Quiksilver Surf Shop Challenge presented by Surfer Magazine Southeast Championships

Surf shops owners, employees, and team riders from north, central and
south Florida, took a mid-June summer day off to drive to Sebastian
Inlet and were greeted to a solid north swell with crystal clear water and sunny skies!

The stage was set for the first ever “Surf Shop Tag Team” event on the east coast. After two event cancellations, event organizers and teams were skeptical that the north swell would fill in for the event.

After a five-week flat spell and two event cancellations, event organizers and teams were skeptical that the north swell would actually fill in for the inaugural event. Mother Nature finally produced and with a fresh swell pulsing, the “Inlet” became the arena for a pack of surf-starved monkeys grabbing every wave in sight.

In round 1, I.W.S. North Miami dueled with Team Mad Dog from Daytona Beach while B.C. Surf and Sport of Ft. Lauderdale had a crew of young guns,
psyching and cheering on their fellow teamers. Rita Crouch (surfer, owner, and manager of Mad Dog) was happy to see her team come out on top with a 105.60 points in Heat One! Heat Two saw Quiet Flight come out with all guns blazing led by Dave Awbrey and Bryan Hewitson; however, Don French and his Ocean Magic team all surfed solid and nipped them by three points, while Maui Nix Daytona was hot on their heels and ripped earning enough to get them through to the semis. Finishing out the round, Aaron Cormican started getting freaky with 360 airs and layback gouges earning his team, Red Dog New Smyrna,164.70 points edging out I.W.S Deerfield. The I.W.S. Super Store manager, Mark Mertins, was ripping along with teamers Scott Posner, Chris Payne, and new schooler Wesley Desouza posting a 139.40 and pushing past an energetic Natural Art team and into the semis.

A Hawaiian aloha kine plate lunch was served up by Kali Montero (of I.W.S. Deerfield Surf School). Kali had the grill blazing with chicken teriyaki, beans, salad and Snapple on ice made for some good fuel! The semifinals saw solid performances as Quiet Flight, I.W.S. Deerfield, and Maui Nix rallied posting solid scores, but it was the “Double Whammy” from Quiet Flight’s Dave Awbrey’s lay back tail slide that put them into the final, and Mark Mertins’ combo right with vertical slam on the inside to allow I.W.S. to narrowly take Brian Smith’s solid Maui Nix team.

Semifinal #2- Ocean Magic was on a roll again with Jimmy Moren getting a left all the way across the beach with combo turns, and William Kimball and super grom Kendren Ferrerra making owner Don French finish with a solid ride and sprinted the 50 yard dash showing he’s a team player, too. Ocean Magic wins and moves into the finals! Red Dog once again saw mascot freckley freak Aaron Cormican doing his air routine for the win and 153.30 points. Mad Dog was right in the mix and looking for finals bragging rights as Jonny Lewis tore the roof off a wave, but forgot a much needed double whammy raise of the hands to double his score for his efforts as he raced up the beach to his cheering team!

The final saw a similar mistake as Aaron Cormican caught a rail on his third and final double whammy wave! I.W.S. was looking for an upset as Wesley Desouza caught the best wave of the final and Scott Posner went mental, but it was the consistency of scores and Bryan Hewitson’s gaffs that gave the win to Cocoa Beach’s Quiet Flight winning by a mere .30.

A proud day for east coast surfing filled with lots of comeraderie the type of bonding brotherhood that makes one realize how lucky we are to be “SURFERS”. Congratulations Quiet Flight, now on the road to the Boost Mobile Pro presented by Quiksilver and a shot at $10,000.

1. Quiet Flight – Javier Roviera, Cole Abernathy, Dave Awbrey, Bryan Hewitson
2. I.W.S. Deerfield – Mark Mertins, Chris Payne, Wesley Desouza, Scott Posner
3. Ocean Magic – Don French, Jimmy Moren, Kendren Ferrero, William Kimball
4. Red Dog – Casey Collins, Aaron Cormican, Dylan Feindt, Wes Cich
5. Maui Nix – Bryan Smith, Kevin Roberts, Frank Senese, Cory Diamond

– Matt Kechele