Written by: Emily Bates
Two Orange County surfers took home the series titles last Saturday at the final stop for the American Pro Surfing Series in Huntington Beach. Despite challenging swell conditions and chilly water, Newport’s Erica Hosseini and Huntington Beach local, Chris Waring, accumulated the most points throughout the past three events to win the inaugural championships. Stop #3 of the APSS awarded HB local, Chris Waring, as the event champion and Santa Barbara resident, Demi Boelsterli, as the female champion of the final competition in the series.
Waring managed to win the final event located at his local break, south side of the Huntington Beach pier. It was a battle for Waring to take down San Clemente’s Chris Ward, who also made it to the finals on Saturday.
“I feel great. I’m just stoked,” Waring said. “I felt good before the final. I just went into it like any other day, I just felt relaxed. I was just like … I’m going to surf my best. Whatever happens, happens.”
The competitors experienced different conditions through out the day, with clean surf in the morning and then a numbing cold wind that crept up by the quarter-finals that put some choppy texture on the 2-3 ft surf.
“I woke up early and cleaned my wax, changed my fins for smaller conditions,” Waring said. “I just felt really good and it all worked out. It was tough towards the semi finals. I just got lucky and found some corners. I hope (the series) sticks around, it’s a great venue for local pros. It’s a good platform for the kids to see what the level is and to work towards that.”
Though Hosseini ended up with a second place result in the final event, she still earned enough points to be crowned the series champ. Santa Barbara’s Demi Boelsterli took home the win for stop number three of the APSS series.
“It is an amazing series – I’m just stoked to be a part of it. I live in Newport, obviously the town next door, so I kind of consider it my local break as well,” said Hosseini.
The women’s event was a close battle between Newport surfer Kaleigh Gilchrist and Hosseini. Hosseini won the first event, but sustained a shoulder injury during the second event. Gilchrist ended her APSS campaign in third place, just barely coming up short of enough points to take home the entire series title. Hosseini was awarded the cash prize and title of the 2012 American Pro Surfing Series.
“I can’t wait to do this again next year. It’s a great way to end the year, and start the new tour next year,” Hosseini said. “It’s a good confidence booster for sure.”
Other obvious stand outs in the event included Huntington Beach locals Derek Peters, Jason Harris and Brad Ettinger and Newport’s Andrew Doheny, who made it to the semi-finals before facing elimination.
As the highest ranked professional surfer to compete in the event, San Clemente’s Nate Yeomans, would like to see the event expand in the future.
“It’s a good starting block in Huntington, not a bad place to start at all,” said Yeomans. “It could be cool to see a couple events up and down the coast – maybe in San Diego or Northern California.”
It was the first time Yeomans had surfed in the event, and he placed second behind Chris Waring.
“I think it’s a good stepping block for the kids,” he said. “I think it’s really cool for the young guys – there are not many pro events, so it’s really cool for them to come down and surf against some of the best guys in America. I think it’s a gap that needs to be filled.”
The awards ceremony was held at Sandy’s Beach Grill and included a beer shower for the competition winners! Overall, the American Pro Surfing Series is unique because it allows local surfers to compete close to home, rather than travel across the world for competitions. Event organizer, Scott Waring said that he expects the next year’s contest to begin in April, hopefully with an increase in prize money after a successful 2012 series.
For more on the American Pro Surfing Series, visit: www.americanprosurfingseries.com