Op, originator of the Op Pro and the “OpKing of Skate” pay-per-view event is again advancing the sport of surfing tonew levels, ushering in a revised ASP judging format and bringingcompetitive surfing back to the beaches of So. Calif. at next month’s OpNewport Classic presented by Smith Optics.
Slated Sept. 25 to 29 at the 54th and 56th Streets Jetty in Newport Beach,the Op Newport Classic includes two contests featuring top ASP pros andaerial specialists from around the world, and a city championship that willshowcase local amateur performers of all ages.
“I really want to push the limits on the new ASP criteria, and innovationand just incredible surfing will be rewarded highly,” says Tony Sutton, headjudge of the Op Newport Classic and former judge of the Association ofSurfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour (WCT). “We want to seeguys going big, which will raise the level of surfing and bring moreexcitement to the event.”
Headlining the Op Newport Classic is the ASP Men’s and Women’s WQS one-star,a West Coast stop on the Foster’s Pro Surfing Tour. An international fieldof top men and women professional and amateur surfers will be competing forthe $10,000 and $5,000 bounties, respectively, offered in this year’s event;the Foster’s Pro Surfing Tour title; and qualifying points towardeligibility on the WCT. Qualifying heats are scheduled Sept. 25 to 27;quarterfinals will be held on Sept. 28;?finals will take place on Sept. 29.
In and above the waves at the Op Newport Classic, a contingent of theworld’s highest-flying surfers will be boosting big air in the Vans/SurfingMagazine Airshow Series (V-SMAS), an aerial dog fight with a $10,000 prizepurse. Qualifying heats for this last leg of the V-SMAS series before theChampionships in October will take place south of the main staging area, at54th Street; finals commence Sept. 29.
The third component of this year’s Op Newport Classic is the 14th AnnualNewport Beach Surf Championships, an amateur surfing contest hosted by theCity of Newport Beach in conjunction with Op. The competition focuses onsurfers and the sport of surfing in the community and is open to competitorsof diverse ages and abilities. Divisions include the following: Elementary;Middle School, High School; College Men’s; Men’s, Masters; and Op Girls. Thecontest commences on Sept. 27 with College Men’s and Masters initial rounds;High School, Men’s, Middle School, Elementary and Op Girls heats follow onSept. 28; and all subsequent rounds, semifinals and finals will take placeon Sept. 29, culminating in an awards ceremony scheduled for 2:15 p.m.
“Op was born in SoCal, it was the first brand to invest in major surfingevents and it pioneered the advent of organized surfing teams, so the OpNewport Classic is just another great way for us to recommit ourselves toour community and the sport of surfing,” says Michael Marckx, Op vicepresident of advertising and marketing. “The event is true to the roots ofsurfing and, at the same time, provides a forum in which today’s mostprogressive performers can further advance the state of the art in thesport.”
Spectators at the Op Newport Classic will additionally be treated to anhour-long “Seventies Session,” featuring surf legends of past and presentcompeting atop ’70’s-period surfboards. Shaun Tomson, Peter Townend, PaulNaude, Joel Tudor, Donavon Frankenreiter, Jeff Hakman, Gerry Lopez and manymore are expected to paddle out in this single-fin extravaganza scheduledimmediately before the Airshow finals on Sept. 29.
Also in association with Op, the First Annual Dr. Tim Brown InvitationalGolf Tournament will tee-off on Sept. 26 at 12 p.m. at the Strawberry FarmsGold Club in Irvine, Calif. The philanthropic event was founded to educateand assist those seeking balance in health and the environment. Proceedswill benefit the Orange County Coast Keepers, a non-profit environmentalactivist organization whose credo is: “Protect and preserve Orange County’smaarine habitat and watershed through education, restoration, andenforcement.”
About Ocean Pacific Apparel corp. (OP): Launched in 1972, Op was the firstsurfboard manufacturer to create an apparel line to meet the demands ofsurfers, in and out of the water, and became the defining name that is thesurf/beach culture. The brand was the first action-sports company, theprogenitor of “West Coast living,” and the originator of what is now knownas the “active lifestyle industry.”
Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, Op is now the largest privately-heldand most recognized action sports apparel brand in the world, and proffers abroad array of product extensions targeted at the youth culture and itsattendant sectors: surf, skate, snow, and urban and street fashion for bothmales and females, the young and young-at-heart.
Through manufacture of goods ranging from apparel and footwear to fragrancesand accessories, and sponsorship of world-class sporting events andathletes, Op continues to remain true to its mission: to create qualityactive-lifestyle products with genuine value, authenticity and style.