The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) 1-Star PLA Pro Championships saw local talent Taylor Jensen (Oceanside, CA), 25, take out the men’s division, while fellow San Diegan Cori Schumacher (Cardiff, CA), 34, clinched her second consecutive women’s ASP North America Longboard Title when she won the PLA Pro Championships presented by Gidget in the peaky two-to-three foot wind-swell on offer at South Oceanside Pier.
Jensen, who grew up surfing Oceanside’s beachbreak, was trailing in third place behind Tony Silvagni (Kure Beach, NC), 22, but battled back to overtake the lead by combining two lengthy noserides and progressive turns to eventually place the field in a combination situation before claiming the PLA Pro Championships, the last event on the 2009 regional series.
“I just lucked into a wave,” Jensen said. “Brendan (White) took the one before it and I just sort of lucked into it and it worked out.”
Jensen, who has also been living in Australia, has been splitting his time between the two nations and was thrilled to take out a win at home after traveling back from Australia.
“I was getting really excited about this contest on the flight over,” Jensen said. “There is hardly ever a contest here, so to win one is pretty special.”
Jensen dominated several ASP LQS events this year, claiming three contest victories while finishing No. 11 on the ASP World Longboard Tour. After capping his season off with an additional victory, he’ll look to next year where he’ll be competing as one of the world’s finest longboarders on the 2010 ASP WLT.
“I’m really happy with how the year went overall,” Jensen said. “The Australia leg went really well for me. I didn’t do as well as I would have liked on the World Tour, but I’ve requalified for next year. I started the year off with a win and to end it with a win is pretty ideal.”
Schumacher also dominated the tricky beachbreak conditions brought on by the drained out tide and shifting swell to claim the ASP 2-Star PLA Pro Championships presented by Gidget. The competitive veteran paced herself throughout the event, saving the best for last when left her fellow finalists, including reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Longboard Champion Jen Smith (San Diego, CA), 23, in need of two scores to overtake her commanding lead in the Final.
“I really learned my lesson at the last event in Ocean Beach because the conditions were similar to this and I was surfing super hard in every heat and was too tired by the end of the contest,” Schumacher said. “I tried to stay super mellow until the Final and then went all out.”
Although Schumacher was the 2008 regional champion, her title this year was won over several events whereas last year’s title was decided solely on one contest.
“I’m stoked to take the regional title two years in a row,” Schumacher said. “This year has been different though because there have been several events instead of just the one and I really prefer it. I think all of the other girls do too.”
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PLA Pro Championships Final Results:
1 – Taylor Jensen (USA)
2 – Steve Newton (USA)
3 – Tony Silvagni (USA)
4 – Brendan White (USA)
PLA Pro Championships Semifinals Results:
Heat 1: Taylor Jensen (USA) 16.16, Tony Silvagni (USA) 13.06, Josh Baxter (USA) 11.90, Cole Robbins (USA) 8.07
Heat 2: Brendan White (USA) 13.83, Steve Newton (USA) 13.14, Troy Mothershead (USA) 10.94, Kai Sallas (HAW) 10.93
PLA Pro Championships Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1: Tony Silvagni (USA) 12.04, Josh Baxter (USA) 11.53, Colin McPhillips (USA) 11.50, Duane DeSoto (HAW) 10.50
Heat 2: Taylor Jensen (USA) 13.67, Cole Robbins (USA) 12.00, Mike Stidham (USA) 10.43, Nelson Ahina (HAW) 9.30
Heat 3: Brendan White (USA) 15.16, Troy Mothershead (USA) 14.74, Noah Shimabukuro (USA) 10.10, Brett Robbins (USA) 7.07
Heat 4: Kai Sallas (HAW) 11.60, Steve Newton (USA) 11.30, Eli Gillis (USA) 11.27, Darren Eudaly (USA) 10.36
PLA Pro Championships Round of 32 Results:
Heat 1: Duane DeSoto (HAW) 13.67, Mike Stidham (USA) 11.83, Joe Aaron (USA) 11.50, Artie Castro (USA) 2.23
Heat 2: Colin McPhillips (USA) 14.60, Cole Robbins (USA) 11.17, Job Ishiki (USA) 8.33, Danny Ryder (USA) 3.63
Heat 3: Taylor Jensen (USA) 14.16, Tony Silvagni (USA) 10.90, Dennis Bourg (USA) 5.23, Tim Reda (USA) 4.77
Heat 4: Nelson Ahia (HAW) 12.67, Josh Baxter (USA) 11.33, Bryce Young (USA) Jerry Swearingen (USA) 7.26
Heat 5: Troy Mothershead (USA) 10.87, Eli Gillis (USA) 9.77, Keegan Edwards (HAW) 6.27, Byron Rohrer (USA) 5.70
Heat 6: Brendan White (USA) 14.83, Darren Eudaly (USA) 13.17, Greg Briggs (USA) 9.67, Chris Koerner (USA) 6.66
Heat 7: Kai Sallas (HAW) 16.34, Noah Shimabukuro (USA) 12.56, Scott Brandenburg (USA) 10.60, Cody Ulrich (USA) 6.14
Heat 8: Steve Newton (USA) 12.83, Brett Robbins (USA) 8.77, Wyatt Potts (USA) 5.70, Scott Flynn (USA) 4.36
PLA Pro Championships presented by Gidget Final Results:
1- Cori Schumacher (USA) 14.67
2 – Megan Godinez (HAW) 9.03
3 – Jen Smith (USA) 8.47
4 – Stacia Ahina (HAW) 6.97
PLA Pro Championships presented by Gidget Semifinals Results:
Heat 1: Jennifer Smith (USA) 12.40, Cori Schumacher (USA) 9.67, Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 9.60, Kate Easton (USA) 9.03
Heat 2: Stacia Ahina (HAW) 10.67, Megan Godinez (HAW) 8.93, Hallie Rohr (USA) 8.43, Crystal Dzigas (HAW) 7.17