Hurley Pro Trestles Prepares for ASP Top 34, New Competition Format and Promising Swell
LOWER TRESTLES, California/USA - The Hurley Pro Trestles will host the world's elite ASP Top 34 from September 12 through 18, 2010 for Stop No. 6 of 10 on the ASP World Tour.
North America's sole permanent ASP World Tour event, the Hurley Pro Trestles boasts one of the most high-performance venues on the planet and will host a red-hot ASP World Title race as well as the newly-approved 36-man competition format.
Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, reigning ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 6, has remained one of the most explosive and consistent performers of 2010, constantly netting high heat scores through each event. However, aside from a Runner-Up finish at Bells Beach in early April, the fleet-footed Australian has yet to achieve a breakout result.
"I am feeling great and it's been a little frustrating at times having close decisions not go my way," Fanning said. "I still have all the hunger and hope things can turn around. If I can get some momentum built up, anything is possible. I feel I have improved my surfing and still having high average heat scores," Fanning said. "The first few events, I made a couple of mistakes in wave selection and they were the things that I would lose the heat with. I felt in Tahiti everything was going well and I didn't make mistakes, but was just pipped by an in-form Andy Irons. You have to keep your chin up and stay positive."
Despite his current ASP World No. 6 position, this season poses an eerily similar scenario to last, which saw Fanning rampage the back half of the year, starting with a win at the Hurley Pro Trestles.
“I love surfing Trestles as it is such a high performance wave,” Fanning said. “It allows you to really mix up your surfing. I had a really good session there during the US Open so hopefully I can hit that form again. I think Jordy (Smith) and Dane (Reynolds) as well as Kelly (Slater) will step it up. A.I. (Andy Irons) would have gained a lot of confidence after that last win so he’ll be dangerous as well.”
Patrick Gudauskas (USA), 24, 2010 ASP Dream Tour rookie and current ASP World No. 22, is coming off the best result of his career, an Equal 5th in Tahiti last week. Gudauskas was the sole surfer to go from outside the ASP midyear field reduction at No. 33 to blast into the safe zone at No. 22 in Tahiti, and will look to carry that momentum through to this week.
“Surviving the cut was for sure a challenge for rookies,” Gudauskas said. “It was tough not thinking about the result of missing the cut, but I tried to block it out as best I could. It was more of a mental challenge to overcome, and just focus on surfing well and making heats. To make it from behind the bubble and jump into the higher ratings was really exciting. I felt good at Teahupoo, and was stoked that it translated to a good result. It seemed that I’ve just been missing out on getting on a roll all season, and so I was happy when it came together for me in Tahiti. My goal for the rest of the season is to use this momentum through to events I feel really good about and put up more good heats. Lowers is my home, and I pretty much live for Europe.”
The last remaining San Clemente local amongst the ASP Top 34, Gudauskas will look to utilize his years of experience at the venue as he does battle against the world’s best.
“Everyone on tour surfs so well that it’s really anyone’s game at trestles,” Gudauskas said. “Surfers I’ll be looking forward to seeing surf are for sure Dane (Reynolds) and Jordy (Smith). I’m also psyched to see Brett Simpson out there along with Dusty (Payne). I think the young crew’s going to be flairing. I can’t wait to bring the heat. I think for myself, the local knowledge will just give me extra comfort to go big. I grew up surfing it, and have a lot of passion to do well at home in front of my friends and family. It’s kind of like everyone coming to your stadium to play the Superbowl. You want to give the home crowd something to froth on, kind of like Simpo (Brett Simpson) at HB.”
Taj Burrow (AUS), 32, current ASP World No. 3, has been one of the most innovative and progressive surfers in the world for well over a decade, and the upcoming leg of events suits the Western Australian’s style perfectly.
“Very excited about the events ahead,” Burrow said. “It’s a strong leg of the tour for me and I’m planning on doing the best surfing of my year. I don’t want to leave close heats in the hands of the judges. I want to win convincingly. Trestles is absolutely the most high-performance wave on tour. Everyone surfs their best out there. It’s the perfect canvas to unleash your whole repertoire on.”
A perennial threat to the ASP World Title, Burrow held a strong lead throughout the first three events before dropping back to his present position at ASP World No. 3.
“I want to win the World Title of course but my immediate goal and most important one is to surf my absolute best in every heat at every location,” Burrow said.
For the first time in the history of the sport, the ASP will unveil its new 36-man format at the Hurley Pro Trestles.
ASP WORLD TOUR 36-MAN FORMAT:
Round 1: 12 three-man heats, 1st advances to Round 3, 2nd and 3rd to Round 2
Round 2: 12 man-on-man heats, 1st to Round 3, 2nd is Equal 25th place
Round 3: 12 man-on-man heats, 1st to Round 4, 2nd is Equal 13th place
Round 4: Four 3-man heats, 1st advances to Quarterfinals, 2nd and 3rd to Round 5
Round 5: Four man-on-man heats, 1st advances to Quarterfinals, 2nd is Equal 9th
Quarterfinals: Four man-on-man heats, 1st advances to Semifinals, 2nd is Equal 5th
Semifinals: Two man-on-man heats, 1st advances to Finals, 2nd is Equal 3rd
Final: One man-on-man heat, 1st and 2nd