OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Jesse Merle-Jones of O‘ahu’s North Shore has taken out the inaugural Koastalkaos.com Pro in rippable 3-to 4- foot surf in Oceanside, Calif. on Sunday, fellow California finalists Shey Yates and Jason Miller and Hawai‘i’s Sunny Garcia.
The Association of Surfing Professionals World Qualifying Series 1-Star event culminated the weekend’s worth of competition, Sunday, at Oceanside Harbor’s North Jetty, and despite deteriorating conditions, the finalists put on quite a show.
Merle-Jones built momentum throughout the day, securing the day’s high single-wave score of a 9.0 out of a possible 10 in his quarterfinal heat, and the powerful goofy-footer proved the goods in the hard-fought final, utilizing his compact frame and impressive rail work to come away with the win.
Yates, who slipped through his semifinal heat thanks to a double interference from Richie Collins and Nathaniel Curran, remained consistent in the final, applying progressive fin-free maneuvers en route to enjoying his best ASP WQS event finish to date with a runner-up placing.
Miller, the up-and-coming natural-footer from nearby San Clemente, opened up the final with an impressive display of power surfing, collecting a 7.0 out of a possible 10 on his opening ride. Unfortunately, the young Californian was unable to secure a second scoring ride, and finished 3rd.
Former ASP World Champion Garcia is on a requalification mission to return to the Dream Tour in 2009 and has so far put in impressive performances around the globe.
The Hawaiian’s 4th place finish puts him at 10th on the ASP WQS ratings and Garcia will look to procure a few more results this season in his bid to regain his seed amongst the world’s best.