Stand Up Paddle Charity Event Raises More Than $5oo,ooo for Environmental Preservation and Autism Awareness  


Irvine, CA (August 20, 2012)– O’Neill, the original California surf and lifestyle brand, is proud to announce Rob Rojas, O’Neill team rider, as the 2012 6th Annual SEA Paddle NYC defending champion in the 14’ SUP class race.  Rojas’ winning time of 4 hours and 17 minutes adds another win to his already impressive resume giving him his 23rd professional victory.

“This year’s SEA Paddle NYC was brutal,” said Rojas. “This was the most challenging race of my life. The heat and head wind on the East River made for a difficult paddle for all us in the event.  Honestly, I was glad just to finish the race.  The win made the pain worth it.”



The 38-year old SUP champion, along with other elite racers, navigated through Manhattan’s challenging waterways.  The humidity and strong head wind posed extremely difficult paddle conditions for the race.   Rojas took the win in his division by finishing ahead of Annabel Anderson (4 hours, 22 minutes) and Billy Mehl (4 hours, 27 minutes). Ryan Mathews, who competed in the prone division, the traditional lay down method of paddling, captured the fastest race time of 4 hours and 14 minutes.

More than 200 elite and amateurs started from Pier 40 on the West Side, making their way north around the island, finishing on the East Side under the historic Brooklyn Bridge.

“Rob continues to prove he is one of the best long distance SUP paddlers in the world,” said Garth Tarlow, Director of Sports Marketing for O’Neill. “He is a true waterman.  We couldn’t have a better representative for the brand.”




The SEA Paddle NYC presented by O’Neill features both an elite race and leisure paddle all in the name of charity. This year, the NYC paddle raised more than $500,000, with proceeds distributed amongst Surfer’s Environmental Alliance and several Autism organizations. During the SEA Paddle event, O’Neill featured race jerseys made with 30+ UV protection that have been given the International Seal of Recommendation by The Skin Cancer Foundation. The UV protection lycra products, along with the technologically advanced O’Neill Hyperfreak boardshorts, will be prominently featured at all upcoming SUP events hosted by O’Neill, including the conclusion of this summer’s Tahoe Cup Series.

For more information about O’Neill, Rob Rojas and other O’Neill athletes, events and apparel, visit or


About O’Neill


O’Neill, the original California surf, snow and youth lifestyle brand, was founded in 1952 when a young man named Jack O’Neill took his unstoppable passion for surfing and used it to beat Mother Nature at her own game. Pioneering the world’s first neoprene wetsuit, Jack had successfully found a way to extend his surf sessions in the bone-chilling breaks of Northern California. He opened up the garage doors to his first surf shop in Santa Cruz soon after.

While many things have changed since those humble beginnings, Jack’s initial vision of producing functional and innovative boardriding products continues to lie at the core of everything the company does. O’Neill’s core values – innovation in style and technology – have seen the brand devote itself wholeheartedly to the evolution of the action sports lifestyle.  From the first ever neoprene wetsuit and surf leash, to the world’s first stitchless boardshorts and range of groundbreaking wearable electronics, O’Neill’s progressive spirit will always drive the company forward.  For more information, please visit



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