HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) PRIME US Open of Surfing presented by Hurley and Nike 6.0 saw several ASP Dream Tour competitors make early exits in the Round of 96 today at the hands of young talent and international standouts at South Huntington Beach Pier in peaky two-to-four foot (1 metre) surf.
Surfers competing in the ASP PRIME US Open of Surfing are out to clinch their share of the invaluable ratings points on offer towards their ASP World Ranking in an attempt to qualify for the elite ASP Dream Tour.
Willian Cardoso (BRA), 24, current No. 34 on the ASP World Ranking, charged to a come-from-behind victory by catapulting from last to first by blasting the day’s highest single wave score of 9.00 out of 10 before snatching one of the day’s highest heat totals of an impressive 15.50 out of 20, all within the last five minutes of his heat, to eliminate ASP World Title Race No.15, Fred Patacchia (North Shore, HI), 28.
“That was a nerve wracking heat,” Cardoso said. “It’s hard out there with four guys and not very many waves. I was looking for the good ones and got two good scores in the last five minutes. I went from fourth to first, so I’m really happy. To be in surf competitions, you need to know that you can get 15 points in two minutes. You just need the waves.”
Cardoso attributed the heat victory in today’s tricky conditions to the similar surf of offer at his Brazilian training grounds.
“I have a lot of experience in these small conditions,” Cardoso said. “There are lots of small beachbreaks in Brazil. The one thing that is different here is that the water is so cold here in Huntington.”
Granger Larsen (Lahaina, HI), 20, who posted the highest heat total in the Round of 128, returned to form in Round 2 to repeat his performance, nabbing the highest heat total of the Round of 96 as well, a solid two-wave score of 15.83 out of 20.
“I wanted to get a wave right on the bell and was able to get a warm up wave,” Larsen said. “It wasn’t one of my scores, but it helped me build confidence. Then I got that 6 and that 7 and all of a sudden that set came at the end and I got an 8.”
Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 17, who is a US Open of Surfing wildcard, jumped out to an early lead in his stacked Round of 96 heat by punting a massive frontside air-reverse on a lefthand ramp breaking into Huntington Beach Pier and was rewarded an impressive 8.60 for the single maneuver. The young Floridian managed to find another solid backup score and maintained the lead to take out the heat victory.
“Pretty much, any time you catch a wave in the beginning of the heat and get an 8 it helps, but I was still pretty nervous,” Geiselman said. “My legs were still shaking because I knew the guys in that heat were so good, but it definitely gave me a little breathing room.”
Geiselman, who is the current ASP North America Pro Junior Series ratings leader, also had his hand in issuing a major upset by defeating his Floridian idol, former ASP World Champion and U.S. Open of Surfing Champion C.J. Hobgood (Melbourne, FL), 31, while topping current ASP Dream Tour rookie Blake Thornton (AUS), 25, who advanced in second.
“That was the biggest heat of my life surfing against C.J. (Hobgood) and beating him,” Geiselman said. “Being from Florida, he’s someone that I’ve looked up to. I was just stoked to have a heat with him but I’m really happy to have won it.”
Despite the early elimination of several top seeds today, reigning two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL), 38, and current ASP World No. 1 Jordy Smith advanced through to the Round of 48 amongst others.
The surfing out in the water wasn’t the only thing going on. Iration and Bedouin Soundclash performed in front of a packed crowd on the live music stage following the end of the day’s surf action. The music lineup for the rest of the week: Thu – Switchfoot preceded by Timmy Curran, Fri – Cobra Starship preceded by Street Drum Corps, Sat – Weezer preceded by Hot Hot Heat. Music starts at 4:30 PM.
The Nike 6.0 HB BMX Pro will start tomorrow. Qualifier 1 will begin at 3:00 PM. Be sure to tune in to the LIVE webcast or come down to check out the high-flying action in person. There will also be Converse Coastal Carnage practice runs going down at the skate bowl.
For more on the US Open of Surfing go to usopenofsurfing.comfor LIVE webcasts, heats on demand and full event schedule.
For complimentary high-res photos and video downloads log on to usopenofsurfing.com/downloads.
For additional ASP information log on to aspworldtour.com or aspnorthamerica.org
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