Waterman Hall of Fame 2023

The Waterman Hall of Fame is intended to be a lasting tribute for the achievements of the generations of local residents that have shaped this community and its relationship with the water. This award was created to reflect the importance of community spirit and personal contributions to the culture of water sports and professions throughout the history of the Cape Fear Region. The Hall of Fame honors the values exhibited by the best of those who have made the Cape Fear Region’s ocean and marshes their home. We wish to celebrate men and women exemplifying the best of the local coastal communities in their character, demeanor, and spirit both in competition and in their respect and/or contributions to the community.

The Waterman Hall of Fame awards are selected by the Waterman Hall of Fame Board composed of members of the Wrightsville Beach Museum Board of Directors and community participants who represent a cross-section of those who have been a part of the local water sports community throughout the decades. There will be an emphasis on diversity of generations and sports within the Hall of Fame.

The Celebration and Inductions will be held November 12, 2023 at Waterman’s Brewing Company.


Class of 2023

Jarrod Covington – Paddlesports


Jarrod grew up learning all things water which led him to be the waterman extraordinaire he is today. He is a surfer, kite boarder, slalom skier, wake surfer, outrigger canoe paddler, paddle boarder, paddle surfer, eco kayak tour master and partakes in any other water sport you can think of. Owner of Wrightsville SUP and Seagate Boating, Jarrod spends his days on the water and his evenings with his family. You can also catch him spending days on the water with his family when his businesses allow.

Jimmy Vass – Fishing/Boating


Captain Jimmy Vass, born and raised around the beach, has worked in the marine business for over 30 years. He started Fortune Hunter Charters in 1983 and has held his captain’s license for over 25 years. His laid back personality helps to create a relaxed and fun atmosphere for all aboard, from the beginner to the most seasoned angler. He is ready to share his knowledge of fishing with all. His personal satisfaction from his charter business comes from watching children and adults experience their first catch or just trolling along seeing the sights and taking in the wonders of the sea.


Ashley Chapman – Swimming/Diving


Ashley Futral Chapman is considered one of the Best Freediving Instructors in the world. North Carolina native, Ashley is undoubtedly leaving her mark on the world of competitive freediving.  She took interest in the sport of freediving in 2008 as a means of spearfishing the North Carolina waters with her husband, Ren.  Years of competitive experience have culminated in 3 world records and 17 national records.

John C. Drewry IV – Ocean Rescue


John C. Drewry IV grew up on Wrightsville beach.  John started clamming at 13, and his ocean rescue career ran from 1977 through 1981– lifeguards worked only  summers in those days. After his stint as a head guard, he began his career as a volunteer fireman at Wrightsville Beach. He advanced to the rank of Captain and later served on the fire department board of directors. He has dedicated much of his life to protecting and serving the residents of Wrightsville Beach.

WB Longboard Association – Ohana/Group


The Wrightsville Beach Longboard Association (WBLA) has achieved significant contributions to Wrightsville Beach, NC since its inception in 1999. These include organizing an annual Oyster Roasts and longboard surfing competitions, fostering an inclusive community, promoting a healthy coastal culture through environmental initiatives, supporting local surfers, collaborating with the community, and strengthening bonds within the coastal community. Their efforts have made a positive impact on both the local surfing scene and the overall well-being of the coastal area.

2023 Induction Ceremony

November 12, 4-7 pm

Waterman’s Brewing

1610 Pavilion Place
Wilmington, NC 28403




Nov 12 2023


4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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