Eight high performance surfers to compete for coveted wildcard entry into 2009 Hurley Pro, the only ASP World Tour event held on the Mainland U.S.
HUNTINGTON BEACH/SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. – Hurley and IMG are pleased to announce the eight trialist surfers invited to compete for a coveted wildcard entry into the 2009 Hurley Pro, the only World Tour event held on the Mainland U.S. The Hurley Pro Trials take place during the Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach on Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25. Check usopenofsurfing.com for information and a live webcast.
The $340,000 Hurley Pro, September 13 to 19, 2009 at Lower Trestles, San Clemente, is Hurley’s first as the sole sponsor of an ASP World Tour event. Lined with cobblestones, Trestles is California’s premier point/reef break and a world-class showcase for high performance surfing. The four day competition, held during a weeklong window, features the ASP’s top 45 surfers (Kelly Slater, Joel Parkinson, C.J. Hobgood, etc.) and three wildcards (the Hurley Pro Trials winner, Rob Machado and World Junior Champion, Kai Barger).
“Every event has its own trademark and Trestles is the place for high performance surfing in California,” Hurley’s Pat O’Connell said. “Each year, the world’s best surfers come with a free surf mentality and the desire to make their mark on one of the most rippable waves in the world. Hurley believes in true performance, innovation and free expression, so to have a World Tour event bearing our name on the world’s best surfing canvas is a perfect connection.”
The sixth of 10 ASP World Tour stops, the Hurley Pro marks the only North America appearance of the ASP’s elite Grand Prix circuit and has been won by Slater three out of the past four years (’08, ’07 and ’05). Although Parkinson (Australia) has opened a sizeable lead over Floridian Hobgood and Brazilian Adriana de Souza in the 2009 World Title chase, nine time world and defending event champ Slater (Florida) remains within striking distance and Trestles may well be his launching pad to a once unfathomable 10th title.
Located on the northwest corner of the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base on the border between San Diego and Orange County, Trestles has long been a pristine oasis in the middle of Southern California’s otherwise over-developed coastline. The spot gets its name from a series of railroad trestles that span the marsh and wetlands at the mouth of San Mateo creek, just south of San Clemente.
“Lowers” is the most well-defined point/reef in the Trestles surf area which also includes “Uppers” and “Middles”. The point sticks out a bit further than the others, and the rock reef that extends off of the point is both better shaped and extends further out into deeper water. The combination of those two features helps to create a long, but very workable right and a shorter, but faster left that breaks back towards Uppers. Glassy calm mornings in September further enhance Trestles as among the most rippable waves on the planet.
The Hurley Pro Trials will showcase eight up-and-coming, high-performance surfers, all capable of tearing apart the Huntington Beach shore break. Led by Brett Simpson, currently rated ninth on the WQS and two-time Orange County Surfer of the Year, the roster includes three additional talented Southern California surfers: Dillon Perillo, number two in the ASP North America Junior Series; 15 year-old Conner Coffin, USA Team member and 2009 NSSA Nationals Open Men’s finalist; and Tanner Gudauskas, San Clemente’s highest rated WQS competitor.
The Hurley Pro Trials also feature an international flavor with Australia’s Yadin Nichol, a wildcard into last year’s World Tour event; Owen Wright, winner of the Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior; and Julian Wilson and immensely talented teenager. Hawaii’s Dusty Payne, 2008 Triple Crown runner-up, rounds out the field.
The Hurley Pro Trials will run two, twenty minute four-man heats, with the top two finishers of each heat competing in the final. The winner of the final will secure a wildcard spot to compete at this year’s Hurley Pro. The Hurley Pro Trials entrants are as follows:
Heat 1: July 24, 3:20 p.m.:
1. Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach)
2. Owen Wright (Australia)
3. Dillon Perillo (Malibu)
4. Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente)
Heat 2: July 24, 3:40 pm:
1. Yadin Nichol (Australia)
2. Dusty Payne (Hawaii)
3. Julian Wilson (Australia)
4. Conner Coffin (Santa Barbara)
Finals: July 25, 1:35 pm: Top 2 Winners from Heat 1 and Top 2 Winners from Heat 2
“This is an important time for these surfers to experience what it takes to excel at this level,” said O’Connell. “Each athlete hopes to get the chance to take on the world’s best, but they will have to make it through difficult conditions at Huntington Beach in front of thousands of spectators first.”