Hundreds of surfers battle foul weather to compete in O’neill Sweetwater Pro-Am

Hundreds of surfers battle foul weather to compete in O’neill Sweetwater Pro-Am

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - More than 200 surfers took to Wrightsville beach this weekend to compete in the O’neill Sweetwater Pro-Am surf competition.

The competition is in its 14th year and is the first of a three part series that continues in Virginia Beach before culminating at Cape Hatteras.

Pro surfer Cory Lopez has seen his fair share of waves after competing on a national level for many years. He said tournaments like this give younger competitors the opportunity to hone their skills and work on things they might not have the opportunity to at home.

“They’re getting accurate scores, they’re getting the scores announced live as they’re coming in," said Lopez." A lot of kids at their local events at home might not get that opportunity, so here you get to learn how to strategize and build yourself up to bigger events and how to work in the water by knowing whats going on more. But it’s a great stepping stone as an event, its a good tour leading up.”

Brad Beach is the O’Neill events coordinator and said although Wrightsville Beach is a tourist area, the locals are always there to show support.

“We could’ve done this anywhere,” said Beach. “Wrightsville is what makes it so special, its such a cool, intimate town and coming here with the energy that the local residents have makes it cool.”

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