HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Monday, November 29, 2010) – ASP World Tour campaigner Gabe Kling (St. Augustine, FL), 30, and up-and-coming West Coast talent Lakey Peterson (Santa Barbara, CA), 16, were crowned 2010 ASP North America Champions by finishing atop the regional rankings due to their performances in ASP North America events.
The ASP North American Champions are decided by each surfer's performance in the events of their region only, not taking international results in to account.
Kling stormed to his regional title by way of a massive victory at the ASP PRIME 6.0 Lowers Pro, and followed up with consistent results throughout the regional season, notching an equal 25th place finish at the ASP PRIME US Open of Surfing and followed up with an equal 17th at the O'Neill Cold Water Classic California to secure his position as ASP North America Champion.
"Having three ASP PRIME events in America this year was great," Kling said. "With the level of competition being so high I'm really stoked to have won the series."
Kling, who earned the injury wildcard to compete in the back half of the ASP World Tour season this year, has launched back in to fighting shape after a horrific knee-injury that saw him sidelined for nearly the entirety of the 2009 season and is now hungrier than ever to maintain his position on the elite ranks.
"With the time out of the water I trained a lot and I learned a few new knee and ankle exercises that may have made me a little stronger," Kling said. "I hate being hurt so I guess I was just really stoked to be back in the water. That might be the one advantage of the time off."
Peterson earned the title of 2010 Women's ASP North America Champion by finishing equal 3rd at the US Open of Surfing. The young Californian put on an impressive performance by topping several ASP Women's World Tour campaigners including Brazilian Bruna Schmitz (BRA), 20, Paige Hareb (NZL), 20, and Australian Prodigy Tyler Wright (AUS), 16, only to be stopped by eventual champion Carissa Moore (HAW), 18, in their Semifinals matchup.
"That's really cool that I won, I had no idea that was the case," Peterson said. "There were so many good girls in that event, so I'm stoked."
The equal 3rd place finish was an astonishing result for Peterson, who was competing in her first ASP Star Series event at the US Open of Surfing and has consistently climbed the rankings throughout the season.
"This is my first year on the ASP World Ranking and I'm happy that I've had a few results," Peterson said. "I'm not trying to qualify or anything right now. It's good getting the experience."
Gabe Kling will wrap up his international campaign at the Vans Triple Crown, which still includes the ASP PRIME O'Neill World Cup of Surfing and Billabong Pipe Masters.