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Ralph Pic Of The Week

If you want to access the Pic of the
week from past weeks click here.

September 25, 2006

OK I'm late. Truth be told, I just got back from Cape Hatteras. That's right, I was not here for Hurricane Helene. I was however, in the tropics surfing and shooting warm water heaving Cape Hatteras Barrels. Tropics? Cape Hatteras is the tropics? Hell yes it is. If you've never been to the Outer Banks in late September you are truly missing out on one of the East Coast's biggest Surf attractions. Hatteras Rocks. No question about it. Them boys and girls have got themselves some beefy beach breaks, that's not for the feint of heart.

So how did the crew from New England fair in the contest? Good and not so good. Just qualifying is a feather in anyone's cap. Advancing into the Finals is something else again. For starters, them Florida, Hatteras and Jersey Surfers are used to that kind of surf. I mean think about it. All they ever surf is that dumping thumping beach break. Us New Englanders are all spoiled. We actually have waves that you can paddle around. Not down there. Hell no. It's only a matter of time before one of them beasts picks you off. And don't think for a moment that getting picked off by a well overhead thick Hatteras lip is easy to get through. It is not.

Just ask my son Max. Ouch. We all watched in horror as he got sucked over the falls on a massive, heaving, sucking out 10' beast. Only to lose his Jersey and his trunks after the severe beating he took. This was during his Longboard heat. Now anyone who knows Mackey will tell you, he's not a Longboarder. He does compete in the Longboard heats though. Mostly for fun. This particular heat was scary from the get go. Hatteras is not exactly a Longboard friendly wave. Hardly. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to get me to paddle out there in those conditions on a Longboard. No thank you.

Poor Mackey got the beating of his life. The good news is he surfed really good. Two of his waves he rode with his Jersey on. The last 3 waves he rode however, he did not have a Jersey on. The judges refused to judge him without his Jersey on. Lenny Nichols filed a formal protest all to no avail. The good news is. Max earned some well deserved respect from everyone present. And, they will now write a NEW rule. It will be know as Mackey's rule.

If a competitor loses a Jersey during a heat, he must come in and get a new one. Too little too late for Mackey V, but it might save some other kid in the future of NOW knowing what to do if he gets his Jersey and trunks BLOWN OFF by a rogue wave.

The whole NNE team did well. We even had some notable Finalists. Including Mike "Zap" Paugh and Lenny Nichols himself. Some of the highlights was watching little Kai Nichols paddle out and catch 10 waves.

And watching the other Hot surfers from all over the East Coast. Did I get any footage? What do you think? Don't forget where freak boy Kelly Slater came from. The ESA. It is the largest most successful longest running Surfing association in the world. That's got to mean something.

There's two thing's for sure when traveling to the ESA Championships. One, you're going to get surf. And secondly, you are going to see some very good surfing up close and personal. And what Grom wouldn't want to see the potential next Kelly Slater?

I think we saw him. His name is Zach Humphries. The kid is an animal and he seems to be non-human in his radical techniques. I mean, he does not fall. He goes vert and beyond vert on every wave. It's impressive, and our kids got an eyeful of super talent all over the place.

They used to call Hatteras the North Shore of the East Coast. There's a good reason why.

I did get my share of email and cell calls from my peeps back home. So I know you all got some surf from ole Helene. It was fun hearing about the conditions back home and visa versa. As good as it sounded back here, it was hard to turn away from 80 degree water temps and and even warmer air temps. I mean my friends, we were trunking it. You know, No wetties. No Rash guards. Just trunks and wax. The way surfing is supposed to be. Or rather, the way the majority of the surfing world sees surfing. No rubber. Especially on the hands and feet. No we opted to squeeze every hour out of the trip and take in the bath like conditions.

It was worth every pounding.

Speaking of pounding...what the hell happened to the Patriots last night? That was ugly and then some. If I can add my two cents here. I've said this since day one. Losing Wille McGinnest, Adam Vinateri and Deion Branch will hurt this team. And clearly, it's been hurting them since week one. We barely beat the Bills, and were lucky to squeak by with a victory against the JETS. Last night's debacle however was the final straw. Clearly having Wille back there chasing around QB's is truly missed. And doubly clear is not having Mr "Surefoot" himself Adam V kicking Field Goals at ease. But the worse offense of all? Was not having Deion Branch haul in some of Tom Brady's passes and making some positive yards.

This team is in trouble. Will they win more games? Of course. Will they go deep in the play-offs. I'd have to say no. I don't see it happening this year.

Too bad. But that's the name of the game. Money.

Last week's column generated a whole bunch of email. Mostly from our friends up North. The good news is, they ALL agreed with me. I mean, I guess we call all agree, that telling Local Surfers to F_ _ K OFF! Is Not a good idea. It's a bad idea. Very bad.

Hopefully, this last swell was more manageable. I hope it was for everyone's sake. There's no need for getting uptight out there. None.

I shot some great footage in Hatteras this last week. It will be featured in my new flick along with all the local flavor from last winter and summer. Meanwhile...SUMMER 05 is still in the Shops and available at my other site

I'm so bummed. I missed JEFF BECK at the Casino last week. Yes THE Jeff Beck. How I managed that I'll never know. Jeff Beck is one of the all time best Guitarists in the world today. He makes sounds out of his guitar that I've never heard anyone else make, ever. He is truly unique and a monster in his own right.

I have not seen the weather today. In fact, I have not seen the news in a week. Are there any new storms? Any potential Tropical storms or depressions? I guess in hindsight, Summer 06 went out with a bang.

I did hear that Chief Scumbag Osama Bin Laden may be dead. That would be a shame. Like to see the footage of OBL in hell getting violated by devil beasts. That would be entertaining to watch. The look of horror on his face as he expects to be serviced by 42 virgins and is instead abused by monsters in a burning hell. Ahhhh poetic justice.

Remember my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace.
Surf For Fun.


P.S. My friends, would you all be so kind and say a prayer for my Mother this week. Thank you.


Yesterday 1985 Steve "Madman" Mags dips to Hurricane Gloria
Steve Magliano has surfed here in New England forever. He's been a regular at almost every break from RI to Maine.
He moved to Cape Hatteras years ago and has since set up a nice living in the Outer Banks. He still comes home
to see his family and his friends, and each September his friends travel to NC to visit with him and his warmer
water friends.
Photo by Tomahawk

Today 2006 Scenes from Hurricane HELENE in Hatteras
Water temp in the 80's. The crowds? There were only a few guys out. The waves? It varied from head high to
double overhead. And thick. Very thick.
But the Groms seemed to dig it. In fact, they relished in the challenge.

(Above) Empty A-Frame with Jesse Gould and Mackey V paddling out. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Jesse Gould says hi to Mackey V on the shoulder. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Mackey V leans into one. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Dom Keenan from Florida drops into a nice Hatteras Right. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Different day. Different spot. Drive on the beach, find a good spot, park the vehicle and claim it.
Team NNE scoring. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Same day. Same spot. Different angle. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Mackey V launches one. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Team NNE digging life on the OB. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Team NNE chowing down on Kody Grondin's Spag Dinner Special. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Team NNE Rider MVF before the BEATING (Read column above). Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Team NNE Rider MVF after the BEATING and Survival (Read column above). Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

Today 2006 Scenes from Hurricane HELENE New England Style
And yes, the waves hit home. Not as Big as Flo, and not as warm as Hatteras. But you can't beat
our waves back home.

(Above) Unknown Goofy footer sampling Helene's juice. Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Local Legend Rick Evans putting his new hip to good use. Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Local guy Jon Gozzo sending a big fantail of salt water spray. Photo by Marcelo Matos

(Above) Unknow regular foot setting up on Helene... Photo by Tom Bassett

(Above) Hurricane Helene passing by New England... Photo by Tom Bassett

(Above) Visiting Pro Goofy foot takes on Helene. Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) Unknown Goofy foot stalling for coverage. Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) A-Frame Helene. Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) Another A-Frame Helene. Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) Here comes the big turn... Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) Floating The Boat Across the section. Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) Helene Tricks. Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) Helene bottom turn. Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) Helene had rights too. Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) One more from Florence. James Hodges and his young son Liam taking it all in.
Photo courtesy of James Hodges

Parting Shot -Who Da Guy Wid DA Camera?
This was a self portrait that I couldn't pass up. Shot on the beach in Hatteras.
Photo by SFOD R. Fatello





















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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