Above: Heat of the day with Bobby Martinez, Adriano De Souza, Shaun Cansdell, and Dane Gudauskas.
Surfing's Top Names Deliver at ASP PRIME Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro
SAN CLEMENTE, California / USA (Tuesday, May 3 , 2011) – The opening day of the ASP PRIME Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro saw several of surfing's elite names put on a show in playful one-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at the historic cobblestone pointbreak of Lower Trestles in San Clemente, California to complete the first 16 heats of Round 1.
Bobby Martinez (Santa Barbara, CA), 28, took top honors in a stacked heat over fellow ASP Dream Tour campaigner Adriano de Souza (BRA), 24, Australian Shaun Cansdell (AUS) and Dane Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 25, while posting the day's highest single-wave score. The lethal goofy-footer tore into a steep lefthander with calculated rail work despite the small conditions to notch a 9.37 out of 10 en route to the day's second-highest heat-total of 16.04 out of 20.
"Nothing's easy these days, there are all kinds of good surfers," Martinez said. "That one 9 was just a good wave. I think I did four turns or something. I really just lined up nice."
Above: Kekoa Bacalso steals the thunder from Dane Reynolds’ return to competition.
Kekoa Bacalso (Mililani, HI), 25, former elite ASP Top 34 member, returned to competition with a newfound drive to detonate the day's highest heat-total of a 16.07 after dismantling the fun conditions on offer at Lower Trestles and is hungry to reassert himself as a dominant force among his international peers.
"The waves were fun once you got one of them," Bacalso said. "I've been training hard and getting nuts at home and it's good to be back. I'm sick of being home and watching these guys on the computer and I want to be a part of it. I got let go from my sponsor at the end of December and it was a good reality check, a good slap in the face, and I've been buckling down. I've had a lot of time at home to get prepared for this and I'm here to make a statement. I'm not taking it lightly that's for sure."
Above: Tanner Gudauskas muscles his way to a win.
Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 22, earned an impressive come-from-behind victory in his opening Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro heat over Dusty Payne (Lahaina, HI), 22, who advanced in second. The local talent also relied on his forehand to combine several seamless turns on a crisp left to score a 9.00 with three minutes remaining in the heat to launch Gudauskas from last to first.
"I was having fun in that heat, there was no real hassling, so I was stoked," Gudauskas said. "That wave came to me and I didn't think it was going to be that good, but it just stood up."
Gudauskas, who sustained an ankle injury free-surfing in Tasmania, is fired up to be back in the water after nearly six weeks of recovery time.
"I'm just stoked to be surfing in this event," Gudauskas said. "I'm coming back from my ankle injury and I'm frothing on surfing in general. I injured my ankle in Tasmania and was out for about a month and a half. It was just three days ago that I got back in the water."
Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA), 25, returned to competition for the first time in 2011 after undergoing surgery to his knee following a late season injury in 2010. The innovative Californian put on a solid performance to advance out of Round 1 behind Kekoa Bacalso with a 14.33 heat total, but was still cautious about the condition of his knee.
"That was the hardest I've pushed it so it might swell up a bit tomorrow," Reynolds said. "That was a bit different than my normal routine since I've started surfing again. Usually I'll get a good warm up and go catch a couple of waves and today I was around the contest site all day. There definitely felt like there was less flexibility going."
Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 17, Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro wildcard, issued the upset of the day by eliminating last year's event runner-up Chris Davidson (AUS), 33, to advance into the Round of 48.
Above: Kolohe and the boys tear apart small but rippable Lower Trestles.
"I saw that heat draw and was pretty worried because it was a tough heat," Andino said. "Wiggolly (Dantas) rips super hard, Kai Barger always blows up and Davo (Chris Davidson) is a full veteran. I really wanted to beat Davo because he beat me last year. I had a lot of fun out there though. The waves are really fun and I had the perfect time with the tide so I'm really stoked."
Andino, current No. 115 on the men's ASP World Ranking and Lower Trestles local, is still holding three zero-point scores in his score line and knows that a good result at the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro will skyrocket his position on the international standings.
"I'm super excited about getting the points here," Andino said. "I'm just going to take it one heat at a time, but hopefully I make a few heats. It's cool to be on your own program when competing at home. You don't have to worry about traveling with anyone or anything like that so it's cool."
Gabriel Medina (BRA), 17, also notched a notable victory to open his Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro account. The Brazilian up-and-comer earned a solid 15.50 (out of 20) heat total with progressive fins-free surfing on his forehand and lightning backhand snaps on his backhand to top current ASP Dream Tour talent Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente), 25, who advanced in second, Sebastian Zietz (Kauai, HI), 23, and Brandon Jackson (ZAF), 24.
"The waves are kind of small, but it's fun out there," Medina said. "It was a hard heat with Pat (Gudauskas) but I just tried to have fun and it worked. I was surfing the left and got a 7 and it is fun, it kind of stands up. I got an 8 and a good right too, so I'm happy."
Medina, current No. 43 on the men's ASP World Ranking, is another young talent out to help his cause towards qualification for the prestigious ASP World Title series with a keeper result at this year's Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro.
"I really want to qualify this year," Medina said. "I'm really trying to do my best this year and hopefully I can do it."
Running in conjunction with the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro will be the ASP 5-Star Oakley Pro Junior, which will see the 32-man field battle for the vital points on offer towards qualification for the elite ASP World Junior Tour.
The 2011 Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro holds a waiting period from May 3 through 7, 2011 and is LIVE via www.nike6lowerspro.com
The Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro will be televised live and in its entirety in Hawaii on Oceanic Time Warner Cable's Oceanic SURF Channel 250 and 1250HD and from May 5 to May 7 on Time Warner SoCal in San Diego and Los Angeles.
Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro Round of 96 Results:
Heat 1: Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.10, John John Florence (HAW) 11.37, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 9.53, Dale Staples (ZAF) 6.57
Heat 2: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 13.13, Dan Ross (AUS) 12.60, Blake Thornton (AUS) 11.07, Jayke Sharp (AUS) 10.37
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.50, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 14.77, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.57, Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 8.07
Heat 4: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.76, Joel Centeio (HAW) 12.57, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 11.87, Richard Christie (NZL) 10.90
Heat 5: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.57, Kai Barger (HAW) 11.87, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 11.20, Chris Davidson (AUS) 7.60
Heat 6: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 14.60, Dusty Payne (HAW) 11.54, Dylan Graves (PRI) 10.73, Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 10.13
Heat 7: Granger Larsen (HAW) 12.03, Pablo Paulino (BRA) 11.06, Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 10.43, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 9.86
Heat 8: Bobby Martinez (USA) 16.04, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.84, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 12.87, Dane Gudauskas (USA) 12.40
Heat 9: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 11.13, Taylor Knox (USA) 8.84, Tim Boal (FRA) 8.43, Luke Stedman (AUS) 8.37
Heat 10: Heitor Alves (BRA) 15.77, Mason Ho (HAW) 13.90, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 12.87, Ricardo Santos (BRA) 11.93
Heat 11: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 14.30, Pedro Henrique (BRA) 13.10, Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 12.93, Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.17
Heat 12: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 15.70, Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 10.77, Chris Ward (USA) 9.80, Eric Geiselman (USA) 6.83
Heat 13: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 16.07, Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.33, Conner Coffin (USA) 13.60, Gony Zubinarreta (ESP) 12.20
Heat 14: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 14.14, Cory Lopez (USA) 12.53, Adam Robertson (USA) 12.04, Joan Duru (FRA) 7.76
Heat 15: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 15.86, Junior Faria (BRA) 12.10, Jay Quinn (NZL) 10.90, Nat Young (USA) 8.50
Heat 16: Nic Muscroft (AUS) 15.07, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 9.57, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 9.39, Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 7.26
Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro
ASP PRIME Event (Men's)
Oakley Pro Junior
ASP 5-Star (Men's)
San Clemente, California / USA
May 3 – 7, 2011