MAZATLAN, Sinaloa / Mexico (Friday, June 3, 2011) – The ASP 4-Star Quiksilver Clasico Mazatlan saw the event’s Quarterfinalists decided with smaller two-to-three foot waves on offer at Playa Camaron and the smaller conditions saw several surfers switch their strategies to capitalize on a wedgy righthander while others stuck to the main lefthander.
The Quiksilver Clasico Mazatlan is in its inaugural year and the event’s ASP 4-Star status offers significant points on offer towards all competitors’ ASP World Ranking.
Gabriel Villaran (PER), 26, led the event’s top performers today. The talented Peruvian was one surfer to find success on his backhand at the main lefthander of Playa Camaron and earned the highest single-wave score of Quiksilver Clasico Mazatlan competition, an 8.60 out of 10, with critical backhand snaps while taking the competition’s highest heat-total as well, 15.77 out of 20.
“I’m happy to be in the Quarterfinals and I like this wave and have a good board,” Villaran said. “You can get a few good turns and get some good scores. The last heat was a little tough because I couldn’t find a backup wave, but I’m stoked that I’m in Mexico, making heats and having a good time with friends. I haven’t won an event in a long time and I’ll do everything I can to try and take out this event.”
Villaran, who is an accomplished big-wave surfer, proved he was equally impressive in small waves as well today.
“I’m really happy when I’m surfing in anything,” Villaran said. “If it’s big I’ll go and if it’s small I’ll surf too. I’m really just motivated to try and make finals no matter what.”
Mitch Coleborn (AUS), 24, stuck to his forehand and drew clean, powerful lines on the Playa Camaron lefthanders to take out two commanding heat victories while earning his Quarterfinals berth.
“There are two peaks today, but I was looking to surf the left and I felt really good,” Coleborn said. “I got off to a good start and found a couple of little lefts so I was stoked.”
Coleborn, current No. 124 on the men’s ASP World Ranking, is out to build his seed among surfing’s top names to earn his place in the ASP PRIME events in hopes to launch a full-time qualification campaign for the elite ASP World Title Series in 2012.
“I’m trying to get in to the more premier events and a win here would be really good for me,” Coleborn said. “I have a couple of really low scores counting and just events like the US Open are a bit tricky to get in to and I’m just trying to build my seed and have a good crack at qualifying for the World Tour next year.”
Tanner Hendrickson (Paia, HI), 19, was one regular-footer to capitalize on the wedging righthander on offer today and posted some of the event’s top scores to win his early-morning Round of 32 heat before advancing through his Round of 16 heat as well.
“I think that wave is a lot more rippable, that little right, it has a little bit more lip with more sections and more variety,” Hendrickson said. “I’m stoked I made it. If the right’s still there I’m going to surf it.”
Brian Toth (PRI), 26, was another goofy-footer to stick to his game-plan of the surfing the main lefthander of Playa Camaron and built momentum throughout the day before carving up an 8-point ride to solidify his position in the Quarterfinals.
“It’s still kind of hard unless you find the right one that hugs the rocks, but I have a similar wave back home in Puerto Rico that’s a left like this that I love,” Toth said. “I’m just having a great time out here on this wave. I know it’s hard, but once you get those good ones it’s a decent wave.”
Toth is also relieved to be able to change his strategy now that the Quiksilver Clasico Mazatlan will move into the man-on-man format for the remainder of the event.
“I’m super psyched to make the Quarterfinals,” Toth said. “Those heats before the man-on-man are always so hard, they’re the toughest ones because you want it so bad and you can often make a mistake. I kind of made a mistake out there, but I got the 8 after, so I was stoked.”
Event organizers at the Quiksilver Clasico Mazatlan will reconvene tomorrow morning for a possible start to the Quarterfinals at 8am local time. To watch the event LIVE log on to http://www.quiksilver.com/mazatlan
Upcoming Quiksilver Clasico Quarterfinals Heats:
QF 1: Brian Toth (PRI) vs. Tanner Hendrickson (HAW)
QF 2: Matt Pagan (USA) vs. Nils Schweizer (USA)
QF 3: Mitch Coleborn (AUS) vs. Gabriel Villaran (PER)
QF 4: Kalani Robb (HAW) vs. Dylan Goodale (HAW)
Quiksilver Clasico Mazatlan Round of 16 Results:
Heat 1: Brian Toth (PRI) 13.60, Matt Pagan (USA) 11.43, Shane Beschen (USA) 11.34, Tyler Newton (HAW) 11.07
Heat 2: Nils Schweizer (USA) 11.56, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 11.10, Diego Cadena (MEX) 10.37, Taylor Thorne (USA) 9.24
Heat 3: Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 14.24, Kalani Robb (HAW) 13.64, Michael Dunphy (USA) 11.10, Sean Moody (HAW) 8.57
heat 4: Dylan Goodale (HAW) 11.67, Gabriel Villaran (PER) 10.97, Cory Arrambide (USA) 10.60, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 9.50
Quiksilver Clasico Mazatlan Round of 32 Results:
Heat 1: Matt Pagan (USA) 11.86, Nils Schweizer (USA) 9.84, Caue Wood (BRA) 8.77, Manuel Selman (CHL) 8.20
Heat 2: Shane Beschen (USA) 13.57, Taylor Thorne (USA) 11.83, Leigh Sedley (AUS) 10.70, Ian Crane (USA) 6.93
Heat 3: Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 14.66, Brian Toth (PRI) 11.34, Evan Thompson (USA) 11.00, Fisher Heverly (USA) 9.47
Heat 4: Diego Cadena (MEX) 12.70, Tyler Newton (HAW) 12.67, Roy Powers (HAW) 12.20, Nicholas Squires (AUS) 7.64
Heat 5: Michel Coleborn (AUS) 13.17, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 11.94, Jeremy Johnston (USA) 10.84, Jesse Merle-Jones (HAW) 7.77
Heat 6: Kalani Robb (HAW) 12.94, Cory Arrambide (USA) 12.60, Angelo Lozano (MEX) 9.24, Alex Smith (HAW) ns
Heat 7: Dylan Goodale (HAW) 12.57, Sean Moody (HAW) 12.27, Makai McNamara (HAW) 8.67, Brad Ettinger (USA) 6.23
Heat 8: Gabriel Villaran (PER) 15.77, Michael Dunphy (USA) 10.33, Chris Tucker (USA) 9.86, Jose Trujillo (MEX) 8.06