San Juan Capistrano, CA (August 7, 2009) – As the Southeast Regional Qualifier of the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge fueled by Muscle Milk approaches, tensions among the fiercely competitive Floridian shop riders rise.

ethompson-sunriseIn 2008, shoulder- to head-high sets and prime conditions made for the ultimate arena of unyielding competition. The contest quickly became the battle of the past champions when 2007 Regional Champs, The Goods Surf and Skate, found themselves surfing head-to-head with the 2006 Regional Champs, Sunrise Surf Shop. Ultimately, Sunrise triumphed and reclaimed their lost Regional Title by the narrow margin of less than a half-point. Team members Garrett Carmichael, Dan Jefferys, Cody Thompson, and Evan Thompson made the trip West in their campaign for the National Title, but took the backseat to SurfRide who blew everyone else out of the water.

Island Water Sports, Maui Nix, and Surf Central round out the remainder of last year's final seeds, and all are expected to be back in the lineup again this year, which should make for yet another tight race for the Southeast Regional Surf Shop Challenge Title.

You can guarantee that all of these teams are marking down the days until they make their way to New Smyrna Beach, Florida, on Aug 12 or 13 (the contest date is dependent upon conditions, which will be reported to the contest directors by, official series forecaster, WaveWatch.com).

This event marks that last regional stop in the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Series. The winner will head to Huntington Beach, California, on September 14, where they will meet reigning National Champions, SurfRide, along with regional champs Heritage Surf and Sport, Town & Country, and Freeline Design for the winner-takes-all—the prize, the glory, and the bragging rights—National Title race.

While earning that ticket to California is the first priority, all of the competitors are also aiming to win the FCS Award for Functional Creative Surfing to load their entire team up with $1000 worth of travel gear from FCS and Gorilla Grip, to help make the trip more comfortable.