HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Thursday, March 27, 2008) The Van’s Pier Classic presented by Jack’s Surfboards set off the west coast leg of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America World Qualifying Series (WQS) in clean two-to-four foot (1 metre) peaky surf at Huntington Beach today.
The opening round of the ASP WQS 2-Star Men’s event saw its completion todaybefore the first eight heats of Round 2. The 160-man field saw surfers beginthe respective campaigns towards the Vans Pier Classic title, competing forthe valuable ratings points as well as their piece of the $25,000 purse.
Andrew Gessler (Ocean City, NJ) gave the day’s best performance, netting the highest heat total during his Round 1 bout of a 15.50 out of possible 20.00 points. Gessler’s sharp surfing earned him a berth into Round 2, and he will look to apply his unique equipment, a quad-fin swallow tail, to good use in the later rounds.
“Someone gave me the wave magnet today,” Gessler said. “I’ve got a goodshape from Matt Biolis, and I feel like I got lucky. I felt like my heat was pretty inconsistent, and I happened to get the good ones, so I’m feeling lucky right now.”
Richie Collins (Newport Beach, CA), former ASP World Tour campaigner, was another standout performer today, posting a strong heat total of 14.25 out of possible 20 points in the opening heat of competition. Collins continued his solid form in his Round 2 heat, where he dispatched of young pups
“I’m just going out and surfing as hard as I can,” Collins said. “I’m not going to back down, win, lose, fall, whatever, I’m just surfing as hard as I can. The last heat was just luck of the draw, Kekoa (Cazimero) and I got our waves, and just got lucky.”
Kekoa Cazimero (Waimanolo, HI) posted the day’s highest single wave score, stamping a 9.00 out of possible 10.00 and a combined total heat score of 15.25 advancing the powerful Hawaiian through to Round 3.
Today will continue with another full day of Vans Pier Classic action with the completion of Round 2, and the first half of Round 3. Tune in to catch all of the LIVE action at Vans.com