2012 OAKLEY SURF SHOP CHALLENGE COMPLETES MID-ATLANTIC
AND NORTHEAST REGIONAL QUALIFIERS
Wave Riding Vehicles Ousts Two-Time National Champs for Mid-Atlantic Title and
Heritage Ocean City Reclaims Northeast Title
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., (April 24, 2012) — The 2012 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge completed stops #2 and #3 last week on the East Coast. The Mid-Atlantic Regional qualifier went down last Thursday at Jenette’s Pier, Nags Head, NC, with Wave Riding Vehicles (WRV) claiming the title. The following day, the series headed north for the Northeast Regional qualifier at Casino Pier, Seaside Heights, NJ, where Heritage Ocean City defended their title. The wins reserve eight more seats on a round-trip flight to Bali for the National Championship event in October, where they’ll compete against the other regional champs at Keramas for a shot at a $10,000 grand prize. WRV and Heritage join SurfRide, who earned their slots at Nationals at the Southwest Regional event a few weeks back.
|Mid-Atlantic Regional Champs: Wave Riding Vehicles. P: Moran
Photos | Video
As two-time OSSC National Champions, Sweetwater Surf Shop from Wrightsville Beach, NC, pretty much rendered all the other teams underdogs before the contest even started at the Mid-Atlantic event. And by the end of the first round, Sweetwater was well in the lead with 26.10 points, with WRV, The Pit, and OBBC trailing with 22.46, 20.16, and 13.70, respectively.
By the first exchange of the final, however, returning WRV alumni and whammy surfer Blake Jones posted a 7.15 off the bat for a 14.30 total, sending WRV out to an early lead and applying the pressure on remaining finalists Sweetwater, The Pit, and 17th Street. Sweetwater’s whammy surfer, Mike Powell, bested Blake’s score with a 7.9 for a total 15.8-the highest single-wave total of the event-but in the end, it all came down to a man-on-man between a pair of surf camp operators: Brendan Petticrew (WRV) and Ben Powell (Sweetwater). Brendan’s 4.27 left Ben needing a 5.68 wave, a wave that never came but somehow broke his board. And just like that, WRV had unseated the far-and-away favorites.
“I heard Ben Powell scream, and at first I thought he was hurt,” said Petticrew who paddled in from the final with 2:35 remaining to avoid a 5-point team deduction for failing to return to the dugout in time. “But once I saw him swimming, I knew we had it, so I was outta there. I plopped right down to my belly and rode the first wave I could find to the beach.”
The following day in New Jersey, the mood on the beach was tense. Clearly, the increased stakes gave this year’s event some added gravity.
“We had a full-on practice-contest yesterday,” said Jamie Moran, riding for defending regional champs Heritage Ocean City. “Our entire team and everyone from 7th Street was out, and from the look in everyone’s eyes, you could tell it was going to be a hard-fought battle.”
While all the teams put on impressive performances in the first round, when the scores were tallied, it was Heritage Sea Isle, Heritage Ocean City, Ocean Hut, Farias Ship Bottom, and Inlet Outlet who advanced into the five-team Final.
Northeast Regional Champs: Heritage Ocean City. P: Moran
Photos | Video
Mere minutes into the final, Farias Ship Bottom jumped out to a commanding lead when Conor Willem mounted a frontside attack on a bowling left, which resulted in a contest-high score 8.3 that was doubled for 16.6. Both Heritage teams used the slow-and-steady game plan to chip away at Farias’ lead. Ian Bloch posted a 7.67 as the first rider for Heritage Ocean City, which was followed up by a whammied 7.0 by Andrew Gesler. Ciramella then came through big for Heritage Sea Isle by whammying a 7.17, however the rest of the team was unable to better a 4.0 through the last 10 minutes of the final.
By the end, it was a three-team race for the trophy, as Ocean Hut and Inlet Outlet had been comboed by the other teams. Heritage Ocean City held a 3.4 point lead over Farias, with Heritage Sea Isle not far behind. In the dying minutes, Jamie Moran managed to nab a mere 3.5 through his first two waves for Heritage Ocean City, which left Farias needing a low 6-point ride to take the lead. Despite some close opportunities, Farias and Heritage Sea Isle posted a 3.8 and 4.07 respectively and failed to better the 30.24 total posted by Heritage Ocean City.
“We’re all amping!” claimed Andrew Gelser (Heritage Ocean City) ,who was happy to be back in the water after he recently underwent surgery and therapy to repair a torn MCL. “We’ve kept the same team together for four years and we’ve won every time and it’s been incredible every time. Oakley puts on such a rad event. We’re super stoked to go to Indo, but now it’s time to shift gears and make sure we bring home the $10,000 from Nationals.”
The complete 2012 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge calendar includes:
|* Stop 1: April 6 – Southwest – Seaside Reef, Cardiff, Calif.
* Stop 2: April 19 - Mid-Atlantic – Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head, NC
* Stop 3: April 20 – Northeast – Casino Pier, Seaside Heights, NJ
* Stop 4: June 1 – West – 54th/56th Street – Newport Beach, Calif.
* Stop 5: July 6 – Hawaii – Ala Moana Bowl, South Shore, Haw.
* Stop 6: Aug. 14-15 – Southeast – New Smyrna Beach Inlet, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
* Stop 7: Aug. 31 – Northwest – Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, Calif.
* Final: Oct. 6-10 – National Championship – Keramas/Canggu, Bali, Indo.
For all of the latest information including photos, video footage, results and more, check out www.surfshopchallenge.com.
Special thanks to Oakley and other event partners, Muscle Milk, Rusty, Bubble Gum, New Era, Future Fins, Waterman’s Applied Science and Mizu for their support, without which the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be possible.
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 seven qualifying regional events around the country, culminating in a national championship in Bali, Indonesia for the first time in 2012. 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 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, and the 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 22-million active sports enthusiasts through an integrated network of magazines, online properties, events and television programming. To learn more, visit www.surfermag.com
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