Surfer Magazine's 2010 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge
Seaside Reef Cardiff, California
2 April 2010
Hansen's and SunDiego battle it out...
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 April, 2010 : - - San Clemente, California -- San Diego shops made their presence known last Friday at the first stop of Surfer Magazine's 2010 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge in Cardiff, California. This event marked the first time that the series has stopped in San Diego and these teams certified that San Diego boasted enough talent to warrant their own region.
The morning's brisk easterly winds and clear skies set the stage for rest of the afternoon, which unfolded into a storybook spring day. Teams arrived to find glassy, 4- to 5-foot walls breaking along the reef in either direction at Seaside Reef in Cardiff, CA and conditions continued to improve as the day went on.
The event boiled down to 12 teams going to battle for the first ever San Diego regional title, which would effectively secure their spot in the national championship come September.
Going into the event, it was suspected that the three titans-Surfride (last year's Southwest Regional Champs and the '08 National Champs), Hansen's (2007 National Champs), and SunDiego (long-time runner-up)-would once again be the three in contention for the win.
The first round was broken into three nail-biting heats, but Team Hansen was the standout performer from the start. With local pro Austin Ware as their whammy rider, Hansen raked in a near-perfect whammy-score, adding to an already stacked heat total and earning themselves a spot in the final.
Throughout the day, it was a battle of smack-talking as much as it was a battle in the lineup. Last year's regional champs, Surfride, had a rocky start, and were nearly etched out by K5 and Hanger 94 in Round One. In the end, however, they secured their spot in the final alongside Hansens, Rail to Rail, K5 Boardshop, and SunDiego. "We didn't perform too well in the first heat," said Surfride's Chris Abad after his Round One heat, "but we just have to step it up and get right waves in the final."
As the Final heat hit the water, tension was high, with the five teams in contention eager to be crowned the best surf shop in San Diego. Early on, Surfride's Brent Riley and Che Stang blew up and it looked like they would go on to clench a third regional win. The talk of the final, though, was Shey Yates of K5's one-footed, blow-tail layback that set the crowd ablaze in cheers. But unfortunately for K-5, their whammy-rider, Matt Yates, failed to whammy his final wave, leaving the team without the added scores need to combat an on-fire Team Hansen.
Hansen's roll continued through the Final, as Erik Snortum posted a massive 9.33, serving as a nice back-up for Austin Ware's 8.77 whammy-wave. Nonetheless, SurfRide remained hot in pursuit and as the Final neared close, SurfRide's Aaron Coyle needed only to post a decent score in order to surpass Hansen's early lead.
But Hansen's final surfer, Ryan Burch, answered back, managing to sneak into left and seal the deal for Team Hansen. "It's pretty cool to be able to come out and do something for your shop and represent it," said Hansen surf shop employee Jesse Wells. "It feels really good to win it; there's nothing better than that."
Hansen will join the six other regional qualifiers at the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge National Championship in Huntington in September.
1. Hansen's Surf Shop- 58.03 (team: Austin Ware*, Eric Snortum, Ryan Burch, Jesse Wells)
2. Surfride- 52.12 (team: Chris Abad, Aaron Coyle, Che Stang, Brent Reilly*)
3. Rail to Rail Surf Shop- 43.8 (team: Byron Roher, Eric McHenry*, Justin McBride, Darrell Goodrum)
4. SunDiego Boardshops- 40.35 (team: Ricky Whitlock, Sean Marceron*, Scott Hammon, Bryan Guter)
5. K5 Boardshop- 20.41 (team: Matt Yates*, Shey Yates, Josh Sleigh, Lucas Dalager)
*signifies team whammy-rider
This year's regional winners will not only earn an expense-paid trip to the national championship for their chance to score the $10,000 grand prize, but each will also receive a full-page shop profile in SURFER Magazine and product from all sponsors.
Special thanks to Oakley and other event partners Muscle Milk, New Era Caps, Firewire Surfboards, Bubble Gum Surf Wax, ASR, and Buell Wetsuits for all their support. Without their involvement the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be what it is today.
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