HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Thursday, March 24, 2011) - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 4-Star Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack's Surfboards saw several of the world's best surfers put on a show alongside local standouts today in nearly flawless six foot (2 metre) waves at Huntington Beach Pier to provide an exciting day of action throughout day two of competition.
Surfers competing in the Vans Pier Classic are out to capitalize on the crucial points on offer towards their ASP World Ranking to help establish their seed along the world's finest surfers looking to qualify for the ASP World Tour.
Josh Kerr (AUS), 26, who earned the top scores on the opening day of the Vans Pier Classic, improved on his performance again today, this time blasting a 16.93 out of 20 heat total with an impressive backside barrel and combination of lightning-fast turns to continue his form as the top surfer of the event.
"I was just stoked to get a barrel but I wanted to get a real good one out there," Kerr said. "I had to resort to some turns, but I got the scores and got through and I might have to take the rashie off and head down the beach I think. It's pumping here in Huntington. I think this is by far the best I've ever seen Huntington, we've scored. It's a good contest to have entered late in for sure."
Micah Byrne (Huntington Beach, CA), 29, former Vans Pier Classic Champion (2007) and Huntington Beach Local, capitalized on his intimate knowledge of the lineup today to drop a 7-point ride on his opening wave with several electric backhand blasts on a lefthander breaking into the Pier. The native talent quickly followed up with an 8.33 (both out of a possible 10) on his second wave with powerful forehand railwork to take a commanding heat victory.
"I was stoked, essentially that's what you want to do and that time it actually happened for me out there," Byrne said. "I'm stoked to take the pressure off, especially since it was the first heat, I was really nervous. I'm so happy for all of the competitors though, this is our winter time side of the pier and all of the competitors are stoked. The conditions are insane, we score every year at this event."
Timmy Curran (Ventura, CA), 33, former ASP World Tour surfer, navigated through the crisp barrels on offer in his early-morning heat and also unleashed a fury of forehand blasts on the Huntington lefthanders to take out his Round of 96 victory today.
"This is the best I've ever seen Huntington and the best I've ever surfed it," Curran said. "You just see big old peaks out there and everyone's getting barreled, I'm just thankful to be here. I actually fell on a few barrels, so I'm frazzled, I'm just thankful that I made the heat."
Curran, who has launched a successful music career since his retirement from full time competition, is focusing on surfing heats once again and is out to build his seed on the ASP World Ranking via the ASP Star rated events on offer in America this year.
"My band is taking a little break until September and we are hopefully going to release a new album in the next few months," Curran said. "I'd like to do a few more events this year. I'm having fun competing and would like to do some more events in the U.S."
Wrapping up today's proceedings were Round 1 and the first four heats of Round 2 of the ASP 4-Star Vans Pro Junior, which plays a vital role in this year's qualification for the 2011 ASP World Junior Tour.
Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack's Surfboards action will continue tomorrow morning at 8am local time with the Round of 64, where top seeds including ASP World Tour surfers Adriano de Souza (BRA), 24, Taylor Knox (Carlsbad, CA), 39, and Damien Hobgood (Satellite Beach, FL), 31, will tackle the early round standouts.
Following the men's main event will be Rounds 2 and 3 of the ASP 4-Star Vans Pro Junior.
To watch the Vans Pier Classic LIVE log on to vans.com/pierclassic.
Vans Pier Classic Round of 96 Results:
Heat 1: Josh Kerr (AUS) 16.93, Michael Dunphy (USA) 10.76, Chris Foster (HAW) 7.60, Hiroto Arai (JPN) 7.10
Heat 2: Keanu Asing (HAW) 9.76, Kalani David (HAW) 8.40, Mike McCabe (USA) 6.17, Shaw Kobayashi (USA) 4.87
Heat 3: Gabe Kling (USA) 12.17, Evan Thompson (USA) 11.03, Keala Naihe (HAW) 10.03, Liam McNamara (HAW) 1.70
Heat 4: Conner Coffin (USA) 11.60, Ian Gentil (USA) 10.13, Cristobal de Col (PER) 9.00, Edrick Baldwin (HAW) 7.16
Heat 5: Tim Curran (USA) 13.74, Jair Perez (CRI) 11.93, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 9.06, Mark Dawson (USA) 4.77
Heat 6: Kyle Knox (USA) 11.67, Nils Schweizer (USA) 9.83, J.D. Lewis (USA) 6.50, Chris Rodrigues (HAW) 4.43
Heat 7: Ted Navarro (USA) 10.67, Levi Gonzales (HAW) 6.67, Arashi Kato (JPN) 6.16, Matt Johnson (USA) 5.50
Heat 8: Bobby Morris (USA) 13.00, Keto Burns (USA) 8.36, Shaun Burrell (USA) 7.63, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 6.27
Heat 9: Balaram Stack (USA) 10.90, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 9.37, Richie Collins (USA) 8.66, David Gonsalves (HAW) 5.66
Heat 10: Ian Crane (USA) 9.40, Makai McNamara (HAW) 9.40, Willie Safreed (USA) 9.34, David Giddings (USA) 8.70
Heat 11: Micah Byrne (USA) 15.33, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 11.26, Travis Beckmann (USA) 7.50, Britton Galland (USA) 5.30
Heat 12: Bud Freitas (USA) 11.07, Dane Zaun (USA) 9.70, Jimmy Herrick (USA) 9.30, Nic Hdez (USA) 7.73
Heat 13: Jason Shibata (HAW) 10.54, Colin Moran (USA) 7.90, Phillip Goold (USA) 6.50, Landon McNamara (HAW) 5.37
Heat 14: Robert Patterson (USA) 14.23, Dylan Kowalski (USA) 7.44, Keetin Devine (USA) 6.43, Ivan Florence (HAW) 4.74
Heat 15: Carlos Munoz (CRI) 11.17, Christian Saenz (USA) 9.80, Jason Harris (USA) 8.10, Eddie Guilbeau (USA) 6.83
Heat 16: Chase Wilson (USA) 11.20, Asher Nolan (USA) 10.40, Keli Everett (HAW) 5.26, Eli Olson (HAW) 4.86
Vans Pro Junior Round of 72 Results:
Heat 1: Arashi Kato (JPN) 11.67, Theo Lewitt (USA) 6.20, Jeremy Carter (USA) 5.67, Britton Galland (USA) 4.00
Heat 2: Carlos Munoz (CRI) 11.00, Jair Perez (CRI) 10.17, Trevor Thornton (USA) 9.77, Chance Lawson (USA) 4.43
Heat 3: Nick Fowler (USA) 7.40, Christian Ramirez (USA) 5.36, Antoine Allain (USA) 5.13, Adam Goldstone (USA) 4.14
Heat 4: Cole Moody (USA) 11.16, JD MacFadden (USA) 6.17, Eli Viszolay (USA) 4.97, Ford Timberlake (USA) 4.33