Taylor Jensen 

Taylor Jensen (Oceanside, CA), 24, claimed a victory at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) 1-Star Costa Del Mar Pro Championships today over fellow finalists Harley Ingleby (Coffs Harbour, AUS), 25, Kekoa Uemura (Kaimuki, HAW), 26, and Tony Silvagni (Kure, NC), 21, in peaky two-to-four foot (1 metre) conditions.

The ASP LQS gives all competitors a chance to qualify for the prestigious ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT). Once qualified, each surfer on the coveted tour strives to earn the title of ASP World Longboard Champion.

Jensen, who won the last ASP LQS at Huntington Beach, the Honda U.S. Open, posted a repeat victory today with his win at the Costa Del Mar Pro Championships. The regular-footer jumped out to an early lead, ping a 9.00 score on his opening wave and expanded his lead throughout the heat. The Californian eventually walked away with the win by earning an impressive heat total of 16.67 out of a possible 20 point score.

“I’m stoked to win back-to-back events at Huntington,” Jensen said. “The waves are good. Usually for the U.S. Open the waves are two inches, onshore and terrible and it’s just nice to get some good waves for the first time in a contest here.”

The repeat victory for Jensen was no easy task however, as he defeated several ASP WLT competitors on the way to his Costa Del Mar Pro Championships win.

“Those guys that are on the WLT that are in the Final really raise the bar a lot and it’s good to compete against them.” Jensen said.

Ingleby, who finished third on the ASP WLT, finished second today and was in amazing form throughout the event’s entirety. The Australian got off to a slow start in the Final and was unable to find the scores needed to pass Jensen despite a remarkable effort.

“I had a pretty slow start and I was comboed for about half the heat,” Ingleby said. “I got one good one and needed another high score to come back and I think my mentality was still in combo land and I went for more than I probably should have on the last wave, but I’m stoked."

Read more...

Puerto Escondido 

Puerto Escondido local Angelo Lozano (Puerto Escondido, MEX), 21, claimed a victory today at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 3-Star PXM International Vans Pro in pumping six-to-eight foot (2 metre) surf. Lozano claimed the win in front of his home crowd over an international field of finalists including Gabriel Villaran (Lima, PER), 24, Ryan Turner (Huntington Beach, CA), 29, and fellow Puerto Escondido local David Rutherford (Puerto Escondido, MEX), 25.

All surfers on the ASP WQS work to earn points towards qualification for the ASP World Tour, with the top 15 seeds on the ASP WQS qualifying each year.

Lozano surfed impressively throughout the entire PXM International Vans Pro event, but saved the best for last, topping former Puerto Escondido event champion Rutherford, and Turner, who posted a perfect 10 and netted the event’s highest heat total yesterday.

“I’m very proud and I’m proud of all the local surfers,” Lozano said. “We have a lot of good tube-riders here and if we can get some more events I think we can see a lot more Mexican surfers on the WQS.”

Villaran’s second-place finish at the PXM International Vans Pro marks his second ASP WQS Final appearance, the other being the Monster Energy Pipeline Pro in 2006, proving that he excels in heavy barreling conditions.

“I got a fourth place in the Monster Energy Pipeline Pro in 2006,” Villaran said. “The waves are similar, although my Final at Pipe in Hawaii was much bigger and hollower. But you get some really long barrels here, because you know it’s a sand bottom, so you keep going as far as possible before you have to jump off.”

Turner and Rutherford both surfed amazingly throughout the entire event, but were unable to find the scores needed to pass the young local surfer and finished third and fourth respectively.

Read more...

Brett Simpson

Huntington Beach surfer Brett Simpson, 23, notched up another memorable day at Haleiwa today, posting the highest wave score of the Reef Hawaiian Pro to date, a 9.93 out of a possible 10, during Round 3. Simpson won his four-man heat ahead of three of the North Shore’s best surfers, including current ASP World No. 11 Fred Patacchia. The Reef Hawaiian Pro is the first jewel of the prestigious $815,000 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

Haleiwa was reeling off righthand perfection today, prompting Simpson to compare it to Lower Trestles, only more powerful. He has tasted success here before, reaching the Final of this event back in 2006 the same year he received the NoseGuard Vans Triple Crown Rookie of the Year Award.

"This is one of my better events and the waves are super good and fit my surfing," said Simpson. "It’s pretty high performance. It’s just like surfing Lowers just a little bit more powerful. When you get a score like that, even if you get a 5-something you’re still in the 14 total and that means guys need two 7’s, which is totally possible when the waves are this amazing. There are really good waves out there and it’s just a matter of getting them. Hopefully I’ll keep starting off with a little bang. I got one of the better ones and you can’t really ask for more."

San Clemente’s Mike Losness also advanced through Round 3 today.

The star of yesterday’s opening day of competition, Mark Occhilupo (Australia), was eliminated in Round 3 today by fellow Australian Daniel Ross (Angourie), and long-time tour rival Sunny Garcia (Hawaii).

Ross, 25, was on fire in the peeling rights and Garcia was laying down his trademark Haleiwa power gouge, but Occhilupo was unable to achieve the same degree of verticality and power on his backhand in the head-high surf.

The final scoreline showed Ross’ two-wave total at 15.67 out of 20 Garcia with 14.9 Brazil’s William Cardoso with 8.56 and Occhilupo with just one wave: a 4.17 point ride.

Read more...