The opening day of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 3-Star Quiksilver Pro Puerto Escondido saw local surfers dominate the early rounds of competition in front of their home crowd, reveling in the early-morning three-to-four foot (1 metre) barreling surf to advance through to the latter rounds.
Surfers competing on the ASP WQS are out to gain the valuable ratings points on offer towards qualification for the 2009 ASP World Tour, with only 15 surfers advancing from the grueling series on to the prestigious ASP Dream Tour each following year. Once qualified, surfers earn the right to battle the world’s finest 45 competitive surfers in an attempt to claim the title of ASP World Champion.
Diego Cadena (Puerto Escondido, MEX) utilized his local knowledge of Playa Zicatela to eliminate current ASP World Tour surfer Timmy Reyes (Huntington Beach, CA), 27, from competition by combining clean barrel-rides with strong finishing maneuvers to claim his Round 1 heat win.
“The conditions in that heat were hard because the current was moving all over the place and you have to move all of the time,” Cadena said. "Finally it cleaned up a little bit and I got that good right. Timmy Reyes got that good left and I was worried about my friend (Christian Corzo) and finally he got that nine and moved to second place, but it wasn’t that easy."
Although Puerto Escondido did not deliver perfect conditions for competitors today, Cadena still managed to capitalize on two solid scores in order to take out the heat win.
“The conditions are always changing, but here in Puerto, we get perfect barrels,” Cadena said. “I think this heat was about luck. I got lucky and got that eight-point-score and Corzo got that nine and I think Timmy just didn’t get any good waves, but that’s competition.”
Cadena is hoping that competing against the high level of talent on hand at the event will help him heighten his competitive ss.
“I’m really stoked to beat Timmy (Reyes),” Cadena said. “He’s a really good surfer and I love to compete against surfers that are better than me and feel as though it helps me improve.”
Also assisting isn Reyes’ early elimination was fellow Puerto Escondido local Christian Corzo (Puerto Escondido, MEX) who was awarded a nine-point-ride, the day’s highest single wave score, for a lengthy forehand barrel ride while advancing in second behind Cadena.
Ashton Madeley (Santa Cruz, CA), 19, matched the day’s highest single wave score of a nine out of possible 10 in the last minute of his heat to advance through to Round 3 with a long forehand barrel to finish behind Chilean ripper Manuel Selman (CHL), 19, and eliminating young Hawaiian Tyler Newton (Kauai, HI), 19.
“I was feeling really bummed in the middle of that heat, I only had a one-point heat total,” Madeley said. “Then, all of a sudden, that wave came and it was just perfect. All I had to do was just stand there, it was sick.”
The Santa Cruz local is currently enjoying his first trip to the ‘Mexican Pipeline’ and his been spending the last six weeks acclimating to the conditions which are drastically different from his home town.
“This is my first time to Puerto Escondido and I’ve been here since July 7th,” Madeley said. “It’s coming up on six weeks, so I’ve had a little time to get used to it. This place is amazing, you can’t really beat it.”
After running the first two heats of Round 2, event officials opted to call the remainder of the day’s competition off due to unfavorable winds, but action will pick back up with Heat 3 of Round 2 at 7am local time tomorrow morning.
Quiksilver Pro Puerto Escondido Round of 64 Results: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Manuel Selman (CHL) 11.35, Ashton Madeley (USA) 11.25, Tyler Newton (HAW) 8.55, Alex Munoz (MEX) 4.80
Heat 2: Luis Iturria (URY) 7.50, Peter Mel (USA) 6.60, Hugo Bittencourt (BRA) 6.60, Mickilee Veronessi (MEX) 4.30
Quiksilver Pro Puerto Escondido Round of 80 Results: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Alex Munoz (MEX) 6.50, Mickilee Veronessi (MEX) 5.70, Francisco Bellorin (VEN) n/s
Heat 2: Erick Ramirez (MEX) 8.00, Keetin Devine (USA) 7.05, Chano Munoz (MEX) 6.20, Lucas Santamaria (ARG) 5.80
Heat 3: Gilbert Lopez (CRI) 10.95, Ronald Brown (CRI) 7.95, Carlos Goncalves (ECU) 6.55, Gary Saavedra (PAN) 3.95
Heat 4: Raul Noyola (MEX) 10.25, Strider Wasilewski (HAW) 8.00, Keli Everett (HAW) 0
Heat 5: Diego Cadena (MEX) 12.15, Chrisitan Corzo (MEX) 11.00, Tim Reyes (USA) 8.15
Heat 6: Junior Faria (BRA) 8.50, Felipe Cesarano (BRA) 6.60, Roberto Salinas (MEX) 6.20, Rafael Pereira (VEN) 6.15
Heat 7: Adan Hernandez (MEX) 9.65, David Rutherford (MEX) 7.90, Jose Trujillo (MEX) 7.10
Heat 8: Adam Lambert (USA) 7.75, Andres DeMarco (MEX) 7.20, Carlos “Coco” Nogales (MEX) 4.75