Wet weather didn’t dampen spirits for the first day of heats in the Quiksilver Pro New York on Tuesday in Long Beach, when the world’s best surfers took to the two-to-four-foot waves in 12 three-man non-elimination heats.
Point Lookout resident Balaram Stack competed against Kelly Slater, the 10-time ASP World Champion, in the sixth heat of the day. Stack charged hard, pulling off some high flying aerials, but was ultimately no match for Slater’s sleek technique and solid scoring ability. Stack placed third in his heat and will now take on Mick Fanning in the first heat of the second round of competition.
Each heat lasted 35 minutes to compete in the first round of the contest, and those who won their heat were automatically pushed forward to round three, while surfers coming in the heat’s second and third spots will compete against one another in round two on Wednesday.
Other standouts for the day included two impressive rides in the 9 range by Josh Kerr – landing him the highest total score of the day at 18.57.
“I started getting scores and I was just enjoying myself,” said Kerr about his high scoring rides on Tuesday.
An exciting show was also provided by Bede Durbidge and CJ Hobgood, as Hobgood pulled in an impressive 8.37 to override Durbidge for the heat win by .2 points. Aussie Julian Wilson also put in a solid performance, scoring a 9.0 on a single ride.
Hobgood explained that he knew he was going to have to dig deep to get the winning ride completed.
“The pressure is on me to perform and find out what I am made of,” he continued. “I knew I had to create the drama and give them a reason that I deserved the eight.”
Scoring for ASP competitions calls for surfers to compete in heats where their best two waves count towards their total score. They are allowed to ride 15 waves, but once they reach that threshold, they are asked to leave the water. In order to get a score, a surfer’s hands have to leave the rail of the board. A point value of 1 to 10 is awarded based on type of maneuvers, combination of techniques, speed and degree of difficultly, among a few other elements, according to the ASP Judging Criteria.
Competition will continue Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. with the beginning of round two.
Round 1, Heat 1
The boys started out strong in the first official heat of the main event. Goofy footer Travis Logie, of South Africa, took a beautiful long ride, but his highest heat scores ended up topping out at 4.67. American Brett Simpson was able to catch some nice air and pulled in a 13.50 total score by the end of the session.
Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro champion and Aussie Joel Parkinson put in a respectable 7.03, adding to his total score of 13.56 and pushing him into the safety of round three. Logie will take on Adriano De Souza in heat seven of round two and Simpson will face off against Taylor Knox in heat 11.
Round 1, Heat 2
With Dane Reynolds a no show due to an injury, which has officially taken him out of the contest, it was a head-to-head match up for Frenchman Jeremy Flores and American Gabe Kling. Flores put in the first solid ride of the heat, scoring a 4.50. Kling struggled to bank anything over a 1.90, but competition heated up in the remaining 10 minutes.
Both surfers caught decent rides and Flores was able to add a 5.17 to his two highest scores. He will continue to the third round with a 9.87 and Kling will surf against Damien Hobgood in heat six of round two. Reynolds’ replacement, Hawaii’s Keanu Asing, will see Adrian Buchman in heat three.
Round 1, Heat 3
Aussie Taj Burrow pulled a reverse right on the closeout as his opening ride of the heat, landing him a nice 6.17. Fredrick Patacchia, of Hawaii, also pulled a powerful ride down the line for a 5.33. All of the surfers were able to add some scores to their banks early in the session. Burrow showed no mercy by consistently pulling off solid rides throughout the heat. Patrick Gudauskas, of U.S.A., took to the air and scored himself a respectable 6.27.
Burrow’s slick style and steadfast wave commitment earned himself a 13.93 total and trip to round three, while Gudauskas, with a 12.84 total, will face off against Daniel Ross in the final heat of round two. Patacchia, who came in third in this heat with a 11.46, will see Michel Bourez in heat five of round two.
Round 1, Heat 4
With a full lineup of goofy footers, Owen Wright, the 21-year-old Australian who just placed second in the Billabong Pro in Tahiti, got the heat started with a clean 360 aerial move. Brazilian Jadson Andre quickly took control of the session, putting a nice one off the top and coming in all the way to shore, eventually earning himself a 11.77 total score to take first place.
Wright scored a 10.00 and a trip to round two to face off against wildcard Asher Nolan in heat two. American Bobby Martinez banked 7.10. He will see Bede Durbidge in heat four of round two tomorrow.
Round 1, Heat 5
Powerhouse Mick Fanning banked a 4.50 early on in the heat, with Heitor Alves right on his coattails with a 3.17. Wildcard Asher Nolan had a slow start, but was able to get a total score of 8.60 – putting him in third place for the heat. Alves wowed the judges with his aerials and tight snaps, earning him the first place spot and a total score of 13.83. Veteran Fanning placed second and Nolan third. Fanning will see a head-to-head match up against local favorite Balaram Stack in heat one of round two.
Round 1, Heat 6
In the crowd favorite heat of the day, the 10-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater faced off against local surfer Balaram Stack and Aussie Daniel Ross in an exciting match up. Stack, a goofy footer, was able to get several rides early on in the heat, but nothing that gave him a high enough score to bank permanently. Slater put down two extremely respectable rides that earned him scores in the 7s. Both Slater and Stack charged on one wave, but Slater was able to block Stack from continuing on a drop down.
Slater’s competition background, good wave selection and strong execution prevailed, sending him to round three with a 14.20. Ross put down a total 11.66 and Stack earned a 6.07.
Round 1, Heat 7
With tight scores at the end of the heat, Adrian Buchman and Alejo Muniz were able to prevail with a 14.27 and 14.40, respectively. Muniz will get that spot in round three, while Buchman will take on Reynolds’ replacement Asing in round two. American Cory Lopez was able to lay down two solid scoring waves at 6.97 and 6.0, giving him a total of 12.97, but that wasn’t enough to take him out of third in the heat.
Round 1, Heat 8
Bede Durbidge, of Australia, tightened his hold on the lead through the last portion of the heat, with American CJ Hobgood in a close second. Hobgood placed his highest scoring wave at an impressive 8.17 and wouldn’t give without a fight. Fellow Aussie Chris Davidson struggled to bank a score over 6.40. Needing at least an 8.18 to pull in front of Durbidge, Hobgood put down an awesome ride with a minute left on the clock - on his 12th wave of the heat - in a nail biting moment, which earned him an extremely impressive 8.37.
That ride gave Hobgood a total of 15.97 and safety of round three. Durbidge came in at 15.77 and Davidson racked up a 12.
Round 1, Heat 9
Coming off a strong performance at the Billabong Pro in Tahiti, Brazilian Raoni Monterio laid down a nice first wave of the heat. Charging hard, Monterio was able to bank a good ride at 5.93 after bringing it up to the lip – getting a total of 10.80 and first place spot in the heat. Scoring was slow throughout the heat, but Adam Melling pulled in a 10.50 and Michel Bourez grabbed a 7.66 – sending both to the second round of competition.
Round 1, Heat 10
Aussie Matt Wilkinson earned a 6.33 early on in the heat, leading his competitors with swift snaps, carves and tight aerials. Tiago Pires pulled out a beautiful ride, earning himself a 7.83, pushing him into the first place spot, but Wilkinson soon put a 7.27 and 6.93 under his belt with his aggressive maneuvers. American Damien Hobgood trailed, looking for something solid to put him back onto the scoreboard.
Wilkinson got an interference for banging into Hobgood on a wave, moving him from first to third with an 11.65. Pires was poised for the lead and round three security with a 12.76. Hobgood took second with a 12.73.
Round 1, Heat 11
Brazilian Adriano De Souza quickly pulled an ollie out of his bag of tricks, but was soon overshadowed by Josh Kerr’s 9.07 ride – the highest score of the competition thus far. Taking the lead, Kerr laid down another 9.50 for nailing a killer ride, securing his lead against De Souza and Kai Otton.
Kerr topped out with a final total of 18.57. De Souza banked 15.37 with some real solid rides, but Kerr’s high scores pushed him into second. Otton finished out with an 11.54.
Round 1, Heat 12
23-year-old Aussie Julian Wilson quickly put down a 5.0 and 4.33 early in the heat. Taylor Knox, of U.S.A., took a nice turn off the top and got into some nice open face for a strong ride, but this was no match for Wilson’s stellar scores of 8 and 9. Wilson took the heat with a 17.00, followed by Knox with 12.60 and Kieren Perrow at 10.60.