Former pro surfer and current Oakley Sports Marketing and Events Manager Seth Hulley is the man behind the Oakley X Over, the popular celebrity cross-over event that takes place in JBay and St Francis Bay as part of the JBay Winterfest.
JBWF: How did the Oakley X Over come about?
Seth Hulley: My good friend Greg Pearson and I were chatting about an event over a beer, and thought what an awesome fun event it could be taking these athletes out of their comfort zones to compete against each other and discover who will rise to the top of this event. Really competitive, but with a fun element, and great brand exposure by having all these high profile athletes come together in competition. It’s the sort of thing that would appeal to all media sporting platforms.
What were the initial challenges with starting it up?
Just the logistics of running two events in one day can be a challenge. These athletes have busy schedules, and we have to have that in mind, hence a two-day event, with three sporting categories fitted in there.
What were some of the best things that happened when you started the event?
The surf category is always a challenge for these guys – it’s probably the most challenging of the three events, and seeing some of these athletes attempting surfing, some for the first time, and handling it – puts a smile on the fan’s faces and plenty applause.
Tonderai Chavhanga was up for the surfing© Kolesky/Nikon/Lexar
What is the goal with the event?
Taking the event to a new level, maximising the sponsors and partners’ brand exposure and experience and hopefully having a few of these events around the world.
How is this year’s event going to differ with previous events?
I don’t think it will happen this year, but I’m keen to add a women’s X Over event into the fold, possibly next year. I would like to get some new faces in Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada into the event this year.
Do you compete and surf in the surfing competition?
No I don’t compete anymore, I surf for fun and have Seth Surf School, where I coach and it takes up most of my free time – but I enjoy giving back that way.
The Oakley X Over will take place on 5-6 July 2018.