HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Thursday, March 26, 2009) – Day two of the Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack’s Surfboards saw Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 18, dominate his Round 3 heat in the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 2-Star event today in peaky two-to-three foot (1 metre) conditions at South Huntington Beach Pier by smashing the event’s top scores.
The ASP WQS acts as a gateway for the prestigious ASP World Tour, with the series’ top 15 surfers qualifying for the coveted tour the following year.
Perillo crushed the event’s highest scores when he unleashed several fins-free turns on a bowly right-hander, earning the event’s top single wave score of a near-perfect 9.60 out of 10. The impressive ride was tacked on to his first excellent score of a 8.35 out of 10, easily posting the highest heat total of the Vans Pier Classic so far with a 17.85 out of 20.
“I got a few lined up waves that went all the way in,” Perillo said. “The wind was kind of weird so I safety-turned it and I kept sliding out, it was fun. There are fun, contestable waves out there, it wasn’t bad. I’ve been surfing these conditions for the last few months, so I’m used to it.”
Perillo, who spent a month surfing and competing in Australia in January, feels the stacked Australian competition has helped him improve his competitive prowess for the 2009 season.
“It was a little harder competing over there because all of the kids are so good,” Perillo said. “It gave me a sneak preview of the rest of the year and helped me step my game up.”
The Malibu local missed qualification for the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships by only one position last year and now Perillo is even hungrier to make a statement during this year’s ASP Pro Junior season. Although the ASP Pro Junior division is Perillo’s primary focus, he’s also looking to establish a solid international seed on the ASP WQS.
“I’m doing all of the juniors in the region and going to Portugal to do a 6-Star and hopefully will do a few other 6-Star contests to get some points,” Perillo said. “Last year was weird because I couldn’t get into that last contest and didn’t end up qualifying for World Juniors, so this year I definitely want to win.”
Cody Thompson (Jacksonville, FL), 19, claimed a come-from-behind Round 3 victory when he launched from last place to first in the remaining minutes of his heat. Although Thompson got off to a slow start, he eventually blasted two massive scores to attain the event’s second-highest heat total of 17.00 out of 20 to claim the exciting win.
“I was watching it and I wanted to go by myself and do my own thing, but I wasn’t getting any waves,” Thompson said. “There was that one peak that everyone had to sit on and battle each other for. It’s kind of inconsistent and it’s usually more spread out than this, so I was having trouble with that, but once I figured out where the peak was I was able to get a few waves at the end.”
The Floridian cracked the second 9-point-ride of the event on his last wave by unleashing huge, committed turns to solidify the win.
“That one 9 was just a perfect little right and I knew I needed something big,” Thompson said. “I didn’t want to just get the score that I needed, I wanted to try and blow up because I knew everyone was close, so it worked out.”
Brandon Guilmette (Huntington Beach, CA), 26, was also one to watch in Round 3 of the Vans Pier Classic. The Huntington Beach local utilized his knowledge of the tricky pier conditions to convincingly advance into Round 4 of competition by posting a solid heat total of 15.25 out of 20.
“It’s fun out there, it’s a little messed up and junky but there are some fun waves out there,” Guilmette said. “I got that one left that was a really good one, and that was my 8.5.”
Guilmette, who is the Huley Team Manager, has to balance his approach to competition between helping his team riders and being a competitor himself.
“Yea, it’s weird, because it’s my job, but I just try and go out there and have fun and mix it up with the boys,” Guilmette said. “I always like surfing in these events because it’s at home and my friends and family are watching so I still want to do well.”
Tomorrow’s action will see Round 4 of the Vans Pier Classic hit the water at 8am. Following men’s competition will be the opening round of the Ezekiel Pro Junior pres. by Jack’s Surfboards as well as the first four heats of Round 2.
For all of the LIVE Vans Pier Classic and Ezekiel Pro Junior action log on to vans.com.
Vans Pier Classic pres. by Jack’s Surfboards Round of 128 Results:
Heat 9: Robert Kelly (USA) 10.35, David Giddings (USA) 9.75, T.J. Mikus (USA) 5.50, Chris Foster (USA) 5.10
Heat 10: Pedro Husadel (BRA) 10.35, Dege O’Connell (HAW) 9.30, Jamie Parkhurst (USA) 8.10, Sean Pearson (USA) 6.10
Heat 11: Andrew Gessler (USA) 12.75, Taylor Thorne (USA) 12.15, Scott Posner (USA) 10.25, Danny Hart (USA) 5.95
Heat 12: Nathan Carroll (HAW) 13.00, Brightton Brandenburger (USA) 12.50, Quinn McCrystal (USA) 8.40, Nick Skawinski (USA) 5.50
Heat 13: Jeff Lukasik (USA) 14.50, Keli Everett (HAW) 6.95, Eric Worley (USA) 6.00, Colton Larson (USA) 5.85
Heat 14: Nick Suhadolnik (USA) 15.00, Tyler Stanaland (USA) 8.10, Willie Safreed (USA) 5.48, Rick Downes (USA) 5.45
Heat 15: Robert Patterson (HAW) 10.65, Brett Barley (USA) 6.80, Matt Wetmore (USA) 5.15, Gianfranco Gasparro (ITA) 1.50
Heat 16: Tyler Newton (HAW) 9.90, Victor Done (USA) 7.35, Andrew Gahan (USA) 6.40, John Daniels (USA) 6.30
Vans Pier Classic pres. by Jack’s Surfboards Round of 96 Results:
Heat 1: Macy Mullen (HAW) 13.40, Michael Dunphy (USA) 9.85, Matt Pagan (USA) 7.10, Oliver Kurtz (USA) 6.35
Heat 2: Dillon Perillo (USA) 17.85, Ryan Briggs (USA) 11.00, Masaijah Lani (USA) 7.10, Matt Myers (USA) 3.50
Heat 3: Heath Walker (AUS) 11.50, Ted Navarro (USA) 9.50, Dane Zaun (USA) 8.30, Alex Kamkoff (VEN) 0.00
Heat 4: Matt Johnson (USA) 8.25, Victor Done (USA) 7.35, Andrew Gahan (USA) 6.40, John Daniels (USA) 6.30
Heat 5: Brandon Guilmette (USA) 15.25, Sean Taylor (USA) 9.75, Andrew Bennett (USA) 6.10, Makai McNamara (HAW) 6.05
Heat 6: Nick Rupp (USA) 11.05, Phillip Goold (USA) 9.60, Noah Erickson (USA) 7.10, Ford Archbold (USA) 7.10
Heat 7: Michael Hoisington (USA) 14.90, Gabe Garcia (USA) 13.20, Robert Hennessy (HAW) 10.50, Sean Bacon (USA) 7.15
Heat 8: Matt Keenan (USA) 12.00, Luke Davis (USA) 11.65, Zach Keenan (USA) 8.45, Sean Tubbs (USA) 6.65
Heat 9: Dege O’Connell (USA) 11.75, Tony Adams (USA) 8.00, Mike Mauren (USA) 7.00, Robert Kelly (USA) 3.65
Heat 10: Dane Ward (USA) 11.50, Pedro Hosadel (BRA) 8.65, David Giddings (USA) 8.35, Cory Arrambide (USA) 1.40
Heat 11: Brightton Brandenburger (USA) 11.50, Andrew Gessler (USA) 7.95, Matt Meola (HAW) 7.95, Austin Smith-Ford (USA) 6.40
Heat 12: Cody Thompson (USA) 17.00, Nathan Carroll (USA) 15.00, Hunter Heverly (USA) 12.70, Taylor Thorne (USA) 12.30
Heat 13: Jeff Lukasik (USA) 11.10, Jason Harris (USA) 8.95, Tyler Stanaland (USA) 8.30, Kyle Kennelly (USA) 7.17
Heat 14: Danny Estes (USA) 11.15, Keli Everett (HAW) 9.65, Shane Murray (USA) 7.00, Nick Suhadolnik (USA) 6.45
Heat 15: Icaro Ronchi (BRA) 11.25, Doug Van Mierlo (USA) 10.05, Robert Patterson (HAW) 9.00, Kyle Ramey (HAW) 2.93
Heat 16: Tyler Newton (HAW) 16.30, Peter Mel (USA) 12.95, Chris Abad (USA) 7.85, Brett Barley (USA) 5.10