International Superstars Ready For ASP WQS 4-Star 6.0 Lowers Pro

6.0 Lowers Pro (ASP WQS 4-Star)
Event No. 3 on the 2008 ASP North America World Qualifying Series (Men)
Oakley Pro Junior    
Event No. 3 on the 2008 ASP North America Pro Junior Series (Men)
Lower Trestles, California, United States of America
April 29 – May 3, 2008

SAN CLEMENTE, California (Tuesday, April 22, 2008) – Stop No. 3 on the 2008 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America Men’s Tour, the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star 6.0 Lowers Pro is set to kick off this Tuesday, April 29, 2008 with 192 of the best surfers in the world all vying for valuable ASP WQS ratings points, prize money and the chance to be crowned the 2008 6.0 Lowers Pro Champion.

With C.J. Hobgood (Melbourne Beach, FL), former ASP World Champion (2001) and defending event champion withdrawing from this year’s event, the doors have opened for the crowning of a new champion alongside this year’s new event sponsor. The return to Lower Trestles famed cobblestone pointbreak will invite an onslaught of hungry competitors looking to claim the title of 6.0 Lowers Pro champion.

Taylor Knox (Carlsbad, CA), who took down the event at Lowers in 1994, will look to put another trophy on the mantle this season, gearing up to lay his patented hard-rail approach in familiar territory.

“I was looking at the draw the other day and thought that I could have been surfing Lowers before some of these kids were born,” Knox said.  “It’s an incredibly high-performance wave and I am looking forward to coming back to the event.  I feel better than I ever have and I feel like my surfing has only improved.”

Other members of the ASP Top 45 scheduled to do battle at the 6.0 Lowers Pro include Chris Ward (San Clemente, CA), Fredrick Patacchia Jr. (North Shore, HI), Adriano de Souza (Guaruja Sao Paulo, BRA) and Ben Bourgeois (Wrightsville Beach, NC).

Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), current ratings leader on the ASP WQS, will be looking to solidify his position as frontrunner on the ‘QS with a strong showing at home as he drives forward to his ultimate goal of qualifying for the ASP World Tour.

“I’ve had a pretty good start to the year and I’m just looking to add a few more results under my belt here,” Gudauskas said.  “My brothers and I will be competing in Scotland just before the 6.0 Lowers Pro so hopefully we can get back and get some fun waves at home.”

In addition to the prestige of being an ASP WQS event, the 6.0 Lowers Pro also kick starts the 2008 Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series (and ASP North America specialty series), and will see three former champions in Asher Nolan (Jacksonville Beach, FL), Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA) and Adam Virs (Ventura, CA) back this season, attempting to become the first repeat champions in history.

Yeomans, 2006 Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series Champion and heavily favored local standout, will lead a hungry pack of San Clemente surfers keen to bring the 6.0 Lowers Pro title back to their hometown.  The last local to take the event out was former ASP World No. 2 Shane Beschen in 1998.

“I have made the semifinals a couple of times, but always get bumped out from the final in the dying seconds,” Yeomans said.  “I’m definitely not going to let that happen again!  The Gudauskas boys are a threat.  Mike Losness has had a really good amateur career out there, and I would love to see him translate that into this contest.  Then there the underground local crew like Jason Miller, Dane Ward, Drew Ventura Jamie Parkhurst and Brandon Ragenovich – all these guys want to win that contest for sure.”

The 2008 6.0 Lowers Pro marks the beginning of an era of crucial competition at the venue with event sponsor Nike 6.0 signing on for three seasons, upgrading the event to an ASP WQS 6-Star in 2009 and 2010.

“It’s about time we got another major event in the U.S.,” Yeomans saiid.  “Before now, there was only one ASP WQS 6-Star in the states. Europe has six events that are 5-Star or higher, and you can see how it has paid off with so many Europeans qualifying for the Dream Tour in the past few years. It definitely makes a huge difference when you’re trying to qualifying for the ASP World Tour.  It’s insane that Nike 6.0 stepped up to the plate to help out the U.S. surf tour like that.  I bet u will see a lot more U.S. guys qualify just from this additional contest.”

All 6.0 Lowers Pro action will be viewable online with streaming video and live scoring at www.nike6lowerspro.com beginning on Tuesday, April 29, 2008.

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspnorthamerica.org.