LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP - Thirty-two competitors will surf the all-female Jetty Coquina Jam on Long Beach Island on today.
The Coquina Jam, now in its third year, has become a tradition on Long Beach Island. The even begins at 8 a.m. at the 110th Street beach.
The event, run by Jetty, an LBI-based apparel company, has grown from its brother event, the Clam Jam. In 2009, the women were invited to their own contest.
Today, it's a full-day event, drawing female surfers and fans from around the region.
"I surfed it in 2009, but last year I missed because I was already back at school," said Emily Bowker, of Beach Haven.
Bowker, 19, plays field hockey for Indiana University.
This is a team event. A female older than 25 is paired with a younger girl by picking out of a hat.
"I like the partner format. It's a lot more fun than a regular contest. It's really for the community," Bowker said. She has been paired up with Joanie Sapienza, of Mana-squan.
The idea is to randomly pair surfers and bring the generations together. Competitors have no control over who their partners are. The 16 teams then compete in NCAA-style brackets.
It has become very popular and spaces filled up quickly.
Last year, first place went to Jess Johnson, 40, of Beach Haven Terrace, and Kim Kepich, 20, of Millstone.
This year, each surfer will have a new teammate. Manahawkin's Sarah Dodds returns this year as well.
She missed 2010's event when she was traveling, surfing, and working in Australia.
Jetty has always made the Coquina Jam a fundraiser for breast cancer.
The proceeds will go to David's Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation.
"I was extremely excited when Jeremy DeFilippis and Cory Higgins (of Jetty) approached me with there idea of having David's Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation be a small part of the Coquina Jam event," said David Caldarella, 42, a former lifeguard, stage IV cancer survivor, and resident of Manahawkin in Stafford Township.
Calderella will choose a recipient himself to make a difference locally.
Jetty was hoping to reap the waves of the fifth named Atlantic tropical storm of the season in Tropical Storm Emily, but that swell will not arrive for today.
Waves are forecasted to be 2-3 feet with offshore south winds most of the day.