By Lauren Williams
5:16 PM PST, December 18, 2012
During a respite between rounds of rain throughout the week, nearly 50 surfers took to the waters south of the Huntington Beach pier Saturday.
Veteran, young and world-known surfers converged in the moderate 2- to 3-foot waves for the third event of this year's American Pro Surfing Series.
Series founder Scott Waring said the surf was decent and the weather cooperative for the weekend event that reaches out to surfers across the spectrum. There were 32 men and 16 women who competed Saturday.
The competition provides a chance for younger surfers to get a taste of competition while allowing others to stay fresh, Waring said.
"It just keeps their skills sharp," Waring said of the more seasoned surfers.
Brad Ettinger said the decision to participate was an easy one, owing to the fact that "obviously it's in my backyard."
"I just want to compete as much as I can," Ettinger said.
He said the series can pave the way for younger surfers.
"These events are good because it's good for the juniors," Ettinger said. "It's a huge stepping stone for them."
"For a kid that's 15 years old to surf against Chris Ward, it's like a dream-come-true kind of thing," Ettinger said.
Newport Beach's Andrew Doheny is a 15-year surfing veteran at 20 and is dubbed "basically the prince of Newport's surfing talent," according to his biography on the American Pro Surfing Series. He said he enjoys competing close tohome.
"It's cool 'cause they're nice and close," Doheny said. "Not much pressure."
Kaleigh Gilchrist, also of Newport Beach, said the event gave her a chance to compete while she attends USC. After graduating with a communications degree, she plans to tour.
"It's always nice to get out there," Gilchrist said.