Written by: Shannon Marie
Outstanding surfing at Lower Trestles opened up Round 1 today at a favorite ASP World Tour stop, the Hurley Pro 2012 in San Clemente at one of California’s premiere waves. The Top 34 competed in three-to-five foot conditions with high-performance surfing, huge airs and exciting 3-man heats amongst the international lineup featuring the world’s most progressive surfers in the business. Numer 6 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour marks an important turning point preparing for the European leg, and every competitor is here to win what’s at stake.
Adriano de Souza (BRA) led the top competitors at 9:30 am with a 14.30 heat total in windy conditions, able to capitalize on the inside with big airs throwing his fins free. He appeared hungry for action, comfortable at Trestles near his new home in Southern California. Jadson Andre (BRA) returned from an injury to participate in the Hurley Pro Lower Trestles, coming in second to De Souza ahead of Brett Simpson (USA).
After displaying a strong show of free surfing at slightly larger Trestles conditions earlier in the weekend, Australian Taj Burrow solidified his status as one of the world’s best with a 16.00 heat total to come out on top of Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.57 and Alejo Muniz (BRA) 7.37.
Hurley Pro 2011 winner and eleven-time World Champion, Kelly Slater (USA), tore apart Lowers in a picture-perfect display of high-performance surfing, resulting in a 15.66 heat total to outshine Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.90 and Taylor Knox (USA) 8.10.
“I’ve got to be honest, I’m not surprised it was a slow one because I had Taylor Knox in my heat,” Slater said. “He’s had the most restarts ever at Trestles before for some reason.”
Figuring out new boards, the reigning champion is testing the waters for the perfect ride:
“I’m looking for whatever everyone else is – just a fresh feeling and something that feels natural under your feet,” Slater said. “I love the four-fins, but generally they don’t work that well at Lowers for me. I don’t know why that is; they tend to work better in hollower waves for me, but I rode a quad yesterday and it felt good so I’m sticking with it.”
Currently in the lead for the ASP World Championship title, Australian Mick Fanning won his Round 1 heat today, feeling the palpable pressure from the others close behind him:
“The race is really tight,” Fanning said. “With everyone counting a few good results and in a really good rhythm at the moment, Joel (Parkinson), Kelly (Slater), John John (Florence), Taj (Burrow), you’ve got to just keep trying and just keep plugging away.”
“You’ve got to just look at track records and Kelly (Slater) is probably the gnarliest guy, he just knows the wave so well,” Fanning said. “Then there are guys like John John (Florence)…and Kolohe (Andino) who lives here and surfs amazing out here, so those are probably the main guys I look out for.”
18-year-old Gabriel Medina (BRA) was one of the only goofy-footers to win their heat today at Lowers, launching a massive air-reverse in the final minutes to score the points he needed:
“That was a hard heat,” Medina said. “I got a couple of waves, but it was kind of hard to find the good ones. I’m just stoked to make it because it was a hard heat against C.J. (Hobgood), he got a couple of rights and got two 8s. I knew I needed to go big and I got the last wave and decided to go for the air and I made it.”
“Lowers is always like this with rights and lefts and it’s pretty perfect,” Medina said. “I prefer the left, because it lets me do my airs on the first section and I can finish with another one; and the rights, you can do eight turns on the same wave – it’s just that kind of wave.”
South African, Jordy Smith, won his Round 1 heat in what proved to be a tight battle between himself and fellow countryman, Travis Logie (ZAF). Although Smith led the first half of the heat with a four-point lead, Logie (ZAF) soon caught up by catching the right he needed for a close second. Smith’s 16.30 heat total just surpassed Logie’s 15.87 to move him on to Round 3, and kick off an excellent first day of surfing at the 2012 Hurley Pro Lower Trestles.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:30am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start. However, with the swell fading out and long-period forerunners beginning to build on Tuesday, it will be worth double-checking in the morning to see how the week will play out. Things are looking great later in the week as the surf builds once again to conclude the September 22nd final date this coming Saturday.
Be sure to check back on TheSurfChannel.com for more updates from the Hurley Pro action, all week long at Lowers.
The Hurley Pro at Trestles holds a waiting period from September 16 through 22 and is webcast LIVE via www.hurley.com/hurleypro
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.30, Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.10, Brett Simpson (USA) 7.94
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.00, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.57, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 7.37
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.66, Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.90, Taylor Knox (USA) 8.10
Heat 4: Dusty Payne (USA) 12.47, Kai Otton (AUS) 12.00, John John Florence (HAW) 9.00
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.16, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.87, Evan Geiselman (USA) 12.50
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.60, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 14.60, Conner Coffin (USA) 12.16
Heat 7: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 17.57, Owen Wright (AUS) 17.17, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.67
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.20, Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.63, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.00
Heat 9: Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.20, Kolohe Andino (AUS) 13.30, Jeremy Flores (PYF) 12.70
Heat 10: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.50, Adam Melling (AUS) 13.57, Julian Wilson (AUS) 9.66
Heat 11: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.30, Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.87, Heitor Alves (BRA) 13.83
UPCOMING HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Evan Geiselman (USA)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 6: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 7: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 8: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 9: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 10: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 11: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 12: Tiago Pires (PRT) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)