NSSA Southwest Explorer 01-02 Champs

MEET THE 2001/02 SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE EXPLORER SEASON CHAMPIONS!

Fun 2-4′ waves were on tap at the “Creek” for the tenth and final event of the 2001/02 Southwest Conference Explorer Season. We have a fine-looking group of talented Explorer Champions. Check ’em out!

The NSSA would like to thank the following companies for their support of the NSSA and the Southwest Conference this season: Body Glove, Surfing, Surfing Girl, Bodyboarding, Reef, Huntington Surf and Sport, O’Neill, Hurley International, Billabong, Channel Islands, Spy, Ocean Minded, Jedidiah, Sugar Shack.

2001/02 SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE EXPLORER SEASON CHAMPIONS

MENS CHAMPION-JASON FRANCO.
Age: 18
Home: Carlsbad
School: Carlsbad High School
2001/02 Explorer victories: Huntington Beach Ninth Street event #1, San Clemente Trails event #2, Salt Creek event #10.
Fast facts: A super tight race developed between Jason and fellow Carlsbad High School team mate Sean Taylor. Going into the Salt Creek season finale, Jason was in front by a scant 20 points. Sean won all of his preliminary heats, while Jason struggled to find momentum getting a second in the first round and just squeezing in a third in round two. The energy shifted Jason’s way in the final when he lit up a left-hander which scored a perfect “10” from all the judges. There was no looking back and Jason took first in the final along with the Mens crown.

JUNIORS CHAMPION-TRAVIS MELLEM.
Age: 17
Home: San Clemente
School: San Clemente High School
2001/02 Explorer victories: Church event #3.2001/02 Open victories: Salt Creek event #1, Church event #5, Newport 54th Street event #7.
What a season Travis had! Travis is three for three in 2002 with NSSA championship titles. At the NSSA State titles this past March, Travis scored the victory in the High School Mens division for San Clemente High School. Last weekend, he took the prestigious Southwest Open Mens title winning it with more than a 2,000-point margin. The Explorer title was up for grabs with Brett Simpson coming into event #10 with a 400 point lead, Travis trailing in second and Pat Gudauskas in third. Things heated up when Brett was upset in the quarterfinals. For Travis to win the season, he had to take third or better in the final. He did one better than that taking second and claiming his third championship title of the season!

BOYS CHAMPION-CHRIS WARING.
Age: 15
Home: Seal Beach
School: Huntington Beach High School
2001/02 Explorer victories: Church event #3, Salt Creek event #10.2001/02 Open victories: Salt Creek event #1, Salt Creek event #9.
After finishing second overall in the Open Juniors division, Chris was on a mission to clinch his first NSSA title in the Explorer Boys. Coming into event #10, Jensen Hassett owned the lead by almost 400 points. However, Jensen was upset in round one and his title hopes slipped away. This opened the door for Chris and he took full advantage winning all of his heats including the final.

MENEHUENE CHAMPION-CHRIS SLAYTER.
Age: 13
Home: San Diego
School: St. Pauls Lutheran School
2001/02 Explorer victories: Oceanside South Jetty event #4, Huntington Pier event #5.2001/02 Open victories: Church event #5, Huntington Ninth Street event #8
We call him Chris “Kelly” Slater and if you see him surf you’ll know why! Chris is one of the hottest up and coming groms on the west coast. He took charge this year in the Menehuene division winning the ratings by over 1,000 points. Chris was winning most of the contests until his main rival and good buddy Cory Arrambide started competing in the Explorers.

WOMENS CHAMPION-ANASTASIA ASHLEY.
Age: 15
Home: San Clemente
School: San Clemente High School
2001/02 Explorer victories: Huntington Ninth Street event #1, Church event #3, Oceanside South Jetty event #4, Huntington Pier event #5, Oceanside Pier event #6, El Porto event #82001/02 Open victoes: Oceanside South Jetty event #2, Huntington Pier event #3, Huntington Ninth Street event #8.
Anastasia came into the final event with a comfortable 700-point lead. She dominated the competition throughout most of the season winning six of the ten events. Anastasia also won the Open Womens division.

MASTERS CHAMPION-GREG BROWNING.
Age: 28
Home: Manhattan Beach
2001/02 Explorer victories: Huntington Ninth Street event #1, Church event #3, Seaside Reef event #7, El Porto event #8, San Clemente Pier event #9, Salt Creek event #10.
Eleven years ago, Greg was the hottest surfer on the west coast when he won the Southwest Open Mens title. He still surfs incredibly well and it’s really fun to watch him perform. Greg won six events this year including the last four straight. Despite missing one event, he still led the pack by over a 1,200-point margin.

SENIORS CHAMPION-CHAS WICKWIRE
Age: 39
Home: Seal Beach
2001/02 Explorer victories: Huntington Ninth Street event #1, San Clemente Trails event #2, Church event #3, Oceanside Pier event #6, Seaside Reef event #7. Masters division victories: San Clemente Trails event #2, Huntington Pier event #5.
In the 2000/01 season, Chas pulled off a trifecta, winning the Conference, Western and National Seniors crown. This year he was back in action kicking off the season with three consecutive victories in the Seniors and then a win at event #4 in the Masters. The Southwest Explorer title is Chas’ fourth in a row. He’s got the ability and drive to pull off another three-title sweep this year!

SUPER SENIORS CHAMPION-PATRICK SCHLICK
Age: 48
Home: La Mirada
2001/02 Explorer victories: Huntington Ninth Street event #1, Oceanside Pier event # 6, Salt Creek event #10.
Nobody wanted that conference title more than Patrick. From event #1 on, his goal was to defend his 2001 conference title. He kicked off the season with a victory but had ups and downs along the way. Patrick’s competitive fire burns within so watch out Super Seniors! Patrick will be a force in that division for years to come!

LONGBOARD CHAMPION-TAYLOR JENSEN
Age: 18
Home: Coronado
School: Coronado High School
2001/02 Explorer victories: Huntington Ninth Street event #1, Church event #3, Oceanside South Jetty event #4, Huntington Pier event #5, El Porto event #8.
Taylor is one of the most respected and talented young longboarders in the nation. He has all the moves-beautiful traditional style combined with the more progressive radical maneuvers. Taylor clinched the Explorer Longboard crown in event #9 winning five of the ten events. Taylor won the 2000 National Championships and has a solid chance to take another title this year.

BODYBOARD CHAMPION-JOSH SINGH
Age: 17
Home: San Clemente
School: San Clemente High School
2001/02 Explorer victories: Oceanside South Jetty event #4, Huntington Pier event #5, Oceanside Pier event #6, San Clemente Pier event #9, Salt Creek event #10.
Josh is one of the most dedicated bodyboarders in the NSSA. He competed in every Open and Explorer contest this season and it has shown in his results. He won five Explorer events and also finished up second overall in the Open Season. He received the NSSA “Outstanding Sportsmanship” award this year for his commitment to the sport of bodyboarding and the encouragement he gives to both bodyboard and surfing competitors.

SOUTHWEST 2002 MOST IMPROVED AWARD-BRETT SIMPSON. Brett is 17 years old and although he officially resides in Garden Grove, he transferred into the 17-time National Champion Huntington Beach High School. Brett is a late bloomer to the NSSA ranks and only started competing consistently two years ago. He showed promise in the 2000/01 season with a #5 rating in the Open Juniors. His skills improved so much over last summer; he came into the 2001/02 season like gangbusters and won four events including the season finale at H.B. 9th Street. He finished up the 2001/02 season ranked third in the Open and is currently number one in the Explorer Juniors.

SOUTHWEST 2002 MOST IMPROVED AWARD-DANE GUDAUSKAS. Dane is 16 years old and a sophomore at three-time National Champion San Clemente High School. In the Open Season, Dane went seven contests without a finals appearance. But he kept his head up and his nose to the grindstone and took a huge win at the H.B. Open #8. He followed that up with a fourth place at the NSSA State titles and a runner up finish at Open #9 at Salt Creek. But it is not only his contest results that have come around, his skills have greatly improved. After lingering in the teens throughout most of the season, a top six rating is a respectable finish.

SOUTHWEST 2002 SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD-CORY ARRAMBIDE. An important quality in the selection of the Sportsmanship award is dedication to the sport. This season, Cory competed in all of the Opens and the Gold Coast Menehuene and Boys divisions. Because Cory is such a talented grom, it seemed like his record shattering 21 victories came easy. However most people did not know that Cory was suffering from severe migraines throughout a great part of the season, even at some of the contests. You would never know it by the way he surfed and smiled. We are happy to report that Cory is fine and his migraines were found to be allergy related. The NSSA applauds Cory for going for it-21 and counting!
SOUTHWEST 2002 SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD-JOSH SINGH. NSSA bodyboarders might be in small numbers, but you would never know it by the way Josh dedicated himself. He competes in every NSSA event and cheers on his opponents, win, lose or draw. If somebody kills the heat, he is the first one to congratulate him or her. If he were the one that destroyed the heat, you would never hear it from him. He has fun and competes his hardest, no matter who his competition is or what the conditions are. Plus he has one of the biggest smiles on the beach! This season, Josh gave the NSSA bodyboarding division a nice shot in the arm.
.B. 9th Street. He finished up the 2001/02 season ranked third in the Open and is currently number one in the Explorer Juniors.

SOUTHWEST 2002 MOST IMPROVED AWARD-DANE GUDAUSKAS. Dane is 16 years old and a sophomore at three-time National Champion San Clemente High School. In the Open Season, Dane went seven contests without a finals appearance. But he kept his head up and his nose to the grindstone and took a huge win at the H.B. Open #8. He followed that up with a fourth place at the NSSA State titles and a runner up finish at Open #9 at Salt Creek. But it is not only his contest results that have come around, his skills have greatly improved. After lingering in the teens throughout most of the season, a top six rating is a respectable finish.

SOUTHWEST 2002 SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD-CORY ARRAMBIDE. An important quality in the selection of the Sportsmanship award is dedication to the sport. This season, Cory competed in all of the Opens and the Gold Coast Menehuene and Boys divisions. Because Cory is such a talented grom, it seemed like his record shattering 21 victories came easy. However most people did not know that Cory was suffering from severe migraines throughout a great part of the season, even at some of the contests. You would never know it by the way he surfed and smiled. We are happy to report that Cory is fine and his migraines were found to be allergy related. The NSSA applauds Cory for going for it-21 and counting!
SOUTHWEST 2002 SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD-JOSH SINGH. NSSA bodyboarders might be in small numbers, but you would never know it by the way Josh dedicated himself. He competes in every NSSA event and cheers on his opponents, win, lose or draw. If somebody kills the heat, he is the first one to congratulate him or her. If he were the one that destroyed the heat, you would never hear it from him. He has fun and competes his hardest, no matter who his competition is or what the conditions are. Plus he has one of the biggest smiles on the beach! This season, Josh gave the NSSA bodyboarding division a nice shot in the arm.