SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (August 27, 2010) – Thursday morning four foot sets slammed the cliffs of the perfect surf arena, Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, Calif. Clouds parted mid-morning, which gave way to sunny skies and 70-degree weather for the annual shop rat battle brought to the Lane by Oakley's Surf Shop Challenge Series. Never to be taken lightly, this event brought out the best from behind the counters and the deepest competitive convictions.
Next-door rivals O'Neill Surf Shop and Pacific Wave fight for customers on a daily basis and on Thursday they fought for waves and high scores with a full year of bragging rights on the line. In the first heat, O'Neill's usual suspects Jason "Ratboy" Collins, Noi Kaulukukui, Brad Fox and Jesse Colombo went straight for the throat earning the third-highest score of the opening round, a 26.77. Ratty was in fine form, doubling a 7.6 whammy wave to anchor his team on their way to the final.
In heat two, Pacific Wave dropped the hammer with the highest score of the first round, a 33.20, sending them directly to the top of the draw for the final. Andrew Bashaw, Kyle Buthman, Randy Bonds and Willie Eagleton meant business and they were here to show it. 2009 regional champs, Freeline Design, looked solid in the first round as well. Scoring the second highest heat total going into the final, it seemed that Peter Mel and his boys were on track for a possible repeat win.
The final had its share of ups and downs. Mel broke his leash, losing his board to the inside, Ratboy was left out the back with under 10 minutes in need of a score of 9.0 or better and Pacific Wave pushed quickly through their roster giving their final rider, shop employee Willie Eagleton, a full 30 minutes to find one good score. That one good score ended up being a 4.43, but with a whammied 8.5 earlier in the heat, it was enough to push for a Pac Wave victory margin of more than six points.
"I heard the guys yelling from the cliff that I needed to get at least a 4.4 or I'd be back on bathroom duty at the shop," commented an energized Eagleton after the heat. "But I was just enjoying surfing against my hometown heroes at the Lane."
Pacific Wave has competed in the Shop Challenge for the past four years, but this is their first win and trip to the National Championships. "If there are waves, we can definitely win," assured Eagleton of their first Nationals berth.
FINAL NORTHWEST STANDINGS:
1st PACIFIC WAVE 35.93
2nd LIQUID 29.31
3rd FREELINE 28.53
4th O'NEILL 23.30
5th REVOLUTION 22.24
This event marks the last of seven regional stops in Oakley's Surf Shop Challenge Series before the National Championship. The Northwest winner, Pacific Wave will head to Huntington Beach, Calif. on September 13, where they will join the rest of the 2010 regional champs: Hansen's (Southwest), Heritage Surf and Sport (Northeast), Sweetwater Surf Shop (Mid-Atlantic), Jack's Surfboards (West), Town & Country (Hawaii) and Sunrise (Southeast). Winner-takes-all—the prize, the glory and the bragging rights—in this highly coveted national title race.
Regional winners this year not only earn an expense-paid trip to the national championship for the opportunity to win the $10,000 grand prize, but each also receive a full page shop profile in SURFER Magazine, a supply of Muscle Milk, a set of 59 custom New Era hats designed by the winning shops, two Firewire Surfboards, two custom Buell Wetsuits and product from all event sponsors.
For photos, video footage, results and more check out SurfShopChallenge.com.
Special thanks to Oakley and other event partners Muscle Milk, New Era Caps, Bubble Gum Surf Wax, and Buell Wetsuits for all their support. Without their involvement the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be what it is today.
About Oakley, Inc.
The global leader in performance sunglasses, goggles and prescription eyewear, Oakley also offers technical and lifestyle apparel, footwear, watches and accessories. The company was created for athletes who see impossibility as just another challenge, and their dedication inspires Oakley to seek out problems, solve with innovation and wrap invention in art. Exceeding the limits of possibility for more than thirty years, Oakley serves the demands of world-class athletes with unbeatable technologies including High Definition Optics® (HDO®). Additional information is available at www.oakley.com.
In 1960, SURFER Magazine began as the original. After a long history of delivering provocative and insightful editorial features, revealing interviews and award winning state-of-the-art photography, SURFER remains the authoritative voice of the surfing world and thus earned the moniker “the bible of the sport.” The SURFER brand has also grown to include Surfermag.com, Fantasy Surfer, The Hot 100, My SURFER Cover and a myriad of SURFER message boards. All of these assets combine to make the SURFER network the most current and reliable channel of information to the surf community. The magazine is published by Source Interlink’s Action Sports Group (ASG), which reaches more than 2 million active sports enthusiasts through an integrated network of magazines, online properties, events and television programming. surfermag.com
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