(Huntington Beach, Calif.) June 11, 2008 — It was a stereotypical Southern California day, as the Southwest Regionalnal Qualifier was met with warm sunny skies and fun chest-high surf at 54th Street in Newport Beach. A well-stirred cocktail of lighthearted fun and serious competition was mixed early as teams mingled on the beach over a catered breakfast. “This could be yours, boys!” urged Huntington Surf and Sport’s Mark Reeder, pointing at the event trophy.
Spurred by Reeder’s words, HSS made a solid run in the early rounds, advancing to the final for the third time in as many years. However, although the HSS team—comprised of Christian Saenz, Jason Harris, Andrew Doheny, and Kyle Kennelly—surfed well, they were only able to match their rank from last year, a disappointing third place.
The 2004 regional champs, Laguna Surf and Sport, had a strong showing in the first round with whammy-rider Hans Hagen earning a 17.5 toward his team’s score of over 45 points. His support staff of Jason Watson, Eli Vizolay, and Jon Rose did well enough to slot their team into the second round, but fell short on their run, missing the final by only two points.
Last year’s regional runner up, Sun Diego, again missed the trophy mark, coming in second place with 46.5 points. Nick Kovack, Bryan Guter, and Kyle Knox joined Sean Marceron on this year’s team. In the first round Marceron laid down the highest whammy score of the day with a 19.5, helping his team earn the highest heat score of the day (55.06). But in the final, the boys from SD came up five points short.
First-time regional champions Surfride, with a squad that consisted of Che Stang, Aaron Coyle, Brent Riley, and Chris Abad, were in top form throughout the day. After posting the second highest total heat score in the first round, they advanced straight to the final, where they dominated their challengers. Winning by four points, team Surfride showed the importance of having an all-around solid group of surfers competing together on a team. The winning formula for this group came from a strong foundation, which was laid by the shop employees and then followed up by a layer of dependability added by the team riders.
1st Place: Surfride 50.36 (Che Stang, Aaron Coyle, Brent Riley, Chris Abad)
2nd Place: Sun Diego 46.5 (Sean Marceron, Nick Kovack, Bryan Guter, Kyle Knox)
3rd Place: Huntington Surf and Sport 46.13 (Christian Saenz, Jason Harris, Andrew Doheny, Kyle Kennelly)
4th Place: Surfside Sports 30.36 (Adam Popp, Vance Smith, Geoff Moysa, Nick Skawinski)
For stories, photos, video, and schedule, please visit Quiksilver.com/qssc08.
Originally conceived to provide a fun and competitive format for the hardcore surf shop riders, the SURFER Shop Team Challenge was one of the most popular and exciting Southern California contests of the early 1980s. After several years on hiatus, the competition made a wildly successful return four years ago as the 2004 Quiksilver Surf Shop Challenge.
Each year the competition level rises, the stakes become greater and the prizes become bigger. Competitor prizes for 2008 include product from Quiksilver, Vans Shoes, Sector 9, Aviso Surfboards, Komunity Project, and Quiksilver Travel. Regional champions earn a trip to California to fill their spot in the National Championships, as well as VIP passes to the 2008 Surfer Poll and Video Awards. National champs will walk away with a winner-take-all $10,000 prize, a full-page ad in SURFER Magazine, an Aviso carbon fiber surfboard, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii for the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, complements of Quiksilver Travel.
Special thanks goes to: Vans Shoes, Sector 9 Skateboards, Aviso Surfboards, Future Fins, Komunity Project, Quiksilver Travel, ASR, Surf Expo, Board Retailers Association (B.R.A.) and WaveWatch.com.