Taylor Jensen and Kaitlin Maguire Win PLA and Gidget PLA Pros
VENTURA, California - Two-time and defending Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) Champion Taylor Jensen (Oceanside, CA), 25, and Kaitlin Maguire (Del Mar, CA), 21, won the ASP LQS 1-Star PLA and Gidget PLA Pros in peaky two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf at C Street in Ventura, California.
The ASP LQS is a regional qualifier for the ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT). Each region sends their top performers at year’s end in an attempt to claim the coveted title of ASP World Longboard Champion each following year.
Jensen continued his tear through the ASP LQS today, notching another impressive victory on his belt in Ventura this afternoon. The powerful longboarder saved his best performance for the final, netting the event’s highest heat total of a near-perfect 18.57 out of 20, placing fellow finalists Tony Silvagni (Kure Beach, NC), 22, Brendan White (Dana Point, CA) and Joe Aaron (Capistrano Beach, CA), 18, in a combination situation on the way to his convincing PLA Pro win.
“The conditions were tricky with the south swell in the water here at C Street,” Jensen said. “I feel really good right now and in tune with my equipment and I’ve had such a good year so far, it’s great to win another event.”
The Oceanside local has been in stellar form throughout the ning of the year and has already claimed a victory at the prestigious Noosa Pro event in Australia.
“I’m so stoked with how things went in Australia,” Jensen said. “Winning Noosa was amazing and I got a second and a third in the following events, so I’m really happy to continue to do well in America now.
Jensen is now chasing his first ASP WLT Championship and is hoping that his success on the ASP LQS will help him achieve his goal of an ASP World Longboard title.
“I’ve always stressed more about the WLT,” Jensen said. “In the past I had felt pressure about winning the World Title, but I’ve had a few great accomplishments that have made me happy so far, so I feel there is less pressure this year.”
Silvagni, who finished second overall on last year’s regional ASP LQS continued to shine throughout the day’s entirety and finished in the runner up position behind Jensen by combining new school flare with classic noseriding.
“I always try to get 10 right away on the outside and connect each wave through to the inside,” Silvagni said. “I know that the first maneuver is the most critical, so I always try to get to the nose right away.”
The down-time Silvagni spends training continues to pay off for the young East Coaster, as he constantly outlasts his fellow competitors on the lengthy final day of competition.
“I train a lot and try to keep my head on straight and stay focused,” Silvagni said. “The last day is always a marathon, you’ve got to surf three rounds to make it to the Final and you’ve got to be ready for a long day in order to do well.”
Although 2009 will be Silvagni’s first year competing on the ASP WLT, he wants to make sure to continue to secure a top seed on the ASP LQS as well.
“I just got back from Australia and missed that first regional event,” Silvagni said. “It’s really important for me to stay on top of the ASP LQS in case I don’t finish within the top 16 on the ASP WLT.”
Maguire convincingly won the Gidget PLA Pro today in a stacked Final over former ASP Women’s World Longboarding Champions Jen Smith (Pacific Beach, CA), 23, who finished in second, defending regional champion Cory Schumacher (Cardiff, CA), 33, and 2006 regional champ Lindsay Steinreide (Dana Point, CA), 23.
“It was a really tough heat,” Maguire said. “There were some of the best surfers in the world in that heat with two former world champions in the event, I felt like it could have been a Final for the world championships out there.”
Maguire is looking to use the victory in Ventura to help her cause towards qualification for the ASP WLT.
“I’m really hoping to do well on the regional series and qualify for the Women’s World Longboard Championships,” Maguire said. “I’m trying to focus on competing while going to college and trying to travel as much as I can as well.”
The next ASP LQS will be held at Huntington Beach Pier from June 20-21, 2009.