We did it…we survived another year of Virginia shenanigans!
This was a year to remember, or not remember depending on your “Orange Crush” consumption and competitive performance! The beach was just packed today with humans of all shapes, sizes, gender and ages, it looked to me as if God got a little carried away with his creations…a yard sale of creatures if you will.
I peeled myself out of bed this morning with high expectations for a dramatic final day of competition ahead. Man, I am exhausted. With my liver on strike from the night prior I made my way down to the event as was greeted with fairly clean surf in the two-to-four-foot range with a decent amount of consistency.
On with the moto, on with the skateboarding, on with the live concerts, on with the fashion show, on with the bikini contest, on with the delicious food vending, on with the beer garden, on with the “Vendor Village”, and most importantly on with the ASP six star East Coast Surfing Championship presented by Vans!
With the meat of the competition remaining for the final day of this event I posted up and watched the following conspire...
We will begin with the juniors:
Semi one showed a very determined Evan Thompson easily taking the victory over event standout’s Andrew Doheny and Cooper Chapman as Michael February also advanced on into the finals.
Semi two hosted a wave starved Kaimana Jaquias pulling up the rear followed by Costa Rica’s Carlos Munoz who showed up to his heat still very ill from a flu he picked up upon his arrival, and Taylor Clark was victorious over an inform Keanu Asing.
With the thirty minute final in hand I watched as Taylor Clark struggled to find the open face waves with a respectful fourth place finish. Michael February surfed solid coming in the third as Even Thompson came out swinging with a near perfect score of 9.6. Keanu stayed busy and very consistent with a polished performance throughout each wave ridden. With nearly eight minutes remaining Evan moved closer to the inside picking up smaller waves looking for a low five point ride to move him into the first place position. This strategy proved to seal his fate with as runner up with time running out leaving Keanu victorious and eight thousand dollars richer!
The mens quarterfinal number one had spectators calling this heat controversial as local favorite Michael Dunphy went down to Nate Yeomans regarding Nate just barely securing the score he needed to advance. Dunphy looked incredibly dialed into his equipment as his surfing performance was undeniable this event! With friends and family behind him all competition this heat went down as a fairly big local upset.
In quarter number two an inform Jean Da Silva delivered his polished backhand as a wave starved Dege O'Connell never found his rhythm with the sea. Quarter number three showcased a great battle between Sebastian Zietz and Brazil’s Hizunoma Bettero with the humble Hizunoma taking the win. The highly anticipated quarter final number four delivered quite the surfing spectacle as Tanner Gudauskas and Filipe Toledo sparred back and fourth all heat eventually leaving Toledo with the win.
Semifinal number one showcased Jean Da Silva picking up his momentum as the last statesman, Nate Yeomans, seemed to struggle on his wave selection advancing Jean into the final of this competition. Semi number two was all Brazilian as Filipe juiced every wave ridden to the beach surfing with a hair more spice than fellow countryman Hizunome who bagged a respectable overall third place finish in the event.
With an all-Brazilian affair on hand, these two went head to head with fairly different strategies. Toledo mixed it up with lengthy rides consisting of aerial maneuvers and tail blows keeping very busy all heat long. Da Silva was more patient waiting on the set waves that allowed him a deeper bottom turn, steeper face and vertical approach to his oh so polished backhand. Toledo’s air game was on point all final long winning the cheers of those watching as was Da Silva’s smooth and powerful surfing winning the hearts of the ASP judges. With time winding down the final results would be determined by one score, a score in the excellent range that mother Atlantic may or may not deliver as some heats proved very consistent and others extremely lully with the tidal change.
The opportunity arose, Da Silva maximized on the scoring potential connecting multiple backside cracks in the pocket moving him into the first place position as a visually upset Toledo fell just short leaving no time for another proper exchange between the two.
Some also viewed these final results controversial, backing his recent five star victory in Europe with a second place finish here in Virginia Beach once the smoke finally cleared Toledo was wearing a noticeably bigger smile as his 2012 campaign was now this much more concrete… Overall a victorious final day for Brazil no doubt!
As for me? This is where I tuck my tail and head back to the Carolinas in search of sleep, sunshine and surf. I have done my time here in Virginia Beach and for sanity sake I must be moving along… The pleasure has been all mine and I do hope you all enjoyed these informative rants provided in part by the 2012 East Coast Surfing Championship presented by Vans!
Until we meet again on the world wide web, I wish you all health and happiness :)
Sir Jeffrey Myers
ASP Press Release: Jean Da Silva Wins Coastal Edge ECSC pres. by Vans, Asing Takes Pro Junior
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia/USA (Sunday, August 26, 2012) - Jean Da Silva (BRA), 27, defeated fellow Brazilian Filipe Toledo (BRA), 17, to win the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star Coastal Edge ECSC pres. by Vans and hydrated by vitaminwater in clean two-to-four foot waves at 1st Street Jetty in Virginia Beach.
Da Silva put up powerful backhand combinations against Toledo's high-flying forehand aerial attack and the seasoned Brazilian's polished turns surpassed Toledo's above the lip efforts in the close Final. "Filipe is the big thing now, he surfs so well and he's getting so many results and that Final was hard," Da Silva said. "I was never in a rhythm out there. I was kind of lost and was just watching him get all of his waves. I was waiting patiently and couldn't find the right waves but at the end I was just ripping as hard as I could in the last few minutes and I got the scores."
The hard working goofy-footer quietly navigated through the early days of competition, unloading his furious backhand attack throughout the Final rounds. The then No. 41 ranked surfer looked at home in the conditions reminiscent of his home in Brazil and his Da Silva is now one step closer to joining next year's ASP Top 34 due to today's victory. "I tried to just do big turns the whole event," Da Silva said. "I was watching Tanner Gudauskas get high scores on his backhand. I got here a few weeks ago and it was my first time in Virginia Beach and I felt really good. I learned how to surf in these conditions and felt comfortable out there."
Toledo was deadly throughout the Final day, launching the event's highest heat-total in his Semifinals win of 17.76 and maintained his form against Da Silva, but fell just short of the victory to finish runner-up. "It feels great to have another Final and to surf against Jean (Da Silva)," Toledo said. "He's a really good surfer and was doing big turns on his backhand. In the Final, I was trying to do big turns to and it was a close one in the end."
Toledo, who was sitting at 19 on the ASP World Ranking entering the event, took his runner-up finish immediately following his win in Lacanau, France and the high-flying goofy-footer is hungry for another big result at the upcoming event in Zarautz, Spain to further his chances of joining the world's best surfers next season. "It's definitely good to get some more big points to try and qualify for the WCT," Toledo said. "I'm feeling good and ready for Zarautz and hopefully I can win there."
While the men's main event offered up non-stop action, the ASP 6-Star Coastal Edge ECSC Vans Pro Junior saw Keanu Asing (Ewa Beach, HI), 19, take out a hard fought victory over Evan Thompson (Jacksonville, FL), 20, Michael February (ZAF), 18, and Taylor Clark (San Diego, CA), 16.
Asing notched an impressive 14.73 out of 20 heat total of his own in the Final and held on to the win while engaging in a seesaw paddle battle against Thompson. Thompson secured the ASP Pro Junior's highest single-wave score in the Final of 9.60, but Asing made it nearly impossible for the Floridian to find a backup score and the young Hawaiian's strategy helped him hold on for the win.
"After that Semifinal, I was just happy to be in the Final," Asing said. "I finished 3rd last year and Nat Young got a 9 and beat me, so when Evan (Thompson) got the 9.60, I was thinking there was no way I was going to let him get his backup score. It's tough to sit on your friends and your fellow team rider, but we all come here to do one thing and that's to win, so I was going to make it hard for him."
Asing, who finished No. 1 on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, took on several international campaigners at the Coastal Edge ECSC Vans Pro Junior and looked at the opportunity as the perfect training grounds for the upcoming ASP World Junior Championships in Bali. "Coming from US Open and then the Junior here, it's a great warm up for us to know what's coming to us when we go to Bali to battle it out for the world title," Asing said. "It's really good to mix it up with everyone and see what everyone is doing and see talents from around the world. It was a tough international field and it's good to compete with them."
For highlights of the Coastal Edge ECSC presented by Vans and hydrated by vitaminwater log on to www.vans.com/ecsc. For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspnorthamerica.org
COASTAL EDGE ECSC PRES. BY VANS FINAL:
1 - Jean Da Silva (BRA) 14.76
2 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.50
COASTAL EDGE ECSC PRES. BY VANS SEMIFINALS:
SF 1: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 15.57 def. Nathan Yeomans (USA) 8.20
SF 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.76 def. Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 8.20
COASTAL EDGE ECSC PRES. BY VANS QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.74 def. Michael Dunphy (USA) 13.60
QF 2: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 13.67 vs. Dege O'Connell (HAW) 6.67
QF 3: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 13.37 def. Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 12.56
QF 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.40 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 12.27
COASTAL EDGE ECSC VANS PRO JUNIOR FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Keanu Asing (HAW) 14.73
2 - Evan Thompson (USA) 13.87
3 - Michael February (USA) 11.87
4 - Taylor Clark (USA) 9.50
COASTAL EDGE ECSC VANS PRO JUNIOR SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Evan Thompson (USA) 15.50, Michael February (ZAF) 11.80, Cooper Chapman (AUS) 9.23, Andrew Doheny (USA) 6.34
SF 2: Taylor Clark (USA) 12.00, Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.50, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 10.36, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 7.50