All surf leads to East End

International jet skiing and a fish tea cooking competition may not sound very compatible but they are two of the many attractions at this month’s East End Surf Challenge. The annual extravaganza runs over the last weekend of this month – Heroes Weekend – and as in previous years, will be the coolest place to be over the first public holiday of the New Year.

East End is at the furthest point of Grand Cayman and renowned for its unspoiled beauty and attractive, quiet beaches, but expect fun-loving crowds for all the events.

It all begins on Friday, 25 January when the Surf Jam Kick Off party is thrown at Pirates Cove Bar, East End. Music will be provided courtesy of Eternal Vibes from Miami which includes DJs Atom Skillz, Toya Skillz, Sound REvolution, DJ Sly and DJ Vicious. It goes from happy hour until late.

Socca Frenzy is on Saturday, 26 January, again at Pirates Cove Bar with the same DJs, and goes from 3pm to midnight.

The GOL Beach Football Tournament runs on Sunday, 27 January at Collier’s Public Beach, East End with music by Eternal Vibes and the rest of the crew.

The East End Surf Challenge and Flowers Bottled Water Fish Tea Cook Off Finals are on the Monday (Heroes Day), 28 January at Collier’s Public Beach. Music by Eternal Vibes, Atom Skillz, Toya Skillz, DJ Lin, Supa C, Sound Revolution, DJ Sly, DJ Vicious and hosted and emceed by DJ Dom(U)neek. It goes from 9am until late.

Throughout the weekend there is excellent East End food on sale, fish and fritters, a large beach bar and a stage on the water. There is no gate entrance fee to all the events, however, in order to taste the fish tea, cups have to be purchased and other plastic memorabilia cups and T-shirts will be on sale.

The sponsors are Cayman Airways, Flowers Bottled Water, The Ministry of Tourism, Cayman Screen Print, What’s Hot, Flava Magazine, Grape Tree Cafe, Watler’s Metal Products, Vibestime Entertainment and the official radio station Vibe 98.9 FM.

Shane Edwards is the founder of the East End Surf Challenge and also chairman of Two Frenzied, the organisers. “We would definitely like to see record numbers attend the event,” he says, “especially since there is no entrance fee and the large number of DJs that are coming out to support the event. It is going to have a great turnout because of all the elements on offer.”

Every year Edwards strives to make improvements and the introduction of a large beach bar, stage on the water’s edge, the event hosted by DJ Dom(U)neek, entertainment on the beach and most importantly, no entrance fee, makes it more attractive.

In the build-up, Edwards is pleased with the interest.

“The response has been great with us forming a race committee for the event which consists of Vincent Ramgeet, the former Cayman Islands Watercraft Association president, and Don Patrick, the former Cayman Islands Water Association technical director and pioneer in the sport.

 “The key is we have riders like Jordan McLean for Team Tryin A Ting ready to race and from the feedback, many other top racers will be joining in to make the event as exciting as usual. I see jet ski racing going great. With our local riders participating in the world finals and placing first it says a lot about how well the racers are preparing and meeting the challenges.

“As for the East End Surf Challenge, we have consistently provided this event for 13 years which is testament to its contribution to developing riders to participate locally as well as overseas.”

As for who will win, Edwards is unsure because the overall standard is so high. “It’s difficult to say who will be the overall champ with all the great racers and fast skis out there. I would love to see Jordan McLean (Trying A Ting), GJ Whittaker (Nuttin 2 loose), Javier Medina (Nuttin 2 Loose) and Roshad Goff (Tonys Toys) as well as many other great racers participating in the Pro Class. There are so many young racers I don’t really know that well that I would love to see race. I just want them all to come out and have fun racing.

“I look forward to a safe race and hope that record crowds come out. It’s only once a year and been going on for 13 years consistently. It has great entertainment and is on the beach in one of the most beautiful locations Grand Cayman has to offer coupled with the excellent East End food. It’s a perfect place to spend Heroes Weekend.”