Pat Gudauksas Leads The WQS Heading Into The O’Neill Highland Pro By Swatch
Irvine, CA – (Tuesday 22, 2008)-The O’Neill Highland Open by Swatch in Scotland is ready to commence and will prove to be an exciting and important event for the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) and World Championship Tour (WCT) 2009 hopefuls. This highly anticipated event will be a an important opportunity for current WQS points leader 22 year-old Patrick Gudauskas to help fortify his position as the #1 surfer on the WQS tour.
Patrick leads the WQS ratings with 5944 points and has had a solid start to the 2008 season by winning the WQS 5 Star O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro, as well as making the round of 24 at The O’Neill Drug Aware Pro held at Margaret River, Western Australia.
Patrick Gudauskas posted two WQS 4 star wins in Europe in 2006 (The Vendee Pro and Pantin Pro) and came close to qualifying that year by finishing the year at 22nd. For 2007 Patrick was again close to qualifying but suffered an ankle injury prior to the Triple Crown but now has regained his form and is making every effort to join the elite WCT Tour for 2009. The O’Neill Highland Open is a great venue for the exciting regular foot and is he ready to forge ahead with his campaign.
“I am very focused and ready to take it to the next level. My equipment is working great and by body feels strong and I am really looking forward to this event,” says Patrick.
Along with Patrick is twin brother Dane Gudauskas who has pushed himself up the ratings from top 130 in ’07 to a current 31 and can climb much higher with a result in The O’Neill Highland Open. Both brothers are former National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) Men’s National Champions with Pat in ’03 and Dane the following year in ’04. They have been traveling partners on the WQS for the last three years. Youngest of the trio of brothers is nineteen year-old Tanner Gudauskas who came aboard fulltime on the WQS in 2007 and has made strong efforts rising up the ranks on the highly competitive tour. Tanner recently placed 3rd in the ASP World Pro Junior Championships in January 2008 in Australia and has risen considerably into 65th place on the WQS.
The forecasts looks to have a solid run of swell in the 4-6′ foot range arriving for Thursday and Friday. The event directors are putting competitors on call for tomorrow for the round of 144 where there is a strong possibility of kicking off the action.
About The O’Neill Highland Pro, Thurso is home of the some the best waves in Europe and is in it’s third consecutive year as a WQS event. The previous two events have raised the bar for cold-water performance surfing and the event is a top rated event for surfers seeking to qualify for the World Championship Tour.
O’Neill, the original Californian surf, snow and lifestyle brand, was founded in 1952 when a young man named Jack O’Neill took his unstoppable passion for surfing and used it to beat Mother Nature at her own game. Pioneering the world’s first neoprene wetsuit, Jack had successfully found a way to extend his surf sessions in the bone-chilling breaks of Northern California. He opened up the garage doors to his first surf shop in Santa Cruz soon after.
For more information on O’Neill, visit www.oneill.com