HUNTINGTON BEACH, California – Team O’Neill’s Timmy Reyes has officially secured a berth on the 2005 World Championship Tour (WCT). The triumphant moment for the 22 year-old Huntington Beach resident came during the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing on Oahu’s famed North shore, the second leg of the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Reyes is “Surf City’s first representative on professional surfing’s grand prix since 1996. He joins teammates Floridian Cory Lopez on the men’s circuit and Hawaiians Rochelle Ballard and Melanie Bartels, competing on the women’s tour.
“We’re all super stoked for Timmy to make the WCT, said O’Neill Clothing President Kelly Gibson. “We watched him really go to the next level in 2004 and his surfing was unbelievable. It’s great to see his hard work pay off in the form of a ‘CT seed next year. O’Neill is proud to have him part of the family.”
Consistency over the last half of the season was the key to Reyes’ success in 2004. Following a spectacular semi-final run at the six-star, World Qualifying Series (WQS)-rated U.S. Open of Surfing, Timmy won back-to-back three and two-star WQS contests on the East Coast. He all but secured the prized WCT slot when he made the finals of Onbongo Pro in Brazil, also a six-star WQS event. The deal was formally sealed when he advanced out of his first heat at Sunset Beach, this year’s final WQS competition.
Timmy added an exclamation point to an already outstanding year by scoring the event’s highest overall heat score (18.07 out of 20) during the quarter-finals, advancing to the semi-finals. Reyes was awarded the Triple Crown of Surfing’s rookie of the year trophy which now stands alongside his 2004 Surfing America Pro Tour championship and National Surf League (NSL) MVP honors.
“I can’t even tell you how I feel. Words can’t describe it, said Reyes. “I am just so stoked because it was a long year. I am just fired up for the WCT next year.”
The WCT is comprised of the world’s top 45 surfers and holds 10-12 contests annually at prime wave locations across the globe. It is the circuit that determines the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) world champion. The top 27 WCT surfers in the final rankings automatically re-qualify for the following year. Fifteen competitors advance from the WQS and the remaining three slots are allocated to wildcards.
The former NSSA (National Scholastic Surfing Association) star graduated from Sowers Middle School and then Edison High School, both located in Huntington Beach. As a senior at Edison, Reyes showed flashes of future brilliance when he went on an unprecedented eight event NSSA victory streak. He finished that season with 12 victories, the most on any NSSA competitor. Timmy also went on to capture the High School Men’s State crown on behalf of Edison.
Timmy was also impressive during his first year of competing with the pros on the WQS tour, rating as high as number 26. Shortly after his 20th birthday, he suffered a severe hernia. Two days later, he found himself in the operating room wondering if he was going to be able to finish his first WQS tour. After a successful surgical procedure, doctors told Timmy to take it easy for several months. The hernia cut short his water time but not his desire to advance to the next level.
O’Neill is the world’s original surf brand and manufacturers the number one branded wetsuit worldwide. The family-owned and operated company distributes its products to 85 countries, including more than 2,000 specialty wetsuit and clothing retailers in the U.S. Consumer information is available at www.oneill.com.