HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Thursday, August 5, 2010) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) PRIME US Open of Surfing presented by Hurley and Nike 6.0 tore through the Round of 48 today with ASP Dream Tour standouts Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA), 24, and Jadson Andre (BRA), 20, earning the event's top scores with massive aerial maneuvers at South Huntington Beach Pier.
Surfers competing in the US Open of Surfing are out to capitalize on the crucial ratings points on offer to either solidify their position on, or qualify for the prestigious ASP Dream Tour. Once qualified the globe's elite field of surfing talent battles for the title of ASP World Champion.
Reynolds, who is currently rated No. 8 on the ASP Dream Tour, clinched the highest single-wave score of US Open of Surfing Competition today when the explosive Californian launched a gigantic inverted frontside 360 air on a closeout section, earning a near-perfect 9.87 out of 10 for the single maneuver.
"I'm feeling pretty good," Reynolds said. "I just rode this board for the first time yesterday and had a fun session on it so I was a little more confident than normal out there. When the first set came through and I didn't get anything I was kind of worried. It was so grey out there I couldn't see anything. I was on that wave and thought I was going to do turns but then I saw it was closing out, so it was kind of a hail Mary."
While most competitors were earning top scores for the lefthand ramps breaking towards Huntington Beach Pier, Reynolds opted to navigate away from his fellow competitors and earned his heat victory compliments of less obvious waves breaking on a peak further south of the pier.
"Everyone else got that first set and then there was the lull," Reynolds said. "They were all sitting next to the pier, so I figured I'd get as far away as possible because I can't paddle battle for waves. I was watching in the heat before and saw some waves over in that corner and luckily they came to me."
Andre, Current No. 6 on the ASP Dream Tour, was another aerial standout who capitalized on the new ASP judging criteria put in place for 2010. The high-flying Brazilian earned the event's highest heat total of an outstanding 17.80 out of 20, while only relying on a single maneuver on each wave to garner the impressive two-wave result.
"It's (Huntington) not one of the best waves in the world, but I think it's one of the best waves to do one big maneuver," Andre said. "My hometown in Brazil is the same. I've been here several times and I like this place, I like this wave and I'm just stoked to make one more heat."
Andre, who is currently amidst his rookie year on the ASP Dream Tour, is enjoying his time at this year's US Open of Surfing more than in years past now that he's in excellent position to make the dreaded midyear cut scheduled to unfold after the fifth ASP World Title event.
"It's amazing to come to this event with less pressure," Andre said. "It's one of the best events in the world and almost all the best surfers in the world are here. Last year I was trying to qualify (for the ASP Dream Tour), so the pressure was on, now that I'm on tour it is fun to come to this event and try and do big maneuvers. I'm just enjoying it."
Miguel Pupo (BRA), 19, has been launching his way through the rounds with a similar strategy to close friend, Andre. The Brazilian goofy-footer has been consistently garnering top scores with critical airs and is hoping he can continue to push through the rounds to earn a top result at the ASP PRIME event to help his cause towards qualification for a position amongst the elite.
"I've been just trying to make the airs and I've been getting good scores, so hopefully I can just keep it going," Pupo said. "It's a pretty good result so far. Last year I finished 53 rd on the WQS, so I'm hoping I can do better this year and keep climbing the ratings.
Other advancing surfers include two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, surfing icon Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach FL), 38, Owen Wright (AUS), 20, and current ASP World No. 1 Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22.
The US Open of Surfing will continue tomorrow at 8am local time with men's ASP PRIME Round 4 before moving into both the women's ASP 6-Star and men's ASP Pro Junior Quarterfinals. For all of the LIVE action log on to usopenofsurfing.com.
For additional ASP information log on to aspworldtour.com or aspnorthamerica.org.
US Open of Surfing Round of 48 Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.60, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 12.17, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 11.07, Leigh Sedley (AUS) 10.20
Heat 2: Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 14.96, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.33, Gabe Kling (USA) 8.54, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 5.54
Heat 3: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.47, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.76, Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) 11.44, Nate Yeomans (USA) 8.83
Heat 4: Jadson Andre (BRA) 17.80, Cory Lopez (USA) 11.16, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.60, Austin Ware (USA) 8.70
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.23, Evan Geiselman (USA) 14.70, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 12.03, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 11.70
Heat 6: Nic Muscroft (AUS) 10.23, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 9.37, Blake Thornton (AUS) 9.30, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 6.60
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.20, Kelly Slater (USA) 13.57, Rob Machado (USA) 13.50, Thiago Camarao (BRA) 10.77
Heat 8: Granger Larsen (HAW) 13.00, Heitor Alves (BRA) 10.73, Wiggoly Dantas (BRA) 10.26, Oliver Kurtz (USA) 4.60
Heat 9: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.60, Jay Thompson (AUS) 10.10, Mason Ho (HAW) 9.13, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 5.63
Heat 10: Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.37, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.50, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 9.28, Drew Courtney (AUS) 8.36
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) 15.34, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.43, Taj Burrow (AUS) 8.43, Kolohe Andino (USA) 7.90
Heat 12: Brett Simpson (USA) 12.93, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 10.47, Chris Waring (USA) 8.87, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 7.95
US Open of Surfing Round of 96 Results:
Heat 19: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.50, Jay Thompson (AUS) 14.27, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 10.90, Dylan Graves (PRI) 9.56
Heat 20: Dane Reynolds (USA) 15.70, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 12.47, Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 9.67, David Weare (ZAF) 8.70
Heat 21: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.27, Chris Waring (USA) 9.63, Diego Rosa (BRA) 6.23, Josh Kerr (AUS) 6.06
Heat 22: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.87, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 11.80, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.73, Taylor Knox (USA) 8.93
Heat 23: Brett Simpson (USA) 15.17, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 15.06, Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.43, Andre Silva (BRA) 7.67
Heat 24: Nathaniel Curran (USA) 12.54, Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.34, Tim Reyes (USA) 8.94, Eneko Acero (EUK) 8.27