It's a safe bet to say that whoever wins this crucial midseason WQS event will be on the World Tour in 2010…follow the event live at www.srilankanairlinespro.com
Pat Gudauskas. Photo: ASP
Veteran ASP Surfers Lopez And Logie Feature As Final 24 Surfers Decided At The SriLankan Airlines Pro In Maldives
Veteran ASP World Tour surfers Cory Lopez (USA) and Travis Logie (South Africa) conquered the windswept conditions as the final 24 surfers were decided at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) PRIME rated six star World Qualifying Series (WQS) Sri Lankan Airlines Pro in the Maldives today.
Today's strong cross shore winds actually made the waves super high performance and excellent scores were plentiful throughout the day with the point break wave providing multiple powerful sections for surfers to perform big manoeuvres.
Travis Logie. Photo: ASP
Cory Lopez, (USA/Florida) lead the experienced surfers charge as the 32 year old progressed in second place in the opening round three heat behind fellow USA surfer Pat Gudauskas (Cal).
" I'm feeling good after that heat and now I'm into the final 24 surfers in this event it is starting to get exciting" said Lopez. "I've had 18 months away from full time competition but just maybe I'm looking at requalification" he added. "I've already entered the coming five major ASP WQS events and I'll assess my situation as I go."
Mason Ho. Photo: ASP
Travis Logie (South Africa) was full of excitement after his impressive heat win today where he comprehensively defeated Jadson Andre (Brazil) who advanced in 2nd place. The 30-year old Durban based surfer has struggled with injury over the past two years but is now fit and focused on requalifying on the ASP world tour.
"It's been a tough two seasons for me with a knee injury but I'm back now fully fit, stronger than ever, surfing better than ever and ready to get back to the highest level" said Logie.
"These are fantastic waves even with the strong winds and I'm really looking forward to my coming heats."
At the other end of the scale exciting emerging star Owen Wright (AUS) won through to the final 24 displaying his typical progressive surfing style.
In contrast to last year when Hawaiian surfers dominated, many were eliminated today however Tonino Benson (Kailua/Hawaii) dominated his heat posting the events top scoring ride of a 9.43 and the events top heat tally to date of 17.10.
Late in the day Jean Da Silva (BRA) and Leigh Sedley (AUS) both won their heats and with solid swells pulsing on dusk the scene is set for some fantastic surfing tomorrow.
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Round four draw when event resumes tomorrow:
Heat 1: Pat Gudauskas (USA), Aritz Aranburu (EUK), Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA)
Heat 2: Cory Lopez (USA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Tonino Benson (HAW)
Heat 3: Yadin Nichol (AUS), Travis Logie (ZAF), Shaun Gossman (AUS)
Heat 4: Romaine Cloitre (FRA), Jadson Andre (BRA), Brian Toth (PRI)
Heat 5: Heitor Alves (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Bernardo Miranda (BRA)
Heat 6: Blake Thornton (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 7: Austin Ware (USA), Jean da Silva (BRA), Jonathon Gonzales (CNY)
Heat 8: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Drew Courtney (AUS), Leigh Sedley (AUS)
SriLankan Airlines Pro 2009 is made possible thanks to the following sponsors: SriLankan Airlines, John Keells Group, Chaaya Island – Dhonveli, Atoll Travel, Atoll Adventures, Ocean & Earth International, Dhiraagu, Maldives Tourism & Promotions Board, ASP Australasia.