SAN CLEMENTE, CA— June 30, 2008 —Ocean Minded team rider, Shaun Ward, 25 from Huntington Beach California, won his first WQS 5-Star-event on Sunday at the Local Motion Guarujá Surf Pro, which took place June 24th to June 29th in Brazil.
“I had never been in a 5 star-final, and was very happy to make it. I never imagined I could have won but I worked hard every day to make it happen. It’s a dream come true”, said Ward about his inspiring win.
Ward’s skills were highlighted in the Quarter-Finals when he defeated Brazilian Tomas Hermes with a score of 13.50 to 11.27. Again, Ward’s efforts were only more solidified in the Semifinals when he took out Brazilian André Silva, 16.37 to 13.73. In the end, it came down to Ward and Brazilian Simão Romão, after a very close and intense heat Ward claimed the victory with a score of 12.93 to 11.70.
“I am very proud of Shaun’s performance, he is on a roll this year and very focused in his competing,” stated Ocean Minded team manager Frankie D’Andrea. “Winning this contest will give him the confidence he needs to do well in the rest of the WQS season. Great job Shaun and keep up the awesome work”.
Along with a $12,000 grand prize, Ward received 2000 points which brought him from 77th place to 30th place in the World Qualifying Series (WQS). This boost in the rankings gives Ward plenty of momentum going into the next WQS event July 1st in Durban, South Africa.
“I have surfed and trained everyday to get good results, and it paid off here. I faced very strong contenders all the way to the final but felt no pressure. The waves here are similar to my home break, Huntington Beach, so I had no problems getting adjusted. We had good waves the entire week and now I want to celebrate my victory which is a highlight in my career”.
About Ocean Minded
The Ocean Minded brand was established in 1996 by Gary Ward, built on the principles of protecting beaches, respecting the environment and an overall love for life. Ocean Minded is a leading designer and manufacturer of high-quality leather and EVA-based sandals primarily targeted at the beach, adventure and action sports markets.
The Ocean Minded brand was acquired by Crocs, Inc. in 2007. Today, Ocean Minded operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Crocs, Inc. and its founders continue to live the Ocean Minded lifestyle by actively leading beach clean-ups, and supporting and educating customers on the importance of leaving the ocean and all waterways in better condition than when they were found.