SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., (May 1, 2012)—The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) PRIME Nike Lowers Pro kicked off in clean three-to-four foot waves at Lower Trestles and saw shock Round 1 eliminations unfold alongside standout performances from several of the event’s top seeds.
|Gabriel Medina with a near-perfect heat. Photo: Hilleman
The ASP PRIME Nike Lowers Pro attracts several elite ASP World Championship Tour surfers and the finest up-and-coming pedigree to Lowers’ flawless surf, which consistently provides the perfect platform for a high-performance showdown. The Nike Lowers Pro, now in its fifth consecutive year, touts a $250,000 prize purse, a plethora of points towards the ASP World Ranking and a highly coveted, one-of-a-kind 14-karat gold railroad spike trophy worth more than $30,000.
Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, opened his Nike Lowers Pro campaign in striking form with a near-perfect heat. The talented Brazilian lofted several airs on his forehand and quickly displayed his versatility when he dismantled a long right, earning the day’s highest single-wave score of 9.87 out of 10, while attaining the day’s highest heat-total of 19.27.
“That was a fun heat and a good way to start for the rest of the comp,” Medina said. “In the beginning of the heat I was catching too many lefts and I thought, ‘maybe I can get a right.’ I got that one and got the 9, so it was a good heat.”
|San Clemente local Tanner Gudauskas. Photo: Hilleman
Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 23, carried the torch for the Lower Trestles local contingent, unloading a series of ferocious forehand turns to take one of the day’s highest single-wave scores, 9.27 out of 10, en route to an exceptional heat total of 16.77 out of 20.
“I’m stoked because at that point the heat was going so fast, there were a lot of waves and I didn’t have to think about it,” Gudauskas said. “I just like surfing Lowers and that always adds to the psych. It was good to get the ball rolling and I’m just having fun watching everyone surf.”
John John Florence (North Shore, HI), 19, looked at home on the groomed walls of Lowers, unloading a variety of committed carves, and tail-free turns while attaining some of the day’s top scores.
“I’m super stoked to get that first heat out of the way, the waves are super fun and you kind of have nerves coming up before the whole event,” Florence said. “I’m stoked the waves were really fun and that I got to surf there with just four guys out. It’s really a skate park, you stand up and it looks like you can do whatever you want out there. I kind of just go with the flow and things worked out.”
Julian Wilson (AUS), 23, put on arguably the most impressive performance of opening day competition, posting a 9.70 for a huge frontside air-reverse, but a costly interference mistake saw the progressive Australian fail to advance out of Round 1.
“My last three events here, I’ve lost because of interference,” Wilson said. “It’s frustrating because the waves are so good. I’m not 100 percent now, but that’s no excuse. It’s hard, it’s my sponsor’s event and you always want to do well for them.”
Glen Hall (IRL), 30, was responsible for a major upset today, eliminating defending Nike Lowers Pro Champion Miguel Pupo (BRA), 20, in a hard-fought Round 1 match up with a flurry of rides unfolding in the dying minutes of the heat.
“It’s scary when you’re in the water and hearing scores go down and you knew everyone just took off on a good wave because it’s Trestles,” Hall said. “Every heat’s hard and obviously Pupo is amazing and Kai got his too.”
Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 18, was responsible for an upset of his own, eliminating close friend and local favorite Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 18, with his Round 1 victory.
“Any time you enter a PRIME the heats are always pretty stacked,” Geiselman said. “It’s weird, I’ve been drawing Kolohe (Andino), every event he surfed, I’ve had a heat with him. It’s been fun. That heat was pretty slow and I actually haven’t made it out of a heat in a PRIME yet, so that gives me a bit more confidence for the later rounds.”
Geiselman, who is hungry to join the ASP World Championship Tour for 2013, knows a top performance in the ASP PRIME events this year will be a mandatory key in achieving his success.
“If you want to qualify you have to do well in the PRIMES,” Geiselman said. “I’ve had a couple of results in the Star events, and I’m really looking to get a good result in the PRIMES.”
MVP candidates were Evan Geiselman, John John Florence and Andrew Doheny for an outstanding single maneuvers that was nominated for MVP of the day. Fans can vote at NikeLowersPro.com/MVP to decide who will win $500 and wear the golden jersey tomorrow.
The Nike Lowers Pro features an HD-quality online broadcast at NikeLowersPro.com with live video coverage and scoring for all five days of competition. A “#JudgeIt” game gives users the opportunity to guess the winner and the winning score of heats via Twitter to win gear and other prizes.
Time Warner Cable is broadcasting the Nike Lowers Pro to over 2.5 million subscribers in Hawaii (Ch. 250 & 1250 HD), Los Angeles (Ch. 101), San Diego (Ch. 411), and the Desert Cities areas (Ch. 111) as part of their ongoing carriage of top flight domestic and international professional surfing events.
On June 16th, highlights and unseen footage of the 2012 Nike Lowers Pro will air on NBC as part of the “Red Bull Signature Series”. The Red Bull Signature Series features the most progressive and innovative surfing, snowboarding, mountain biking, freestyle motocross, ice cross downhill, skiing, and BMX events, showcased on custom courses from the inspiration of the athletes themselves. The broadcast is scheduled for 1 pm ET (10 am PT). For more information, visit redbullsignatureseries.com.
For more information on the Nike Lowers Pro, follow the action before, during and after the event online at NikeLowersPro.com, on Facebook NikeSurfing and SurferMag and on Twitter and Instagram @NikeSurfing and @Surfer_Magazine. Start the discussion using #NIKELOWERSPRO right now.
The 2012 Nike Lowers Pro would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors. Special thanks go out to Nike and other event partners Oakley, Verizon, Red Bull, SURFER and ASP.
Nike Lowers Pro Round of 96 Results:
Heat 1: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 13.76, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.56, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 12.97, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 11.83
Heat 2: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 13.16, Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 10.50, Jay Quinn (NZL) 10.40, Davey Cathels (AUS) 10.20
Heat 3: Evan Geiselman (USA) 13.60, Tim Reyes (USA) 12.84, Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.57, Brent Dorrington (AUS) 7.93
Heat 4: Gony Zubizaretta (ESP) 14.60, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 13.94, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 13.54, Nic Von Rupp (DEU) 12.97
Heat 5: Glen Hall (IRL) 14.30, Kai Barger (HAW) 13.94, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.87, Garrett Parkes (AUS) 12.40
Heat 6: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.73, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 12.63, Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 12.20, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 9.57
Heat 7: Taylor Knox (USA) 15.17, Nat Young (USA) 12.04, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 10.67, Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 7.20
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) 16.53, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 14.03, Joan Duru (FRA) 11.40, Dean Morrison (AUS) 11.00
Heat 9: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.03, Cory Lopez (USA) 14.37, Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 12.46, Stu Kennedy (AUS) 10.37
Heat 10: Gabe Kling (USA) 14.03, Raoni MOnteiro (BRA) 13.63, Tonino Benson (HAW) 12.67, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 9.60
Heat 11: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 16.77, Adrien Toyon (REU) 15.43, Joel Centeio (HAW) 14.43, Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 12.34
Heat 12: Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 16.10, Jeffrey Lukasik (USA) 14.76, Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.45, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 13.94
Heat 13: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.27, Heath Joske (AUS) 14.27, Chris Ward (USA) 12.76, Ricardo Dos Santos (BRA) 9.00
Heat 14: Charles Martin (GLP) 14.43, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.10, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.93, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 10.84
Official Surfline Forecast
Overlapping SSW swells, steady supply of chest-head high occasional overhead sets, and overall good conditions for Lowers throughout the entire Nike Lowers Pro. For Wed., expect slow easing SSW swell (210-190 deg). Surf will mainly be in the chest-head high+ range (4-5′+ faces), with occasional waves/peaks pushing up to 1-2′ overhead on the bigger sets (6-7′ faces). Light south eddy wind in the morning around 4-6kts, may be very light ESE-SE at dawn. Also, expect a marine layer and overcast through the morning. Wind will gradually veer SW’erly and slowly increase through the morning and into the afternoon, becoming light to moderate around 6-9kts. Skies may clear up a little into the afternoon, but staying mostly cloudy. Conditions will stay clean with help from the kelp.
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