Photo: Allie Brown

Caribbean skies dawned on the Dominican Republic’s Independence Day, the final day of the 13th annual Master of the Ocean event. The semifinals of both SUP and surfing started bright and early with SUP riders entering the water with waist to shoulder high waves. In semifinals round one where Francisco Hernandez, Shelby Schweitzer, Brandon Sanford and Diony Guadanigno.

Shelby stayed focused and managed to get some good rides early on but lost steam towards the end of the heat. Diony got a few waves towards the beginning but also faded as the heats progressed. Brandon, feeling a renewed sense of energy, found the right waves and advanced into the finals. Francisco was out for a win from the beginning, smelling a victory that was well within his reach. Finding the better waves and forcing maneuvers in each wave gave him the edge and the win to move into the finals.

Photo: Allie Brown

Photo: Allie Brown

In heat two of the semifinals Zane Schweitzer, Luciano Gonzalez, Jeremy Green and Dauri Reynoso battled for a spot in the finals. Jeremy making quick use of some speed, opened up with a few good waves, but could not bring himself to get the scores needed to advance into the finals. Luciano tried to stick to a game plan at the beginning of the heat and was rewarded with some mid range scores that put him in the middle of the pack and not able to advance. Dauri, on the other hand, stayed clear of the smaller sets and managed to pick off some of the better ones. He tried as he might, but could not capitalize on getting into the best possible spots of the wave to score higher results, thus he was resolved to a second place finish that still got him into the finals. Zane was all smiles and full of steam as he effortlessly out paddled and out score his fellow competitors. Clean open faces just came to him, it was like he willed it to happen and winning the heat without breaking a sweat, he advanced to the finals.

Photo: Allie Brown

Photo: Allie Brown

Riders took a quick 15min rest and the finals began with Zane Schweitzer, Dauri Reynoso, Francisco Hernandez and Brandon Sanford.

Each of the four riders was one step away from becoming the champion and you could feel it in the air. Brandon found a few nuggets right away, pushing hard into his turns and digging deep with the paddle to make more of a mark on the waves. Dauri kept calm but you could see the pressure building as he, midway in the heat, started scrambling to get whatever wave came his way. Zane tried to summon whatever waves were listening to come his way. A few good ones rewarded him, but it was not enough to clinch the heat. Francisco was a man on a mission, only taking the better bigger cleaner waves in the set. Working them over like a child excitedly tearing apart a wrapped gift on Christmas morning, you could see it in his eyes, he wanted more and would only settle for a win.

 Right after the SUP finals, the four final contestants in the surf division entered the water, Derek Gomes,  Zane Schweitzer, Francisco Hernandez and Brandon Sanford. By this time of the morning, a slight tradewind was starting to fill in, enough to clear out any of the glassiness that was had in the morning round. Riders had to hunt out sections that were not closing out. Francisco tried to work his magic and put some good scores up fairly early and tried to keep everyone at bay. Brandon slid into one of the cleaner waves of the heat and got a good score, but could not find any others better waves to back it up. Zane fared a bit better than his rivals with two good waves, each one helping him build a solid heat score. Derek picked off the right waves at the right time and capitalized them to the fullest. His cat like reflexes and keen ability to see those sections on the face of the wave would yield a good score and propelled him to the only possible outcome, a first place finish.  


By mid afternoon, the contest moved north to the Millennium Hotel Resort for the Expression session. Riders and event organizers could see the wind line offshore, but it never managed to make it all the way in. A few riders on big kites tried to make it out, but the strong currents made it impossible to run any heats. The call was made to start the awards ceremony and Marcus Bohm started announcing the winner of each category as spectators and athletes waited in total anticipation on who be the winners. Zane Schweitzer was announced as the overall Champion for the third straight year and humbly accepted his win, giving praise to all his fellow competitors and event organizers.

Local Dominican athlete Brandon Sanford, summed it up best “This is my first year competing in this event and it has opened my eyes to all the other categories (SUP, kitesurfing and windsurfing) of this event and made me want to master them all. I for sure will get better this next coming year and will strive to someday win the overall title of Master of the Ocean.”

Final Event Results


1. Derek Gomes 33.25
2. Zane Schweitzer 23.5
3. Francisco Hernandez 22.0
4. Brandon Sanford 19.0


1. Francisco Hernandez 30.75
2. Zane Schweitzer 25.5
3. Dauri Reynoso 23.0
4. Brandon Sanford 18.5


1. Luciano Gonzales
2. Emmanuel Rondon
3. Zane Schweitzer
4. Dauri Reynoso

Overall Men

1. Zane Schweitzer
2. Luciano Gonzales
3. Brandon Sanford
4. Emmanuel Rondon

Overall Women

1. Carolina Gutierrez
2. Shelby Schweitzer


1. Team Terminator
2. Team Venezuela
3. Team Millennium

Best Performance

Windsurf – Zane Schweitzer
Surf – Derek Gomes
Kitesurfing – Luciano Gonzales
SUP – Francisco Hernandez

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