Travis Mellem lights up the Open Mens final, Kellen Ellison scores his first Open Juniors win and Cory Arrambide clinches his sixteenth victory of the season.
NSSA SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE OPEN SEASON EVENT #7
3 STAR RATED-FEBRUARY 9-10, 2002
O-SMAS NSSA SOUTHWEST DIVISION EVENT #3
LOCATION: 54TH STREET, NEWPORT BEACH
CONDITIONS: 2-4 FEET ON SATURDAY DROPPING TO 1-3 FEET ON SUNDAY.
The remnants of a healthy northwest swell coupled with a strong Santa Ana condition provided for awesome surf conditions with 2-4 foot Kirra style rights for the Open Season preliminary rounds on Saturday. On Sunday, the swell faded but the action was plentiful as the best young surfers in the Southwest competed for prestigious Open Season results. Travis Mellem clinched his third win of the season in the Open Mens final which puts him into a very comfortable first place position in the ratings. Travis now leads the pack with an almost insurmountable1, 500 point lead over second ranked Brett Simpson with three events remaining. The 16-year-old San Clemente High School junior used his quick, light-footed moves and crisp vertical snaps to score a clear first place judges decision over Nathaniel Curran by a score of 21.5-17.0. Another San Clemente High School junior Andrew Gahan came in third and visiting Japanese surfer Akira Nakaura took fourth.
13-year-old Kellen Ellison claimed his first Open Junior victory in a close battle with second place finisher Alex Gray. Kellen edged Alex by a one point margin 19.0-18.0 but Alex did not walk away totally disappointed. His runner up finish boosted him into first overall in the ratings with a slim 10-point advantage over Chris Waring who had been on top the entire season. What a race that is turning out to be! Besides Kellen, two more NSSA Gold Coasters placed in the Open Juniors final with Chad Compton taking third and Marty Liening coming in fourth. All right Gold Coast-coming on strong!
CORY ARRAMBIDE TAKES HIS 16TH! à' Cory celebrated his sixteenth victory of the season, taking the Open Boys final over Chris Slayter by a score of 19.0 to 14.0. Brent Reilly took third and Mini Grom Dane Zaun came in fourth. Dane won the Mini Grom final for his fourth victory of the year and will take the lead back from Andrew Doheny who placed second in the final. Ford Archbald came in third and Matt Nickel took fourth making his first ever NSSA final! Newport local Erica Hosseini used the home turf knowledge to take the Womens final and Kris Espinoza claimed his third win of the season in the Bodyboard division.
OSMAS GOES OFF! -On Saturday, the Kirra like rights and offshore winds provided for some awesome conditions for the Southwest O-SMAS #3 event. 17-year-old Nathaniel Curran put on a show stealing display launching huge on not one but three separate waves in the fifteen-minute heat. Nathaniel landed a giant frontside standard air, which scored 9.0 from the judges. Nathaniel backed that up with another big 8.5 air and then one more 8.0. Defending National O-SMAS champion Josh Montgomery started the contest off with a 7.0 standard air and held on to the lead until Nathaniel had his way. Patrick Gudauskas, who nearly landed an inverted air, put one of the most exciting displays of aerial surfing. Patrick executed the move cleanly but landed on the backside of the wave. Word has it that Pat has pulled that one off in practice so it is only a matter of time before we witness that at our O-SMAS events!
CORY RECORD WATCH-Now that 12-year-old Cory Arrambide is riding on his sixteenth NSSA victory, it is time to get serious about keeping our eyes on the record for most wins in a season. The 20-event win record is currently held by Michael Taras. Cory is focusing hard on topping the twenty wins in what is an incredible competitive achievement by two great and super talented NSSA kids!
STATS FOR MICHAEL TARAS-1997/98 SEASON: 9 wins in the Southwest Oppen Boys, 7 wins in the Southwest Explorer Menehuene, 4 wins in the Southwest Explorer Boys. TOTAL-20 VICTORIES
STATS FOR CORY ARRAMBIDE-2001/02 SEASON: 6 wins in the Open Boys, 8 wins in the Gold Coast Explorer Menehuene, 2 wins in the Southwest Explorer Menehuene. TOTAL-16 VICTORIES. Events left in the 2001/02 season: 3 Opens, 4 Southwest Explorers, 1 Gold Coast Explorer.
COMING UP-The NSSA Southwest Conference Explorer Season will continue with event #7 on February 16-17. The event has been moved to Ponto Beach in south Carlsbad.
SOUTHWEST OPEN SEASON #7 RESULTS
FEBRUARY 9-10, 2002
54TH STREET, NEWPORT BEACH
1. Travis Mellem-San Clemente
2. Nathaniel Curran-Oxnard
3. Andrew Gahan-San Clemente
4. Akira Nakaura-Tokyo, Japan
1. Kellen Ellison-Ventura
2. Alex Gray-Palos Verdes
3. Chad Compton-Ventura
4. Marty Liening-Oxnard
1. Cory Arrambide-Ventura
2. Chris Slayter-San Diego
3. Brent Reilly-Carlsbad
4. Dane Zaun-Hollyglen
OPEN MINI GROMS
1. Dane Zaun-Hollyglen
2. Andrew Doheny-Newport Beach
3. Ford Archbold-Newport Beach
4. Matthew Nickel-San Clemente
1. Erica Hosseini-Newport Beach
2. Anastasia Ashley-San Clemente
3. Kim Mayer-Santa Cruz
4. Anna Garaway-Santa Cruz
1. Nathaniel Curran-54
2. Josh Montgomery-42
3. Mike Maurer-28
4. Dane Gudauskas-20
5. Matt Gahan-15
6. Pat Gudauskas-14