Nathan Yeomans 

Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 27, has claimed his third consecutive event title with a big win at the 2008 Oakley Newport Beach Pro over fellow finalists Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 18, Travis Mellem (San Clemente, CA), 23, and Micah Byrne (Huntington Beach, CA), 26, in clean two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at Newport Beach’s 56th Street.

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 2-Star event is the second of three stops on the 2008 Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series (an ASP North America Specialty Series), and Yeomans’ emphatic victory vaults the phenomenal goofy-footer into the lead heading intp the third and final stop in Santa Cruz this October.

Yeomans, the two-time defending event champion and 2006 Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series Champion, wasted no time in this afternoon’s Final, picking off an excellent 8.50 out of a possible 10 for detonating on a roping lefthander in the opening minutes.

“I knew that all the other guys were ripping so I wasn’t planning on leaving anything to chance out there,” Yeomans said. “I got that pretty good left at the start and that set me up for the rest of the heat. Dillon (Perillo) was ripping everything that came his way, but I got a solid righthander about midway through and was able to throw a little backhand air and that sealed it for me.”

Currently sitting No. 26 on the 2008 ASP WQS ratings, Yeomans will be looking to use the momentum from today’s win as he continues his campaign to qualify for the prestigious ASP World Tour in 2009.

“I’m a little bit speechless after all this,” Yeomans said. “Everyone is coming up to me and saying that no one has ever won a ’QS three years in a row and that kind of spins me out. It’s great. I love this event and it’s a great confidence boost heading into the rest of the year. My goal is to qualify for the ASP World Tour and I’m planning to do that in the next few months.”

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Quiksilver France 

Eight-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) has a shot at claiming his ninth ASP World Title sometime this week but he’ll have to win the Quiksilver Pro France to do so.

“I know I have to win the event to clinch the title and a second won’t be enough, that’s the math,” Slater said.

Slater won’t get started today however. Though the Quiksilver Pro waiting period has officially begun, conditions are looking better for tomorrow and competition was called off this morning.

Having already won five events of seven held this season, another first place performance in France does not seem out of the question for Slater. That said, Slater has only one French ASP World Tour win to his credit 14 years into his career.

“It is a great event but I got third place four years in a row which is pretty frustrating,” Slater, who earned an equal 17th result last year, said. “The first and only time I won here was in 1996, 12 years ago.”

Even if Slater does win the Quiksilver Pro, the three surfers sitting behind him on the ratings can spoil his chances to clinch in France. Specifically, if World No. 2 Taj Burrow (AUS) finishes 3rd or better or World No. 3 Bede Durbidge (AUS) or World No. 5 Mick Fanning (AUS) make the final, the race will continue until the following stop in Mundaka, Spain. World No. 4 Joel Parkinson (AUS) only stays in ASP World Title contention if Slater finishes second or lower in France.

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Adriano de Souza 

Adriano de Souza is currently rated sixth on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour and feels he is ready to make a push for the title.

At only 21 years of age, the Brazilian Standout has two and a half years of ASP Dream Tour experience under his belt, not to mention the fact that he won the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) series by a greater margin than any other ASP WQS Series winner in history back in 2005 and was also the youngest ASP Pro Junior Champion at the age of 16 in 2004. It’s safe to say that this Brazilian wunderkind is nothing short of prodigious and now de Souza feels that the next essential step in claiming the title of ASP World Champion is to move from his home in Guaruja Sao Paulo, Brazil to San Clemente, California.

“That is my plan,” De Souza said. “One day I want to be the World Champ and I have to move from my home to do it. I’ll be able to do more training in America and hopefully I can put it together next year.”

The high-flying Brazilian feels that the move to San Clemente will be a multifaceted improvement for his career aside from training for the title. De Souza feels that the move to the States will bring him closer to his sponsors and put him at the heart of the surf industry.

“Here in America I have everything,” De Souza said. “All of the support of the magazines and the industry. I can build a better relationship with my sponsors and I’m going to be surfing Trestles, so it will be good exposure for me.”

At this point, the only thing holding de Souza back is the paperwork. The ASP World Tour campaigner is working closely with his sponsors to get his papers in a timely fashion so he can start his new regiment towards his ASP World Title campaign as quickly as possible.

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