NEWPORT BEACH, California/USA (Saturday, June 5, 2010) - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America Pro Junior Series Grade-3 Arnette All Day Antics Pro Junior presented by Jack’s Surfboards kicked off today in punchy two-to-four foot (1 metre) surf at 54th street in Newport Beach, California. Today’s action narrowed the 80-man field down to 32 competitors with San Diegan Jacob Halstead (La Jolla, CA), 16, and Hawaiian talent John Florence (North Shore, HI), 16, leading the early rounds by posting the day’s top scores.
With all competitors vying to finish within the top four on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series after the fifth event on this season’s calendar to qualify for the inaugural ASP World Junior Tour, the Arnette Pro Junior’s ASP Grade-3 status will offer crucial ratings points towards competitors’ chances to eventually battle for the title of ASP World Junior Champion.
Halstead detonated the day’s highest single-wave score of a near-perfect 9.67 out of 10 on a firing righthand Newport wall with three massive frontside turns in his Round of 48 heat to advance through to the Round of 32.
“All the heats before were flat and I kind of had this strategy to sit on the inside,” Halstead said. “One of the competitors paddled himself out of position on that wave and I just went on it. It went all the way to the beach, it was a fun one.”
Halstead built momentum throughout the day, moving through his Round 1 and Round 2 heats before unleashing his impressive performance in Round 3.
“It’s been a long day, I’ve had three heats today, but I’m stoked,” Halstead said. “I got the feel for the surf out there and what the judges are looking for and I’m stoked to get three heats out of my way and to move on to tomorrow.”
Florence, who has built a name for himself as a Pipeline specialist throughout his budding career, displayed his versatility in the small beachbreak conditions today by unleashing a wrath of progressive aerials and fins-free turns to earn two of the day’s highest single wave scores, a 9.17 and 8.67 (both out of a possible 10) to assist in his heat victories.
“The waves are super fun actually,” Florence said. “It’s kind of hard to find out where to sit, but I got lucky.”
Although Florence is a standout amongst his ASP Pro Junior peers, his dedication to building a seed on the Prime and Star series have left him absent from several ASP Pro Junior events in previous years and the Hawaiian charger is out to clinch a solid result at the Arnette Pro Junior to assist his junior ranking.
“I’m kind of focused on the Star and Prime series to qualify for the World Junior Tour because I haven’t done many of the Pro Junior events,” Florence said. “I’d love to do well in this event though and get some points just to be able to do most of the events. I was bummed that I didn’t get into Lowers, so I want to use this event to build my Junior seed.”
Tyler Newton (Hanalei, HI), 19, who is currently sitting in the No. 3 position on the ASP North America Pro Junior series ratings, struggled to find a keeper score in the first half of his heat, but battled back in the latter minutes to advance through to the Round of 32.
“I definitely had a slow start to that heat,” Newton said. “Everyone kind of got a wave around me. I was sitting on the right and someone was deeper than me and then I moved back and someone got another one around me and I kind of just got weaseled. I was kind of frazzled in the ning, but I knew it was a low scoring heat and just tried to stay calm.”
Newton is currently the highest rated Hawaiian on the regional ratings and is hungry to maintain his current No. 1 position amongst his fellow Islanders while on the hunt to clinch a spot on this year’s ASP World Junior Tour.
“Being the highest rated Hawaiian kind of puts on a lot of pressure at the same time,” Newton said. “I want to stay there. I want to do well at this event and solidify my position for the World Junior Tour, but I want to get on a roll and keep going. I don’t want to just be on top for now, I want to end the year as the top rated Hawaiian.”
Chase Wilson (Newport Beach, CA), 19, carried the torch for his hometown crowd while competing at his home break by taking out his Round of 48 heat victory. The Newport Beach local is out to rebound after a disappointing finish at the last ASP North America Pro Junior event at Lower Trestles and is hoping to use the support from his home crowd to add a keeper result to his scoreline at the Arnette Pro Junior.
“I’m psyched to get the first heat win at home,” Wilson said. “The event is right here in my front yard, so I’m stoked. I just live right there and I know everyone is watching and I’d like to take it home for Newport. I’m looking to do well here at Newport because I bogged at Lowers, I lost first heat. I’m just going to try and come back in this one and do well here.”
The Arnette Pro Junior will continue tomorrow, June 6, 2010 and will crown a champion by day’s end. To watch all of the LIVE action log on to www.arnetteprojunior.com
Arnette Pro Junior Round of 48 Results:
Heat 1: Nathan Carvalho (PRI) 13.43, Conner Coffin (USA) 10.67, Taylor Thorne (USA) 10.00, J.D. Lewis (USA) 9.10
Heat 2: John Florence (HAW) 14.50, Tyler Newton (HAW) 9.87, Chase Brady (USA) 6.50, P.J. Raia (USA) 6.30
Heat 3: Doug Van Mierlo (USA) 12.60, Gabe Garcia (USA) 11.60, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 9.73, Tayler Brothers (USA) 7.76
Heat 4: Chase Wilson (USA) 10.90, Christian Saenz (USA) 8.93, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 7.14, Jared Cassidy (USA) 6.14
Heat 5: Victor Done (USA) 11.90, Quinn McCrystal (USA) 9.50, Masoto Yukawa (JPN) 7.37, Makai McNamara (HAW) 6.36
Heat 6: Jacob Halstead (USA) 14.17, Levi Gonzales (HAW) 10.20, Kyle Galtes (HAW) 8.77, Evan Barton (USA) 5.16
Heat 7: Oliver Kurtz (USA) 11.43, Alex Smith (HAW) 13.40, Derek Peters (USA) 9.60, Kalani David (USA) 8.06
Heat 8: Billy Kemper (USA) 11.73, Nick Rupp (USA) 10.90, Dane Zaun (USA) 8.10, Taylor Clark (USA) 7.00
Arnette Pro Junior Round of 64 Results:
Heat 1: Nathan Carvalho (USA) 12.77, P.J. Raia (USA) 10.50, Colton Larson (USA) 9.73, Max Colvin (USA) 7.13
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 14.77, J.D. Lewis (USA) 10.94, Canon Call (USA) 7.40, Juan Carlos Martinez (PRI) 6.27
Heat 3: Dylan Southworth (MEX) 11.16, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 9.47, Theo Niarchos (USA) 7.03, Ian Bloch (USA) 5.73
Heat 4: Christian Saenz (USA) 11.16, Doug Van Mierlo (USA) 8.13, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 7.87, Sterling Weatherley (USA) 6.70
Heat 5: Victor Done (USA) 15.00, Jacob Halstead (USA) 8.86, Colin Dwyer (USA) 8.67, Conrad Carr (USA) 8.17
Heat 6: Evan Barton (USA) 9.17, Masato Yukawas (JPN) 7.87, Keto Burns (USA) 7.50, Dylan Kowalski (USA) 7.74
Heat 7: Derek Peters (USA) 13.07, Taylor Clark (USA) 9.40, Cole Moody (USA) 8.46, Koa Smith (HAW) 7.37
Heat 8: Billy Kemper (HAW) 9.57, Kalani David (USA) 8.77, Johnny Noris (USA) 8.50, Chris Tucker (USA) 6.56
Arnette Pro Junior Round of 80 Results:
Heat 1: Max Colvin (USA) 9.10, Juan Carlos Martinez (PRI) 7.46, Scott Weinhardt (USA) 7.10, Evan Kane (USA) 4.53
Heat 2: Canon Call (USA) 10.40, Nathan Carvalho (HAW) 9.83, Cameron Carmichael (USA) 5.90, Colton Sarlo (USA) 5.76
Heat 3: Dylan Southworth (MEX) 11.50, Sterling Weatherley (USA) 8.66, Nic Hdez (USA) 7.67, Billy Hopkins (USA) 7.17
Heat 4: Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 15.50, Theo Niarchos (HAW) 9.60, Derrick Disney (USA) 8.50, Jeremy Carter (USA) 7.50
Heat 5: Colin Dwyer (USA) 10.43, Evan Barton (USA) 7.87, Theo Lewitt (USA) 6.53, Alex Colvin (USA) 5.72
Heat 6: Masato Yukawa (JPN) 11.60, Jacob Halstead (UAS) 10.50, Nathan Florence (HAW) 6.77, Jose Tavarez (PRI) 4.03
Heat 7: Taylor Clark (USA) 11.26, Johnny Norris (USA) 10.50, Shaw Kobayashi (USA) 6.60, Jason Strom (USA) 5.90
Heat 8: Kalani David (USA) 11.20, Cole Moody (USA) 9.03, Peter Machotka (USA) 6.30, Austin Rowe (USA) 6.10