SURFER Magazine is pleased to announce that Catalyst of San Clemente has won the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge West regional qualifier, derailing Huntington Surf & Sport's bid for a fourth consecutive regional title. With the win, Catalyst will travel to Nicaragua in September to compete in the National Championship event at Mark & Dave's Place.
Competitors were greeted with clean 2-4ft+ waves at 56th Street in Newport Beach, CA for stop four of the 2019 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge touring series. Four squads from a total field of eleven would move on to the final heat where an all-expenses paid trip to Nicaragua was on the line. Catalyst's Ian Crane was the clear standout performer from round one, scoring a 2019 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge season high ten-point ride in the highly contestable morning conditions.
After three opening heats, the finals were set with the teams representing Catalyst, Catalyst Downtown, Huntington Surf & Sport, and Jack's Hermosa making the cut.
Despite shifting conditions and late morning onshore winds beginning to creep up, the Ian Crane show continued into the finals. He whammied a critical 9.53 ride for a total wave score of 19.06, the highest score for the heat and a hefty contribution Catalyst's total team tally. Fellow Catalyst surfers Nate Yeomans, Shaw Kobayashi, Kei Kobayashi, and Randy Gilkerson representing the downtown shop location threatened to overtake top honors from their comrades but were unable to secure the required 5.73 to take the lead. At the final horn, it was Catalyst taking the win with a total heat score of 34.12.
Congratulations to Catalyst team members Chris Ward, Ian Crane, Brandon Smith, and Jack Hopkins on their West OSSC title.
"The final was kind of bumpy but everyone ripped," said Catalyst's whammy surfer Ian Crane. "It was cool to be battling with the other Catalyst shop. We're all friends and we're all from San Clemente so it was an epic day and now we get to go from 4/3's in Newport to trunks in Nicaragua!"
The Nixon Base Tide PRO-formance Award was presented to Ian Crane of Catalyst for his rail grab air reverse in the finals.
New for 2019, the Nixon Base Tide PRO-formance Award is presented to the athlete who performs the most radical and progressive maneuver during competition at each event, as decided by the judging panel. Winners receive a custom 2019 Nixon Base Tide Pro watch and other Nixon accessories.
Special thanks to Oakley, SURFER and event partners Body Glove, Flexfit, Futures, Nixon, Mark & Dave's, MERGE4, Reef, and Yeti for their support, without which the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be possible.
Up next is the Hawaii regional qualifier at Ala Moana Bowls, South Shore, HI. An official call has yet to be made for competition during the July 11-12 waiting period.