VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia / USA (Tuesday, August 23, 2011) - The 2011 Coastal Edge presents Vans Pro Junior kicked off at 1st Street Jetty in Virginia Beach, Virginia in contestable one-to-two foot waves and saw international talents dominate the opening rounds of competition.
The Coastal Edge presents Vans Pro Junior represents the final stop on the 2011 ASP North America Pro Junior Series, making the event crucial for top surfers to solidify their position within the top four on the regional rankings to qualify for the elite ASP World Junior Tour.
Cristobal De Col (Lima, PER), 18, took top honors during the opening day of competition with ruthless top-to-bottom backhand surfing to ignite the day's highest scores. The young Peruvian carefully picked off two steep right-handers and belted the day's highest single-wave score of a near-perfect 9.33 out of 10 to open his account and solidified the win with an 8.33 to nab the day's highest heat-total of 17.66 (out of 20 points).
"I knew there were a couple," De Col said. "I saw that hollower right coming in once in awhile and was able to find a few waves out there, so I'm happy."
De Col, who is also competing in the men's ASP 4-Star main event, felt a boost of confidence after his successful opening heat and hopes that he can build momentum during the expected increase in swell.
"This is totally a great way to start a contest," De Col said. "You gain more confidence and hopefully I can have fun. I've talked to all of the locals and they said the waves are supposed to get super fun, so hopefully the swell fills in."
Michael February (Cape Town, ZAF), 18, convincingly won two heats today and earned some of the day's top scores with electric surfing on both his forehand and backhand, establishing the young regular-footer as an event darkhorse.
"The waves are small, but I managed to find a few small waves that ran a little and that I could pump and was able to get a few scores," February said.
The Cape Town native effortlessly navigated through the challenging conditions on offer amidst his first trip to Virginia Beach and had been training for the tricky beachbreak conditions at the local beaches surrounding his hometown.
"This is my first time here to Virginia Beach," February said. "I heard that forecast was going to be small and I stayed at home surfing some small beachbreak conditions to prepare for the event."
Nick Fowler (Newport Beach, CA), 19, was one American to find success in the opening rounds of the Coastal Edge presents Vans Pro Junior, scalping his Round 1 heat as well as the crucial ASP 4-Star points towards his ASP North America Pro Junior Series Ranking.
"I'm stoked to get in to this event because it's a 4-Star," Fowler said. "I wasn't doing many events back home and I came here and made my first heat so hopefully I can keep going. I think I just got lucky out there, there weren't many waves, but I was able to find a few scores."
The Coastal Edge ECSC presents Vans Pro and Vans Pro Junior brought to you by Rockstar and Skullcandy holds a waiting period from August 22 through 28, 2011. Tomorrow's action is slated to complete Rounds 2 and 3 of ASP Pro Junior competition as well as Round 1 of the men's Vans Pro main event and will be webcast LIVE via - www.vans.com/vanspro
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com
Vans Pro Junior Round of 64 Results:
Heat 1: Tanner Strohmenger (USA) 12.17, Conner Lester (UAS) 11.77, Ricardo Delgado (PRI) 9.73, Bobby Okvist (USA) 6.27
Heat 2: Cristobal De Col (PER) 17.66, Noah Schweizer (USA) 10.87, Ian Bloch (USA) 8.57, Conner Lester (USA) 8.24
Heat 3: Michael February (ZAF) 13.43, Chris Tucker (USA) 10.07, Kalani David (HAW) 9.97, Trevor Thornton (USA) 6.17
Heat 4: Carlos Munoz (CRI) 10.10, Ryan Croteau (USA) 7.44, Tommy Wehsener (USA) 5.67, Sam Orozco (USA) 4.50
Vans Pro Junior Round of 72 Results:
Heat 1: Tanner Strohmenger (USA) 12.17, Conner Lester (USA) 11.77, Ricardo Delgado (PRI) 9.73, Bobby Okvist (USA) 6.27
Heat 2: Michael February (ZAF) 14.00, Sam Orozco (USA) 11.26, Andres J. Carreras (USA) 5.93, Adam Goldstone (USA) 5.40
Heat 3: Kelly Zaun (USA) 10.50, Giorgio Gomez (USA) 6.36, Travis Southworth (MEX) 6.00, Matthew Meinhardt (USA) 4.40
Heat 4: Nick Fowler (USA) 10.47, Morgan Leavel (USA) 8.17, Robbie Merrell (USA) 7.17, Jordan Heaselgrave (USA) 6.20