Surfers and motocross racers will come together for one of the most unique events of the summer this weekend in the first Moto Surf Contest.
Two-person teams comprised of one racer and one surfer will race today at Atco Motocross Park, in Waterford Township, Camden County. On Sunday, they will compete in a surf contest on 110th Street in the North Beach Haven section of Long Beach Township.
Both athletes will compete at both sports. Their results from the waves and the track will be averaged together to determine an overall winner.
Brothers Bill and Chris Kretzer, originally from the Lanoka Harbor section of Lacey Township, came up with the idea to bring surfercross to the East Coast. There have been tournaments in California for years.
Bill Kretzer, 38, has been riding motocross and surfing for more than 20 years. He is one of the region's top amateur moto racers and also built surfboards in the 1990s.
Chris Kretzer, 31, now lives in Barnegat, where he is closer to the waves of Long Beach Island. He has traveled to Hawaii and Puerto Rico for bigger surf, but he only recently took up motocross.
Last winter, the brothers were in Puerto Rico, discussing their dual passions, when the idea for Moto Surf was born.
"The surfercross events in Hawaii and California are pretty popular among the pros. We loved the idea, but we wanted to make it a pro-am, so any guy or girl could do it," Chris Kretzer said this week, "and no one has ever done it on the East Coast before."
Chris Kretzer, who has qualified for the masters division of the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) Championships in North Carolina the past two years, will team up with 31-year-old Billy Rule of Barnegat. Rule and his brother, Brian, 27, started riding at Raceway Park in Englishtown, Monmouth County, in 1994. They both have raced at various levels since then.
"We still ride a lot, but this has definitely gotten us back into the competitive part of it," Rule said. "And I hadn't surfed since 2002, but that's been just about having a good time with the boys from Forked River (the section of Lacey Township where both Rule brothers grew up)."
Today is a regular race day at Atco. Starting at 4 p.m., each athlete will ride in two races, known as "motos." The riders who are primarily surfers, dubbed the "fish out of water" class, will race together for safety reasons. The experienced moto riders will have their own two races.
On Sunday, the racers and surfers will surf in separate heats starting at 8 a.m. Scott Goodwin, director of the Central New Jersey ESA, will run the contest. The surf and moto standings will be combined to get a champion.
The winner gets a trophy and $300, second place gets $150 and third $75.