Newport Harbor High wins Red Bull Riders Cup Regional Surfing Competition

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Huntington Beach, California – (May 22 nd , 2009) –The Orange County
Regional Championships, the seventh stop of the 2009 Red Bull Riders
Cup season, took place this week in sunny, albeit “small” conditions.
This stop of the Red Bull Riders Cup, the nation’s premier high school
surfing competition, saw Orange County’s best high school surfers
battle it out in a series of close games.  Participating high schools
included Huntington Beach High School, Newport Harbor High, Edison
High, and San Clemente High.  In a surprising upset, last year’s
champion San Clemente High was knocked out in their qualifying game by
Huntington Beach High, setting the stage for a new regional champion
to be crowned.

With Huntington Beach High looking to secure its first trip to the
national championships in two years and Newport Harbor High reaching
the finals for the first time in four attempts, the pressure was on.
In the strategic battle that ensued, Newport Harbor High out-played
the home team and booked their first trip to the Red Bull Riders Cup
National Championship, which will be held on June 6-7 at Upper
Trestles in San Clemente.  The series now moves south to San Diego’s
Seaside Reef on May 26 – 28 for the eighth and final regional stop.

In the finals, with only one to two foot waves to work with, it was
apparent that it would be a battle of the coaches’ strategy.
Huntington Beach High won the coin toss and sent Newport Harbor High
into the water to surf first.  Newport Harbor posted a solid score of
19 points lead by Chase Wilson, who put 6.5 points on the board.

Huntington Beach High’s choice to surf second looked like a good one
early on, as their first period produced a very strong score of 15
points with eight minutes still remaining.  Even with plenty of time
on the clock to overtake Newport Harbor, the waves wouldn’t cooperate,
and Huntington Beach could only manage to put another 3.5 point on the
scoreboard  - leaving them trailing by 0.5 points.

Newport Harbor hit the water with authority in the second period, with
Chase Wilson posting a game high 8.5 ride and Victor Done not far
behind with a 7.5.  This gave Newport Harbor 19 points before their
fourth surfer had even posted a score.  The scoring streak stalled
until Erik Heimstaeedt was substituted in with one minute remaining
and boosted the period two total to 25.5, leaving Huntington Beach
High a massive task in quickly declining waves.

In what turned out to be one of the strangest periods in Red Bull
Riders Cup history, Huntington High tried everything to claw away at
their 26 point deficit.  With six minutes to go and still 6 points
behind, they took an unprecedented three timeouts in a row waiting for
any hope of a rideable wave.  With just two and a half minutes left,
they finally caught a wave and managed to improve their score to 22.5.
 In last ditch effort to catch up, Huntington Beach took their fourth
timeout for the period with one second remaining.  As the time out
ended, two surfers managed to get on waves but weren’t able to improve
the score, and Huntington Beach’s valiant effort in very tough
conditions still left them trailing by 3.5 points.

In the final period, Newport Harbor played a strategic game and posted
19.5 points, for a final overall score of 64 points.  This left
Huntington Beach hoping for decent waves and solid scores to try and
post the 23.5 points needed to win the game.  With only one timeout
remaining, they got off to the start they needed when Derek Peters and
Shane Nelson split an early peak to kick off the chase.  When
Christian Saenz posted a 6.5 with 45 seconds remaining to bridge the
gap to 2.5 points, Huntington Beach took their last timeout with 40
seconds to go.  When the timeout ended, both teams were waiting
anxiously to see if the home team would be able to snatch the win in
the dying seconds, but it wasn’t to be.  Newport Harbor High
celebrated their first ever regional win as the buzzer sounded to end
the game.

A very happy coach Ryan Simmons had commented, “We had a tough
opponent in Huntington Beach but we’ve trained really hard this year,
really improving every student’s surfing.  The combination of our
training and the deep talent pool of twelve great really helped us win
today.”

MVP honors went to a deserving Chase Wilson, who said, “We’re stoked!
We haven’t really done well before - we lost first round every year,
so it was a good thing to come out and win both of our games this
week.  We’re so stoked for the finals.”

Newport Harbor High will now move on to The Red Bull Riders Cup
National Championships on June 6-7 to see if they can continue their
dream run into a national title.

Competition Schedule:

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 15-16           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/riderscup.com


Game Scores :

Orange County game #3
Regional FinalsP1P2P3Final
Newport Harbor High School1925.519.564
Huntington Beach High School18.522.520.561.5
Most Valuable Player – Chase Wilson (NP)
Most Radic

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