HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Friday, February, 3, 2012) - California standout Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 30, put on a domineering performance at the ASP 5-Star Volcom Pipe Pro, battling through massive Pipeline conditions to finish 4th overall. Yeomans' spot in the Final marked him as the last non-Hawaiian standing at one of the world's most deadly waves.
Yeomans' run to the Final was nothing short of impressive, as the talented goofy-footer eliminated some of Hawaii's finest watermen including Bruce Irons (HAW), 32, in their Semifinals clash. In addition to his brilliant barrel-riding performance, Yeomans' run on the last day of competition was almost cut short after a serious encounter with the infamous Pipeline reef the day prior left the Californian in questionable condition for the remainder of competition.
"I had a bad wipeout the day before, on the big day," Yeomans said. "I got sucked over the falls and got suplexed on the reef on the middle of my back. I was really lucky I didn't hit 12 inches higher up on my body. That night I was almost certain I wasn't going to be able to surf the next day. I woke up and felt a bit better. I saw how good the waves were and said, screw it, I'm out there. The semifinal was a nail bitter. I actually didn't know I made it until I got to the beach. That was probably the best moment in competitive Surfing I’ve had."
Yeomans admitted taking on three Hawaiians, including Pipeline locals John John Florence (North Shore, HAW), 19, and Jaime O'Brien (North Shore, HAW), 28, as well as former ASP World Junior Champion Kai Barger (Maui, HI), 22, was a tall task, but making a final at one of the world's most iconic waves was a massive accomplishment.
"It was looking pretty average that morning but by the time the final was going out it was cranking," Yeomans said. "It's such a tight take off spot and John John (Florence) and Jaime (O'Brien) really are freaks out there. I got out positioned on a couple waves that where really good, but that's the benefit of surfing that spot all the time, you know where to be and where not to be. It's still surreal, that's (Pipeline) the Yankee Staduim of surfing and making the Final is something I really only dreamed of as a grom! To make the final was such an honor."
Yeomans, who competed on the ASP World Tour in 2010, is hoping his result at the Volcom Pipe Pro will help to kick-start his 2012 season and is now of to the ASP PRIME Hang Loose Pro is Brazil this week after a short rehab stint on his back injury.
"I’ve been competing for awhile now, and it's a confidence boost for sure," Yeomans said. "At the same time pressure is really only brought on by yourself and your mind. That event I was really enjoying myself and each heat I was going out with the mindset of trying to get one good barrel and also knowing that you could get the wave of your life out there. I'm going to Fernando on Sunday. My back is still pretty sore but I'm getting worked on by Dr. David Sales here in San Clemente so I can be back to 100 percent in a couple days."
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