Shea Lopez dominates field to claim Red Bull Tow-at title
Red Bull Tow-At
Sebastian Inlet Florida
6 January 2008
SHEA LOPEZ DOMINATES FIELD AT RED BULL TOW-AT
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 10 January, 2008 : - - Sebastian Inlet, Fla -- World Championship Tour surfing veteran Shea Lopez of New Smyrna Beach, Fl., carved and flew his way past nine other pro surfers to claim ownership of a 2008 Sea Doo personal watercraft and top honors at the Red Bull Tow-At, which was completed this past weekend during the still ongoing O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro surfing tournament.
Now in its fourth year with the O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro, the Red Bull Tow-At is a spectator-friendly contest during which surfers are towed behind a Sea Doo personal watercraft and whipped into waves at speeds approaching 20 miles-per-hour. The surfers utilize the waves much like skateboarders use ramps resulting in deep gouging turns and dramatic aerial maneuvers not possible in traditional surfing conditions.
The 31-year-old Lopez finished 27th on the 2007 Association of Surfing Professionals World Qualifying Series circuit and is aiming to get back onto pro surfing’s elite World Championship Tour. Like many pro surfers, Shea regularly practices tow-at surfing as a means of improving his aerial techniques.
“I’m really stoked to win the tow-at this year as I haven’t had the chance to compete in it the past few years,” Shea said. “Red Bull and Sea Doo have done a cool thing in getting behind this event, and I can’t wait to get my new Sea Doo.”
The Red Bull Tow-At is comprised of an invited field of just 10 surfers; all of whom are either tow-at or aerial specialists. This year’s final saw Shea punt and stick a pretty amazing air to outscore 2007 champion Alek Parker and Travis Beckmann both of Florida and Hawaii’s Kai Barger in the four-man final.
Other surfers in the Red Bull Tow-At included Californians Nate Yeomans and Mike Losness, Virginian Raven Lundy and Floridians Eric Geiselman, Blake Jones and Cory Lopez.
The Red Bull Tow-At is the world’s first ever professional tow-at event and was originally held during the 2005 Sebastian Inlet Pro. Since that inaugural tournament, there have been other tow-at contests held in other parts of the world, but this one draws the deepest talent field and remains the best known and most prestigious event of its kind.
Contests - Surfersvillage