The Oakley Heritage Pro Junior Brings World's Top Surfers to Ocean City, NJ
Top locals and traveling pro surfers do battle August 5th and 6th for $10,000 purse.
The Oakley Heritage Pro Junior, in its fourth year, has become a tremendously popular event in Ocean City. This year, however, it has moved from its usual May date to a prime time August slot, bringing the event to record numbers of surfing fans and beachgoers.
Traveling under-21 surfers, from around the world, will arrive in Ocean City this week to prepare for this Grade 2 contest, the highest level of event on the Association of Surfing Professionals Pro Junior Tour. This is one of eleven stops on the Junior Tour in North America.
Top competitors will include Eric Geiselman and Sterling Spencer of Florida, the number one and two rated Junior surfers in the nation, Kekoa Cazimero of Oahu, Hawaii, the 2006 NSSA Open Men’s Champion, rising California star, Nick Rozsa, and Dylan Graves, of Puerto Rico, last year’s champ.
New Jersey has not historically produced the same caliber of surfing talent as California and Florida, but this contest gives locals a chance to compete against the best of the best. Since the inception of the event, South Jersey junior surfers have improved dramatically at the national level.
"It’s a litmus test. The local kids can test themselves against the heavily sponsored guys. In some cases, it can help them make the choice between pursuing a pro surfing career or maybe thinking about college," says Brian Heritage, of Heritage Surf and Sport.
Top local challengers include Ben Graeff, of Longport, Zack Humphreys, of Margate, and Chris Eaves, of Cape May Court House, all Heritage team riders.
Dan Heritage opened Heritage Surf and Sport in 1962 in Sea Isle City. The Heritage family opened another shop in Ocean City, and a third in Margate. Brian Heritage was among New Jersey’s first professional surfers in the 1980’s, and The Heritage’s have always worked to develop local talent.
International surf/sports company, Oakley, has created its’ own series of Pro Junior events for 2006 to give young surfers more experience before joining the ranks of the ASP’s World Qualifying Series.
The first round starts Saturday morning, August 5th at 8 am at the 7th Street beach. The final rounds are scheduled to commence mid-day on Sunday. The Oakley Team will be signing autographs at the Oakley tent at 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.