the Holidays. Furthermore, the event will make a donation to the National Marfan Foundation to raise awareness and support for familial aortic aneurysms, a connective tissue disease that affects the Tant family.