SAN CLEMENTE, California (Wednesday, May 5, 2010) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) PRIME 6.0 Lowers Pro kicked off Round 1 and the first three heats of Round 2 today in increasing three-to- five foot (1.5 metre) surf at the iconic cobblestone pointbreak of Lower Trestles. Opening main-event action saw current ASP Dream Tour No. 8 Adriano de Souza (BRA), 23, eliminate fellow ASP World Title competitor and defending 6.0 Lowers Pro Champion Fred Patacchia (North Shore, HI), 28, in the Round of 96.Did you get an FASL team together for the 6.0 Lowers Pro? How’s it doing? If not, check out what it’s all about at fantasyactionsportsleague.com.
The increase in ASP PRIME ratings points due to the newly-initiated ASP One World Ratings has drawn an impressive field to Lower Trestles, including over 30 ASP Dream Tour campaigners as well as the world’s finest up-and-comers looking to find their way amongst the elite.
De Souza’s impressive performance today was a prime example of the new judging criteria set in place for the 2010 season. The former ASP World Junior Champion detonated a variety of critical maneuvers including massive air-reverses, tail-free turns and power gouges to match the day’s highest single-wave score of a 9.40 en route to the day’s highest heat total of 17.90 to leave the field in a combination situation while taking out his Round 2 heat victory.
“I’m happy with that heat and the waves are cranking,” De Souza said. “I’m really motivated for this year. I have all of the boys at home, Jadson (Andre), Miguel (Pupo) and Jihad (Khodr), so I’m just motivated because Jadson won the last contest (the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina). I’m excited because I was with him in Brazil and now he’s here with me.”
De Souza’s Round 2 victory was no easy task. The Brazilian standout topped defending event champion and current ASP Dream Tour No. 13 Fred Patacchia and 2009 ASP Dream Tour talents Nathaniel Curran (Oxnard, CA), 25, and Nic Muscroft (AUS), 27, who advanced in second, to move on to Round 3.
“It was a hard heat for sure,” De Souza said. “It’s like a four-man World Title event heat out there because all of those guys have been on tour.”
De Souza is especially inspired by close friend Jadson Andre’s (BRA), 20, win at the last ASP World Title event, the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina, and is hungry to post an impressive result at his new home-break of Lower Trestles now that he is calling Orange County, California his home.
“I’m happy to be here and this time is so important to me,” De Souza said. “After three events on the Dream Tour, it’s good to be here, this is my home now and it’s good to come back and sleep in my bed and have my friends at my home.”
Joel Centeio (Haleiwa, HI), 27, unleashed a wrath of rail-to-rail power gouges on the firing righthand walls of Lower Trestles to kick off his 6.0 Lowers Pro campaign in top form by notching one of the event’s highest heat totals. The Hawaiian powerbroker clinched a 9.17 out of 10, en route to earning an impressive 17.10 out of 20 to advance to the Round of 96.
“On that 9-point ride, the guys were sitting a little far out and it swung wide and doubled up hard,” Centeio said. “I really wanted to open up on the first two turns. It wasn’t really in the lip but I felt like I put it on rail really strong. I wasn’t sure what they were going to give me for a score because the kids are doing such crazy turns to open up waves and I just tried to stay strong and do some power-turns. I was really happy to hear that score.”
Centeio is no stranger to success at the high-performance pointbreak of Lower Trestles and the former 6.0 Lowers Pro finalist continued to show his threatening form against the premier field that makes up this year’s ASP PRIME event while taking his heat win over reigning ASP World Junior Champion Maxime Huscenot (REU), 17, who advanced in second.
“It’s a really good start to the event for me,” Centeio said. “The tide is filling in and I just managed to pick some really good waves. I felt really strong on my turns and the waves are so good that I had to get the scores.”
Nathan Hedge (AUS), 30, relied on powerful backside blasts to match the highest single-wave score of the day, a near-perfect 9.40 out of 10 while taking a Round 1 heat victory.
“I was just relaxed and there were heaps of waves so I knew my surfing would tell the story,” Hedge said. “I got hassled a bit, but it just worked out better for me with the way the waves came.”
After a six-year campaign on the ASP Dream Tour, Nathan Hedge is no stranger to the Lower Trestles lineup and the Australian standout is hoping to kickoff his 2010 battle at the 6.0 Lowers Pro to find his way amongst the elite once again.
“I’ve had 10-point rides out here before and I’ve beaten so many good surfers out here,” Hedge said. “I’ve spent some time out at Lowers and I know what to do. I want to really enjoy this year and I think part of that would be to be back on the Dream Tour. I think that in just keeping my focus and having fun at the same time all of that stuff will just fall into place.
Tomorrow morning will continue with the main round of 6.0 Lowers Pro competition with three-time ASP World Champion Andy Irons (Hanalei, HI), 31, California talent Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA), 24, local standout Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 24, and Australian rookie Owen Wright (AUS), 20, still to surf their opening heats.
The ASP PRIME 6.0 Lowers Pro and ASP Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior hold a waiting period from May 4 through 8, 2010 and are webcast LIVE via nike6lowerspro.com.
HEAD TO PAGE 2 FOR THE REST OF THE PHOTOS AND THE DAY’S FULL RESULTS.