Jesse Merle-Jones (North Shore, HI) has taken out the inaugural Koastalkaos.com Pro in rippable three-to-four foot (metre) surf in Oceanside today over fellow finalists Shey Yates (Carlsbad, CA), Jason Miller (San Clemente, CA) and Sunny Garcia (North Shore, HI „³ San Clemente, CA).

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 1-Star event culminated the weekend’s worth of competition today at Oceanside Harbor’s North Jetty, and despite deteriorating conditions this afternoon, the finalists put on quite a show.

Merle-Jones built momentum throughout the day, securing the day’s high single-wave score of a 9.0 out of a possible 10 in his Quarterfinal heat this morning, and the powerful goofy-footer proved the goods in the hard-fought final, utilizing his compact frame and impressive rail work to come away with the win.

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ASP Top 45 member Ben Bourgeois (Wrightsville Beach, NC / Carlsbad, CA) took down the 2008 6.0 Lowers Pro in pumping three-to-four foot (1 metre) surf at Lower Trestles over fellow finalists Fredrick Patacchia (North Shore, HI), Joel Centeio (North Shore, HI) and Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA).

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star event wrapped up a week’s worth of competition this afternoon with Bourgeois showcasing the form that has taken him to the most elite level of competition in the world.

The powerful natural-footer nailed a 7.83, an 8.33, a 7.53, an 8.83 and a 7.53 throughout the 30-minute final in a staggering display of consistency and ability, leaving his fellow finalists in a combination situation and unable to surpass.

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For the first time in five years, the ASP World Masters Championships will assemble some of the most legendary names in professional surfing to Rio de Janeiro’s Barra de Tijuca from June 30 through July 6, 2008 to crown the 2008 ASP World Masters and ASP World Grand Masters Champions.

The Rio Masters will feature two divisions in the ASP Masters (surfers aged over 35) and the ASP Grand Masters (surfers aged over 47).  The top 14 in each division are invited directly off of ASP career ratings (points being accrued by winning ASP World Titles, Top 5 World rankings, Top 10 World rankings and time spent on the ASP World Tour).

“To look at this list of names, I find it just a staggering congregation of talent,” Brodie Carr, ASP CEO, said.  “This field is well representative of the pioneers of our sport, and those who have seen these living legends surf recently will attest that they haven’t lost a step at all.  They’re all still ripping and so hungry to get back in the competition singlet.  It’s very exciting to have the ASP World Masters Championships back on the schedule in 2008 and I feel like this season’s event will be one of the year’s highlights.”

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