OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE – SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (April 9, 2009) – The list of competitors for the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star PRIME rated 6.0 Lowers Pro includes a stacked field of elite World Championship Tour (WCT) talent and top-rated WQS professional surfers. Held from April 28-May 2 at world-famous Lower Trestles, San Clemente, Calif., the event will be the first ASP WQS 6-Star PRIME held on the U.S. Mainland, the highest rating for a WQS event.
With the upgrade from a 4-Star to a prestigious 6-Star PRIME, the field has been narrowed from 192 to 128 men and 17 WCT surfers have entered the competition, more than double last year's entries. With this in mind, a local trial has been planned which will seed one local junior surfer, under the age of 20, into the first round of competition. Additionally, Nike 6.0 will award wildcards to three notable surfers, two into Round 2 (the Round of 96) and one into Round 1 (the Round of 128).
"The increased event rating has drawn an unprecedented level of talent, and we are very excited to see top WCT surfers on the seed list," Jason Kenworthy, Nike 6.0. "What we are really hyped to provide is this opportunity for the WQS guys to score big points at an amazing wave like Lowers. The wildcards and the under 20 local trials are also ways for Nike 6.0 to help the top pros of the future to gain valuable experience and seed points in an event at this level. The 2008 World Jr. Champion, Kai Barger, and the 2008 NSSA National Champion, Nat Young, have accepted both of the Nike Round 96 wildcards."
The WCT standouts who will be competing at the 6.0 Lowers Pro include 2001 World Champion CJ Hobgood (Melbourne Beach, FL) who is currently ranked fifth on the World Tour after the first event and won the Trestles event in 2002 and 2007; Adriano de Souza (BRA), currently ranked second after the first WCT event; Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA); Fredrick Patacchia (HAW); Chris Ward (San Clemente, CA); Taylor Knox (Carlsbad, CA) who won the event in 1994; Damien Hobgood (Melbourne Beach, FL); and Heitor Alves (BRA), now in his second year on the Tour.
Several 2009 World Tour rookies will also compete including Nathaniel Curran (Oxnard, CA); the World Tour's only Tahitian, Michel Bourez, who will make his U.S. debut at Trestles (pictured); Nic Muscroft (AUS); Kekoa Bacalso (HAW); Tim Boal (FRA); Dustin Barca (HAW); and Marlon Lipke (DEU).
The international contingent of top rated WQS surfers in the competition, rounding out the top 30 event seeds in the Round of 96 in ranking order includes:
Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA)
Hizunome Bettero (BRA)
Simao Romao (BRA)
Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA)
Jadson Andre (BRA)
Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Pablo Paulino (BRA)
Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA)
Leigh Sedley (AUS)
Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA)
Jay Thompson (AUS)
Daniel Ross (AUS)
Dusty Payne (HAW)
Joel Centeio (HAW)
Mike Losness (San Clemente, CA)
Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Last year's 6.0 Lowers Pro Champion and former WCT surfer Ben Bourgeois (Carlsbad, CA) will be seeded into the Round of 128, as well as, Shane Beschen (HAW), who has a legacy of victories at Trestles (1992, 1993, 1996, 2003), and Pancho Sullivan (HAW).
The local will trial provide a pivotal opportunity for a local grom to earn a spot into the competition and valuable experience amongst some of the world's toughest competitors at one of the world's most prestigious locations. Likely San Clemente-based contenders for that spot include up-and-comers Riley Metcalf, Kolohe Andino, Luke Davis and Ian Crane.
The field of 128 men will vie for a $145,000 prize purse, including $20,000 and 3,500 points for first place, the most ASP WQS ratings points possible. Also up for grabs, a wildcard into the Hurley Pro WCT Trials for Trestles, which will be held at the Hurley US Open, July 18-19, in Huntington Beach, Calif. The WQS surfer with the top result at the 6.0 Lowers Pro will be awarded a wildcard into the Trials for a chance to earn a spot into the only WCT event in North America.
Running concurrently, the ASP Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior unites 48 juniors (20 years and younger) battling for a $10,000 prize purse and two coveted qualifying spots into the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge Finals. This will be the only U.S. qualifier for the prominent event, which gained notoriety last year due to its massive prize purse, professional format, and high caliber of qualifier location selections. That, combined with the merging of the ASP North America and ASP Hawaii regional ratings for the 2009 Pro Junior division, suggests this will be a contentious event for the juniors.
Visit the event sites at www.nike6lowerspro.com and www.oakleyprojunior.com for behind-the scenes action, analysis and exclusives. All five days of the world-class event will be webcast live beginning April 28, 2009.
The 6.0 Lowers Pro and Oakley Pro Junior wouldn't be possible without the generous support of sponsors Nike 6.0 and Oakley, co-sponsor Red Bull, and media sponsors Surfer (surfermag.com), Surfing (surfingthemag.com), WaveWatch.com and FUEL TV.
About Nike 6.0:
Welcome to Nike 6.0 … a multi-action sports brand supporting the next generation. Our mission is simple: Instigate, inspire and elevate the next generation. The barriers that once existed between action sports have been reduced by those who skate, surf, and ride with equal and inclusive passion. 6.0 is dedicated to this new crop of athletes through our multi-sport team, innovative product, and events. From the streets to the surf, from the dirt to the park, Nike 6.0 symbolizes the creativity and progression inherent in the DNA of action sports. www.nike6.com.
About Oakley, Inc.
Oakley, Inc. designs, manufactures and distributes high-performance sunglasses, prescription lenses and frames, goggles and technology-enabled eyewear that utilize the company's High Definition Optics® (HDO®), a collective platform of patented technologies that offer unbeatable optical performance. The company also produces technical and active apparel, footwear and accessories. For more information, please visit the company's Web site at www.oakley.com.
About Source Interlink Media's Action Sports Group (ASG):
Reaching more than two million enthusiasts, Source Interlink Media's Action Sports Group (ASG) is the dominant force in the action sports and adventure sports arenas. In addition to publishing leading lifestyle publications such as Surfer, Surfing, Snowboarder, Skateboarder, Bike, Powder and Canoe & Kayak, Source Interlink Media's ASG delivers a cutting-edge network of online properties, events and television programming.