TEAM TOWN & COUNTRY TAKES OAKLEY SURF SHOP CHALLENGE WIN
IN HAWAII REGIONALS
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., July 9, 2012 —After a one-year hiatus from the winner’s podium, Team Town & Country has once again claimed a win in the Hawaiian leg of the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge held at Ala Moana Bowls. This year’s victory marks the fifth time Town & Country has won the event. With their finish today, Town & Country will be traveling to Bali to compete for the national title and a chance to win $10,000 courtesy of Oakley.
|2012 Hawaii Regional Champions T&C. Photo: Heff
As has become tradition for the Hawaii Regionals, mouthwatering conditions surrounded the lineup at Ala Moana Bowls as four-foot-plus walls of water marched in perfect unison to kick off the event. With a completely unique team format that sees local surf shops pitted against one another, an Oakley Surf Shop Challenge win is as much about bragging rights over other surf shops as much as anything else. With teams made up of two shop employees and two teamriders, the atmosphere at this event is more akin to a session spent with a few friends than a typical surf contest.
With near-perfect waves on tap, by the time the opening heats started, the eight teams competing were already chomping at the bit to hit the water. “Look at it out there—it’s pretty much perfect Bowls. I mean, how can you not be fired up looking at that lineup? There’s no other contest in Hawaii quite like this,” says team HIC’s Joel Centeio. “Every year, the Surf Shop Challenge seems to score. I just want our team to make it to the next round so I can surf more.”
As the contest progressed past the first round, four of the original eight teams were whittled down, leaving Town & Country, HIC, HI Tech, and Pipe Dreams in contention for a win. From the outset of the final heat, Town & Country’s Kekoa Bacalso drew first blood, lighting up a solid set wave from the outside bowl to the inside peak, dropping a 9-point ride in the process. As the only surfer in the event to compete at the World Tour level, it was clear that Bacalso meant business when he hit the water.
“Man, I just really want a free trip to Bali. How unreal of a trip would that be? That’s my motivation. Send me to Bali,” said Bacalso through a characteristic chuckle in the moments leading up to the final. Unfortunately for him, the remaining teams in the lineup all held similar aspirations. “Send me to Bali” proved to be the rallying cry for the contest.
Back out to sea the hunt for the win seesawed back and forth. By the halfway point of the 70-minute long final, the lead seemed to be changing hands with every set. Highlighting the heat, Team HIC, last year’s champs, dropped a litany of high scores as Kekoa Cazimero, the team’s Whammy Surfer, put on a blistering last-minute performance. In the ensuing moments, the remaining teams would drop a slew of scores, giving rise to the idea that a win was in reach for anyone. But in the end, thanks to some last-minute heroics from shop surfer Geoff Wong, Team Town & Country solidified their win once again and are now Bali bound.
“Oh man, that was so stressful but exciting. I’m so stoked on our team. We’re so fired up to win and can’t wait for our trip to Bali,” said Town & Country team captain Travis Hashimoto following the final. “I just can’t wait. I think we’re gonna do well out there in those type of waves. Hopefully we can get some barrels and take home a national win.”
The next stop on the 2012 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge is in the Southwest Regional Aug. 14-15 in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. It’s the sixth stop of seven on the regional tour, which culminates in Bali on October 6.
The remaining 2012 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge calendar:
|* 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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