Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America
O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro presented by Ron Jon, ASP WQS 4-Star
Sebastian Inlet, Florida, United States of America
January 12-18, 2009
Top Seeds Dominate Round 4 of O-Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro
SEBASTIAN INLET, Florida (Saturday, January 17, 2009) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro pres. by Ron Jon saw this year’s ASP Dream Tour competitors Gabe Kling (St. Augustine, FL), 28, and Nathaniel Curran (Oxnard, CA), 24, display impressive performances in the opening event of the year, while Eric Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 20, also donated an amazing performance despite recovering from a knee injury.
Today’s O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro action saw this week’s standouts tackle the event’s top seeds to try and take out the first event of the ASP WQS season, with the event champion finding themselves atop the ASP WQS ratings. All surfers competing on the ASP WQS strive to earn points to qualify for the prestigious ASP Dream Tour.
Kling, who is the top Floridian seed in this year’s event, picked up where he left off at the end of last year’s ASP WQS season, bashing an 8.33 out of 10 on the way to his first heat victory of the year. The powerful regular-footer is using the O’Neill SI Pro as a warm-up for his upcoming year on the ASP Dream Tour.
“The event is right by my house so it’s always fun to surf an event a couple hours away,” Kling said. “Right at the beginning of the year, it’s probably better to do as many contest as you can to prepare for the year.”
Kling, who was an ASP World Tour competitor in 2007, is hoping to apply the experience gained from his first year amongst the top 45 to this year’s campaign, which will be his second year on the ASP World Tour.
“I learned a bit the first year by getting beat,” Kling said. “I tried to take a little from every heat I had and I’m going to go everywhere earlier and try to get as comfortable as I can at all the spots.”
Kling feels that there is a little less pressure going into his second season on tour after a tough rookie year and is anxiously awaiting the first upcoming ASP World Tour event in 2009.
“I think there’s a little less pressure because I’ve surfed a World Tour event before, it’s not my first one coming into it,” Kling said. “It’s still really exciting and I always have pressure on myself, but there’s not as much nervous energy going into it.”
Curran, who is also using the O’Neill SI pro in preparation for his rookie year on the ASP World Tour, was a standout in the Round of 64 today. The Oxnard, California native blasted an impressive 7.33 out of 10 single wave score with two massive backhand snaps on an Inlet lefthander.
“This is kind of a warm-up contest to get back into competition mentality,” Curran said. “The waves are really tough out there though.”
Curran is changing his habits while gearing up for this year’s ASP Dream Tour. The regular-footer is dedicating his time to proper nutrition while working with a personal trainer in order to be in the best shape possible for his maiden World Tour voyage.
“I’m trying to eat better and I have a personal trainer,” Curran said. “I’m working with a friend of mine who is also one of my surf coaches, so I am working on that while I’m home.”
Eric Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 20, was also a top performer in today’s competition. The young Floridian boosted an impressive frontside air reverse and followed it up with a solid inside turn, scoring an impressive 8.33 out of 10 on the way to his heat victory.
“I don’t really have a strategy out there, I’m just trying to do whatever I can do,” Geiselman said. “The conditions are so hard, so I was just trying to capitalize on any wave that I could get.”
This is the first event that Geiselman has surfed in since sustaining a knee injury while surfing at his home break over three months ago.
“I was surfing at home and my fin hit my knee cap and fractured it,” Geiselman said. “I’ve been out of the water for about three months now and I’m just trying to get it strong. It’s definitely sore, but it’s feeling better.”
Geiselman is hoping to surf as many ASP WQS events as possible in the first half of the year, but does not want to jeopardize another injury to his already tender knee, so he will approach the first half of this season with caution before making a full fledged attack on the grind.
“I’m going to try and do as many events as I can, but I’m going to take it as it comes for the first half,” Geiselman said. “I’m going to try and focus on my re-seed for the second half of the year.’
The O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro pres. by Ron Jon will start at 7:30am and crown a champion by tomorrow evening. For all of the LIVE action log on to www.oneillsipro.com
O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro pres. by Ron Jon Results:
Round of 64: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 10.64, Jacob Kirschenbaum (USA) 7.87, Magnum Martinez (VEN) 7.54, Cory Arrambide (USA) 6.97
Heat 2: Cory Lopez (USA) 13.50, Alejandro Moreda (PRI) 9.53, Jean Sebastian Estienne (BLM) 8.47
Heat 3: Oliver Kurtz (USA) 9.67, Danny Estes (USA) 9.57, Chris Waring (USA) 7.73
Heat 4: Austin Ware (USA) 8.90, Matt Mohagen (USA) 8.84, Manuel Selman (CHL) 8.23, Chad Compton (USA) 6.00
Heat 5: Jesse Heilman (USA) 14.83, Blake Howard (USA) 11.50, Wesley de Souza (USA) 8.77, Jason Miller (USA) 7.70
Heat 6: Brian Toth (PRI) 9.83, Justin McBride (USA) 9.20, Jody Davis (USA) 7.60, Travis Beckmann (USA) 4.14
Heat 7: Ben Bourgeois (USA) 12.00, Brad Ettinger (USA) 9.50, Matt Meola (HAW) 6.50, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 5.17
Heat 8: Nathaniel Curran (USA) 13.50, Sean Marceron (USA) 7.33, Clay Marzo (HAW) 6.17, Gabe Garcia (USA) 4.66
Heat 9: Gabe Kling (USA) 14.33, Aaron Cormican (USA) 11.74, Phillip Goold (USA) 8.76, John John Florence (HAW) 7.16
Heat 10: Eric Geiselman (USA) 15.16, Brent Reilly (USA) 11.83, Anthony Petrusso (USA) 6.73, Brett Barley (USA) 6.50
Heat 11: Asher Nolan (USA) 13.10, Gony Zubizaretta (ESP) 12.33, Ola Eleogram (HAW) 11.47, Ron Keindl (USA) 5.63
Heat 12: Ryan Helm (USA) 13.34, Jesse Merle-Jones (HAW) 10.47, Shaun Ward (USA) 7.90, Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF) 5.97
Heat 13: Noi Kaulukukui (USA) 13. 67, Matt King (USA) 8.63, Mike Losness (USA) 7.00, Matt Pagan (USA) 6.60
Heat 14: Alek Parker (USA) 11.00, Che Stang (USA) 10.23, Shaun Burrell (USA) 8.40, Shaun Burrell (USA) 8.40, Angelo Lozano (MEX) 5.16
Heat 15: Darrell Goodrum (USA) 12.17, Sterling Spencer (USA) 9.67, Nathan Carroll (HAW) 8.23, Sebastian Moreno (USA) 4.90
Heat 16: Brett Simpson (USA) 11.17, Blake Jones (USA) 10.87, Ted Navarro (USA) 9.16, Nils Schweizer (USA) 7.03