Surfercross 2019: Rocking the Waves and the Course
What happens when you mix dirt bikes and surfboards? This is the question Jeremy Albrecht set out to answer when he founded the first-ever Surfercross. Started 21 years ago as a friendly event between biker Albrecht's motocross group and his surfing friends, Surfercross is now a popular California competition surging into its second decade.
The idea behind Surfercross is simple: adrenaline junkies specializing in motocross racing and surfing team up to take on a surf-and-turf competition over the course of two days. One biker and one surfer train together, learning the ropes of the other's specialty. During the competition, all team members participate in both days of events: motocross on Day One and surfing on Day Two.
"Really the whole goal is to make it fun," said Albrecht in an interview with Motorcyclist magazine. "It’s cool to watch surfers that have never ridden. They love motorcycles and hopefully it gives them a reason to go out and buy a bike. Same thing for the dirt bike guys. They have a surf, enjoy it, and go buy a surfboard."
Held on August 6th and 7th, the 2019 event was sponsored by Toyota and dedicated to surfing legend Sunny Garcia, a longtime facet of the competition. Although Garcia did not attend this year, many of the event's competitors dedicated their races to him and his ongoing recovery.
This year, Bomber Eyewear's Tommy Bonacci teamed up with motocross racer Weston Pieck for the big event.
Surfercross 2019 was one of Peick's first major racing events since a serious crash at Paris SX 2018 left him with a variety of injuries requiring surgery and ongoing depth perception issues as he healed. It's been a long road to recovery, but Peick is officially back on two wheels.
Moto Day kicked off with temperatures well over 100 degrees, and Surf Day gifted the competitors with an overcast sky and great waves for a day on the boards. Tommy and Weston finished in 9th place overall out of 27 teams.
First place went to surfer Forrest Minchintor and biker Justin Lee. Surfer Austin Neumann and biker Sean Lipanarich placed second, with surfer Conner Steel and biker Ciaran Naran rounding out third place.
For Tommy and Weston, the event was all about the fun of trying something new, gaining experience, and beating their own personal bests.
"Kudos to J-Bone [Jeremy Albrecht] for blending these two sports together in the middle of the summer, during his busy race season," said Tommy. "I look forward to this event all year and am super stoked to be a part of it!"
(Photo and video credits: Toyota Surfercross 2019 - Facebook and Instagram; Bomber Eyewear; Motorcyclist Magazine Online)