Big Day for Coastal Edge presents Vans Pro, Hurricane Irene Expected to Deliver Swell

East Coast standout and former ASP World Tour surfer Ben Bourgeois is one favorite in the running for the 2011 ASP 4-Star Coastal Edge presents Vans Pro. Credit: HILLEMAN

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia / USA (Wednesday, August 24, 2011) - The ASP 4-Star Coastal Edge Vans Pro and Vans Pro Junior saw a marathon day of 24 heats unfold at 1st Street Jetty in consistent one-two-two foot surf. While Hurricane Irene is expected to deliver improved conditions to Virginia Beach, the storm's current trajectory could potentially make for uncontestable conditions for the weekend, forcing event organizers to compress the event down to a few days, with a possible finish for Friday.

The Coastal Edge presents Vans Pro and Vans Pro Junior not only offers important points for surfers looking to build their ASP World Ranking, but is also the final stop on the 2011 ASP North America Pro Junior Series, making a standout performance crucial for regional competitors on the bubble for qualification for the 2011 ASP World Junior Tour.

Michael February (Cape Town, ZAF), 18, continued his tear on the tricky beachbreak conditions and scalped two heats while earning the second-highest heat total of Vans Pro competition a 14.23 (out of 20) in Round 2.

"The waves aren't that great yet, but they've picked up a little bit, so I'm happy that the swell is starting to fill in," February said. "I'm definitely keen to surf more heats. I managed to steal a few waves out there and get a few scores."

February, who took two commanding heat wins in yesterday's Vans Pro Junior competition, confidently took to the water after yesterday's success and felt even more comfortable with the slight increase in swell.

"I'm glad I surfed those heats yesterday for sure," February said. "After surfing when the waves are that small, you know it can only get better if the waves get bigger."

Ben Bourgeois (Wrightsville Beach, NC), 32, former elite ASP World Tour surfer, convincingly took his Round 1 victory with polished surfing on both his forehand and backhand and was enjoying the Coastal Edge Vans Pro atmosphere after a long hiatus from competition.

"It's always fun to come up here and surf in events," Bourgeois said. "I haven't surfed a heat in a long time. I haven't put on a jersey in awhile. Tomorrow and the next day should be getting bigger and I'm looking forward to it."

Taylor Thorne (Newport Beach, CA), 18, hunted down the best wave of his Round of 48 clash in the Vans Pro Junior division and relied on seamless rail-to-rail power surfing to earn the day's highest single-wave score of an 8.00 while accumulating the highest heat-total as well, 14.83 out of 20.

"The waves are pretty difficult out there, it's really soft and I just got lucky and got one of the best waves of the heat," Thorne said. "I just placed my turns in the right spot, but it's more of a luck game out there really."

Thorne, current No. 17 on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, is looking to finish his year off strong at the Vans Pro Junior to establish himself as a top seed for his 2012 regional campaign.

"With this event being a 4-Star, I'd like to get some points and finish the year strong," Thorne said. "I haven't really had the best year on the Junior Series and I really want to get a good result to finish the year off."

Shaw Kobayashi (San Clemente, CA), 19, took top honors in a stacked Vans Pro Junior heat, besting New Yorker Balaram Stack (Point Lookout, NY), 19, who advanced in second, Peruvian talent Cristobal De Col (Lima, PER), 18, and Colin Moran (Newport Beach, CA), 16. Kobayashi also hopes to put in a valiant effort at the Vans Pro Junior to improve his seed for the 2012 ASP North America Pro Junior Season.

"I'm stoked because both Balaram (Stack) and Cristobal (De Col) have previously gotten me in a contest," Kobayashi said. "I just want to make it pretty far so I can get in to Lowers next year. Last year I didn't make it in and I was so bummed. I was an alternate and I never made it in. It's my home spot and I never made it in, so hopefully I can do well here to help for next year."

Dylan Kowalski (North Shore, HI), 17, who originally hails from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, looked comfortable in the tricky beachbreak conditions on offer at 1st Street Jetty. Despite spending half of his year on the North Shore of Oahu, Kowalski still would like to garner an impressive result at what he considers a home event.

"I live half of the year in Hawaii in the winter months and travel around the rest of the time," Kowalski said. "I've had a few contests here and the conditions are usually like this so I feel pretty comfortable. This is pretty much the closest thing to a local ASP event I have and I'd like to do well here."

Coastal Edge presents Vans Pro and Vans Pro Junior brought to you by Rockstar and Skullcandy action will recommence at 7am local time tomorrow morning and will be webcast LIVE via

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Coastal Edge presents Vans Pro Round of 96 Results:
Heat 1: Michael February (ZAF) 14.23, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 13.84, Jeremy Carter (USA) 7.77, J.D. Lewis (USA) 6.73
Heat 2: Kalani David (HAW) 10.77, Dane Anderson (USA) 9.04, Tommy O'Brien (USA) 5.44, Johnny Noris (USA) 5.36
Heat 3: Derek Peters (USA) 13.84, Bobby Okvist (USA) 10.30, Zack Humphreys (USA) 4.17, Cody Sammons (USA) 0.93
Heat 4: Ian Crane (USA) 13.00, Victor Done (USA) 11.76, Nick Rupp (USA) 10.03, Shaw Kobayashi (USA) 9.64

Coastal Edge presents Vans Pro Round of 112:
Heat 1: Michael February (ZAF) 11.50, Dane Anderson (USA) 8.10, Adam Goldstone (USA) 5.77, Reno Makani (HAW) 3.36
Heat 2: Bobby Okvist (USA) 11.90, Victor Done (USA) 11.73, Ian Simmons (USA) 9.07, Giorgio Gomez (USA) 7.27
Heat 3: Ben Bourgeois (USA) 12.77, P.J. Raia (USA) 12.67, Eddie Guilbeau (USA) 5.37, Jake Halstead (USA) 3.88
Heat 4: Jair Perez (CRI) 13.26, Rob Kelly (USA) 10.50, Trevor Thornton (USA) 8.47, Nick Fowler (USA) 7.53
Heat 5: Matt Lewis-Hewitt (NZL) 12.34, Cahill Bell-Warren (AUS) 7.67, Mason Barnes (USA) 6.26, Ethan Carlston (USA) 6.00
Heat 6: Ian Gentil (HAW) 13.86, Kyle Garson (USA) 11.60, Joshua Burke (BRB) 9.40, Knox Harris (USA) 7.90
Heat 7: Cody Thompson (USA) 14.34, Cameron Richards (USA) 10.77, Taylor Clark (USA) 5.76, Jensen Callaway (USA) 0.00
Heat 8: Tonino Benson (HAW) 12.70, Scott Weinhardt (USA) 9.06, Kevin Sullivan (HAW) 7.00, Colton Sarlo (USA) 6.80

Coastal Edge presents Vans Pro Junior Round of 48 Results:
Heat 1: Ian Gentil (HAW) 12.40, Christian Saenz (USA) 9.43, Noah Schweizer (USA) 8.50, Theo Lewitt (USA) 4.80
Heat 2: Shaw Kobayashi (USA) 11.17, Balaram Stack (USA) 7.73, Colin Moran (USA) 7.27, Cristobal De Col (PER) 5.87
Heat 3: Michael February (ZAF) 10.66, Ryan Croteau (USA) 8.14, Doug Van Mierlo (USA) 6.73, Jared Thorne (USA) 5.97
Heat 4: P.J. Raia (USA) 10.67, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 9.44, Chris Tucker (USA) 9.34, Ian Crane (USA) 8.30
Heat 5: Taylor Thorne (USA) 14.83, Derrick Disney (USA) 12.10, Michael Ciaramella (USA) 11.83, Evan Barton (USA) 5.00
Heat 6: Dylan Kowalski (HAW) 12.83, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 10.97, Scott Weinhardt (USA) 8.77, Knox Harris (USA) 6.60
Heat 7: Taylor Clark (USA) 11.93, J.D. Lewis (USA) 7.43, Nick Fowler (USA) 5.83, Cole Moody (USA) 2.77
Heat 8: Derek Peters (USA) 11.90, Dane Zaun (USA) 9.83, Makai McNamara (HAW) 8.87, Mason Barnes (USA) 8.03

Coastal Edge presents Vans Pro Junior Round of 64 Results:
Heat 5: Michael Ciaramella (USA) 10.83, Scott Weinhardt (USA) 9.60, Kelly Zaun (USA) 6.84, Nathan Behl (USA) 6.60
Heat 6: Knox Harris (USA) 12.66, Derrick Disney (USA) 11.33, Colton Sarlo (USA) 5.63, Giorgio Gomez (USA) 3.50
Heat 7: Nick Fowler (USA) 10.90, Mason Barnes (USA) 10.50, Koa Smith (HAW) 6.30, Ian Simmons (USA) 5.67
Heat 8: Derek Peters (USA) 12.67, Cole Moody (USA) 9.57, Parker Coffin (USA) 8.60, Morgan Leavel (USA) 6.00