LOWER TRESTLES, California/USA (Tuesday, September 11, 2012) – The world's best surfers return to Southern California this week for Stop No. 6 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Hurley Pro at Trestles, running from September 16 – 22, 2012.
The ASP Top 34 have done battle at Snapper Rocks, Bells Beach, Barra da Tijuca, Cloudbreak/Restaurants and Teahupo'o thus far this season and the 2012 ASP World Title race remains one of the more hotly-contested in recent years.
Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, two-time ASP World Champion (2007, 2009) and current frontrunner on the ASP WCT rankings, has been on a rampage in 2012. The powerful Australian's comprehensive approach has seen him collect victories at Bells Beach and Teahupo'o as well as Equal 3rd place finishes in Rio de Janeiro and Fiji, placing him firmly in the frontrunner position in the hunt for the 2012 crown.
"My approach really hasn't been altered since the start of the season to tell you the truth," Fanning said. "We are only halfway through the year and there is a lot of surfing to be done. I'm still working as hard as day one of the year and I keep trying to improve myself and my surfing."
2012 has indeed been a banner year for Fanning, a stark contrast to last season when the Australian struggled with consistency. While 2011 didn't go to plan for Fanning, one of the highlights was his experimentation with equipment and different shapers which ultimately reignited his passion for surfing and his competitive hunger.
"Last year, Matt (Biolos) really got me excited to surf again with the old Kolohe (Andino) board he gave me," Fanning said. "I do have a few Mayhems in the pipeline so that's always exciting, but also DH (Darren Handley) had been on fire this year with my boards being so consistent and always feeling fresh. DH and I have been working on a couple of models for different sorts of waves and we have a few that should go really well at Lowers."
Winner of the 2009 Hurley Pro at Trestles, Fanning is well familiar with the high-performance capabilities of Lower Trestles and is looking forward to this year's competition.
"I love this event as it really shows the different approaches everyone has," Fanning said. "I think you need a good mix of power surfing and air antics at Lower Trestles as anything less just isn't going to cut it. Obviously everyone in the Top 5 have been surfing great and will push hard. Gabe Medina had a great event at the Nike Prime here in April and he will be one to watch for sure."
The ASP's storied history at Lower Trestles stretches back over a decade now with the ASP WCT event being supported by Billabong, then Boost Mobile and now Hurley. The list of event winners is as prestigious as the event itself and include: Andy Irons (HAW), Luke Egan (AUS), Richie Lovett (AUS), Joel Parkisnon (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Mick Fanning (AUS) and reigning 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA).
Slater has proven the most dominant surfer ever at Lower Trestles, amassing an incredible five ASP WCT wins at the venue. The Floridian is currently seated 4th on the ASP WCT rankings and will need a solid result at Trestles to reignite his 2012 campaign.
Joining the ASP Top 34 will be North American standouts Conner Coffin (USA), 19, and Evan Geiselman (USA), 18, as event wildcards.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Hurley Pro at Trestles, are calling for:
Sunday and Monday, the 16th-17th, will start off in small, but very contestable, Southern Hemisphere South and SSW swell that will be down a bit from Fri/Sat. Waist-shoulder high surf will show at Lowers.
Going further out, what will likely be the best swell of the waiting period will show during the middle of next week and is being set up right now by a developing storm roughly 5,000 miles due south of Southern California. If this storm behaves as forecast in the next 3-4 days, new long period south swell forerunners will build in through the afternoon on Tuesday the 18th, with a likely peak in swell on Wednesday the 19th and easing swell on Thursday the 20th. Fun size leftovers would then take over by Friday.
If this storm behaves as forecast in the next few days, solid head high surf will show Tuesday afternoon through Friday morning at Lower Trestles, with larger sets running a foot+ overhead and possibly a bit bigger on Wednesday and Thursday. We'll also have a secondary, much smaller, SW swell showing at roughly the same time that will help a bit with overall consistency.
For the end of the waiting period, the 22nd-23rd, a small SW swell from a developing storm now near New Zealand is on track to provide contestable waves. If this storm behaves as forecast, shoulder high surf will show at Lowers for the last couple days of the event waiting period. Stay tuned.
We'll also keep a close eye on the tropics, as we should see Tropical Storm Kristy develop later this week, which could produce small SSE shifting South to SSW swell early next week.
The Hurley Pro at Trestles will be webcast LIVE via http://www.hurley.com/hurleypro/
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
PAST HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES WINNERS:
2011: Kelly Slater (USA)
2010: Kelly Slater (USA)
2009: Mick Fanning (AUS)
2008: Kelly Slater (USA)
2007: Kelly Slater (USA)
2006: Bede Durbidge (AUS)
2005: Kelly Slater (USA)
2004: Joel Parkinson (AUS)
2003: Richie Lovett (AUS)
2002: Luke Egan (AUS)
2001: Not held
2000: Andy Irons (HAW)