Ned Snow (Waialua, HI), 23, won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) 1-Star Yakult HB Pro today over former ASP World Longboard Champion Colin McPhillips (San Clemente, CA), 34, in two-to-three foot surf at South Huntington Beach Pier. Cori Schumacher (Cardiff, CA), 32, took out her fellow finalists to claim the ASP LQS 2-Star Gidget PLA Pro, which ran in conjunction with the men's event.
Surfers competing on the ASP LQS are eligible to earn a spot on to the prestigious ASP World Longboard Tour by finishing within the top two on their regional tour by year's end.
Once qualified, all surfers compete for the chance to be crowned ASP world Longboard Champion.
Snow proved to be unstoppable throughout the event's entirety and successfully tackled the tough afternoon conditions on offer at South Huntington Beach Pier to top McPhillips by a score of 13.67 to 10.66.
"Being able to surf in the man-on-man format really helped my mindset," Snow said. "Surfing against guys like McPhillips, I can just go out there and I feel like it's me against the ocean instead of battling a bunch of other guys. I'm really happy that I was able to come over here and get the win at Huntington since there is no U.S. Open for Longboarding this year."
McPhillips dominated his early round heats, but was unable to find a rhythm in the hard Final against Snow. The San Clemente local's second place finish at the Yakult HB Pro keeps him on top of the ASP North America LQS ratings.
"It was a great event and I had a lot of good heats leading up to the Final," McPhillips said. "I think I peaked before the Final and I couldn't buy a wave out there. It seems to happen a lot to me at Huntington. I either do really good or really bad, but Ned got the waves, and congratulations to him."
McPhillips used the Yakult HB Pro as a warm-up for the upcoming ASP WLT event in Tahara, Japan, the Oxbow ASP World Longboard Tour, and is hoping to utilize the momentum built in this weekend's event as a building block for the prestigious international competition.
"It's a great warm-up for Japan," McPhillips said.
"I've been feeling good the whole time, so it's nice to have that feeling in a contest and I want to keep it rolling. The next stop is Japan, so hopefully, I can do well there also."
Schumacher earned a come-from-behind victory when she jumped from last place to first in the latter half of the Gidget PLA Pro Final to claim a victory over fellow finalists Bianca Valenti (Dana Point, CA), 22, 2004 ASP Women's World Longboard Champion Summer Romero (San Diego, CA), and Lindsay Steinriede (Dana Point, CA), 23.
"It feels good to take the win," Schumacher said.
"The waves deteriorated pretty quickly out there and I'm happy that I was able to come back to win in the last half of the heat."
The Cardiff Reef local is also using the early season ASP LQS events to help prepare for the ASP WLT. Schumacher is out the carry the confidence from today's victory at the Gidget PLA Pro over the Biarritz, France where she will compete for the ASP Women's World Longboard title.
"I feel pretty solid going into France," Schumacher said. "I know that it's going to be summer surf in France, so it's good to get as much variety in as I can in the summer surf. It's definitely a confidence booster and I'm really looking forward to the event."
After a seven-year hiatus from competition, Schumacher has been dominating the ASP LQS and the current ratings leader continued to extend her lead over the field with today's victory.
"I'm super stoked," Schumacher said.
"I'm doing better than I thought I would after coming out of retirement for so long. I'm just trying to keep focused and keep my mind and body going."
The next ASP LQS event will be the Yakult HB Pro and Gidget PLA Pro at Crystal Pier in San Diego, California from October 3-4, 2009.
Yakult HB Pro Final Results:
1 - Ned Snow (HAW) 14.67
2 - Colin McPhillips (USA) 10.66
Gidget PLA Pro Final Results:
1 - Cori Schumacher (USA) 8.20
2 - Bianca Valenti (USA) 7.84
3 - Summer Romero (USA) 7.43
4 - Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 6.76