HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Sunday, February 7, 2010) – Former Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Champion CJ Hobgood (Melbourne, FL), 30, clinched the first ASP WQS 6-Star PRIME event on the 2010 calendar, the Hang Loose Pro, at Brazil's famed barrel of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil over fellow finalist Raoni Monteiro (Saquarema, BRA), 27.
With the big changes slated to hit the ASP ratings system for 2010, Hobgood's victory at the Hang Loose Pro is more beneficial than just ASP WQS points and a healthy prize purse, but the talented Floridian Champion has already logged a potential keeper score into his final score line for 2010 with this weekend's victory due to the One World ranking. The Hang Loose Pro victory could potentially play a vital role in his final ranking on the ASP Dream Tour.
"I'm stoked,” Hobgood said. “Last year I put too much pressure on myself and it didn't pay off. It was amazing to win right now in the beginning of the season. I was lucky all day long finding those left barrels and I'm glad to be here in this amazing place.”
Now that the ASP One ranking system is rolling underway for this season, Hobgood's victory was an unusually tall task with several ASP World Tour surfers and the hungriest of ASP WQS campaigners competing at the Brazilian event. The goofy-footer topped Brazilian up-and-comers Alejo Muniz (BRA), 19, Willian Cardoso (BRA), 25, before topping former event champion Monteiro, to take out his first victory of the year.
"It was a good heat to be in," Hobgood said. "The waves are kind of tricky but I found some good ones. Anyway, it's just great to be here with friends."
2010 ASP Dream Tour rookie and defending Hurley U.S. Open Champion Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA), 25, also logged a successful result at the ASP 6-Star PRIME event, hunting down a solid equal 5th place finish before heading off to Australia to kick off his season amongst the world's top 45 competitive surfers.
To see the world's finest 45 surfers take to the water for the first event of the 2010 season watch the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast LIVE from February 27 through March 10, 2010.