Jamie O’Brien Wins O’Neill Wave of the Winter
Surfline, the world’s leading surf report and forecast service is proud to announce North Shore local Jamie O’Brien has won his second, $25,000 O’Neill Wave of the Winter — the first surfer in the event’s ten-year history to do so. And O’Brien’s unwavering commitment to Pipeline also ensured his second Surfline Overall Performer Award. This season’s 200+ entries from the North Shore were judged by the esteemed panel of Pipeline specialists Gerry Lopez, Pancho Sullivan, Shawn Briley and Shane Dorian.
“I can’t even believe this is happening,” O’Brien said of his winning wave from November 24th. “I’m in awe. I’ve been so nervous for the last month. Thank you so much Surfline, Shawn Briley, Shane Dorian, Pancho Sullivan and Gerry Lopez — you guys really matter to me and you’re the reason I surf Pipeline.”
“Jamie O’Brien was on fire this year,” said head judge Gerry Lopez. “He’s upped his relationship with the Pipeline, and she gave him a lot of great waves. On his winning wave, he had an insane drop, the board was fishtailing down the face, and he pulled in so deep — it was a big, gnarly wave and he came out at the end after the spit after spending a lot of time in the tube.”
Meanwhile, to celebrate the O’Neill Wave of the Winter’s tenth year, Surfline created the 4ocean Wave of the Decade Award — an event that honors the surfer who has ridden the most memorable single wave of the past 10 years on the North Shore, as chosen by our judging panel.
Kauai’s Reef McIntosh took home $10,000 for his crazy Off-the-Wall mutant from December 2, 2011.
“That wave was like the unicorn that you see out there from up on the deck that makes you wonder, hmmm, should I…could I…?” said Reef. “But…Wave of the Decade — it’s the first time they’ve done an award like this, so I’m pretty flattered and psyched to get here.”
“Waves don’t get much better than that,” said Lopez. “That wave was absolutely perfect from start to finish. Take a framegrab, and it was like what you’d draw in your notebooks in school. Nine years later, it’s really held up.”
Meanwhile, the O’Neill Women’s Overall Performance Award was given to the female surfer who consistently demonstrated courage, skill and style while riding the most challenging waves on the North Shore during the Wave of the Winter waiting period, as determined by the judging panel. This year, it was unanimous: North Shore local Moana Jones. She takes home $5,000.
“I really like getting barreled a lot,” Jones said. “And next year? I want to catch a bigger barrel.”
Finally, the Surfline Breakthrough Performer Award is a youth-focused division that celebrates the accomplishments of one surfer, 19 years old or younger, who rises above all other youths with sustained, standout performances on the North Shore. This year was close, but 19-year-old Brazilian pro Joao Chianca — with five solid WOTW entries, including one in the top ten — took the honors.
“I’m beyond happy to win the Surfline Breakthrough Performer Award,” said Chianca. “It’s a dream come true. This season was a dream. Wanted to say thanks to the locals — you’re the best at Pipeline.”
“Catching the ‘wave of the winter’ on the North Shore has long been one of the surf world’s most prestigious accolades,” said Ross Garrett, President of Surfline. “No podium. No trophy. Just pure respect and admiration from the entire surf community. This year, with the help of one of our newest partners, 4ocean, we’re excited to honor the winning wave that stands out above all other past Wave of the Winter winners over the last decade. Congrats to all the winners.”
Every day, surfers around the world depend on Surfline’s websites, apps, and data to not only score better waves more often — to “Know Before You Go” — but to relive their experiences back on land. Powered by a 35-year data set, proprietary swell modeling, and a team of meteorologists and scientists with more than 120 years of combined experience, Surfline’s forecasts are unrivaled. With live HD cameras at over 600 surf destinations worldwide, award-winning editorial content, and the groundbreaking Surfline Sessions tracking experience, Surfline is the trusted source for all things surf. Surfline is also the company behind Magicseaweed, Coastalwatch, Buoyweather and Fishtrack, all leading ocean-forecast products in the boating, fishing, surf-enthusiast and marine spaces. For more information visit Surfline.com.
O’Neill is the original American surf brand. Jack O’Neill opened the world’s first surf shop in 1952 out of a garage off the Great Highway, San Francisco. He started out shaping boards and selling wax, eventually experimenting with insulated surf vests to extend sessions in the frigid waters of Northern California. This thought process led to the creation of the neoprene wetsuit, an invention of Jack’s that changed the surf world forever. The shop later moved to Santa Cruz and went full force into the wetsuit business. That same progressive spirit still drives the company forward today. We at O’Neill strive to innovate, evolve and produce timeless products to benefit those who live the surf lifestyle. Visit www.oneillusa.com for more.
4ocean is a global company that actively removes trash from the ocean and coastlines, helps create sustainable economies around the world, and inspires individuals to work together for a cleaner ocean. Global cleanup operations are funded entirely through the sale of their products, where every item purchased funds the removal of one pound of trash from the ocean. By creating jobs, utilizing the latest technology, and raising awareness about the impact of plastic and trash in the ocean, the company is building the first economy for ocean plastic and creating a cleaner, more sustainable future for the ocean. For more information, please visit 4ocean.com, follow @4ocean on Instagram, and join 4ocean on Facebook.