U.S. Military Defeats British Forces--in Surfing

America’s finest military surfers faced off against Britain’s best in the first international edition of the Red Bull Rivals Surf Competition off Camp Pendleton in California on Saturday, May 24. First place went to the men and woman of the U.S. team, while a halftime body boarding battle went to two men from the British team.

The British team spent the two weeks prior to the contest surfing along the coastline getting used to the waves and enjoying the trip--with occasional military exercises thrown in. 

Speaking with Dean Jones and Joe Robinson of the British team, it was clear, after days of practicing together, both teams were predicting an American win. However, scores at one point in the bottom half of the fourth inning (of four) were tied at 81. The scoreboard froze for the remainder of the inning to add suspense, but the U.S. indeed came out on top. 

The format was, according to an official facilitating the competition, an alternative program from normal surf competition rules. The four 12-minute ‘innings,’ were structured like a baseball game. The British team won the coin toss and went first, leaving the Americans to close out the day.

Emerging from the water victorious, the American military surf team stood opposite the British Army team as the Brits picked up the prize--custom Red Bull boards--and handed them over to the Americans. 

The two teams had battled it out in a healthy spirit of competition, respect and friendly rivalry. Having spent time building camaraderie with each other in and out of the water in the days prior, the surfers said they had a great time.

Red Bull-sponsored surfer Kolohe Andino, a San Clemente, California native, came out to spend some time getting to know the surfers and to watch them compete. Andino was recently named to the ASP World Tour Top 34, “the most elite surfers on the planet” according to Surfer Magazine.

According to a Red Bull Press Release, the teams were:

United States Military Surf Team


MSgt Eric Franklin (USMC), MGySgt Jay Michael Auwae (USMC), LCDR John Bannon (Coast Guard), GySgt Michael Steven (USMC), Captain Josh Showalter (USMC), E-4 Robin DagDag (Navy), AWR1 Nick Barringer (Navy), 2nd Class Petty Officer Kristopher Grimm (Coast Guard), AD3/ Petty Officer 3rd Class Dane Lee Gabriel (Navy), ADC Vincent Negrin (Navy), MK2 Mathew Merel (Coast Guard), Petty Officer Third Class Kuilee Murphy (Coast Guard), Sgt Travis Nardi (USMC), HM1 Randy Adalin (Navy)

British Army Surf Team

Capt Richard Griffiths, Capt Clyde Bundy, Capt Joseph Robinson, Capt Thomas Harrison, Capt Nicholas Davis, Captain Simon Davies, WO2 Dean Jones, SPR Harvey Brennan, SGT Joseph Burrell, LCPL Kit Calvert, SGT Orm Sharman-Courtney, CAPT Michael Peters


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