The Second Annual O’Neill Bragger’s Cup was help at Long Beach under blue skies with a solid southwest swell running on May 16, 2006.
The bragging rights for Top Surf Shop were once again up for grabs after Kane Edwards took home the Cup for Alternative Groove back in 2005 in the first ever O’Neill Bragger’s Cup to be held on Canadian soil.
The first round of competitors hit the water at around noon, just shortly after the liquor store opened and the victory beers where put on ice.
Entries from O’Neill Dealer’s Storm, Pacific Surf School, Alternative Groove, Coastline, Deepsnowandsurf, Island Longboards, Pacific Boarder and Switch Boardshop were all in attendance along with their respective cheering squads, and after the competitors were told of the loose, self-judged format of the surf jam, five heats of 5 surfers hit the water.
After the competitors all introduced each other to those in their respective heats, they were given an hour to surf together, voting for the best surfer to advance to the finals.
A battle ensued in heats 3 and 4 between Mike Stupka of Pacific Surf School and Peter Devries of Storm, and Kane Edwards of Alternative Groove and Toshi Ihara of Coastline. As both heats exited the water it was clear that a tie-breaker would be needed to declare a winner to move on to the finals; so what better than Extreme Croquet complete with beer chugging!
Peter and Toshi’s skill at both stick handling and beer consumption proved no match for Mike and Kane as they were eliminated from the competition.
Colin Kearns of Island Longboards, Naomi Furst of Deepsnowandsurf, and Ollie Atkey of Storm all advanced easily on to meet Peter and Toshi in the finals.
As the wind picked up and the surf dropped, new criteria were added to the finals to make the challenge for the O’Neill Bragger’s Cup more interesting and the victory that much sweeter.
5 Boards ranging from a 5 foot fish to a 9’6” Soft-Top where laid down on the beach a few meters in front of the finalists. After the completion of one of the Island’s finest Lucky Lagers the competitors could run forward and grab a board of their choice and proceed to sprint down the beach, paddle out back and catch a non-broken wave back in to the beach. The first surfer completing this task and making it back across the finish line would be crowned the victor.
Naomi of Deepsnowandsurf and Ollie of Storm opted for extreme measures and decided to wear a bikini and boardshorts respectively, much to the pleasure of the now somewhat inebriated crowd.
Colin of Island Longboards was first to cross the finish line, but upon closer examination of pictures taken by our on-site official O’Neill camera crew, Toby Murphy and Alby Ball, it was shown that Colin had actually not caught a wave from out the back, one of the criteria for the finals.
Ollie Atkey impressed the crowd with not only surfing in boardshorts but also catching the longest wave of the finals.
We thus once again were in need of a tie-breaker!
The finals were thus slated for later that night at the O’Neill BBQ and Keg Party at Casa Florencia. After several keg beers and “Island Style” burgers the finals were under way.
This was a true match up of “old-school longboard prowess” and “new-skool wave destruction”. The finals were much anticipated as Colin almost doubles Ollie in both age and size.
The finals were in true O’Neill Bragger’s Cup form with a best of 3 format.
The first of the 3 events was a match of brute force in the form of an arm wrestle that proved to be the best arm wrestle most had ever witnessed that went on for over 5 minutes with Colin taking it.
The Second was a test of consumption with both finalists clocking 14 seconds on each of their Keg Stands.
The third was a test of skill as each competitor had to hit the Bragger’s Cup with a croquet ball. If the Cup was not hit, the person with the closest ball would be declared winner.
With Colin leading with one solid win, the pressure was on Ollie.
Colin’s ball was within a foot of the cup and Ollie had the chance to once again send the event into a tie-breaker, but his ball came up a few centimeters short and Colin was declared winner of the Second Annual O’Neill Bragger’s Cup.
O’Neill would like to thank everyone for attending and making this such a great event and congratulations to Colin Kearns of Island Longboards for taking home the Cup!
All photos: Alby Ball and Toby Murphy