SAN CLEMENTE, California/USA (Friday, May 6, 2011) – The ASP PRIME Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro saw the Quarterfinalists decided in clean one-to-three foot waves at the iconic cobblestone pointbreak of Lower Trestles at San Onofre State Beach with two San Clemente locals and six Brazilians still in contention for this year’s title.
Also running today was Round 1 and the Quarterfinals of the ASP 5-Star Oakley Pro Junior, which saw the nation’s finest up-and-coming talent battle a handful of top international surfers. Stop No. 7 of 9 on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, the ASP 5-Star Oakley Pro Junior is the highest rated event on this year’s regional series, offering the most points towards surfers’ qualification campaigns for the elite ASP World Junior Tour.
Thiago Camarao (BRA), 22, launched back to form after a sluggish three-man Round of 12 heat to ignite the day’s top scores with a deadly forehand attack on several Lowers right-handers. The progressive Brazilian wasted little time in his campaign against fellow countryman Willian Cardoso (BRA), 25, by dropping a 7.60 and a 9.33 on his first two rides to secure his position in the Quarterfinals.
“I just did the same thing I’ve been doing and just not over-think the heats,” Camarao said. “I went out there for a surf and the water was so cold. I made the mistake of wearing the wrong suit in my last heat so I had to change it for this one.”
Camarao will face fellow Brazilian Junior Faria (BRA), 24, in the Quarterfinals.
Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 22, returned to the three-man Round of 12 in strong form by taking a heat victory over ASP Dream Tour campaigner C.J. Hobgood (Melbourne, FL), 31, and dangerous up-and-comer Gabriel Medina (BRA), 17, with powerful backhand surfing on the right-handers on offer at Lowers.
“There was so much going on and nothing was being said at the end of the heat,” Gudauskas said. “For the last five minutes I was in panic mode because I knew Gabriel had that good wave with two airs on it and C.J. got a good right. I was just praying that the momentum wasn’t going to shift out there. I got lucky. I swear I don’t know what I’m doing and these rights come to me.”
The San Clemente powerhouse was happy to avoid surfing in the man-on-man elimination Round of 12 to advance into the Quarterfinals and took a serious approach to the three-man non-elimination round.
“These ones are a great opportunity,” Gudauskas said. “It’s not like it’s life or death but it’s a great opportunity to bypass that fifth round and go into the Quarters where there are a lot more points. I took it super seriously because I know Gabriel and C.J. are super gnarly and we’re all goofy-foot.”
Gudauskas will face off against Heitor Alves (BRA), 29, in the Quarterfinals.
Miguel Pupo (BRA), 19, took a last-minute victory over fellow Brazilian Thiago Camarao (BRA), and American charger Timmy Reyes (Huntington Beach, CA), 28, in the three-man, non-elimination Round of 12. With only minutes remaining in the heat, the innovative Brazilian launched two airs on a steep Lowers lefthander to notch a 9.10 to overtake Reyes for the lead and secure his position in the Quarterfinals.
“I didn’t really think about it, I was just trying to go big,” Pupo said. “I did that first air and then another good section came so I went for another one and I made it, so I’m happy. I love Lowers, when anyone asks me what the best wave in the world is, I say Trestles. The wave is perfect and I enjoy my time here with the good surf and fun on the beach.”
Pupo will battle fellow Brazilian Jadson Andre (BRA), 21, in their Quarterfinals match up.
Heitor Alves, current No. 22 on the men’s ASP World Ranking, was dominant in the men’s ASP PRIME and Star series events last year and the fit Brazilian moved one step closer to the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro Final by defeating C.J. Hobgood (Melbourne, FL), 31, in the Round of 12 to advance into the Quarterfinals.
“I was on the World Tour for two years before this year and I learned a lot,” Alves said. “Right now, I have a result and I’m on the World Tour again. I learned a lot last year and I gained a lot of experience in the PRIMES and in 6-Stars last year and I feel good.”
Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 17, who is the youngest Quarterfinalist in the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro, was equally impressive in his Oakley Pro Junior Quarterfinals heat today. The innovative regular-footer took top honors over an impressive list of names including defending ASP World Junior Champion Jack Freestone (AUS), 19, and defending regional champion Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 17.
“Evan is one of my best friends, so I wish he got through and Jack (Freestone) has been ripping so it was a fun heat,” Andino said. “It was the first time the three of us have surfed against each other. Jack beat me in Bali. He was getting barreled and I was sitting out on the shoulder, so it’s good to get one back on him here.”
The young local talent is the only surfer still in contention for both the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro and Oakley Pro Junior titles, but remained humble in his intentions to win both events.
“I’m not thinking about that at all right now,” Andino said. “I’m just taking it one heat at a time and I’m happy that I’ve made it this far.”
Both Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro and Oakley Pro Junior champions will be crowned tomorrow and the day’s action will be webcast LIVE on http://www.nike6lowerspro.com/
The Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro will be televised live and in its entirety in Hawaii on Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s Channel 250 and 1250HD. Additionally, the Oceanic Time Warner Cable live feed will be transported to Time Warner Cable’s Los Angeles (Channel 101), San Diego (Channel 411) and Desert Cities (Channel 111) markets from Thursday through Saturday.
Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro Non-Elimination Round of 12 Results:
Heat 1: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 15.83, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.54, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.14
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.70, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.70, Heitor Alves (BRA) 10.26
Heat 3: Junior Faria (BRA) 13.20, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 12.50, Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) Tim Reyes (USA) 12.80, Thiago Camarao (BRA) 10.80
Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro Elimination Round of 12:
Heat 1: Heitor Alves (BRA) 15.60 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 9.23
Heat 2: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.53 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.97
Heat 3: Thiago Camarao (BRA) 16.93 def. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 13.57
Heat 4: Jadson Andre (BRA) 15.50 def. Timmy Reyes (USA) 9.33
Oakley Pro Junior Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1: Dylan Goodale (HAW) 10.77, Tayler Brothers (USA) 9.97, Luke Davis (USA) 9.17, Taylor Thorne (USA) 8.07
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.10, Jack Freestone (AUS) 14.00, Evan Geiselman (USA) 13.06, Doug Van Mierlo (USA) 9.86
Heat 3: Nat Young (USA) 14.00, Andrew Doheny (USA) 12.53, Dane Zaun (USA) 10.26, Frederico Morais (PRT) 8.63
Heat 4: Keanu Asing (HAW) 12.60, Conner Coffin (USA) 10.63, Victor Done (USA) 10.14, Jacob Halstead (USA) 6.87
Oakley Pro Junior Round of 32 Results:
Heat 3: Evan Geiselman (USA) 13.66, Taylor Thorne (USA) 13.50, Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 12.30, Albee Layer (HAW) 8.27
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.73 ,Dylan Goodale (HAW) 11.07, Kaito Ohashi (JPN) 10.04, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 5.80
Heat 5: Nat Young (USA) 14.56, Victor Done (USA) 11.27, Colin Moran (USA) 8.73, Nick Rupp (USA) 8.63
Heat 6: Andrew Doheny (USA) 11.84, Conner Coffin (USA) 11.17, Dylan Kowalski (USA) 9.74, Ian Crane (USA) 9.67
Heat 7: Keanu Asing (HAW) 7.27, Dane Zaun (USA) 6.83, Chase Wilson (USA) 6.34, Balaram Stack (USA) 6.07
Heat 8: Jake Halstead (USA) 14.04, Fredirico Morias (PRT) 13.63, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 13.00, Nathan Carvalho (HAW) 10.43