2017-08-17 / Front Page

Getting Their Gert Up

Matt Hook takes advantage of the swells generated by Hurricane Gert just after sunrise on Wednesday Aug. 16 at Sachuest Beach’s “Surfer’s End” in Middletown. Hook, 18, and a recent Middletown High School graduate, will attend the University of Rhode Island this fall. At press time, Gert was some 400-plus miles northwest of Bermuda and moving off to the east and cooler waters. The second named hurricane of the season produced strong rip currents and big swells along beaches from New York to Boston. Some surfers reported waves of up to 9 feet, though Hook was more modest in his estimate, calling them “a little overhead,” or between 6 and 7 feet. “We live in Rhode Island, so we don't get waves like these that often,” said Hook, who rides a 5-foot-10 Horsefeather model shortboard shaped by Neil Toracinta, owner of Tora Surfboards in Newport. “When there’s a hurricane you have to take advantage as much as you can.” (Photo by Meri Keller)

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