Three surfers hailing from San Clemente, including Patrick Gudauskas, 24, younger brother Tanner Gudauskas, 21, traveling partner Nathan Yeomans, 28, and Huntington Beach’s Brett Simpson, 24, have risen to the elite level of competition that completes that ASP World Tour and will continue their travels together as rookies next year.
Patrick Gudauskas, who competed in select events on the 2009 ASP World Tour as an alternate this year, was one of the most consistent surfers amongst the hungry field of up-and-coming talent on this year’s ASP WQS after falling just short of an ASP Dream Tour birth in 2009. This year, Gudauskas wrapped up a second place finish for the 2009 season and a birth amongst the elite in Europe this year after unleashing an absolute tear on this year’s ASP WQS competition.
“Last year was a bummer, but it was the number one driving force behind my campaign for this year,” Gudauskas said. “I used it as revenge and now I feel like I’m surfing better than ever. I’ve learned a lot over this last year and it has been a good combo going into next year.”
Joining Patrick Gudauskas amongst the top 45 next year will be younger brother Tanner Gudauskas, who clinched his top 15 position on the ASP WQS with an amazing performance at the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach, the final event of the ASP WQS season. The youngest of the Gudauskas trio battled a talented field of ASP World Tour surfers and Hawaiian specialists to find his way amongst the elite as the youngest Mainland American to join the ASP World Tour for 2010.
“It’s insane that Tanner qualified,” Patrick Gudauskas said. “The only thing that would be better was if Dane (Gudauskas) qualified this year too. Tanner has been surfing great and I think he’s deserving of his spot on tour. It’s great to go into next year with the other guys from California. Hopefully we can create a surge and keep the momentum going.”
Brett Simpson, who has been on the verge of qualification the ASP World Tour for several years now, dedicated every waking moment towards a spot within the top 15 on this year’s ratings and the hard work paid off. After clinching an astonishing victory at the Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing this year in front of his friends and family, the Huntington Beach native carried the momentum throughout the back half of the year, continually posting results and solidifying his spot amongst the world’s finest competitive surfers for 2010.
“Over the past few years, I was set up and came so close,” Simpson said. “When I entered this year, I just told myself 'this is my year.’ I had set a goal of winning a 6-Star and it ended up happening at home. That will be one of the biggest wins of my career, regardless. I worked a lot with Ian Cairns and focused on maximizing every opportunity in every heat in hopes to not have to worry about qualifying in Hawaii and this year it worked out.”
Nathan Yeomans catapulted himself within the top 10 on the ASP WQS ratings this year with a massive win at the ASP 6-Star PRIME O’Neill Cold Water Classic Santa Cruz, clinching his spot on the 2010 ASP Dream Tour after years of dedication on the ASP WQS.
“I just got home from Hawaii and now that the season is officially over the final ratings are in it’s starting to sink in,” Yeomans said. “I’m really just enjoying where I’m at and taking it all in. The results I have achieved in the last two months have been due to several years of hard work. The contest at Steamer Lane was a huge result and it couldn’t have came at a better time.”
The Californians’ full ASP World Tour Profiles will be coming soon via www.aspworldtour.com
Final 2009 ASP WQS Top 15:
1. Dan Ross (AUS)
2. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
3. Jadson Andre (BRA)
4. Adam Melling (AUS)
5. Owen Wright (AUS)
6. Luke Munro (AUS)
7. Jay Thompson (AUS)
8. Nathan Yeomans (USA)
9. Dusty Payne (HAW)
10. Brett Simpson (USA)
11. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
12. Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
13. Travis Logie (ZAF)
14. Marco Polo (BRA)
15. Blake Thornton (AUS)