Ben Bourgeois: high score crusher

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 2-Star Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack’s Surfboards saw former ASP World Tour surfer Ben Bourgeois (Wrightsville Beach, NC), 31, crush the day’s highest scores while ASP Pro Junior talents Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 19, and Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 15, denoted some of the day’s top performances.

Surfers competing in the Vans Pier Classic are looking to capture the valuable ratings points on offer towards establishing their seed on the ASP WQS.

Bourgeois, who entered the event via a last minute entry, wasted no time in stamping his authority on the competition by blasting the days highest single wave score of a 9.00 and following it up with an 8.65 to clinch the days highest heat total as well, a 17.65 out of 20 while marching through two heat wins today, establishing the East Coaster as a favorite for this year’s Vans Pier Classic crown.

“One my trips was cancelled and I ended up entering the event three days ago, so I was stoked to get in,” Bourgeois said. “It’s great to put the jersey on and surf a couple of heats, the waves were super fun out there today.”

Although Bourgeois’ main focus is not international competition, he still plans on entering all of the major events in America on this year’s ASP WQS and is out to get on a roll at this year’s Vans Pier Classic.

“I still enjoy competing.” Bourgeois said. “Hopefully I can keep making heats here and get the ball rolling. I’m also doing all of the major ‘QS events in America this year too, so I’m looking forward to the season.”

Dillon Perillo, who was the winner of the Ezekiel Pro Junior last year and a finalist in the Vans Pier Classic, was in top form again today after suffering an illness while competing at the Sebastian Inlet Pro Junior earlier this month. The Malibu native blended committing aerials and stylish carves to log one of the day’s highest heat totals, a 15.00 out of 20 to advance through to the Round of 96.

“I was really sick in Florida, but I always seem to have good luck at this event,” Perillo said. “There’s a really good sandbar out there right now and I was able to open up and shake the cobwebs off in the first heat. I found a couple of good waves out there.”

Perillo suffered an early round loss at the ASP Grade-3 Pro Junior in Florida, but is out to bounce back in the Huntington Beach contest and is still hungry to climb his way to the top of the ASP North America Pro Junior Series ratings in hopes to earn a berth on to this year’s ASP World Junior Tour. The natural-footer also feels that competing in both the men’s ASP WQS and ASP North America Pro Junior Series will help him build momentum throughout the event.

“Hopefully I can bounce back, because I had a shocker in Florida,” Perillo said. “My priority is still the junior series, I still have one year left, so I’m not in a rush to launch on to the ‘QS. My main goal for this year is to qualify for the World Junior Tour.”

Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 15, also combined radical turns and airs to blast a 15.25 out of 20 heat total to take out his Round 2 heat victory despite struggling with his equipment choice before his bout.

The waves were fun and I was able to get a couple of good scores out there,” Andino said. “I was actually confused on what boards to ride, but it ended up working out okay.”

Andino’s appearance in the Vans Pier Classic is his first of the year and the young Californian is focusing his 2010 campaign on establishing himself amongst the global contingent looking to establish themselves as the next level of surfers to eventually compete on the ASP Dream Tour.

“This year I’m going to do as many ‘QS events that I can,” Andino said. “I’ve done some in the past, but this is the first year that I’m focusing on building my seed. I also really want to do well in the Pro Juniors and try and qualify for the World Junior Tour.”

The Vans Pier Classic will continue tomorrow with Heat 3 of the Round of 96. Also running in conjunction with the main event will be the Ezekiel Pro Junior, which begins tomorrow.

Vans Pier Classic Round of 96 Results:
Heat 1: Luke Davis (USA) 11.60, Tom Rezvan (USA) 10.00, Colton Larson (USA) 5.90, Alex Kamkoff (VEN) 3.80
Heat 2: Nils Schweizer (USA) 12.25, Victor Done (USA) 11.55, Keto Burns (USA) 9.90, Erik Heimstaed (USA) 6.40

Vans Pier Classic Round of 128 Results:
Heat 1: Tom Rezvan (USA) 11.65, Nils Schweizer (USA) 10.90, Tyler Stanaland (USA) 4.65, Ivan Florence (HAW) 4.55
Heat 2: Erik Heimstaedt (USA) 12.00, Colton Larson (USA) 8.85, Sean Hayes (USA) 8.30, Tim Senneff (USA) 6.30
Heat 3: Cristobal De Col (PER) 12.85, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 12.75, J.D. Lewis (USA) 8.00, Tyler Smith (USA) 7.00
Heat 4: Kekoa Cazimero (HAW) 14.10, Michael Hoisington (USA) 13.55, Darrell Goodrum (USA) 11.15, Andrew Jones (USA) 3.60
Heat 5: Dillon Perillo (USA) 15.00, Balaram Stack (USA) 12.55, Nathan Florence (HAW) 6.35, Tayler Brothers (USA) 5.15
Heat 6: Kevin Kapsky (HAW) 9.10, Ian Crane (USA) 8.10, Chase Brady (USA) 7.85, Tanner Deprin (USA) 5.70
Heat 7: Danny Estes (USA) 10.85, Shaun Burns (USA) 9.55, Keanu Asing (HAW) 9.05, Eli Viszolay (USA) 8.75
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.25, Gabe Garcia (USA) 13.65, Dane Zaun (USA) 10.05, Bron Heussenstamm (USA) 9.70
Heat 9: Matt King (USA) 13.75, Rob Kelly (USA) 10.15, Dane Ward (USA) 7.50, Scott Posner (USA) 5.65
Heat 10: Billy Kemper (USA) 12.00, Tyler Payne (USA) 6.60, Gary Strahle (USA) 5.20, P.J. Raia (USA) 4.95
Heat 11: Sean Marceron (USA) 14.35, Brandon Guilmette (USA) 11.90, Jeremy Sommerville (USA) 7.10, Eric Schuff (USA) 3.90
Heat 12: Jeffrey Lukasik (USA) 10.75, Jamie Meistrell (USA) 8.80, Peter Minko (USA) 5.75, Britton Galland (USA) 4.65
Heat 13: Micah Byrne (USA) 13.90, Chris Dennis (TTO) 9.00, Jason Strom (USA) 4.30, Conner Coffin (USA) 0
Heat 14: Ben Bourgeois (USA) 11.25, Dylan Kowalski (USA) 9.15, Koa Smith (HAW) 8.75, Hector Santamaria (PRI) 6.20
Heat 15: Ted Navarro (USA) 12.00, Adam Lambert (USA) 9.25, David Holloway (USA) 6.80, Eric Castaldo (USA) 4.30
Heat 16: Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 12.25, Levi Gonzales (HAW) 11.60, Jesse Evans (USA) 7.25, Erik Furuholmen (USA) 1.45

Vans Pier Classic Round of 136 Results:
Heat 1: Sean Hayes (USA) 9.65, Darrell Goodrum (USA) 9.55, Michael Flores (BRA) 9.50, Fisher Heverly (USA) 5.65
Heat 2: Chase Brady (USA) 10.40, Gabe Garcia (USA) 7.75, Keli Everett (HAW) 6.20, Antoine Allain (USA) 6.15
Heat 3: Billy Kemper (USA) 8.65, Lukasik (USA) 7.30, Theo Niarchos (HAW) 6.75, Nathan Carvalho (USA) 3.90
Heat 4: Ben Bourgeois (USA) 17.65, Levi Gonzales (HAW) 7.10, Brian Guillotte (USA) 1.70