Yeah Darrell—my hometown hero! Way to step up and get a good result in one of the toughest places to do so! I’ll still smoke you at D Street…
Hang Loose Pro Champion Bruno Santos.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Sunday, February 15, 2009) -The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) has just completed a busy week, with American surfers competing in both the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star Hang Loose Pro in Brazil and the Billabong Pro Junior at Coffs Harbor, Australia.
All surfers competing in the ASP WQS 5-Star Hang Loose Pro were hungry to take advantage of the valuable ratings points on offer towards qualification for the ASP World Tour. The ASP WQS acts as a gateway for the ASP Dream Tour, with the top 15 surfers at year’s end earning their chance to claim the title of ASP World Champion the following year.
Darrell Goodrum (Leucadia, CA), 24, took advantage of the pumping barrels on offer at the Brazilian contest and was the top American finisher in the first ASP 5-Star event of the year. The San Diegan garnered a solid ninth place finish amongst the stack of local talent that made up the majority of the Hang Loose Pro.
“This is the third time that I’ve competed here, but I had never seen waves so good,” Goodrum said. “I try to enjoy every moment here in this beautiful island and I hope to get a nice result and continue surfing well until the end of the year.”
Goodrum defeated Brazilian standouts such as Wiggoly Dantas (Ubatuba, BRA), 18, on the way to his impressive result and is now rated second overall on the ASP WQS.
“I was very lucky in the end, when Jano Belo failed to turn the heat in his last wave,” Goodrum said. “I saw his wave and surfing against three Brazilians is really hard, I thought I would lose, but in the end was all right. Today the waves are smaller but better. They are not closing too much, which allows for better performance.”
The ASP WQS will continue on March 18-22, 2009 with the ASP WQS 2-Star MR Pro held in Merewether, Australia.
In other ASP news, the American ladies also posted a few impressive results at the ASP Grade-1 Billabong Pro Junior held at Coffs Harbour in Australia. Sage Erickson (Ojai, CA), 18, finished fifth overall while Orange County native Sarah Taylor (Huntington Beach, CA) finished seventh amongst the tough international competition.
The ASP Pro Junior Series acts as a qualifier for the prestigious Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, with the top surfers from each respective region receiving a chance to earn the title of ASP World Junior Champion. Since there were American surfers competing in the Australian based junior event, they will not garner the points needed to qualify for the ASP World Junior Championships based on the fact that the event is out of their respective region, but they do earn the valuable experience that international competition brings to the competitive table.
Erickson, who represented the U.S. at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships this year, applied the heightened competition she has become familiar to at the ASP World Junior Championship level to the ASP Grade-1 Billabong Pro Junior, and the strategy helped carry her to a fifth place finish.
“I feel as though the World Juniors really gave me a good idea of the level that I have to surf up to and compete in,” Erickson said. “Surfing against girls from only North America doesn’t really help prepare me for the future and that’s why I did Coffs.”
Erickson’s Quarterfinals berth was no easy feat, as she had to tackle several young Aussies throughout the event to earn the result. The international experience gained at the ASP Pro Junior level is extremely valuable to the young regular-footer and Erickson is hoping to apply her newly-found confidence in other global events this year.
“I feel like the competition is harder here,” Erickson said. “I really enjoy surfing against girls like Laura (Enever) and Tyler (Wright) because they both give me that same competitive edge that I get from surfing against Courtney (Conlogue) back home. I think international surfers are more intimidating and it’s all in experience that you get over the intimidation.”
The next women’s international ASP Pro Junior event will be the Arnette Pro Junior from March 12-15, 2009 in Merewether, Australia.