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7th Street Surf Shop wins the O'Neill Braggers Cup 06 !

7th Street Surf Shop team : photo courtesy O'Neill

O'Neill Bragger's Cup

Atlantic City, New Jersey, 
10 June 2006

7th Street Surf Shop Wins the Braggers Cup!

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 13 June, 2006 : - - Atlantic City - The idea of O'Neill's Bragger's Cup is to bring the surf community together, have fun, and hopefully have a great grudge match between surf shops. The mission was accomplished in fun peaky 3-4’ foot surf and the low-down show down was on with the word go!

The Bragger's Cup is a series of events that pit regional surf shop teams against one another for bragging rights on who has the best surf shop. Ego’s are bruised, friends become enemies, and insults and hazing are common because when you win you are issued the right of one the best gifts to mankind-bragging!

Winning the braggers Cup heaps prestige upon the winners and shame amongst the losers. To win give’s the champions a whole year of unabashed swagger and ego-boosting bragging! It’s all in fun of course. So when all the competitors gathered round for the event it was a good time for all.

Saturday's fifth annual Bragger's Cup in Atlantic City saw 15 teams from central New Jersey to Maryland duke it out. Teams made up of surf shop owners, employees, and sponsored riders surfed together in heats for one total score.

“These events are designed to give back to the local shops and communities that support us all year long,” said Matt Gleason, O'Neill marketing manager. On Wednesday, Gleason was working with team riders in Hawaii. On Saturday, he was keeping dry and watching New Jersey's finest tearing 3-foot waves.

“There is a great local scene here. Everyone surfs really well, and the waves look fun,” he observed.

Participating local teams included Primal Surf of Brigantine, Farias Surf and Sport of Ship Bottom, and Wild Ocean of Wildwood. Ocean City's 7th Street Surf Shop and Heritage Surf and Sport of Margate each entered a pair of teams.
Surfing as a team brings a new angle to a traditionally individual sport.

“It's great to have a contest with a completely different format. Instead of competing against each other, we're working together out there,” said Chris Eaves, of Cape May Court House, surfing for Heritage Team No. 2.

Each surfer's best wave counted toward the team's total, making it imperative for each to contribute one high score to advance.

Both Heritage and both 7th Street teams headed to the late rounds with Primal Surf. Heritage's No. 1 Team, including Jamie Moran, Brian Heritage, Zack Humphreys and Frank Walsh, showed early promise with local knowledge. Walsh, who lives in Atlantic City, posted an 8.8, finding enough front side speed to execute three big off-the-tops. Humphreys laid down a clean front side reverse for a solid 9.0, the day's high score.

The surf, stagnant all week, showed little promise in the morning. However, as the tide filled in, the New Jersey Avenue peaks came to life with the occasional chest high lines.

7th Street Surf Shop's Team No. 1 won the final, with a 74.40. Earning second was Brave New World of Point Pleasant Beach (65.85) led by Sam Hammer and Keith Noonan. Third and fourth went to Heritage Team No. 1 (57.35) and Right Coast (53.00) of Seaside Park, respectively.

“This was a total team effort and (his teammates) all surfed insane,” said 7th Street's Matt Keenan, who surfed with Kevin Richards, Rob Kelly and Kevin Defoney, all of Ocean City. Matt was the winner of the Himaya “Big Air” Award as well, boosting the huge air pictured above.  The group put up their highest scores during the final.

Keenan chalked up a 7.8 with a front side off-the-top to a long floater, and added two more hits, riding the wave to the beach. A pro surfer, he has ridden for 7th Street for 20 years, and worked in the shop between travel and competition, for the last 16.

“I've grown up in that store, and on the beaches right out front. It's an amazing place. I am who I am from the experiences I've had related to that store,” he said.

7th Street's Team No. 2 finished in a respectable fifth place, ensuring a tough squad for years to come. “Our grom squad murdered it as well, and just missed making the final. It's a great accomplishment for all of us because all the shops have top notch surfers in their lineup,” Keenan said.

1st Place 7th Street Surf Shop
2nd Place Brave New World
3rd Place Heritage Surf and Sport
4th Place Right Coast Surf shop

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Matthew Gleason

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