Florida’s best surf shops converged on Paradise Beach Park in Melbourne Beach, Florida on Thursday to compete in the second stop of the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge. The Southeast Regional Qualifier kicked off the East Coast leg of the series in exciting fashion with Sunrise Surf Shop claiming their ninth Southeast title over last year’s champions Quiet Flight.
The day started with Contest Director Darren Brilhart putting the event on hold due to a severe weather pattern scheduled to hit during the first heat. With a three-day waiting period, forecasters predicted gale force winds, thunder and lightning on Thursday with flat surf conditions Friday and Saturday, threatening the ability to run the event.
After waiting out heavy winds and light rain, the storm narrowly missed Melbourne to the South. With parting clouds and semi-clean waist-to-chest high surf, the teams were getting psyched to compete in what was setting up to be one of the best events in OSSC history.
The first round saw teams posting impressive scores including a 9.17 from Cody Thompson of Sunrise Surf Shop and a double whammy 9.87 from Daniel Glenn from Quiet Flight. Once it was settled the final saw usual suspects, Sunrise Surf Shop and Quiet Flight, battle it out with Aqua East, Island Water Sports and Surf Station.
The final was nothing short of exciting as Wayne Satterswhite of Aqua East opened up the scoring with a double whammy 8.43 and teammate John Massey followed with a 9.4. World Qualifying Series surfer Gabe Kling, of Surf Station, doubled down on his 9.23 putting Surf Station in the running. The scoring flurry continued from Quiet flight as Daniel Glenn posted a 9.27 and Jeremy Johnston an 8.33 pushing them to the top. There was hope in everyone’s eyes until Sunrise’s Evan Thomson whammied a 9.67 and his older brother Cody wowed the judges and earned a 10-point ride and the win.
“The waves were a lot better than we expected today and everyone showed up with amazing teams,” said Cody Thompson of Sunrise Surf Shop. “We knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. Everyone on every team stepped up, but luckily all our guys came through too and we came out with the win. I’m stoked to be a part of this event every year and big thanks to Oakley and SURFER as well as Team Sunrise.”
The win was Sunrise’s ninth Southeast title since 2006, and would have been their eighth straight victory had they not been edged out by Quiet Flight in 2016.
Sunrise will meet the rest of the regional qualifiers this fall when all seven teams reconvene at the National Championships to battle for the title of the Most Core Surf Shop in America.
The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge series heads to Nags Head, Outer Banks, North Carolina for Stop #3 (Mid-Atlantic) and Casino Pier, Seaside Heights, NJ for stop #4 (Northeast), next week.
Sunrise Surf Shop: 43.68 points
Quiet Flight: 35.7 points
Aqua East Surf Shop: 35.53 points
Surf Station: 33.46 points
Island Water Sports: 22.83 points
The 2017 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Schedule:
–March 24 – Southwest – Seaside Reef, Cardiff, Calif. – SUN DIEGO
–April 6 – Southeast – Paradise Beach Park, Melbourne, Fla. – SUNRISE
–April 10/11/12 – Mid-Atlantic – Nags Head, Outer Banks, NC
–April 12/13/14 – Northeast – Casino Pier, Seaside Heights, NJ
–May 25/26 – Northwest – Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz, Calif.
–June 9 – West – 54th or 56th Street – Newport Beach, Calif.
–July 10/11 – Hawaii – Ala Moana Bowls, South Shore, Haw
–Fall 2017 – National Championship – TBD
For all of the latest information including photos, video footage, results and more, check out surfshopchallenge.com.