The second event to take place in California on the ASP World Tour commences this weekend at the 2012 Hurley Pro Lower Trestles. The wildcard spots were given to Hurley riders Evan Geiselman (USA) and Conner Coffin (USA), two young American competitors who have proved themselves worthy of the spots with their excellent results form the US Open of Surfing 2012 in addition to valuable ranking points earned on international ASP Star events.
The 2012 Hurley Pro Lower Trestles will run from September 6-22, 2012 as the 6th stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour. The famed break is forecasted to receive a south swell in the coming week as the world’s best battle it out.
After an explosive final heat between Aussies Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson, Fanning took the win just weeks ago at the Billabong Pro Teahupo’o. Trestles could be the critical turning point for Fanning to establish a significant lead in the World Title race.
Wildcard Conner Coffin (USA), a Californian native, said, “I’m most excited about being a wildcard because you get a taste of what it feels like to be on the World Tour. You get a locker with your name on it, you get to hang with all of the best surfers, and you feel like you are on the Dream tour for one event. It’s rad.” Coffin won the Nike US Open Junior Pro event this summer in Huntington Beach and is a powerful surfer to join the competition.
Evan Geiselman (USA) is also pumped to compete: “I was super excited when I heard the news. I’ve never competed in a WT event so I can’t wait to get the opportunity to surf against those guys!” stated Evan Geilselman, stoked on the opportunity to compete in the 2012 Hurley Pro Lower Trestles with the wildcard spot. “There no points for me to get so I really just want to be happy with how I surf.”
Although a Florida native, Geiselman has found a new home near Trestles to train year round: “I live in San Clemente… everything about it is great. Lowers is definitely a bonus,” Geiselman said. “ I love the first section you get on the left — it offers a lot of variety.”
Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25, is well within the hunt for this year’s ASP World Title race and will look to consolidate his position at next week’s Hurley Pro.
“The race for the world title is very close this year,” De Souza said. “Mick (Fanning) made it much more difficult for everyone with his second win of the year last month in Tahiti, but a result at Trestles can put me back in the hunt so I am hoping for a good showing.”
A recent resident of Southern California, De Souza will hope to utilize his newfound experience at the break to his advantage.
“I have been living in California for three years now and Trestles is one of the spots I surf a lot,” De Souza said. “It’s great to have such a high-performance wave available to train at, but most of the guys on tour have a lot of experience there. Patrick Gudauskas is a local and Taylor (Knox) and Josh (Kerr) live close by. Everyone on tour has surfed the spot before and everyone is capable of getting a big result.”
A common theme amongst the world’s best is the importance of reliable equipment at a wave like Lower Trestles. De Souza has opted to incorporate boards from local shaper Matt Biolos in amongst his extensive quiver of Darren Handley crafts for this year’s event.
“I have been getting a couple of boards from Matt (Biolos) but DHD (Darren Handley) is my primary shaper,” De Souza said. “It’s good to have different equipment as it motivates me to get in the water more and try different boards. I have a bunch of good boards from Matt and Darren and am excited for the contest to start.”
De Souza will face Brett Simpson (USA), 27, and compatriot Jadson Andre (BRA), 22, in Round 1 of the Hurley Pro Lower Trestles.
Owen Wright, 22, current No. 7 on the ASP WCT ratings, was in a slightly different position last season when the Hurley Pro at Trestles culminated a three-Final run that saw him go toe-to-toe with the world’s best surfer. However, an equal 3rd in last month’s Tahitian event could be a momentum builder for the progressive goofy-footer heading into the back half of the season.
“This years title race is very exciting and everything is still very close,” Wright said. “I think it will be determined in the next few events who will be contending for the title at the end of the season. This event normally tells you who will be in the running and who is in form. I think a good one to look out for is John John Florence – if he is still in the running by Pipeline, he will be deadly and hard to beat. For myself, I’m looking to find some similar form to last year around this time and I feel I’m starting to find it after Teahupo’o. I am looking forward to performing my best in the next leg of events.”
Wright finished Runner-Up to reigning 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 40, at last year’s Hurley Pro at Trestles, and has put in off season sessions out at the venue to hone his instincts.
“I spent a lot of time surfing here during the US open and I feel that this has giving me some extra confidence at knowing which wave to pick,” Wright said. “This wave is such a perfect wave that everyone on the world tour should feel comfortable. I’m particularly interested in seeing how Kelly goes in this event.”
Wright will take on Miguel Pupo (BRA), 20, and Yadin Nicol (AUS), 26, in Round 1 of competition.
The Hurley Pro at Trestles will be webcast LIVE via www.hurley.com/hurleypro/
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Brett Simpson (USA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA), Tiago Pires (PRT), Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW), Kai Otton (AUS), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Evan Geiselman (USA)
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 7: Owen Wright (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS), Damien Hobgood (USA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Heitor Alves (BRA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 12: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Kieren Perrow (AUS)