Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 |
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LIHU‘E — Clean four-to-six foot waves pumped through the lineup at Lower Trestles on Friday as the Hurley Pro at Trestles completed Rounds 3 and 4, states an ASP press release.
Event No. 6 of 10 on 2010 ASP World Tour, the Hurley Pro at Trestles is the first event in history to activate the new 36-man competitive format, including the non-elimination three-man Round 4, and today’s experience proved a resounding success.
Kaua‘i’s Andy Irons and Hawai‘i’s Dusty Payne were each eliminated in Round 3.
Irons lost a close battle with Australia’s Chris Davidson, 12.27 to 12.00. He just missed out on a necessary score on his sixth wave, notching a heat-high 7.00-point ride to go with his 5.00 score earlier.
Davidson was given scores of 6.00 and 6.27 on his third and fifth waves, respectively, enough to advance.
Payne was beaten quickly by defending ASP world champion Mick Fanning, 15.20 to 8.16.
Fanning had three scores of at least 7.00 in his first three rides, while Payne was unable to garner similar waves.
Australia’s Owen Wright, 20, 2010 ASP Dream Tour rookie and current ASP World No. 10, scored one of the greatest comebacks in ASP history, vaulting past nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater, 38, and C.J. Hobgood, 31, in the last three minutes of their Round 4 bout.
“The start of the heat was really tough for me,” Wright said. “I was out of rhythm and the other guys were catching all of the waves. I was kind of stuck in a rut. Then that set came through and I got started. C.J. (Hobgood) paddled for one and just missed it and I paddled wide and a bomb set came to me. It was the best wave I’ve ever caught out there. It was just such a smooth wave, it actually felt like Bells.”
With the activation of the new 36-man competition format, Wright’s Round 4 victory advances the young goofy-footer directly into the Quarterfinals while Slater and Hobgood will have to battle through Round 5.
“I’m really stoked to get through to the Quarterfinals,” Wright said. “I’m guaranteed a 5th at least and I’m pretty stoked with that.”
Fanning was also a big proponent of the new format.
“The three-man Round 4 is way gnarlier,” Fanning said. “I went out there and I was thinking ‘yeah, just stick to your game plan,’ but everything happened so fast. We had sets the whole time and there were three guys that I knew could get big scores. I knew anyone could win, it was pretty much just whoever surfed the best. It was fun, but it was really nerve wracking though.”
Fanning’s Round 4 victory saw the defending event champion move directly through to the Quarterfinals while forcing Kieren Perrow, 33, and Davidson to Round 5 in the process.
“I’m into the Quarterfinals now, I have a result,” Fanning said. “The lowest you want is the Quarters and when you lose at this stage in the game it sort of plays with your head a little bit.”
South Africa’s Jordy Smith 22, current ASP World No. 1, blasted a series of progressive maneuvers including two airs on a steep righthand wall to amass one of the highest single-wave scores of the event, an impressive 9.60 out of 10 to eliminate American rookie Brett Simpson, 25, in Round 3.
“I’m just relaxing and having fun with everything,” Smith said. “The waves are absolutely pumping. I don’t think I’ve surfed Lower Trestles like this in forever, so just to be out there surfing with a friend is a good enough achievement in itself.”
After falling to Simpson in the Final of the ASP PRIME U.S. Open of Surfing, Smith was satisfied to win the rematch against the Californian at the Hurley Pro at Trestles.
“It felt good to get one back on him,” Smith said. “To lose a hundred grand at the U.S. Open is a pretty big knock to the chin, and just to make one more round here is cool.”
Smith would continue his momentum through the afternoon, winning his Round 4 heat, but breaking two boards in the process.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Hurley Pro at Trestles, are expecting Friday’s conditions to increase through today.
Event organizers will reconvene this morning at 7 a.m. local time to assess conditions for a possible 8 a.m. start to what should be the final day of the Hurley Pro at Trestles.
Highlights from the Hurley Pro at Trestles will be available via http://www.hurley.com/hurleypro/
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