The 2013 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge and two events for the Oakley High School Surf Team Challenge kicked off Friday morning at Seaside Reef in Cardiff, California. Athletes competed for local bragging rights and the chance to win a trip to Bali to compete for the National Championship and $10,000. 14 surf shop teams and 10 high school teams showed up to compete in the first of eight events.
Hansen’s, Sun Diego Carlsbad, and Surf Ride Oceanside stood out heading into the event for contention to take the 2013 title. The 14 teams were divided into three heats with the five highest team scores winning a sport in the Final.
The day started slowly with the morning’s high tide, but competitors had contestable surf in the two-to-three foot range with some softer lines on the outside. Early in the heats Pacific Drive and Rusty Del Mar shined posting team scores in the high 20s. In the end, Surf Ride Oceanside, Rusty Del Mar, Pacific Drive, Sun Diego Carlsbad and Surf Ride Solana Beach advanced to the Final.
As the teams prepared, the sun broke through the gloom for spectators and competitors. The dropping tide produced consistent shoulder high sets lining up to the inside. Ricky Whitlock of Sun Diego didn’t waste any time throwing down in the Final and earned the highest heat score of the day, a 9.0. Surf Ride Solana Beach’s Dayton Silva boasted a high score for two backside blasts. Sun Diego held on to the lead until the last surfers hit the water, but Brent Reilly of Surf Ride Oceanside changed that. Reilly put Surf Ride Oceanside into the lead by a mere .59 with his first wave scoring a 3.10 with only six minutes remaining.
“If we were going to have someone crunched on time as the last surfer in the water, we definitely wanted it to be Brent,” said Aaron Coyle, shop manager at Surf Ride Oceanside. In the dying minutes, Brent tore apart a reeling left hander, earning a score that ensured their victory.
“I was gunning for an eight or higher,” said Reilly. “It was a little nerve-wracking, but I probably wasn’t as nervous as I should have been with Bali on the line.”
Pedro Fernandez of Sun Diego Carlsbad fit one last wave in before the horn, but it couldn’t combat Reilly’s 6-point ride. Surf Ride Oceanside sealed the win and the chance to compete against six other teams in Bali this June.
In the Oakley High School Team Challenge Carlsbad, La Jolla, San Dieguito and Torrey Pines advanced into the Final. Despite a valiant effort from Carlsbad, they were unable to beat the defending champions Torrey Pines who once again earned the title and the $5,000 cash prize for their school’s science and athletic departments. La Jolla finished the competition in third and San Dieguito earned fourth. Santa Fe Christian earned the $1,000 Spirit Award from their enthusiasm and support at Seaside.
The Southeast regional is the next event in the OSSC taking place April 9-10 in Ponce Inlet, Florida. The 2013 Oakley Surf Team Challenge’s next stop will be in Newport Beach on June 1st. For all of the latest information including photos, video footage, results and more, check out surfshopchallenge.com and surfteamchallenge.com.
Final OSSC Results:
- Surf Ride Oceanside
- Sun Diego Carlsbad
- Surf Ride Solana Beach
- Rusty Del Mar
- Pacific Drive
Final OHSSTC Results:
- Torrey Pines High School
- Carlsbad High School
- La Jolla High School
- San Dieguito Academy
2013 OSSC and OHSSTC Schedule:
- April 5-6 – Southwest – Seaside Reef, Cardiff, Calif.*
- April 9-10 – Southeast – Ponce Inlet, Fla.
- April 12-13 – Mid-Atlantic – Kitty Hawk or Nags Head, Outer Banks, NC
- April 15-16 – Northeast – Manasquan Inlet, Manasquan, NJ
- April 19 – Northwest – Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, Calif.
- May 10 – Hawaii – Ala Moana Bowl, South Shore, Haw.
- May 31-June 1 – West – 54th/56th Street – Newport Beach, Calif.*
- June 17-22 – National Championship – Keramas/Canggu, Bali, Indo.
*Denotes Oakley High School Surf Team Challenge stops