- 18 August 2008 | Surfing
Maui’s Kai Barger, 18, of Haiku, scored the first major ASP Pro Junior victory of his career at Waikiki Beach today in the $5,000 Macy’s E-Series Pro Junior presented by ASP Hawaii.
Against an all-star lineup of Hawaii’s hottest juniors, Barger surfed through five rounds to take the honors, winning $2,000 and accounting for top names the likes of Clay Marzo (Maui), Casey Brown (Big Island), and Ha’a Aikau (Oahu) along the way.
Second place today was Sebastian Zietz (Kilauea, Kauai), 20 third was 15-year-old Keanu Asing (Ewa, Oahu) and fourth was Albee Layer (Haiku, Maui).
Surf for this one-day event was highly contestable in the two-to-three foot (1.5 metre) range. However, the afternoon’s high tide brought with it inconsistent conditions that emphasized the importance of a solid start to the 30-minute final. Just 13 waves total were ridden during the final heat all but one were posted in the first 15 minutes before the high tide slowed conditions to a virtual standstill.
With so little surf on offer for the all-important heat of the day and with the carbon copy wave nature of the Queen’s surf break, the playing field was so level and the calibre of surfers so close that the win came down to a countback between Barger and Zietz. In the end, Barger won with 12.5 points out of 20 (individiual wave scores of 7.25 and 5.25) to Zietz’s 11.9 (7.5 and 4.4).
The critical edge turned out to be Barger’s more vertical backhand attack over that of his three regular-footed rivals.
"The thought of winning a pro junior for me was a dream," said Barger. "I’ve never made a pro junior final. I’ve watched all my friends win, and finally... I’ve been hurting for one. I think I might have had the slight advantage being backside. When it’s so small, you can kind of just throw it up there and it might look a little better to the judges. I was surprized, actually. I thought I didn’t win."
The Macy’s E-Series Pro Junior is one of three ASP Pro Junior events to be held in Hawaii this year and is a qualifier for the prestigious Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in Australia in January of 2009.
The Macy’s E-Series Pro Junior was the third and final event of the 2008 Macy’s E-Series, staged this summer. The first two events were ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS)1-Star events as part of the ASP World Tour.
ASP Hawaii and Macy’s collaborated to produce the Macy’s E-Series, giving Hawaii’s pro surfing community a much needed opportunity to win valuable ASP ratings points and prize money at home breaks.
- 17 August 2008 | Surfing
Nathaniel Curran (Ca, USA), 24, won the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro today in wind-blown two to three foot (0.5 to 1 meter) waves after defeating Dion Atkinson (AUS) in an exciting 35-minute final closing six days of great action at the famous French town of Lacanau Ocean.
Curran got one step closer to his ASP World Tour qualification today leaving Lacanau with an impressive 1500 point lead on the international ratings. Curran, who ended up winning in the last five minutes of the final battle after chasing Atkinson all the way, brings the crown back in the family after older brother and former ASP World Tour surfer Tim Curran (USA) clinched it nine years ago.
"I remember that look on the face of my brother when he won the event and I cannot believe I made it," Curran said. "I have been having a few good results in a row but I am trying not to pay any attention to the ratings and take it one heat at a time."
Curran, who won the ASP WQS 6-Star US Open of Surfing in July and placed equal 5th in the ASP WQS 6-Star Yumeya Billabong Pro in Japan, has become the unstoppable man of the summer with his result.
"I am overwhelmed at the moment and am just going to enjoy and keep having fun in my heats," Curran said. "If I can make the ASP World Tour this year I will be just over the moon. You get the best waves on that tour and this is what I am thinking about, but it is a long way still."
Curran, who surfed the same board that gave him the coveted US Open of Surfing title last month, brought progressive and radical surfing all the way through to his victory against Atkinson.
Atkinson, 22, secures his best result to date with his second place and keeps up the good work after several crucial results. Atkinson, who led the battle until the last five minutes, was surfing his first final ever in a main ASP WQS event, but could not counter Curran’s impressive tactics.
- 17 August 2008 | Surfing
Keanu Asing (Hawaii/Oahu) today won the Billabong Pro Junior Canggu event in Bali Indonesia, defeating Australia’s Ice Periera (Gold Coast/Coolangatta) in an entertaining and high quality final.
Asing is just 15 years of age but the powerfully built youngster from Hawaii disposed of his older and more fancied rivals methodically to eventually take the final out comprehensively with final scores of 16.25 to Asing to Periera on 14.30 for their top two scoring rides.
In wind swept high performance 1m surf at the famous River Mouth break both finalists displayed their powerful attack and utilized a wide variety of moves which included high risk aerials.
Aerial surfing was a feature throughout the event with the wave offering aerial opportunities frequently and Asing commented on his win saying – “This is my biggest win ever. It’s been such a fun week of waves here and this place really suits my style – You need to really mix up your surfing out there and even in the strong winds there’s plenty of scope to score big, fortunately it worked for me today.”
Asing took down plenty of quality opposition today including number one seed Nic Vasicek in his quarter final and then defending event champion Heath Joske (Both Australian’s) in his semi final.
For Ice Periera, today’s second placing was also his best ever performance and throughout the event he was consistently scoring in the outstanding high 8 and 9 point range but probably had his toughest heat in the all important final where his top score was still a strong 7.5 ride, although well short of his previous heat performances.
In his quarter final today, Periera peaked when he outgunned event favourite Tamaroa McComb (Tahiti) in a high scoring shoot out where Periera came from behind to find two excellent rides in the final 10 minutes to take a memorable win.