The 6th annual Matt “Rasta” Gray Memorial Skate & Surf Contest occurred over an inspiring weekend in the middle of April. Through generous donations, entries and raffle prizes over $3000 was raised, nearly doubling the amount raised in previous years that will all go towards a college scholarship for one lucky student at Fletcher High School.
The skate event on Friday night had a pulsating vibe full of energy. The local area skaters who grew up at the park, were able to showcase their skills in front of a massive crowd packed around the bowl. In the end, Marshal Lafrance barely beat Dane Quintal and Pat Brown for his second Matt Gray victory.
The surf contest followed on Saturday and was greeted by a 2-3 foot swell. This was the first time in 6 years that the event had rideable waves. Brent Lamprect won the kings event with a frontside air reverse right before the hooter. It was good to see Brent back on top as he was the first kid to receive the Matt Gray scholarship 5 years ago.
When Matt passed away a close group of friends and I got together and knew that we could take this dark and sad situation and turn it into something positive just like Matt always did. We started a Memorial event to honor Matt and give back to the community that raised us all. The event started as a small surf contest that brought friends together once a year to remember Matt and to raise money for a scholarship in his honor. Over the years it has grown and become a premier surf and skate event in our community.
This event could not have gone on without the amazing sponsors and more importantly, the community of core skaters and surfers that make North Florida what it is.
“Friends come and friends go. Some friends influence you and some friends change the way you feel. While some friends change the way you think. This was Matt Gray.”