Pat G. Photo courtesy ASP North America
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Sunday, March 1, 2009) – San Clemente, California native Patrick Gudauskas, 23, missed qualifying for the 2009 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour by only two places and now the standout competitor has shaken off the disappointment of being just shy of achieving his lifelong goal and is setting his sights on qualification for the 2010 ASP Dream Tour.
"The way it ended up last year was a let down," Gudauskas said. "I felt like I belonged on tour this year and was ready to do it, but in the same sense I think everything happens for a reason. My engines have never been so fired up. If anything it’s probably for the best because I’m going to come in absolutely guns blazing this year."
Gudauskas had an amazing season on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) last year, leading the hungry group of up-and-coming talent that make up the series throughout the first half of the year, posting impressively consistent results throughout the season's entirety and ended up finishing 17th overall on the ASP WQS, just two places shy of joining the elite. Now the devoted regular-footer has decided to restructure his campaign on The Grind in an attempt to better his chances at qualification for the big leagues.
"There are a number of things that I am going to be looking to improve on for this year," Gudauskas said. "I am going to be spending less time at smaller events and more time at the larger pointed prime events. I want to get to the venues early and practice there, and be ready to stomp people in those major events."
Gudauskas plans on pushing even harder than last year and wants to squeeze every point possible out of each event.
"Also, last year I think when I was making Finals or Semifinals results, I was feeling super stoked on the result and not thinking that one more position would make all the difference," Gudauskas said. "I think I will treat those heats with even more zeal and excitement then ever before. I’ll be capitalizing on those opportunities in the events."
Gudauskas is already training for his eventual ASP World Tour berth. He has been traveling to a few of the ASP Dream Tour locations to become familiar with the waves to give him an eventual advantage over other future ASP World Tour rookies.
"So far this year I have been traveling to some of the World Tour venues and better wave locations," Gudauskas said. "I just came in from Tahiti last week, I think the past few months have just been about gaining some experience on those spots and waves, and improving and progressing my surfing with good waves. Even though I haven’t been competing, I’ve been traveling a fair bit and surfing a ton."
The toe-headed ripper has also been spending his time with legendary shaper Al Merrick to dial in his equipment for the upcoming year.
"I've been lucky to meet up with AL (Merrick) and the Channel Islands crew and work on some new boards for the '09 season," Gudauskas said. "We’ve got some secret weapons that are going to be unleashed this year."
Patrick Gudauskas will start his 2009 ASP WQS campaign at the ASP 6-Star O'Neill Cold Water Classic in Tasmania from March 31 through April 5, 2009.
To check out Gudauskas' profile log on to aspnorthamerica.org.
For the full 2009 ASP WQS schedule log on to aspworldtour.com.