Hansen's Successfully Defends Their Regional Title
San Clemente, CA (March 14, 2011) – SURFER'S 2011 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge (OSSC) got a late start on Friday due to tsunami warnings and a mandatory state park precautionary closure. But when the gates finally opened and the event descended upon Seaside Reef's unusually empty and eerily foggy parking lot, the bar was immediately set high for the entire day. In consistent, shoulder to head-high surf, 13 local San Diego teams vied for bragging rights, but in the end it was the reining champs from Hansen's who once again took home the title.
Last year the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge added the Southwest regional event to the series schedule, and once again San Diego proved they deserved it. Returning titans—Hansen's (the 2007 National Champs and 2010 Regional Champs), Surfride (2009 Southwest Regional Champs and the 2008 National Champs), and SunDiego (long-time runner-up)—as well as the K5 and Rusty teams put on epic, finals-worthy performances.
The first heat saw some of the fiercest competition of the entire event, with three of the four teams in that heat placing scores high enough to advance to the final. "Our team did pretty solid, mainly supported by Jake Halstead, who was our whammy surfer. On one of his waves he ended up with an eight and did the claim. So he doubled his points and got us a 16, which we really needed to advance," said Rusty rider Hunter Lysaught, after the impressive first heat. "Hansen's team surfed good out there. They won last year, but one of their guys got injured earlier. They had to find a replacement, but they still looked solid."
Although Hansen's rider Mason Weiley did reinjure a hurt rib during the first heat, David Suldulnilc was able to fill in for him, and Hunter's words proved to foreshadow the event's finale. As the tide reached its peak, the swell increased and the wind died down, providing excellent conditions for deciding the event winner.
Hansen's, Rusty, K-5, and both Sun Diego teams entered the water for the final and put on the most impressive display of surfing of the entire event. It was a close competition between Hansen's, Rusty, and Sun Diego team #1 until the dying minutes of the event when Rusty received an interference call, and Sun Diego got docked five points for not having their last surfer out of the water in time. When the dust had settled, the Hansen's team took the win by just .24 points over Rusty to earn their second first place trophy in the Southwest Division and their third victory at an Oakley Surf Shop Challenge event.
"I believe this is actually the third time that we've won one of these events. We went all the way one year, and we've been winning ever since. Now we get to compete in the National Championship," said Hansen's rider Eric Snortum. "If it's at Seaside again next year, I'm going to put my money on us."
Hansen's will once again join the six other regional qualifiers at the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge National Championship in Huntington in September.
1. Hansen's Surf Shop – 28.96 (Eric Snortum*, Olin Bower, Mason Wellsy (injured 1st heat), JD Lewis, David Suhadolnik)
2. Rusty – 28.72 (Jake Halstead*, Hunter Lysaught, Sam Orozco, Garret Scurr)
3. SunDiego Boardshops #1 – 23.86 (Sean Marceron*, Kyle Knox, Scott Hammonds, Gabe Donatelli)
4. K-5 Boardshop – 15.67 (Matt Yates, Shay Yates*, Josh Sleigh, Lucas Dalager)
5. SunDiego Boardshops #2 – 14.36 (Ricky Whitlock*, Nick Kovack, Bryan Guter, Guy Lemeiux) *signifies team whammy-rider
*signifies team whammy-rider
For photos, video footage, results and more check out SurfShopChallenge.com.
Special thanks to Oakley and other event partners Muscle Milk, New Era Caps, Futures Fins, Buell Wetsuits, and Bubble Gum Wax for all their support. Without their involvement the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be what it is today.
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