SAN CLEMENTE, California (Monday, April 13, 2009) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is set to host mainland America’s first ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star PRIME event when the 6.0 Lowers Pro runs from April 28 through May 2, 2009 at the famed cobblestone reef of Lower Trestles in San Clemente, California. Running in conjunction with the esteemed event will be the ASP Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior.
ASP WQS 6-Star Prime events offer up the maximum points available towards qualification for the coveted ASP World Tour, attracting the world’s best up-and-coming talent as well as several top ASP Dream Tour competitors looking to keep a top seed on The Grind.
ASP North America Pro Junior Series surfers look to finish within the top five on the ratings by year’s end in order to earn a berth on to the coveted ASP World Junior Championships held in Narrabeen, Australia each January. All junior surfers strive to earn the title of ASP World Junior Champion.
Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 23, is a local favorite and top seed in the 6.0 Lowers Pro who is looking to capitalize on his familiarity of Lower Trestles in order to work towards his goal of qualification for the ASP World Tour next year. The motivated regular-footer is hoping to claim his share of the ample ratings points on offer in front of his home crowd.
“I’d say I definitely feel like I have an advantage,” Gudauskas said. “ I grew up surfing Lowers and surf there all year long, and I think that will give me that extra edge to hopefully take it to the Final. It’s a pretty straight forward wave, so I’m expecting foreigners to still be surfing really good, but there are some little personality traits of Lowers that the locals have surely become familiar with, and can capitalize on it!”
Since 2009 offers an additional 1000 points for ASP 6-Star PRIME events versus regular ASP 6-Star contests, Gudauskas is especially driven to produce a successful result on his home turf.
“This year the significance is huge with the prime events,” Gudauskas said. “Qualifying will mean doing well in these events, because of their inflated points. Having the home court advantage and not having to travel to this event will mean a lot for American QS warriors.”
Gudauskas earned a berth in to the ASP World Tour Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach contest as an nate and the opportunity to compete alongside the rest of the top 45 surfers on the globe has given even more spark towards his 2009 ASP WQS campaign.
“It was pretty exciting to get into Bells,” Gudauskas said. “In my heat I was a little under experienced on the wave itself, and fell in places that I shouldn’t have. It was unfortunate, but the experience was priceless. Seeing the show up close and in person was inspirational. I think that same local edge at Bells can parallel with that at Trestles. It was extremely inspirational to be in the lineup with everyone and it has pushed my levels of froth to new heights, and I can’t wait to get here this year!”
Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA), 24, is another California talent looking to take advantage of his knowledge of Lower Trestles to help out his ASP WQS campaign.
“It’s definitely a huge event since it’s the first major event on home territory, and with so many points flying around you have to capitalize on as many opportunities as possible,” Simpson said. “Then, it’s surfing Trestles with a few guys out, so there’s no other place in the world that’s as rippable and prestigious as Lowers.”
The talented regular-footer is currently sitting in second overall on The ASP WQS and he’s hoping to post another impressive result at the 6.0 Lowers Pro.
“It’s always good to get some results under the belt,” Simpson said. “I definitely haven’t had this good of start my whole career, so it’s all about keeping the momentum and good vibes going in the same direction, but I’m pretty darn excited for the 6.0 Lowers Pro.”
Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 18, won the Ezekiel Pro Junior last month in Huntington Beach and is the current ratings leader on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series. The young regular-footer is hoping to put his progressive maneuvers and smooth style to use at the upcoming Oakley Pro Junior in an attempt to stay atop the ASP Pro Junior regional ratings.
“Being in first definitely helps with the confidence,” Perillo said. “Just like Huntington, I’ve had a lot heats out at Lowers. The difference between Lowers and Huntington, I think, is that Lowers is more drawn out which gives you more time to think on the wave compared to Huntington where you have to do as many turns as you can before it closes out or dies out.”
The 6.0 Lowers Pro and Oakley Pro Junior will run from April 28 through May 2, 2009 and will be web LIVE via http://www.nike6lowerspro.com/
For additional Oakley Pro Junior information log on to http://www.oakleyprojunior.com/