The first stop of the 2007 surfing season will be taking place from January 5-11 with the O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro at Florida’s premiere surfing break, situated inside Sebastian Inlet State Park. The 4-star rated ASP-sanctioned World Qualifying Series event offers a $75,000 cash purse and points leading to qualification on the ASP’s elite World Championship Tour. The O’Neill SI Pro will play host to a field of 144 surfers that will include many of the top professionals including Cory Lopez, Timmy Reyes, Damien and CJ Hobgood, and Florida locals Alek Parker, Tommy O’Brien, and Kyle Garson.
“With the recent conclusion of an incredible O’Neill Cold Water Classic WQS contest in Santa Cruz, we are stoked to start up the 2007 North American season in January with the O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro,” said Tim Garrett, O’Neill Clothing’s Vice-President of Marketing. “We can’t wait to see the strong field of competitors blow up at this world famous East Coast break.”
World Championship Tour (WCT) superstars Cory Lopez, Timmy Reyes, Damien and CJ Hobgood will be battling it out as they compete against many of the top up-and-comers such as Pat, Dane and Tanner Gudauskus, Clay Marzo, and Dane Reynolds, all in hopes of taking home the title. Past competitors have included eight-time world champion Kelly Slater, three-time world champion Tom Curren, 2001 world champion C.J. Hobgood, along with 2005 SI Pro winner Cory Lopez and 2006 event victor Damien Hobgood.
In addition to the WQS competition, the O’Neill SI Pro will also play host to the Red Bull Tow-At, an invite-only event that pits a field of nine surfers. Towed by a Sea-Doo personal watercraft, the surfers are sling-shot into waves at speeds of up to 20-miles-per-hour leading to huge aerials and deep carving maneuvers not possible through normal means of paddling into waves. The winner-take-all Red Bull Tow-At will receive a 2007 Sea-Doo personal watercraft.