SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., April 16, 2013 - The Mid-Atlantic Oakley Surf Shop Challenge went down on Saturday, April 13th at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina. A brisk Saturday morning brought windy onshore surf in the two-to-three-foot range making wave selection both the demise and triumph of this year’s 2013 Mid-Atlantic Surf Shop Challenge.

2013 Mid-Atlantic Champions: Team Sweetwater (L-R) Michael Powell, Knox Harris, Conner Lester, Michael Casper

2013 Mid-Atlantic Champions: Team Sweetwater (L-R) Michael Powell, Knox Harris, Conner Lester, Michael Casper

This year's event broke down into two heats of five teams each. In Heat 1, Whalebone Surf Shop began a consistent campaign which earned them a slot into the Final and a close third-place finish overall in the event. 17th Street Surf Shop also advanced to the Final with a 16.12, barely edging out other shops Duck Village Outfitters (15.81), Coastal Edge Virginia Beach (14.10) and Wave Riding Vehicles Kitty Hawk (6.90).

As Heat 2 entered the water, the winds lightened and the conditions allowed for more in-the-pocket surfing with a handful of small aerial sections. Sweetwater Surf Shop took the heat win with a 23.80 total, thanks to coach Ross Stevens' guidance. Coastal Edge Kill Devil Hills earned a convincing second-place finish in the heat. Last year's Mid-Atlantic champs Wave Riding Vehicles Virginia Beach claimed third, followed by Outer Banks Boarding Company and Surf and Adventure Company.

Heat 2 standouts included Blake Jones of WRV and Michael Powell of Sweetwater, both advancing into the Final, where a showdown was in order as Sweetwater continues to own the overall event wins.

In the Final, Whalebone came out of the gates strong and very consistent, much like their first heat.  They held steady momentum for the first half with the backing of their home crowd and wave knowledge in the shifty little wind built peaks. Coastal Edge Kill Devil Hills put on an overall great performance in this years event, yet struggled on wave selection in the Final taking home a respectable fourth-place finish.

Like in years past, Sweetwater and Wave Riding Vehicles, Virginia Beach went to battle for the top two spots and it all came down to less than two minutes. Blake Jones dropped a solid 8.60 for WRV’s double whammy score, Sweetwater backed up two strong scores (6.87 and a 6.90) putting much heat on team WRV as the clock winded down and shifty peaks played hide and seek from the lone competitor left in the sea, Brendan Petticrew.

Petticrew needed a mid-range six to take the title for Wave Riding Vehicles as he stroked into a peaky little right, put it up steep in the pocket throwing a large fan, and again with a critical rebound barely making the final time call as the pressure was now lifted off of the competitors and directly onto the judges. However, he was only awarded a 5.87, just coming up short of the score needed as team Sweetwater rejoiced on another Mid-Atlantic victory as well as a well-earned Bali holiday to compete in the National Championship.

Sweetwater will meet six other teams in Bali in June.  The Northeast regional is being decided today at Manasquan Inlet, NJ and the Northwest regional will be held at Steamer Lane Inlet, Santa Cruz, Calif. on April 19. For all of the latest information including photos, video footage, results and more, check out surfshopchallenge.com and surfteamchallenge.com.

Special thanks to Oakley, SURFER Magazine and other event partners, Bubble Gum Surf Wax, Futures Fins, New Era, SOL REPUBLIC, and Watermans Sunscreen for their support, without which the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be possible.

Final Results:

  1. Sweetwater Surf Shop (27.50 pts)
  2. Wave Riding Vehicles Virginia Beach (26.90 pts)
  3. Whalebone Surf Shop (24.18 pts)
  4. Coastal Edge Kill Devil Hills (12.40 pts)