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Town Prevails Over Country at Sandy Beach, Oahu

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 Rival Shores

Jamie O'Brien with full punt at Half Point. (Willi Edwards)

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The South Shore team (Town) beat the North Shore team (Country) for the third consecutive year in the Red Bull Rivals surf contest this weekend at Oahu’s Sandy Beach. The South Shore’s Isaiah Moniz was named MVP of the team competition.

“I feel good. There are a bunch of good surfers and I’m psyched,” said Isaiah, who is the son of legendary professional surfer Tony Moniz, “We got a stacked team and it just goes our way every time.”

Judges rewarded competitors in the man-on-man heats for high-performance surfing in the windy, two-to-four-foot faces. Town prevailed over Country with 12 heat wins to eight.

“Look at our team,” said South Shore’s Kekoa Cazimero, a Sandy Beach local, “You put them in big waves and they’ll rip, but if you put us in small waves, we’ll step it up. We’re here to win and it’s all about high-performance surfing.”

Teams are comprised of 12 surfers, with one grommet and one female on each squad. The public, through a one-month, online voting campaign chooses team members, making the Red Bull Rivals a surf/popularity contest.

The losing team of the Red Bull Rivals gives up their surfboards to the winners. According to Jun Jo, the South Shore’s third consecutive win was an “awesome” experience, and the victors’ spoils were donated to a good cause.

“The losing team gives up their boards and [we're giving them] to the Surfrider Foundation to auction off,” explains Jun Jo. “Surfrider Foundation is an integral part of the surf community and they protect us from environmental, political and social problems.”

This surf contest further cultivates a deep seeded rivalry between Country and Town surfers. The Red Bull Rivals is also a social event that brings together wave riders for a good time on the east side of Oahu, says North Shore team captain Jamie O’ Brien.

“This event is fun,” says O’Brien. “Everybody is down here [at Sandy Beach] having a good time with chicks on the beach. It’s a good party day.”

Nearly a thousand people came to Sandy Beach yesterday and were treated to the sounds of DJ Eskae, free Red Bull and a brilliant display of aerial surfing. A sandbar on the inside of Half Point provided a right-breaking launch ramp for the competitors.

“That thing just popped out of nowhere,” explains Jo about the sandbar. “You can see from the pictures that guys were doing their thing on that little right. Where the contest is today is Half Point, which is a short, hollow left and a right — it has a lot of different faces to it.”

Team South Shore took it's third consecutive victory. (Willi Edwards)

Although O’Brien would have preferred bigger waves for Red Bull Rivals, he still found the surf at Sandy Beach ideal for above-the-lip maneuvers. Despite an overall team loss, he still managed to beat Cazimero.

“I got him good. I thought it was funny that he picked me to surf against. It was cool though. He surfs good out there so it keeps me on my toes,” says O’Brien, “It was one-to-two-foot slop, but kind of bowling so it makes for good air sections.”

O’Brien is already looking forward to the 2013 Red Bull Rivals, which is tentatively planned for the North Shore.

“I can’t wait for Red Bull Rivals to be at Hale’iwa because these guys are going to crap their pants,” says O’Brien. “We’re trying to get Hale’iwa to mix it up. It will be fun and hopefully we’ll get some real waves.”

South Shore Team
Jun Jo Kekoa Cazimero Cole Yamakawa Derek Wong Randall Paulson Kylen Yamakawa Ezekiel Lau Isaiah Moniz Alessa Quizon Noa Mizuno Teppei Tajima

North Shore
Jamie O’Brien Flynn Novak Jason Frederico Jamie Sterling Mikala Jones Daniel Jones Torry Barron TJ Barron JD Irons Jesse Merle-Jones Kalani David Missy Valdez Devin Bruggemann 

By Daniel Ikaika Ito, ESPN Sports

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