Recently upgraded from a two-star event to a four-star, the 2011 Vans Pier Classic and Vans Pro Junior figure to be hard-fought events. Held at the arena-like Huntington Beach Pier, expect the Spring Break crowds to be frothing for action from some of the world’s best international and domestic surfers. “I knew I was going to be in California and saw the Vans event on the map and thought I’d love to do it,” said current world #24 Damien Hobgood. Joining Hobgood will be World Tour veteran Taylor Knox, current world #9 Adriano De Souza, and Aussie import Josh Kerr.
While it’s cool that the heavy hitters are in the event, you can’t count out the local HB boys. Guys like Micah Byrne (2007 Vans Pier Classic champ) and Teddy “Shreddy” Navarro and Chucky “Chuckalupo” Rigano are deadly in the shifting pier peaks. I bet 80s superstar Richie Collins wins a heat as well.
Performing double duty will be Evan Geiselman who will attempt to defend his Vans Pro Junior and take on the big boys in the Vans Pier Classic. “I don’t usually get to surf against guys on the World Tour, so hopefully I’ll have the chance to come up against them in the draw,” said the New Smyrna, Florida regularfoot.
With plenty of swell currently there should be contestable (and maybe really good in spurts) waves throughout the weekend. For a better swell forecast and charts go to magicseaweed.com/HBPier. If the weather gets a bit nicer and the swell hangs around, we could be looking at a great weekend on the beach. Worst case scenario is that you can heckle Chris Coté when he does some announcing. He loves that kind of stuff.
When: March 23-27
Where: Huntington Beach Pier in “Surf City” USA!
Who: Adriano De Souza, Taylor Knox, Damien Hobgood and a slew of domestic and international shredders.
Why: Because the Vans Pier Classic got upgraded to a 4-Star event meaning more money, more points, and better surfing.
Contenders: Micah Byrne, Mike Losness, Evan Geiselman, and 2010 Vans Pier Classic champion Dylan Goodale.
Dark Horses: Someone always has a dream run at HB Pier…who will it be this year? Chuckalupo!