Florida’s best surf shops converged on Paradise Beach Park in Melbourne Beach, Florida on Thursday to compete in the second stop of the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge. The Southeast Regional Qualifier kicked off the East Coast leg of the series in exciting fashion with Sunrise Surf Shop claiming their ninth Southeast title over last year’s champions Quiet Flight.
The day started with Contest Director Darren Brilhart putting the event on hold due to a severe weather pattern scheduled to hit during the first heat. With a three-day waiting period, forecasters predicted gale force winds, thunder and lightning on Thursday with flat surf conditions Friday and Saturday, threatening the ability to run the event.
After waiting out heavy winds and light rain, the storm narrowly missed Melbourne to the South. With parting clouds and semi-clean waist-to-chest high surf, the teams were getting psyched to compete in what was setting up to be one of the best events in OSSC history.
The first round saw teams posting impressive scores including a 9.17 from Cody Thompson of Sunrise Surf Shop and a double whammy 9.87 from Daniel Glenn from Quiet Flight. Once it was settled the final saw usual suspects, Sunrise Surf Shop and Quiet Flight, battle it out with Aqua East, Island Water Sports and Surf Station.
The final was nothing short of exciting as Wayne Satterswhite of Aqua East opened up the scoring with a double whammy 8.43 and teammate John Massey followed with a 9.4. World Qualifying Series surfer Gabe Kling, of Surf Station, doubled down on his 9.23 putting Surf Station in the running. The scoring flurry continued from Quiet flight as Daniel Glenn posted a 9.27 and Jeremy Johnston an 8.33 pushing them to the top. There was hope in everyone’s eyes until Sunrise’s Evan Thomson whammied a 9.67 and his older brother Cody wowed the judges and earned a 10-point ride and the win.
“The waves were a lot better than we expected today and everyone showed up with amazing teams,” said Cody Thompson of Sunrise Surf Shop. “We knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. Everyone on every team stepped up, but luckily all our guys came through too and we came out with the win. I’m stoked to be a part of this event every year and big thanks to Oakley and SURFER as well as Team Sunrise.”
The win was Sunrise’s ninth Southeast title since 2006, and would have been their eighth straight victory had they not been edged out by Quiet Flight in 2016.
Sunrise will meet the rest of the regional qualifiers this fall when all seven teams reconvene at the National Championships to battle for the title of the Most Core Surf Shop in America.
The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge series heads to Nags Head, Outer Banks, North Carolina for Stop #3 (Mid-Atlantic) and Casino Pier, Seaside Heights, NJ for stop #4 (Northeast), next week.
Sunrise Surf Shop: 43.68 points
Quiet Flight: 35.7 points
Aqua East Surf Shop: 35.53 points
Surf Station: 33.46 points
Island Water Sports: 22.83 points
The 2017 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Schedule:
March 24 – Southwest – Seaside Reef, Cardiff, Calif. – SUN DIEGO
April 6 – Southeast – Paradise Beach Park, Melbourne, Fla. - SUNRISE
April 10/11/12 – Mid-Atlantic – Nags Head, Outer Banks, NC
April 12/13/14 – Northeast – Casino Pier, Seaside Heights, NJ
May 25/26 – Northwest – Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz, Calif.
June 9 – West – 54th or 56th Street – Newport Beach, Calif.
July 10/11 – Hawaii – Ala Moana Bowls, South Shore, Haw.
Fall 2017 – National Championship – TBD
For all of the latest information including photos, video footage, results and more, check out surfshopchallenge.com.
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.
Established in 1975 and headquartered in Southern California, Oakley is one of the leading product design and sport performance brands in the world. The holder of more than 600 patents, Oakley is a culture of creators, inventors, idealists and scientists obsessed with using design and innovation to create products and experiences that inspire greatness. This philosophy has made Oakley one of the most iconic and inimitable brands on the market, with products that world-class athletes around the globe depend on to compete at the highest level possible. Oakley is known for its High Definition Optics®, which feature unparalleled optical clarity and precision along with impact resistance and UV protection, incorporated into all of the brand’s sun, prescription eyewear and premium goggles. Oakley extended its position as the world’s leading sports eyewear brand into apparel and accessories. Oakley has men’s and women’s product lines that appeal to Sports Performance, Active and Lifestyle consumers. Oakley is a subsidiary of Luxottica Group. Additional information is available at oakley.com.
In 1960, SURFER began as the original surf magazine. With 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.” Through its website, social media channels, magazine, and television programming, SURFER continues to be the most current and reliable source of information to the surf community, reaching more than 22-million active sports enthusiasts. SURFER is published by TEN: The Enthusiast Network. To learn more, visit surfermag.com
About TEN: The Enthusiast Network
TEN: The Enthusiast Network is the world’s premier transmedia network of enthusiast brands, such as MOTOR TREND, AUTOMOBILE, HOT ROD, SURFER, TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING, and GRINDTV. With more than 60 websites, 50 publications, 50 annual events, the Motor Trend OnDemand subscription video-on-demand service, as well as the world’s largest automotive and action/adventure sports media platforms, TEN inspires enthusiasts to pursue their passions. For more information, visit enthusiastnetwork.com.