Five teams took over Manasquan, New Jersey, on Thursday to battle for a chance to represent the Northeast region in the National Championship of the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge. Despite only a handful of shop entries, the unique team-focused event (each shop team consisting of two team riders and two shop employees) did not disappoint.
Heritage Surf & Sport Margate Take Northeast Championship Title
The participating teams included: Heritage Surf & Sport (Ocean City), Heritage Surf & Sport (Margate), Heritage Surf & Sport (Sea Isle City), Inlet Outlet Surf Shop (Manasquan, NJ), and Jersey Devil Surf LLC (Atlantic City, NJ). With two-time reigning Northeast Champion and former National Champions 7th Street Surf Shop absent, it was anyone’s game.
Each shop competed in two heats with the judges selecting the higher of each team’s two heat scores to determine the champion. An interesting change to the usual format, it both gave a second chance to teams that didn’t score well in the first heat, but also forced all to surf their best, not once but twice.
When all was said and done, Heritage Surf Shop Margate had not only won the event, ending 7th Street Surf Shops two-year run, but had also made history by being the first team to win with a female team member. While Andrew Gesler’s whammy of a 9.77 certainly helped, it was their defensive strategy that earned them a 32.94-point total leading them to victory. Winning the trip to the National Championship in Southern California are team members Zack Humphreys, Ian Bloch, Kevin Morris and Cassidy McClain.
Another Heritage Surf Shop team, Sea Isle City, took the second spot on the podium with good consistent surfing. Their first heat tallied out to 30.83 points with a solid second heat total of 30.61 points. Unfortunately, the efforts of whammy surfer Andrew Gesler, who put up the two best individual scores (9.0 and 9.77), were not enough to seal the deal.
Solid surfing from Jersey Devil Surf shop legends Dean Randazzo and Jacques Beningo helped them snag a third-place finish, and Manasquan local favorites, Inlet Outlet Surf Shop, snagged fourth.
1 – Heritage Margate (32.94)
2 – Heritage Sea Isle City (30.83)
3 – Jersey Devil Surf (22.33)
4 – Inlet Outlet (17.94)
5 – Heritage Ocean City (15.90)
The next leg of the 2016 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge is scheduled to roll through Paradise Beach Park, Melbourne, Florida on Tuesday, April 19.
The 2016 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge schedule:
* March 25 – Southwest – Seaside Reef, Cardiff, Calif.
* April 11-12 – Mid-Atlantic – Nags Head, Outer Banks, NC
* April 14-15 – Northeast – Manasquan Inlet, NJ
* April 18-19 – Southeast – Paradise Beach Park, Melbourne, Fla.
* May 26-27 – Northwest – Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz, Calif.
* June 3 – West – 54th or 56th Street – Newport Beach, Calif.
* July 7-8 – Hawaii – Ala Moana Bowls, South Shore, Haw.
* Fall 2016 – National Championship – Southern California
For all of the latest information including photos, video footage, results and more, check out surfshopchallenge.com.
Special thanks to Oakley, SURFER Magazine and event partners, Futures Fins, GoPro, Xcel Wetsuits, JS Industries and Official Forecaster Surfline.com for their support, without which the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be possible.
About Surf Shop Challenge
Originally conceived to provide a fun and competitive format for the hardcore surf shop riders, the SURFER Shop Team Challenge was one of the most popular and exciting Southern California contests of the early 1980s. Through the years the contest has evolved, with seven qualifying regional events around the country, culminating in a national championship in Bali, Indonesia for the first time in 2012. The underlying principles, however, have remained the same. The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge is still about giving back to the shops, the true backbone of the industry and the heart of the sport of surfing. Each year the competition level rises, the stakes become greater and the prizes become bigger.
About Oakley, Inc.
Established in 1975 and headquartered in Southern California, Oakley is one of the leading product design and sport performance brands in the world. The holder of more than 600 patents, Oakley is a culture of creators, inventors, idealists and scientists obsessed with using design and innovation to create products and experiences that inspire greatness. This philosophy has made Oakley one of the most iconic and inimitable brands on the market, with products that world-class athletes around the globe depend on to compete at the highest level possible. Oakley is known for its High Definition Optics(r), which feature unparalleled optical clarity and precision along with impact resistance and UV protection, incorporated into all of the brand’s sun, prescription eyewear and premium goggles. Oakley extended its position as the world’s leading sports eyewear brand into apparel and accessories. Oakley has men’s and women’s product lines that appeal to Sports Performance, Active and Lifestyle consumers. Oakley is a subsidiary of Luxottica Group. Additional information is available at www.oakley.com.
In 1960, SURFER Magazine began as the original. After a long history of delivering provocative and insightful editorial features, revealing interviews and award winning state-of-the-art photography, SURFER remains the authoritative voice of the surfing world and thus earned the moniker “the bible of the sport.” The SURFER brand has also grown to include SURFERmag.com, Fantasy SURFER, and the SURFER message boards. All of these assets combine to make the SURFER network the most current and reliable channel of information to the surf community. The magazine is published by TEN: The Enthusiast Network, which reaches more than 45 million active sports enthusiasts through an integrated network of magazines, online properties, events and television programming. To learn more, visit SURFERmag.com.
About TEN: The Enthusiast Network
TEN: The Enthusiast Network is the world’s premier network of enthusiast brands, such as MOTOR TREND, AUTOMOBILE, HOT ROD, SURFER, TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING, and GRINDTV. With more than 50 publications, 60 websites, 50 events, 1,000 branded products, MOTOR TREND OnDemand subscription video on-demand service, the world’s largest automotive VOD channel, and the world’s largest action/adventure sports media platform, TEN inspires enthusiasts to pursue their passions. For more information, visit www.enthusiastnetwork.com.