San Clemente, CA (August 18, 2011) - Talk about a scare. This year's Southeast Regionals of the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge at New Symrna, FL were threatened by a painfully idle ocean. It's the peak of hurricane season and we still haven't seen a single sign of a swell. "It's been totally flat for almost a week," commented local Jeremy Johnston. With hopes from some sort of dribble produced by a fizzling tropical storm, all prayers were eventually answered as a meager-yet-rideable 2-foot swell allowed for a contestable playing field.
Salty Dog Surf Shop drew first blood in the opening heat when Jeremy Johnston double-whammied a score of 7.27, followed by his younger brother, Caleb, who backed it up with a 7.83. Team Maui Nixs' Matty Acharia was able to fight back with a 6.83 with an air reverse. Rounding out the opening heat, IWS' Cheyne Cottrell dropped the highest score of the round with his polished backside vertical lip shot, earning him an 8.27 and tightening the gap between team Salty Dog.
The second heat began with a strategic move by Sunrise's Garret Carmichael who came in after his second wave to allow the team's double-whammy surfer, Asher Nolan, plenty of time to be picky. The move paid off as Nolan double-whammied a 9.06. Countering with a slew of solid rides, team Red Dog, Aqua East, and Quiet Flight kept their hopes for a win alive.
With the tide dropping, the surf in the final proved to be scarce. During the opening heat, it was literally a dogfight. While Jeremy Johnston of Salty Dog and Noah Schweizer of Red Dog scrapped it out, team Sunrise's Asher Nolan came out snarling with a respectable 6.67. Encouraged by his teammates to head back out for something bigger to whammy, Nolan found an open-faced right that allowed him several backhand snaps that earned him a 7.83. Attempting to counter, team Quiet Flight's Blake Jones posted the highest wave score of the event with a 9.43. Unfortunately, with time running out, it wouldn't be enough. In the end, it was a clear victory for team Sunrise as the shop would go on to take their fourth Surf Shop Challenge win. "The waves were kind of small but we made it work," said Sunrise's Ryan Briggs. "I'm looking forward to our free trip to California!"
As Briggs alluded, with their win secure, Sunrise will be heading to California to compete at the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge National event at Huntington Beach on September 20-21.
1. Sunrise – 31.89 (Garrett Carmichael, Asher Nolan*, Ryan Briggs, Dane Jefferys)
2. Quiet Flight – 25.99 (Javier Rovira, Blake Jones*, Bryan Hewitson, Jon Cangianella)
3. Salty Dog – 22 (Pierce Miller, Jeremy Johnston*, Caleb Johnston, Bryan Forand)
4. Red Dog – 19.04 (Larry McGone, Ian Atkins, Noah Schweizer*, Knox Harris)
*Indicates team whammy-rider
For photos, video footage, results and more check out SurfShopChallenge.com.
SURFER Magazine’s OSSC event series teams shop employees with shop pros for a chance at $10,000 and the title of the best surf shop in the U.S. This year will see 280 surfers from 70 shops around the country compete at seven regional stops before culminating at the Huntington Beach pier in September for the National Championship.
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.
About Surf Shop Challenge:
Originally conceived to provide a fun and competitive format for the hardcore surf shop riders, the SURFER Shop Team Challenge was one of the most popular and exciting Southern California contests of the early 1980s. Through the years the contest has evolved, with five qualifying regional events around the country, culminating in a national championship at the famed Huntington Beach Pier in sunny Southern California. The underlying principles, however, have remained the same. The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge is still about giving back to the shops, the true backbone of the industry and the heart of the sport of surfing. Each year the competition level rises, the stakes become greater and the prizes become bigger.
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, 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 GrindMedia, which reaches more than 10 million active sports enthusiasts through an integrated network of magazines, online properties, events and television programming. For more information, visit surfermag.com
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