On Monday, October 20, Sunrise Surf Shop took their second consecutive Oakley Surf Shop Challenge National Championship at Colorado’s Beach in Nicaragua. This year was a special win for the team and represented more than just a surf contest victory for the squad. The Sunrise team, comprised of Dane Jeffreys, Ryan Briggs and the Thompson duo of Evan and Tristan, went into this one thinking of it as a must-win, as they were surfing for a cause true and dear to them.
Not long before the event in Nicaragua, the Jacksonville community learned of some unfortunate news that one of their own had been diagnosed with cancer. The news ended up being a sort of added storyline to the event, as the Thompsons’ older brother, Trey, was the one recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.
In the weeks leading up to the event, outpouring support from the community towards Trey really became a popular topic, and the Sunrise team started the hashtag #winitfortrey to create awareness and support for Trey. With a cash prize on the line and the large amount of support behind them from the Jax community, the boys wanted to dedicate the win and the prize money to Trey’s cause. When the contest finally arrived, the campaign was in full force, and #winitfortrey was present on all the team’s boards, Instagram pages and in their minds. Having now won for Trey, the four friends and brothers are ecstatic that their win was something to support getting him healthy and back into the lineup.
Sunrise Surf Shop took an unconventional path to their National Championship this year, having been the only competitor to win their regional event at Typhoon lagoon — a wave pool in Orlando.
“Coming from a wave pool was definitely different, but it was for sure a challenge in itself,” Tristan Thompson said. “We proved to ourselves that we can win in any kind of conditions.”
Every Florida surfer seems to surf with a chip on their shoulder, wanting to prove that the surfers from this state can hold their own in any lineup the world offers. These four are no exception. In all, the team is honored to have had the opportunity to surf in the event, prove themselves in Nicaragua, and give back to their friend and brother in his time of need.
“We’re rallying to donate money to Trey’s cause, and this win will do a lot to generate support,” Tristan Thompson said. Since the win and news spread of the team’s campaign for Trey, other competitors have already pitched in to the cause, and Oakley matched donations and gave $2,500 toward covering his treatment expenses. It was an emotional announcement, and was perfectly indicative of the family dynamic this OSSC series tries to foster between surf shops, surf brands and their employees.
For more info on the event and the story behind the win, visit the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge page, or watch Sunrise’s video recap of the boy’s trip to Nica below.
For more about Trey’s story and how to donate towards his fight with cancer, visit giveforward.com/fundraiser/