HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Wednesday, December 2, 2009) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North American season has come to an end and Californians Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 28, and Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana, CA), 17, claimed the premier ASP North America Men's and Women's titles with their stellar performances over some of the world's top ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) surfers this year.
Also standing atop the regional podium for 2009 are Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 18, and Malia Manuel (Wailua, HI), 16, taking out titles of Men's and Women's ASP North America Pro Junior Champions. In addition to the Pro Junior crowns, Hawaiian Kai Sallas (Oahu, HI) and Cori Schumacher (Cardiff, CA), 32, claimed the top regional titles via the ASP Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS).
Yeomans, who is currently competing in the Vans Triple Crown in Hawaii, is sitting in the No. 7 position overall on the ASP WQS and his stellar regional performance saw him take out the title of Men's ASP North America Champion. Yeomans sealed the deal on his No. 1 North America finish with a massive win at the ASP 6-Star PRIME O'Neill Cold Water Classic Santa Cruz in early November, propelling him into a solid position amongst the international competition on the ASP WQS. The crucial victory significantly helped his chances at a spot amongst the elite 45 that make up the ASP Dream Tour for 2010.
"I set three goals for myself this year, first is to make the top five on the ASP WQS, second was to win a 6-star event and the third was to win the ASP North America ratings," Yeomans said. "So, I have one more to accomplish. One thing I say about the WQS is that the season is long and it's not a sprint but a marathon, so you have to set your goals and stick to them. You can't worry about the points and your ranking, but have to enjoy the experience and push yourself and your surfing. Do that, and the other stuff will work itself out."
Conlouge reveled in the unusually large surf at this year's ASP 6-Star Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing and dispatched several of the world's finest ASP Women's Dream Tour surfers while claiming her first major event win in front of her home crowd. Conlogue's amazing victory at Huntington Beach Pier this past July was enough to cement her atop the ASP North America ratings for the women's ASP WQS division, making this her second consecutive regional title.
"It was a great event," Conlogue said. "The U.S. Open always has the best surfers and I've been competing in the event for a few years, so it was great to bring home the win."
Young, who is the top rated American surfer of junior age currently competing on the ASP WQS, was following in a close second behind fellow Californian Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 18, on the 2009 ASP North America Pro Junior Series ratings throughout the year, but catapulted into the lead at the last event of the season, the ASP Grade-3 Oakley Pro Junior ASP North America Championships when he won the event. The contest win saw Young claim his first regional title at his local break of Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, CA this past November and is carrying his momentum to Narrabeen, Australia where he will represent Mainland America at the ASP World Junior Championships.
"I'm really stoked to have won the ASP North America Pro Junior series," Young said. "Winning it at home at the last event made it that much better. I heard before the final that I needed to win the contest in order to win the season. I wanted to win this junior so bad. Once I lost in the 'QS the only way I would be satisfied was to win the juniors. Then, when I realized I won the season it was icing on the cake."
Young Hawaiian Malia Manuel capitalized on the ratings merge between ASP North America and ASP Hawaii for the Pro Junior and Longboard divisions, clinching a berth into the ASP World Junior Championships while finishing No. 1 on the Women's ASP North America Pro Junior Series with a victory at the Hurley U.S. Open Nike 6.0 Pro Junior and a Final appearance at the ASP Grade-4 Supergirl Pro Junior in Oceanside.
“Going into the next level of Pro Junior surfing at the top feels great," Manuel said. "Pro Juniors will prepare us better for our professional careers and I’m excited to be a part of the new generation of girl surfers.”
Kai Sallas had an amazing year and finished ASP World Longboard No. 2 while claiming the title of ASP North America Men's Longboard Champion. The talented Hawaii competed in this year's ASP North American Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) and claimed the title over the talented pool of Americans that make up the regional ratings.
"It has been a really good year for me," Sallas said. "I finished second in the world and first on the American ratings, so I’m stoked. To win the North American title this year is special because we now have a legit tour. In the past there were only one or two events and this year we had six. This way the surfer who surfs the best all year round is going to win."
Schumacher also capitalized on the 2009 regional tour to clinch back-to-back ASP North America Women's Longboard titles. The veteran competitor won events in both California and Hawaii to clinch this year's title and will be back next year in an attempt to take out three in a row.
"Winning this year’s North American title means a tremendous amount to me," Schumacher said. "It feels more valid than last year’s. Rather than a title being determined by one event, like past years, there were several events, both in Hawaii and on the Mainland. The talent at the competitions just keeps getting better, which pushes me to strive harder. I believe that this year’s tour, the first viable tour for women’s longboarding, has set a precedent that I hope will continue in the years to come."
American events scheduled for next year can be found via aspworldtour.com.
For additional ASP information log on to aspnorthamerica.org.