Manasquan, NJ (April 16, 2014) — Surf shops from around the Northeast U.S. duked it out this week in less than ideal conditions in search of a victor for the 2014 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge regional title. Eleven teams were still able to put on a good show, surfing strategically in hopes of winning the paid trip to an undisclosed location in Central America for the National Championship event.
2014 Northeast Regional Champs: 7th Street “Boardwalk” Surf Shop. ( L to R: Sean Santiago, Chris Kelly, Brian Liess, and Rob Kelly.) Photo: Rutkowski.
The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge is not your ordinary surf contest. Its distinctive format pairs two surf shop employees with two professional shop team members. One member from each team surfs at a time within an hour-long heat. Competitors are allowed three waves per heat and must run back to their designated tent/box and tag off so the next surfer can sprint out into the lineup. Also, one member of each team is the designated double-whammy surfer, which allows them to double the amount of points they receive on a high scoring wave. A clear notion to the judges is needed before exiting the wave in order to designate a double-whammy. After three heats, four teams headed to the Final with hopes of getting to Central America.
During the higher-scoring second heat, we saw Heritage Sea Isle City take the holeshot and first-place with a combined score of 30.94 points. Michael Ciaramella’s doubled 8.07 and Andrew Gesler’s 8.50 backup was strong enough to secure a slot in the Final. In second was defending champions 7th Street Surf Shop Boardwalk with a total of 27.56 points. Chris Kelly scored a 6.30 and tagged out allowing his brother Rob Kelly to double his 6.93. Their score was high enough to have them get a slot in the Final. In third was Faria’s Surf and Sport whose 22.54 total was able to get them into the Final as well. Taking fourth place was Inlet Outlet.
The third heat was also a low-scoring defensive joust. A double whammy of a 2.90 by Zach Humphreys followed by a 4.70 posted by Perry Siganos was enough to steal the win from 7th Street Surf Shop Asbury and Ocean Hut Surf Shop.
Teams posted close combined scores but defending champs 7th Street Surf Shop Boardwalk were able to walk away with the overall win for the second consecutive time. Rob Kelly’s double whammy of a 6.33 and solid scores from the rest of the team gave them a combined total of 27.83 points.
The contest’s unique combined score came into play with second place team Heritage Surf – Sea Isle City. A doubled wave of 5.70 points by Michael Ciaramella and a backup of 8.03 by Andrew Gesler was not enough to make up for a low-post