July 3, 2008: – - An unforgettable event comes to an end. Occy’s high-speed trip marathon in Italy with the Billabong Bus was an absolute success with people coming from all over the country all ready to meet and party with Occy. The Billabong Icons Never Die Tour kicked-off in Rome, where Occy visited some stores.
Besides the many kids asking for autographs and photos, some members of the “old guard” show up with memorabilia of the previous Occy’s visit to Italy, 10 years ago. The day ended at Acqua (a cool club with a big pool)crowded with the local surf scene gathered to hear Feadz dj-set (ED Ranger Records).
OCCY WENT LARGE IN ITALY
After a live-interview by National Network “Radio 105″, the Mayor welcomed Occy to Santa Marinella with a Membership of Honor from local surf club; Banzai Surf Shop. Occy signed a petition to support surfng at this historical spot. On his way to Cerveteri, Occy found the time to check out the local aves and say hello to surfers and friends at the famous Ocean Surf store.
The manager, Ciccio, is well-known as an all time party animal and organized a huge dinner-party in honor of Occy. Locals and tour staff partied to the sound of DJ Mehdi (Ed Ranger Records) late into the night.
Although the surf conditions in Cerveteri were inviting the next day, the tour decided to keep on its pretty tight schedule to visit 3 surf shops in Livorno. At the first stop, the historical surf shop Hoasy in Livorno (probably the oldest in the country). It’s time for an on-board press conference in Lido di Camaiore. With the local Vice-Mayor present, Occy answered questions from journalists and invited everyone to the beach party later that evening.
At the second stop, Time Out’s Michele presented a huge birthday cake to celebrate Occy’s birthday along with a 6’3″ board for Occy to replace one of the boards he was still missing from the flight. No time is left for sur ng as more than 3,000 people were just about to fill the free beach area to party at the sound of DJ Argy. Asked to say hello to the crowd, Occy decided to do more: a whole improvised karaoke set performed by himself in front of the amazed and delighted thousands.
After the heavy schedule of the previous day (and the tough performance of the previous night!) local legends and Billabong team riders joined Occy for his second Italian surf session. A powerful clean right-hand was breaking at Cinquale and a small crowd of riders and photographers gathered on the beach as soon as the word was spread that Occy was in the water.
After a couple of hours, the bus makes it’s way to Ronchi’s Time Out and Forte de’ Marmi’s Tonini Sport for the scheduled visits. Then it was time to celebrate again. A small bunch of local legends, headed by Billabong Italian team manager Max, jumped on the bus to visit a typical country restaurant where Occy’s birthday is celebrated with typical local food and wine.
The bus drove on straight to the beautiful Adriatic Coast with hundreds of local waiting at Occy for a signing session at the Surfng Shop in Milano Marittima and Limbo Azul along with some local press. Lately, Billabong surf team riders Benjamin Sanchis, Reubyn Ash and snowboarder Risto Mattila showed up to celebrate with Occy at the Peter Pan club at the Marina di Ravenna beach and dancing to the eclectic sets of DJ Pilooski.
The Big Tuesday and last day of the Icons Never Die Tour finally arrived and so a huge buzz around the party for that night. Back from Ravenna, the bus made a stop to visit Universo Sport, one of the biggest stores in Italy. A talkshow was organized, with Occy together with Billabong team riders Benjamin Sanchis, Reubyn Ash and Risto Mattila.
On the evening, the team step into the most amazing location ever: an old fortress with a great sight of Florence City. Wall projections of the Occy movies and Billabong logos served as decoration for the entrance in form of a tunnel. On the menuu: an original picnic dinner organized for press, Vips and the best retailers.
Despite some raindrops later on that evening, a crowd of 2500 invited guests fill the venue and Occy got on stage to thank everyone, followed by DJ Headman mixing the latest electro disco sounds with some ’80s new wave evergreens. A very special night ended with a long lasting footprint engraved in the memories of Italy’s surf community and an excited Occy saying: “Will come back!”