Ocean Pacific: Tim Curran signs with OP.

Irvine-based Ocean Pacific Apparel Corp. has announced the signing of professional surfer Tim Curran to endorse the company’s surf, apparel and accessory products. The long-term commitment withCurran, age 22, is valued in the seven-figures.

Known for his progressive style of surfing, Curran, a resident of Oxnard, Calif., was the top-rated North American in last year’s season-ending professional rankings (6th). Currently rated eighth onthe 2000 World Championship Tour (WCT), he makes his U.S. debut as Op’s marquee rider, May 1 through 6 at Lower Trestles (San Clemente, Calif.)in a regional competition.He is a former junior and U.S. champion and is entering his fourth year on thetightly fought WCT, which features the top 44 professional surfers worldwide in a grueling 12-event international circuit.

The signing of Curran solidifies Op’s commitment to professional surfing. The company’s long-running Op Pro is one of the industry’s few competitions that gain national exposure. The 2000 Op ProBoat Trip Challenge, June 5 to 20, will feature the most unique format ever staged and the largest-ever first place prize for a professional surfing competition. A winner-take-all purse of $65,000for the men and $37,500 for the women lure the world’s six best male and four best female surfers to the Mentawai Islands, off the Sumatran coast in Indonesia.

“We are all very excited at having one of the sport’s best ambassadors representing our company,” said John Vance, vice president and general manager of the Op Pro Division. “His influences will befelt at every level of our business including some yet unannounced projects. We are totally committed to supporting professional surfing and Tim’s lifestyle as well as his pursuit of a world title.”

Dick Baker, chairman and chief executive officer of Ocean Pacific, said, “Our commitment to Tim reflects the importance of the core market and having credibility. We are very pleased to have him aspart of the family.”

Earlier this year, Ocean Pacific announced the launch of the Op Pro division. Designed for generation “Y” surfers and distributed to surf and specialty retailers only, the Op Pro line will focus ontechnically advanced styles and fabrics that highlight function, fit and durability. Founded in 1972, Ocean Pacific is a diversified international licensor of men’s, young men’s, boys, girls,juniors and children’s active sportswear and footwear under the Op label.