Having previously won seven Regional and two National Championships, Sunrise Surf Shop Team, a.k.a. “North Florida’s Best,” added another victory to their bag as they claimed their third Oakley Surf Shop National Championship victory today.
Courtesy of Oakley, teams from seven regional qualifiers traveled to Bali for the 2013 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge National Championship: Sunrise Surf Shop (Southeast), Surf Ride (Southwest), Sweetwater Surf Shop (Mid-Atlantic), Hawaiian Island Creations (Hawaii), Channel Islands Surfboards (Northwest), Revolution (West) and 7th Street Surf Shop (Northeast).
The contest required luck, experience, team strategy and positive attitude and, after some nice Round 2 Oakley Pro Bali action, the contest organizers were eager to start the 2013 Surf Shop Challenge. As a collective unit, the surfers have to manage an hour-long heat, maximizing their scores in the most dynamic and conducive way possible.
Sunrise, being one of only two teams returning from last year’s competition, charged through the Semifinals qualifying first into the Final powered by the high energy flowing from an audience full of ASP’s Top 34, and of course the dreamy Balinese conditions of Keramas. 7th Street Surf Shop, Surf Ride and Sweetwater then rounded out the Final field.
In the Final, thanks to surfing powerhouse Garrett Carmichael, Sunrise Surf Shop was first to claim a score. However, although it’s said that the early bird gets the worm, their preliminary lead did not last long given the groups of hungry surfers desperate for good waves in search of a title. Gabe Garcia, rider for Surf Ride, ripped his way into first with a 7.5, but was then stomped on by 7th Streets’ Rob Kelly with a 9.17-point ride. As the halfway mark hit the finals, there was no clear title bound champ. The possession and loss of the top spot left competitors nerves on the edge, and surfers began powering out high scores. Shortly after, former Oakley World Pro Junior surfer, Evan Thompson earned the second 9-point ride of the Final and the exact score Sunrise needed to resume the lead.
Right down to the last few minutes of the heat, Sunrise anxiously sat hungry for a title, nervous of the four points needed to have their title snatched from them for the second year in a row. However, in the end their nerves settled with another trophy to add to their collection as well as a $10,000+ prize package and the title of “Best U.S. Surf Shop” of 2013.
Congratulations again to 2013 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge National Champions Sunrise Surf Shop.
1. Sunrise Surf Shop: 30.80
2. 7th Street Surf Shop: 29.77
3. Surf Ride: 28.53
4. Sweetwater Surf Shop: 22.29 (with a 5 point deduction)
Check out surfshopchallenge.com where you can find the latest information including photos, video footage, results and more.