HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Tuesday, March 15, 2011) - After several years as an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 2-Star event, the Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack's Surfboards has upgraded to an ASP 4-Star and this year's contest is set to host a handful of ASP World Tour talent at Huntington Beach Pier from March 23 through 27, 2011.
Running in conjunction with the men's main event will be the ASP 4-Star Vans Pro Junior, which will see the nation's finest under-21 competitors on the hunt for the ratings points on offer towards qualification for the ASP World Junior Tour.
Damien Hobgood (Satellite Beach, FL), 31, is one of several elite ASP Dream Tour surfers slated to compete at the upcoming Vans Pier Classic and the talented goofy-footer is out to keep his competitive skills sharp in between ASP World Title events.
"I knew I was going to be in California and saw the Vans event on the map and thought I'd love to do it," Hobgood said. "I'm looking forward to it. I don't feel like I've been competing that well and I feel like I need to surf some more heats lately. I'm looking forward to surfing some heats."
Hobgood, current No. 16 on the men's ASP World Ranking, is also excited about the opportunity to surf against several of the nation's top up-and-coming talent in the draw.
"I love doing any of the Star events," Hobgood said. "It's great to surf against the new guys and see what they are up to and feed off of their energy. In the World Tour events, we're often surfing against the same people so it's really fun for me to get to surf against the young kids too."
Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 17, defending ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion, is looking to capitalize on the crucial ratings points on offer at the upcoming Vans Pro Junior to defend his regional title and solidify a position on the coveted ASP World Junior Tour.
"I'm still focusing on the Pro Junior series 100 percent," Geiselman said. "My goal this year is to win the series again and to qualify for the World Junior Tour. I want to repeat my performance from last year and defend my regional title."
The young Floridian is also competing in the men's Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack's Surfboards and is dually focused on establishing himself on the men's ASP World Ranking in an attempt to eventually qualify for the ASP World Tour.
"I'll be competing in both events and am looking to build my seed on the men's World Ranking," Geiselman said. "I'm definitely planning on doing more Star events this year to help my overall standing."
With a handful of men's ASP Dream Tour talent in the draw, Geiselman is looking to hone his competitive skill set against some of the world's best surfers.
"I love surfing against those guys," Geiselman said. "I don't usually get to surf against guys on the World Tour, so hopefully I'll have the chance to come up against them in the draw."
ASP World Tour surfers Adriano de Souza (BRA), 24, Australian standout Josh Kerr (AUS), 26, and ASP World Tour veteran Taylor Knox (USA), 39, are also in the draw for the upcoming Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack's Surfboards.
The Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack's Surfboards will run from March 23 through 27, 2011 and will be webcast LIVE on http://www.vans.com/events/38140/vans-pier-classic/
Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP)
Regional Media Officer
ASP North America
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International Media Manager
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About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the recognized world governing body of professional surfing and has been crowning surfing's undisputed World Champions since 1976. The ASP sanctions and crowns World Champions for the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women's World Tour, ASP World Junior Tour, ASP World Longboard and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts and other media platforms. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.