SB3 Surf Shop of Soorts-Hossegor, France are the happy winners of the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Europe, and will be heading to Bali for the ASP Oakley Pro Bali WCT at Keramas! In 2-3ft (waist to chest high) surf, the SB3 team of Aldric God, Jordan Oueslati, Yann Martin and Teddy Santin narrowly defeated locals Mario Azurza, Adur Letamendia, Jaime Azpiroz and Imanol Yeregi of Pukas at Playa Zurriola. The European final topped off a long day of surf action in San Sebastian, that saw eight teams from across the Iberian peninsula do battle for top honours.
First stop was The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge France was held in pumping 4-5ft surf at Sables d'or beach. A bright and early 7am start saw 8 teams from across France and the UK greeted by a fresh pulse of solid NW groundswell, with fast 5ft (overhead) lefts off the jetty groomed by a strong offshore wind giving ideal conditions. The tag team format, with four surfers per team competing in hour long heats required shrewd use of time as well as optimum deployment of the double whammy surfer (where the judges double the score).
Not So Classic were not so lucky in the final, with SB3's Yann Martin opening up a strong lead which SB3 held throughout the hour and twenty minute final. Even with power surfer Jordan Queslati forgetting to double whammy his high score and having to paddle back out in search of another wave, SB3 were glorious atop the podium in the mid-afternoon Anglet sunshine.
Testamant to the level of surfing on display were excellent top scores of 9.0 for Jordan Queslati (SB3) and 8.67 for Edouard Delpero (BTZ) in the semifinals. Tamarindo of Ile d'Oleron and Biarritz's BTZ were the losing semifinalists, while the first round saw the elimination of Natural Balance from St Ives, UK, Avenue de la Glisse from Normandy, Waimea Surf Shop of Anglet and Twenty Nine from Brittany.
“These guy are great surfers on any given day, but with a sick trip to Bali up for grabs, they went all out. It was crazy how good these guys surfed today in real tough conditions.” Oakley Pro rider Romain Cloitre
Next up came the final leg of the mini tour held in San Sebastien, Spain. Despite challenging conditions giving organizers tricky logistics right from dawn, Spain’s finest surf shops took it all in their stride, posting impressive scores throughout the day. In between heavy rain squalls, big tidal swings and ever-changing sand bars, an impressive list of top surf talent put on a show to brighten up a grey day. Ethan Egiguiren of Escuela de Cantabria earned the high score of the event, lighting up a fast righthander for 9.17 to help secure his team’s place in the Spanish final. However, rivals Pukas pipped the Cantabrians in the Spanish final, before ultimately meeting their match in the form of the on-fire Frenchmen in the European Grand final, held in the high tide shorebreak on dusk.
The ASP Oakley Pro Bali WCT event will take place at Keramas Beach 18-28th June 2013. Check all the action live at www.oakleyprobali.com
For videos, photos and updates from the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge, go to www.surfshopchallenge.com/europe