HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – For the first time in more than a decade the Katin Pro-Am Team Challenge will return to the coveted north side of the Huntington Beach Pier early next year. Coinciding with Surf City USA's centennial celebration, the city has permitted Katin to stage the legendary event at its historical home, January 20 to 24, 2009.
"It's a dream come true to be able to reintroduce the Katin Pro-Am Team Challenge the way it always had been," said Robert Schmidt, Katin president and CEO. "Paying tribute to our North side heritage was important to Katin and our many supporters throughout the industry and in the local community. We owe a debt of gratitude to the city of Huntington Beach."
The excitement is already building within the surf industry. Chris Drummy of Fox Surf stated that he is "Super pumped and it's going to be a sick event!" Rusty's Scott "Pod" Baneulos added, "The Katin gave up-and-coming surfers the chance to compete against the international stars. It was always the event that would provide a glimpse of the future of our sport." Rusty's early team entry features Pipeline Masters champion Jamie O'Brien, Josh Kerr, Nate Yeomans and Kevin Sullivan.
Founded in 1977 by Nancy Katin, the camaraderie-driven event boasts a rich and memorable history, with a roster of winners that includes world champions Shaun Tomson, Tom Curren, Martin Potter, Sunny Garcia and Kelly Slater. The format will feature 32 teams of four surfers competing in the same four-person, open-draw format that Nancy originally envisioned. Team results will be determined by the placement of individual competitors.
In its early days, the Katin Team Challenge was a specialty event that lured the world's elite surfers—Mark Richards, Mark Occhilupo, Joey Buran, Michael Ho and Larry Bertleman among others. But true to Nancy's dream, the event also drew hot young kids from surf towns in California, Hawaii, Australia and Florida to compete alongside their heroes. Some of these up-and-comers – Shane Beschen, Rob Machado, Pat O'Connell, Chris Brown, Peter Mel and many more – would go on to standout careers. The Katin Team Challenge ran uninterrupted from 1977 to 1989, then from 1992 to 1998.
The City of Huntington Beach will celebrate its 100th year anniversary of incorporation on February 17, 2009. An exciting year-long celebration is in the works for 2009, including events, exhibits, and much more. More information is available at http://www.ci.huntington-beach.ca.us/centennial.
Kanvas by Katin was founded in 1959 by Nancy Katin in Surfside, Calif., when she and her husband Walter transformed a canvas boat cover business into one of the nation's first surfwear brands, specializing in high quality surf trunks. Currently a hard core surf company, today the Katin brand is carried in surf shops and specialty stores throughout the U.S. and worldwide. More information is available at www.katinusa.com.