Huntington Beach Locals Sweep Vans Pier Classic

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Sunday, March 30, 2008) – The 2008 Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack’s Surfboards kept tradition today, crowning Huntington Beach locals Shaun Ward and Courtney Conlogue in their respective divisions, while Brazilian transport Bruno Rodrigues (Huntington Beach, CA) took down the Ezekiel Pro Junior.

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 2-Star event culminated a week’s worth of action today, in contestable two-to-four feet (1 metre) peaks at Huntington Beach Pier.

Ward, who had been the standout surfer of the event, connected the dots in a hard-fought final against fellow contenders Dylan Graves (Isabella, PR), Brad Ettinger (Huntington Beach, CA) and Austin Ware (Solana Beach, CA).

“I’ve been training a lot, and putting a lot into my surfing,” Ward said. “I’m overwhelmed to win a ASP WQS at home, I’ve been trying for a long time, so I’m so excited to take the win at home. I’m off to Australia tomorrow, so I hope I can keep the momentum going.”

Running in conjunction with the men’s division, the ASP WQS 2-Star Vans Pier Classic also ran a hotly-contested women’s event, which saw youngster Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana, CA) take down fellow finalists Sage Erickson (Ojai, CA), Naje Mulamud (Hanalei, HI) and Lauren Sweeney (Carlsbad, CA).

“I felt pretty confident going into the finals,” Conlogue said. “I just wanted to go out there and win it. Last year I got second place, and I wanted to improve on that. My goal is just to surf as good as I can.”

The ASP Grade-2 Ezekiel Pro Junior was privy to some of the most sensational junior action all season as an international field of top talents took to the Huntington Beach peaks.

Brazilian transplant Bruno Rodrigues (Huntington Beach, CA), who had been in domineering form in both the men’s and the junior’s division all week, proved unstoppable during the final against North America’s top juniors Travis Beckmann (Vero Beach, FL), Trevor Saunders (San Clemente, CA) and Adam Wickwire (Satellite Beach, FL).

“I’m surfing Huntington every day, so the win feels great,” Rodrigues said. “I am living here in Huntington with my father now, and this place feels like home because my family is here. I just met my father, he is American, I have a family here now, so I feel like I’m an American, and I would love to represent the United States in the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships competition in Australia.”

Wickwire, defending ASP North America Pro Junior Champion, was keen to reestablish his dominance on this season’s ASP North America Pro Junior Series, but fell short in the final, with conditions deteriorating rapidly.

“It’s good to get back in the mix,” Wickwire said. “It feels good not to lose first heat. I was pretty far down on the ratings before now, and I’m looking to improve my rating, so any spot in the final is good.”

The 2008 ASP North America Tour will continue its year with the ASP WQS 4-Star Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro featuring the ASP Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior beginning April 29- May 3, 2008.

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Results: Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack’s Surfboards (ASP WQS 2- star event)

1- Shaun Ward (USA) 15.25
2- Dylan Graves (PRI) 13.65
3- Brad Ettinger (USA) 9.10
4- Austin Ware (USA) 8.90

Semifinals: 8 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Austin Ware (USA) 16.25, Brad Ettinger (USA) 13.10, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.65, Kyle Ramey (HAW) 8.85
Heat 2: Dylan Graves (PRI) 15.50, Shaun Ward (USA) 10.50, Jason Miller (USA) 7.20, Ian Rotgans (USA) 4.75

Quarterfinals: 16 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 16.75, Brad Ettinger (USA) 8.50, Dane Gudauskas (USA) 7.45, Chris Drummy (USA) 5.65
Heat 2: Kyle Ramey (USA) 12.50, Austin Ware (USA) 10.50, Matt King (USA) 8.95, Heath Walkeer (AUS) 8.75
Heat 3: Dylan Graves (PRI) 13.00, Ian Rotgans (USA) 9.75, Casey Brown (HAW) 8.00, Sunny Garcia (HAW) 6.30
Heat 4: Shaun Ward (USA) 15.00, Jason Miller (USA) 14.00, Jason Collins (USA) 10.95, Nathan Yeomans (USA) 9.65

Results: Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack’s Surfboards (ASP WQS 2-star event)

1- Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.35
2- Sage Erickson (USA) 12.75
3- Nage Malamud (HAW) 11.00
4- Lauren Sweeney (USA) 8.65

Semifinals: 8 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Nage Malamud (HAW) 14.60, Lauren Sweeney (USA) 14.50, Anastasia Ashley (USA) 8.50, Christa Alves (USA) 7.85
Heat 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 17.75, Sage Erickson (USA) 12.30, Leila Hurst (HAW) 11.10, Bo Stanley (USA) 5.10

Results: Ezekiel Pro Junior presented by Jacks Surfboards (ASP Pro Junior Grade-2)

1- Bruno Rodrigues (USA) 13.10
2- Travis Beckmann (USA) 11.55
3- Trevor Saunders (USA) 9.95
4- Adam Wickwire (USA) 8.25