Op Launches 2001 Season With Tag-Team Contest

Ocean Pacific, which launched stadium surfing to the world with thevenerable Op Pro in 1982, is bringing exciting tag team surfing to theHuntington Beach Pier, Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2001. The $20,000 OpT3 (TagTeam Tournament) will pit manufacturer teams from companies such asBillabong, Quiksilver, and Hurley against retailers like Huntington Surf& Sport and Jack’s.

Located on the south side of the famed Huntington Beach pier, the OpT3format comprises 30 four-man teams consisting of two pro-am competitors,one woman, and one grom (16 and under). The unique tournament willconsist of two days of competition, scheduled to run within a three-daywindow. Surfing will take place when conditions are optimal. Prize moneywill be paid to the top four finishing teams: $10,000 for first place,$5,000 for second, $3,000 (third) and $2,000 (fourth).

The OpT3 will implement a “progressive surfing” judging criteria.Competitors will be scored according to several factors, with riskweighted the highest. This format encourages maneuvers like aerials,tail slides and rail turns in the most critical part of the wave.Additionally, speed, style and control will be factors in determiningwhich industry teams triumph and those pretending that they were justcompeting for fun.

The unusual format is expected to lure several of America’s top WorldQualifying Series (WQS) and World Championship Tour (WCT) competitors.In addition to industry teams and top pro surfers, there will be aninvitational media heat, in which four-man teams consisting of full-timeemployees of surf industry magazines (three men, one woman) will competefor top honors. Surfing, Surfer, TransWorld Surf and Surf News areslated to participate.

The OpT3 launches America’s 2001 season and precedes the industry’sannual Southern California trade show (ASR) at the Long Beach ConventionCenter, Feb. 3-5. Dick Baker, chief executive officer of Op, explainsthat the Op Tag Team Tournament will be a “great opportunity for thesurfing industry to come together prior to the ASR show. Op is stagingthis event as a way to give back to the surfing industry at a grassrootslevel.”

The OpT3 is cosponsored by Surfing Magazine. A “Hotline” has been set upfor information at (949) 492-7873 ext. 122 or consumers can log on toSurfingthemag.com. For media inquiries, contact Mike Kingsbury, MKM, at(714) 375-2188 or Jennifer Lightfoot, Op, at (949) 580-1888.