NEWPORT BEACH, California - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America Pro Junior Series Grade-3 Arnette All Day Antics Pro Junior presented by Jack’s Surfboards kicked off the third of 10 stops on the regional series today with explosive early round action. Matt Meola (Kuau, HI), 19, led the competition when he issued the event’s first perfect 10-point-ride while advancing through his tough heats.
The ASP North America Pro Junior Series acts as a qualifier for the ASP World Junior Championships, with the series’ top three finishers at year’s end earning a berth on to the coveted event held in Narrabeen, Australia in an attempt to claim the title of ASP World Junior Champion.
Meola earned his perfect score with only one maneuver. The high-flying Hawaiian punted a critical air reverse on a Newport Beach wedge to earn the score and tacked the amazing performance onto his previous high scoring ride to claim the top heat total of the day as well, a near perfect 18.25 out of 20.
“Lately, I’ve just been trying to go big,” Meola said. “I think it’s boring to see a bunch of small turns, so I try and do what I like to watch.”
The variety of surf available to the Maui native allows him to prepare for anything the ocean offers him and his ability to capitalize on today’s fast beachbreak conditions paid off.
“I live on Maui and there are so many different types of waves,” Meola said. “I go out to Hana and there are beachbreaks over there and where I live is mostly reefbreak. There is a ton of different terrain to surf, so I’m kind of used to it.”
Meola is also hoping that a good showing here at the Arnette All Day Antics Pro Junior will help his cause towards qualification for the ASP World Junior Championships. Now that Hawaiian surfers earn points towards qualification for the prestigious event while competing in mainland America, the ASP Grade-3 status of the Arnette Pro Junior will play an equally significant role in the Hawaiian’s qualification hopes as mainland American competitors.
“I’m super psyched, because in the past we have only had about two contests,” Meola said. “That made it really hard to qualify for worlds, which was really frustrating. Now that we can earn points towards our Hawaii rating over here, it’s so sick.”
Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 15, also donated an explosive performance in Round 3 today, crushing an impressive 9.50 out of 10 with several backhand blasts on a Newport set-wave. Andino notched a 17.50 heat total to leave the field in a combination situation on the way to his heat victory.
“I just got lucky,” Andino said. “The wave that I was able to get that 9.50 on was the biggest and best set wave that I’ve seen all day and I just tapped it.”
The prodigious talent is looking to capitalize on his entry in to the ASP Grade-3 Arnette Pro Junior and is out to earn the valuable ratings points on offer to help his seed towards next year’s campaign.
“I’m not trying to qualify for worlds or anything yet,” Andino said. “I’m still young and have plenty of time and want to get some good points to help my seed. I’m still only in the Round of 32, so I have a long way to go.”
Ford Archbold (Newport Beach, CA), 18, was the local standout is today’s event, blasting an impressive 15.25 out of 20 heat total in the first of his two heat wins.
“I’m stoked to come out and have a good first heat,” Archbold said. “I don’t want to think about it too much though, because you can always come back and have a shocker the next heat. I’m just trying to keep my momentum up and do better in the next heat.”
The regular-footer utilized his local knowledge to tackle the fast beachbreak walls on his backside to dominate his heats today and will face the event’s top seeds when he surfs again tomorrow.
“It’s pretty hard on the backside, but you’ve got to work with what you’ve got,” Archbold said. “I surf this place everyday, so I’m really used to it. It’s kind of like free-surfing out here.”
Tomorrow’s Arnette All Day Antics Pro Junior pres. by Jack’s Surfboards action will see the event’s top seeds including defending ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion Cory Arrambide (Ventura, CA), 19, junior standout Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 17, and local standout Andrew Doheny (Newport Beach, CA), 16, compete against today’s top performers.
Arnette Pro Junior All Day Antics Round of 48 Results: (1st and 2nd advance)