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Name: Julian Vereda

Home: San Diego

Vehicle: 1991 Jeep Wrangler

Surfing: Avalanche Jetty, Ocean Beach

While serving aboard the USS Cleveland (LPD-7), Julian Vereda saw the greatest site ever offered to any surfer: Cortes Bank was breaking. "I wish I had my board," Julian says. "I would've gone overboard."

Cortes Bank is the head of an underwater mountain range that peaks three feet below the surface at a spot mariners know as, "Bishop Rock". The bank is 100 miles off the coast of San Diego and to get there pro surfers charter boats and bring jet skis to tow them into the waves. The largest wave ever surfed was a 60-footer, ridden in 2001 by Mike Parsons, at Cortes Bank.

The day Julian was standing watch from the deck of the Cleveland, Cortes Bank was hitting "40 feet at least," Julian says. "It doesn't break all the time. There are a lot of weather conditions that have to be right. But it was breaking that day."

Julian hails from Florida where he learned to surf in the warm waters of the Florida Peninsula, in the City of Sebastian. "Florida has hotter weather, which I like," Julian says. "But San Diego has better waves."

Julian placed 5th in the men's class at the California Surf Series Contest April 21st in Ocean Beach. "I'd like to go on to be a pro surfer, but I don't know if I'll make it," Julian says, laughing about his performance that day. "I didn't paddle out far enough, and I only caught one good wave today. I could've caught another one, but I didn't want to cut another guy off." Julian shrugs.

Julian rode a Zouvi 5'10" in the contest and packed it in the back of his 1991 Jeep Wrangler with his Local Motion 5'11". If Julian's carrying more boards he can strap them to the roof with some Dakine rack pads and tie downs that fit on the Jeep's roof. Those are helpful for when Julian is teaching some of his shipmates how to surf. He doesn't carry any gear except his boards and a jug of water for the Jeep's radiator. "I've had trouble with overheating before. I'll take it to Mexico soon and I don't want to break down."

Julian's Jeep has to get him to that next contest, and maybe he'll get another shot at Cortes Bank if he attains his dream and goes pro.

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