Shaun Ward Leads ASP North American Charge Through Brazilian Leg

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, (Sunday, June, 29 2008)- The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) offered exciting ratings changes for ASP North America surfers this week as this weekend wrapped up the ASP WQS 5-Star Local Motion Gauruja Surf Pro held at Gauruja, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Shaun Ward (Huntington Beach, CA) took top honors for North America, collecting his career best result by claiming a victory at the Local Motion Gauruja Surf Pro. Ward proved to be the standout ASP WQS North America campaigner in this event, as he claimed heat victories over former ASP World Tour powerhouse Greg Emslie (East London, ZAF), recent Billabong Pro Tahiti winner Bruno Santos (BRA), as well as knocking out current ASP World Tour No. 28 Neco Padaratz (Florianopolous, BRA). This solid finish by Ward will move his ASP WQS ranking dramatically from No. 77 to No. 30, placing him within potential striking distance for ASP World Tour in 2009.

“This is my best result of the year,” Ward said. “I like it here, the waves are similar to where I live, Huntington Beach. The heat against Greg (Emslie) was difficult. He has a lot of experience in man on man format, but I found the best waves to reverse that advantage, and at the end, he was the one under pressure.”

Nathaniel Curran (Oxnard, CA) was another ASP North American surfer who just completed a banner two week run through Brazil. The young natural footer took full advantage of the back-to-back ASP WQS 5-Star Brazilian events (The Billabong ECO Surf Festival and Local Motion Guaruja Surf Pro) moving from No. 36 to No12. to No. 6. Curran stamped a Semifinals result at the Billabong Eco Surf Festival, and followed it up with a 16th place finish at the Local Motion Guaruja Surf Pro. Curran will now head to Durban South Africa for the WQS 6-Star Mr. Price Pro as he will look to follow in elder brother Timmy Curran’s footsteps in qualifying for the ASP World Tour.

Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), who prior to Brazil had led the ASP WQS ratings, was not as fortunate as his fellow North American surfers, dropping from the No. 1 spot to No. 2. Gudauskas will join brothers Dane and Tanner, as the trio will attempt to rebound at the upcoming ASP WQS 6-Star Mr. Price Pro held in Durban, South Africa beginning on Monday, July 30.

The ASP WQS 6-Star Mr. Price Pro in Durban will see North American surfs Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), Brett Simpson (Huntinton Beach, CA), Gabe Kling (St. Augustine, FL), Ben Bourgeios (Wrightsville Beach, NC-Carlsbad, CA), Dane Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), Nathaniel Curran (Oxnard, CA), Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), Austin Ware (Solan Beach, CA), Mike Losness (San Clemente, CA), Wesley De Souza (Deerfield Beach, FL), Che Stang (Carlsbad,CA), Shaun Burrell (Redondo Beach, CA), Brad Ettinger (Huntington Beach, CA), Sterling Spencer (Pensicola, FL) and Travis Mellem (San Clemente, CA).

It will be interesting to see how things play out within the next week, as South Africa is set to play host to the ASP WQS 6-Star Mr. Price Pro starting on Monday, July 30, 2008.

ASP WQS Top 10
1. Bettero, Hizunome (BRA) 8650 points
2. Gudauskas, Patrick (USA) 7919 points
3. Ware, Austin (USA) 7838 points
4. Weare, David (ZAF) 7813 points
5. Raoni, Monteiro (BRA) 7800 points
6. Curran, Nathaniel (USA) 7600 points
7. Gossmann, Shaun (AUS) 7438 points
8. Garcia, Sunny (HAW) 7215 points
9. Bacalso, Kekoa (HAW) 7162 points
10. Simpson, Brett (USA) 7075 points