The 2012 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge runners-up returned to Bali seeking that which eluded them nearly a year before - the coveted Surf Shop Challenge National title and of course all the bells and whistles that come with it. This team is no stranger to the title hunt, having previously won seven Regional and two National championships, and today that team has added another trophy to the case. Congratulations Sunrise Surf Shop on a third OSSC National Championship victory!
Sunrise blazed through the semi-finals qualifying first into the final. Riding high on an idyllic combination of momentum, inspiration from an audience full of the ASP's top 34, and absolutely dreamy conditions on this sunny Balinese morning at Keramas.
The format of the Surf Shop Challenge requires as much team strategy as it does skill and good fortune. Collectively the surfers have to manage an hour-long heat, maximizing their scores in the most efficient way possible.
Sunrise was first to get on the board compliments of Garrett Carmichael. Their early lead would not last long however, as all of the finalists were frothing for good waves and hungry for a title to call their own.
The pressure amplified when Gabe Garcia, whammy rider for SurfRide, doubled a solid 7.5 wave score to slide into first. Their lead would only be a temporary one however, as 7th Streets's Rob Kelly whammied a 9.17-point ride shortly there after.
Halfway through the final and there was no one team with a clear shot for win. This may have made it more entertaining for the crowd, but you could see the nerves and intensity on the faces of the competitors in and out of the water as the lead continued to slip in and out of their possession.
Former Oakley World Pro Junior surfer, Evan Thompson relied on his previous experience surfing Keramas to bag the second 9-point ride of final and the exact score Sunrise needed to take resume the lead once more.
Right down into the dying minutes of the heat Sunrise anxiously sat on the bubble with all of the other teams within a measly four points of snatching the win out from underneath them for the second year in a row. In the end, all of their worry was for naught and at the sound of the horn their cheers of victory were well deserved and full of pride (and maybe just a touch of relief).
Congratulations again to our 2013 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge National Champions Sunrise Surf Shop!
- Sunrise Surf Shop: 30.80
- 7th Street: 29.77
- SurfRIde: 28.53
- Sweetwater: 22.29 (with a 5 point deduction)