It was a dramatic moment – sad even – in the early hours of the day. It happened about twenty seconds after I caught my first wave on an otherwise placid, overcast morning. Little waist to chest high mounds were swaying shoreward with less than a knot of wind in the atmosphere, and out of nowhere an onshore breeze crunched the ocean. Paddling back out a bit deflated, I summoned my best AM attitude adjustment skills and realized: "Hey, what can you do? It's uncrowded Trestles, and it's still plenty of fun."
That's exactly the spirit that beamed from the four-man lineups at Lowers on opening day of the 2008 Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro. With shoulder to head high sets and some SoCal eddy in the water, competitors were gashing across one of mainland America's best waves.
"When the sets come in its really fun," said heat-winner Brent Reilly, who defeated a standout crew in Omar Etcheverry and Andrew Doheny in the first round. The young gun also bested Adam Wickwire and Nat Young in his second round showdown, unrattled by the competitive pressure or even the recent shark attack on Friday morning – something pundits have already announced as a concern for any surfer or prospective Southern California beachgoer.
"There aren't too many guys out so we're kind of spooked, but not really," said Reilly.
Shark fears aside, the event rolled to a momentous start, and with heaps of swell on the forecast horizon, it's shaping up to be a doozy.
A few more highlights on the day:
Three-time event champion, Shane Beschen, demonstrated his dominance at Lowers, steamrolling into day two with two big victories. Said Shane:
"I'm just going out and having fun and want to keep making heats," Beschen said. "It looks like some swell is on the forecast too, and I'm looking forward to a good event."
Jason “Ratboy” Collins stepped up with his signature style, pushing past day one competition with relative ease. “He’s been looking really good this morning,” said Carlsbad local, Brent Reilly.
Stay tuned to SurfeMag.com for more Nike 6.0 coverage.
6.0 Lowers Pro – ASP WQS 4-Star
Round 1: 192 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.67, Johnny Craft (USA)
11.17, Tom Rezvan (USA) 10.35, David Giddings (USA) 9.67
Heat 2: Alek Parker (USA) 13.00, Javier Swayne (PER) 9.90, Shane Murray (USA) 6.33, Kento Takahashi (JPN) 6.03
Heat 3: Zach Keenan (USA), 12.20, Kawika Stillwell (HAW), 11.70 Jamie Parkhurst (USA) 8.10, Toshiyuki Takatsu (JPN) 2.17
Heat 4: Peter Mussio (USA) 12.26, Chris Drummy (USA), 11.90, Kyle Kennelly (USA) 9.04, Eddie Lester (USA), 6.97
Heat 5: Richie Collins (USA) 11.50, Daisuke Suzuki (JPN) 7.30, Riley Metcalf (USA) 6.66, Sage Huls (HAW) 6.06
Heat 6: Solomon Ortiz (HAW) 13.60, David Gonsalves (HAW) 11.00, David Post (USA) 9.23, Tommy Bursian (PRI) 8.40
Heat 7: Jason Collins (USA) 17.16, Austin Smith Ford (USA) 13.60, Justin Swartz (USA) 11.00, Matt Meola (USA) 8.26
Heat 8: Nobuyuki Osawa (JPN) 11.50, Gabriel Escudero (PRI) 8.83, Jordan Gaudet (USA) 7.17, Justin Jones (USA) 5.94
Heat 9: Brent Reilly (USA) 11.50, Omar Etcheverry (USA)10.83, Leif Engstrom (USA) 10.83, Andrew Doheny (USA) 10.17
Heat 10: Zach Plopper (USA) 10.27, Nick Skawinski (USA) 8.77, Ian Rotgans (USA) 8.63, Scott Hammonds (USA) 7.20
Heat 11: Eric Worley (USA)12.00, Rikiya Kitada (JPN)11.67, Dennis Rizzo (USA) 9.33, Thomas Petriken (USA) 5.20
Heat 12: Dillon Perillo (USA) 11.17, Colin Schildhauer (USA) 7.63, Masahiro Tooda (JPN) 6.74, Dallas Peterson (AUS) 3.26
Heat 13: Roger Eales (USA) 11.14, Albee Layer (HAW) 10.53, Cody Thompson (USA) 10.27, Rico Jimenez (HAW) 3.67
Heat 14: Jensen Callaway (USA) 11.50, Matt Myers (USA) 9.57, Ben Graeff (USA) 7.10 Rory Parker (HAW) 5.33
Heat 15: Brent Dorrington (AUS) 15.00, Jason Harris (USA) 11.50, Andrew Bennett (USA) 9.17, Matt Pagan (USA) 6.33
Heat 16: Phillip Goold (USA) 12.70, Adam Lambert (USA) 12.40, Chase Newsome (USA) 10.27, Luke Davis (USA) 7.90
Round 2: 160 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.10, Jacob Kirshenbaum (USA) 10.47, Javier Swayne (PER) 9.90, Golden Depesa (HAW) 6.67
Heat 2: Johnny Craft (USA) 13.60, Alek Parker (USA) 13.34, Brandon Guilmette (USA) 10.40, Billy Kemper (HAW) 9.25
Heat 3: Zach Keenan (USA) 15.67, Jesse Heilman (USA) 13.23, Chris Drummy (USA) 11.43, Tony Adams (USA) 11.00
Heat 4: Parrish Byrne (AUS) 14.43, Peter Mussio (USA) 10.96, Kawika Stillwell (HAW) 9.70, Michael Bailey (USA) 8.50
Heat 5: Kiron Jabour (HAW) 11.10, Richie Collins (USA) 9.33, Alex Kamkoff (VEN) 5.24, David Gonsalves (HAW) 3.67
Heat 6: Kyle Ramey (HAW) 16.00, Chris Abad (USA) 14.27, Solomon Ortiz (HAW) 11.23, Daisuke Suzuki (JPN) 8.60
Heat 7: Shane Beschen (USA) 14.33, Jason Collins (USA) 13.00, Gabriel Escudero (PRI) 6.70, Casey Landvogt (USA) 6.56
Heat 8: Rylan McCart (USA) 14.50, Nobuyuki Osawa (JPN) 13.87, Austin Smith-Ford (USA) 10.37
Heat 9: Brent Reilly (USA) 15.00, Adam Wickwire (USA) 12.10, Nat Young (USA) 11.67, Nick Skawinski (USA) 6.17