OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE – Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 30 April, 2008 : – – San Clemente — Day two of the 6.0 Lowers Pro opened up in unfavorable two-to-three foot stormy conditions at Lower Trestles this morning, but competitors overcame the testing winds to produce the biggest scores of the event thus far.
Completing both Rounds 2 and 3 of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star event, day two of the 6.0 Lowers Pro saw the upcoming generation of surfers revel in the tricky-yet-performance-oriented conditions.
Jesse Heilman (Daytona Beach, FL) took top honors for the day, netting the event high heat total of an 18.07 out of possible 20. The progressive natural-footer blasted away on his backhand, finding solid waves in the less-than-ideal conditions.
"That first left that I got the 9 on, I got lucky, because I almost kicked out after my first two turns," Heilman said. "I looked again and it bowled open on the inside, so I'm pretty psyched with how it ended up." Recently graduated from the ASP Pro Junior Series to the ASP WQS full time, Heilman is adjusting to the next level of surfing with maturity.
Heilman said. "The 'QS competitors have a lot more experience and use more strategy when they compete, so it's kind of a different game plan.”
Gabriel Villaran (Lima, PER) proved that the youngsters didn't take all the honors as the 23-year-old donated the day's highest single wave heat score with a near perfect 9.60 out of possible 10. Villaran will use the momentum gained from his heat victory in Round 4.
"Before my heat I didn't think things would go well because the waves are crappy and all of the guys o the 'QS know how to surf small waves really well," Villaran said. "However I got a good start with the 6.3, so I was stoked. I saw that one good wave and it had an open face to it, and I got lucky because the wave was kind of clean so I could do a lot of good turns. It's really good motivation for the next round."
Casey Brown (Kona, HAW), who has had previous success at Lower Trestles throughout his amateur career, dominated his heat this afternoon, putting his fellow competitors in a combination situation with a 16.00 out of a possible 20.
"I'm stoked to be back at Trestles, and I seem to go good at this wave," Brown said. I've got a title here from when I was younger, so I'm stoked to be back. The swell forecast looks good, and I'm looking forward to going out and getting some waves in the next heat."
In addition to the importance of helping surfers qualify for the prestigious ASP World Tour, the 6.0 Lowers Pro also kick starts the 2008 Macy's California Trifecta Surf Series (and ASP North America Specialty Series).
The event at Lowers will see all three past Trifecta Champions in Asher Nolan (Jacksonville Beach, FL), Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA) and Adam Virs (Ventura, CA) all donning competition jerseys in the coming days so the Surf Series is looking at an explosive start.
Tomorrow will see the 6.0 Lowers Pro complete the Round of 64 before seeing the top seeds hit the water for Round 5. Amongst the marquee names will be ASP World Tour campaigners Ben Bourgeois (Wrightsville Beach, NC), Chris Ward (San Clemente, CA), Taylor Knox (Carlsbad, CA), ASP WQS campaigners Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), Shaun Ward (Huntington Beach, CA), among others.
In one of the most highly-anticipated bouts of the events, 15-year-old wildcard Carissa Moore (Waikiki, HAW), the only female in the competition, will face off against former ASP World Junior Champion and current campaigner on the ASP World Tour Adriano de Souza (BRA).
In addition to title sponsor Nike 6.0, the 6.0 Lowers Pro is happy to have support from Red Bull, Oakley, SURFER, SURFING, WaveWatch and FUEL TV. All 6.0 Lowers Pro action is being webcast LIVE via www.nike6lowerspro.com
Forecast for Thurs., May 1
Thursday both the surf and the conditions will turn around and start to improve. A mix of S-SW swell, local NW windswell, and a new SW swell (200-220) will be filling in with long swell-periods and inconsistent sets. Wave heights will continue to hold in the waist-chest high range on the average sets and there will be some shoulder high+ sets sneaking through at times, particularly as the new SW swell builds in more during the afternoon.
The winds/conditions will make the biggest improvement compared to the last couple of days. Look for mostly light and variable to light ESE winds all below 5 knots through the morning. Winds will shift light onshore around lunchtime, and then will pick up out of the W-WNW around 10-15 knots by the afternoon. There will also be sunny skies after the morning marine layer burns off. Should be a pretty nice day for competition.