Hawaiians Lead Vans Pier Classic and Ezekiel Pro Junior Fields to Quarterfinals

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Saturday, March 27, 2010) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 2-Star Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack’s Surfboards decided the event’s Quarterfinalists today in peaky two-to-four foot (1 metre) surf at South Huntington Beach Pier and Hawaiians Tyler Newton (Kauai, HI) 19, and Macy Mullen (Milileni, HI), 30, took the day’s top honors by posting the highest scores in men’s competition.

Dege O’Connell (Hana, HI), 20, led the top seeds through the second stop on the 2010 ASP North America Pro Junior Series, the Ezekiel Pro Junior presented by Jack’s Surfboards, by crushing the highest single wave score of the entire event, a near perfect 9.80 out of 10, while current ASP North America Pro Junior Series ratings leader Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 16, took a convincing heat victory as well.

Mullen, who currently resides in Huntington Beach by way of Oahu, Hawaii, looked comfortable in the peaky conditions and posted the highest heat total of the round, a solid 14.75 out of 20, with a clean backside attack on two righthand wedges breaking off of South Huntington Beach Pier.

“I was just being patient and felt relaxed out there,” Mullen said. “All you really need is a wave out there. I’ve been living here for a few years, this is my home break here and I feel really comfortable. It’s a fun wave. If you get a good one, you can get about eight turns in.”

Newton matched the highest single wave score of Vans Pier Classic competition with stylish rail-to-rail power-surfing on a lengthy righthand wall to earn a massive 9.00 out of 10 single-wave score to march through to the Quarterfinals of men’s competition.

“That was a fun wave and I didn’t even realize that I got that good of a score,” Newton said. “Matt King was pushing me deep and it really ended up lining up for me. I was psyched to get that wave, but then it was really hard to get a backup out there. The whole time I was looking for another score, but most of the waves were just gutless, so I’m stoked that I got a good wave early.”

The Kauai native carried the momentum from his convincing heat win in men’s competition through to his Ezekiel Pro Junior debut and won two additional heats to advance through to the Quarterfinals of the ASP North America Pro Junior Series event.

“I’m still doing the junior, so it’s great to have a good morning heat in the men’s competition before entering the Junior’s,” Newton said. “I’m looking forward to surfing out here once the tide drops, it should be fun .”

O’Connell, who is competing in his last season on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, was awarded the top single-wave score of the entire event by unleashing a powerful hack and followed up by racing down the line and blasting a massive grab-rail reverse.

“I knew that wave was going to be a sick little pier bowl wedge, but I couldn’t really see anything when I first stood up because of the wind,” O’Connell said. “I did that first carve and felt like I dug my rail a little bit and then had that good section and just went for the grab-rail reverse.”

The heat win helped give the Maui surfer a confidence boost after a long slump and O’Connell is out to build momentum as he enters the Ezekiel Pro Junior Quarterfinals.

“I did well in this event last year and I haven’t made a heat in my last eight events,” O’Connell said. “It feels good to get a heat win under my belt and break that slump.”

Geiselman, who is fresh off of his first ASP North America Pro Junior Series win at the 2010 season opener in Sebastian Inlet, continued his dominance on the field today with another solid heat victory to advance through to the Quarterfinals.

“Coming here off of my first Pro Junior win definitely helps my confidence,” Geiselman said. “My focus is on the Pro Junior this year, so I want to get another good result here in Huntington.”

The Vans Pier Classic and Ezekiel Pro Junior will kick off competition tomorrow at 8am and will crown champions in both divisions by day’s end. For all of the LIVE action log on to http://www.vans.com/pierclassic/webcast.html

For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspnorthamerica.org

Vans Pier Classic Round of 32 Results:
Heat 1: Luke Davis (USA) 14.00, Cristobal De Col (PER) 10.25, Nils Schweizer (USA) 8.25, Albee Layer (USA) 7.25
Heat 2: Tom Rezvan (USA) 11.75, Peter Mel (USA) 11.25, Evan Geiselman (USA) 10.35, Alex Smith (HAW) 7.90
Heat 3: Taylor Thorne (USA) 9.25, Jason Collins (USA) 9.00, Chris Waring (USA) 8.55, Ian Crane (USA) 7.25
Heat 4: Macy Mullen (HAW) 14.75, Ryah Arthur (USA) 7.60, Cody Thompson (USA) 7.25, Brandon Barnes (USA) 3.60
Heat 5: Tyler Newton (HAW) 11.95, Asher Nolan (USA) 11.75, Evan Thompson (USA) 11.40, Matt King (USA) 10.25
Heat 6: Brandon Guilmette (USA) 13.35, Anthony Petruso (USA) 10.60, Ricky Whitlock (USA) 10.25, Justin McBride (USA) 4.90
Heat 7: Ted Navarro (USA) 11.55, Adam Lambert (USA) 9.40, Nick Riley (AUS) 9.00, Ben Bourgeois (USA) 7.90
Heat 8: Dylan Goodale (HAW) 11.25, Micah Byrne (USA) 9.55, Nick Rupp (USA) 8.85, Jimmy Herrick (USA) 7.50

Ezekiel Pro Junior Round of 32 Results:
Heat 1: Dege O’Connell (HAW) 16.05, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 12.45, Evan Thompson (USA) 8.82, Levi Gonzales (HAW) 7.75
Heat 2: Chase Wilson (USA) 10.25, Andrew Doheny (USA) 10.05, Jared Thorne (USA) 9.00, Gabe Garcia (USA) 5.15
Heat 3: Evan Geiselman (USA) 16.35, Taylor Thorne (USA) 12.00, Nathan Carvalho (HAW) 9.50, Fisher Heverly (USA) 5.70
Heat 4: Tyler Newton (HAW) 14.00, Dillon Perillo (USA) 13.90, Sean Pearson (USA) 10.45, Matt Costa (HAW) 7.40
Heat 5: Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.00, Conner Coffin (USA) 10.25, Oliver Kurtz (USA) 7.90, Balaram Stack (USA) 5.95
Heat 6: Kolohe Andino (USA), 15.57, Chase Brady (USA) 12.00, Albee Layer (HAW) 9.25, Koa Smith (HAW) 5.85
Heat 7: Luke Davis (USA) 17.00, Victor Done (USA) 13.65, Quinn McCrystal (USA) 10.75, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 7.75
Heat 8: Alex Smith (HAW) 12.85, Michael Dunphy (USA) 12.75, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 12.50, Doug Van Mierlo (USA) 9.75

Ezekiel Pro Junior Round of 48 Results:
Heat 3: Taylor Thorne (USA) 14.00, Matt Costa (USA) 11.60, Dane Zaun (USA) 8.25, Shaw Kobayashi (USA) 6.75
Heat 4:Tyler Newton (HAW) 10.65, Nathan Carvalho (HAW) 8.80, Max Colvin (USA) 7.00, Nathan Florence (HAW) 5.05
Heat 5: Conner Coffin (USA) 15.85, Koa Smith (HAW) 7.75, Taylor Clark (USA) 6.95, Brandon Barnes (USA) 6.10
Heat 6: Chase Brady (USA) 11.50, Balaram Stack (USA) 10.60, Conrad Carr (USA) 9.65, Billy Hopkins (USA) 7.85
Heat 7: Victor Done (USA) 11.25, Doug Van Mierlo (USA) 9.75, Nick Rupp (USA) 9.35, Evan Kane (USA) 6.45
Heat 8: Alex Smith (HAW) 16.00, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 10.60, Tayler Brothers (USA) 10.25, Colton Larson (USA) 8.35