VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia/USA (Thursday, August 16, 2012) – The 50th annual Coastal Edge ECSC presented by Vans and hydrated by Vitamin Water is set to unfold at 1st Street in Virginia Beach from August 20 through 26 and the East Coast’s largest surf contest has been upgraded to an ASP 6-Star event this season, attracting several of the world’s top surfers in search of crucial points towards their qualification campaigns for the ASP WCT.
Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 21, winner of last year’s Coastal Edge Vans Pro Junior, is the top seed the men’s ASP 6-Star event and has his eye on this year’s title.
“I love going to the East Coast,” Young said. “We don’t get to go over there much, but I enjoy my time over there. I am looking forward to going back and am focused on taking out the men’s.”
Young, current No. 21 on the men’s ASP World Ranking, is in excellent position to join the 2013 ASP WCT and with only a few ASP Prime events remaining on the calendar, the talented goofy-footer knows that standout performances in ASP 6-Star events will be crucial in achieving his goal of joining the world’s best surfers next season.
“Big results in these last few 6-Stars are crucial,” Young said. “I am looking to get good results in these 6-Stars before heading over to Hawaii. Now that some Primes have gotten cancelled you definitely need to take advantage of any of the opportunities you get.”
Michael Dunphy (Virginia Beach, VA), 22, spends the year traveling to compete and is out to utilize his local knowledge of the 1st Street lineup in hopes of putting on a strong performance in front of his hometown crowd.
“I think having an event at home is always going to be some sort of an advantage, since I grew up surfing there from the time I was 5 years old until now,” Dunphy said. “The funny thing is though I have probably only been in Virginia Beach about one month since last year’s contest but 1st never really changes too much so I still kind of know what to expect.”
Dunphy has been a standout in ASP North America events this season, taking back-to-back Quarterfinals results in Latin America, and hopes to earn a breakthrough result at the Coastal Edge ECSC presented by Vans this season.
“Those were fun events but I still never really got the result I wanted,” Dunphy said. “My main goal for this event is to just stay relaxed and surf up to my ability.”
In addition to the Coastal Edge ECSC presented by Vans, the ASP 6-Star Coastal Edge Vans Pro Junior marks the culmination of the 2012 ASP North America Pro Junior Series and weighs heavily on surfers’ qualification campaigns for the ASP World Junior Tour.
Conner Coffin (Santa Barbara, CA), 18, is currently leading the ASP North America Pro Junior Series Rankings after his win at the US Open earlier this month and could stitch up the prestigious title with a strong effort in Virginia Beach. However, the powerful natural-footer remains cautious in his pursuit for the regional crown.
“I honestly haven’t even thought about winning the North American junior tour until just this week,” Coffin said. “It came to my attention that I would probably be in first after the US Open, but I’m always just focusing on being in the top four of the Americans so I can surf in the World Junior Tour instead of thinking about winning the series. It would definitely be a bonus though! I’m not really focusing any energy towards thinking about winning, but more so just going into Virginia relaxed and ready to be light on my feet to surf some of those tiny waves!”
Coffin admits the he’s carrying an added dose of confidence following his major victory, but is focused on the task at hand entering the Coastal Edge Vans Pro Junior.
“The win definitely gives me a lot of confidence,” Coffin said. “This year, since the Hawaii junior, I have been feeling much more confident when competing. I’ve had a lot of close heats that haven’t gone my way in some of the primes and six stars, and I’ve also had some results in the juniors. Regardless of my results, I have just been focusing on improving my surfing and surfing well in every heat, regardless of the outcome. More than my results, I have been feeling more and more relaxed in heats and really just having fun which has given me the most confidence.”
In addition to the surfing action, the Coastal Edge ECSC presented by Vans will include a premier BMX contest, the Vans LXVI BMX Invitational, as well as skating, motocross, music and more.
The Coastal Edge ECSC presented by Vans will run from August 20 through 26 and will be webcast LIVE via www.vans.com/ecsc.