Aptos High School Wins Santa Cruz Regional Title At Red Bull Riders Cup

Aptos High School Wins Santa Cruz Regional Title At Red Bull Riders Cup
Premier High School Surfing Series' Second Stop will be at Seaside Park in Ventura on March 24-26

Santa Cruz, California – (March 20th, 2009) – The first event of the 2009 Red Bull Riders Cup season, the nations' premier high school surfing competition, got off to a dramatic start this week as the best high school surfers in Santa Cruz battled it out under sunny skies and solid conditions.  Participating high schools included Santa Cruz High, Aptos High, Scotts Valley High, Harbor High and Soquel High School.  The competition was fierce, but in the end Aptos High took the victory from runners-up Santa Cruz High.  Aptos High's win earned them a spot in the Red Bull Riders Cup Championship, which will be held on June 6-7 at the Upper Trestles in San Clemente.  The series' next Regional Title will be up for grabs on March 24-26, when the Red Bull Riders Cup travels to Seaside Park in Ventura.

The first three days of the four-day competition were held at The Hook, and it was local favorites Santa Cruz High and Aptos High that came through the early rounds to advance to Thursday's regional finals at Pleasure Point.  In the final game Aptos High won the toss and sent Santa Cruz into the water first.  Santa Cruz got off to a good early start, posting a respectable 21.1 in the top of the first period.  Aptos High's decision to surf second proved a great one when they hit the water and were greeted with very solid set waves to take the lead with a score of 23.8.

But the tables turned dramatically in the second period with Santa Cruz surfers posting some huge scores, led by a massive 9.1 by Shaun Burns.  Aptos High really struggled to find waves in the bottom of the second period, even having to use two timeouts while waiting for some set waves to roll through.  Yet the waves never came, and with a low score of 18.4 for the period, their early lead turned in to a 4.1 point deficit going into the final period.

The game was now Santa Cruz's to win, but when they didn't post a score higher that a 7 in their final period they left the door slightly open for Aptos High, who could take the win if they could do better than a 23.7.  The ocean was not particularly kind early in the bottom of the final period and after the opening set of waves, Aptos had solid scores but were still trailing.  With 6min 55sec remaining in the final, Aptos High Coach Miske called a timeout and the wait for a good set of waves was on.  The timeout proved a great decision when Sophomore Noah Wegrich caught the wave of the day and posted a near perfect 9.6 ride to slam the door shut and take the Santa Cruz Regional Championships with 1min 59sec to go.

"I was really very proud of the team today, not just for winning but how they did it," said Aptos High Coach Kevin Miske. "They showed real character to come from behind after a tough second period, and they worked really hard to fight their way back into the game when the pressure was on and win."

"The coach just said he wanted at least sixes from all of us, so I just wanted to at least get that, then this wave just held up nice for me and gave me chance to put up a good score," said MVP and game winner Noah Wegrich.  "It felt really good, but I didn't expect a 9.6 though!"

Competition Schedule: (West Coast start time: 4:00pm)

Mar 16-19     Santa Cruz Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz
Mar 24-26     Golden State Seaside Park (Surfers Point) Ventura
Mar 31-Apr 2     Central FL Pelican Beach Park
Apr 18-19     South Bay El Porto 45th St. Manhattan Beach
Apr 21-23     North FL New Smyrna/Ponce Inlet
May 4-9     New Jersey 3rd-9th street, Ocean City
May 19-21     Orange County Huntington Beach Pier
May 26-28     San Diego Seaside Reef
June 6-7     Championship Upper Trestles

The National Surf League and Red Bull have partnered to help bring the sport of surfing to a new and exciting level. "The NSL and Red Bull are both companies that are passionate about innovation and bringing out the best performance in surfing. I am very excited to see how we will grow and create a more entertaining and easier way to watch the sport," says NSL founder Brad Gerlach.

The NSL is a revolutionary competitive surfing organization established in 2001 by legendary pro surfer, Brad Gerlach. The NSL is dedicated to the pursuit of surfing excellence, building awareness for the sport of surfing while creating a fun competitive landscape for all types of surfers.

The Game Explained
Modeled after team sports such as Basketball, Football, and Baseball – The Game™ turns an individual sport like surfing into fan-friendly team sport

• Two teams against each other
• One team in the water at a time
• 3 Periods, Timeouts, Coaches, Referees
• Substitutes
• Rivalries
• Entertainment
• Real Surfing
• Game time: under two hours
• A scoreboard, continuous commentary, and scoring updates so the crowd and television audience can easily follow the results

To follow Red Bull Riders Cup go to www.redbullsurfing.com