HUNTINGTON BEACH, California / USA (Saturday, August 6, 2011) - Filipe Toledo (Sao Paulo, BRA), 16, and Lakey Peterson (Santa Barbara, CA), 16, have won the ASP 4-Star Nike US Open of Surfing Pro Junior in clean two-to-four foot (1 metre) waves at Huntington Beach Pier against some of the world's finest under-21 surfers.
In addition to the crowning of the ASP Pro Junior Series champions, Quarterfinalists were decided for the men's ASP PRIME event as well as Semifinalists for final stop on the 2011 ASP Women's World Title Series, the Women's Nike US Open of Surfing.
Toledo proved to be unstoppable in the rippable beachbreak conditions, and defeated prodigies Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 16, and John John Florence (North Shore, HI), 17, as well as California powerhouse Conner Coffin (Santa Barbara, CA), 16, when he launched a flurry of frontside air-reverses to net a 15.17 out of 20 heat total in the Final.
"I feel unbelievable," Toledo said. "Thanks to all of my Brazilian brothers and my new sponsor Nike and my family in Brazil. The wave here in Huntington is a beachbreak, just like Brazil and I think I'm a good surfer in these waves, it's just unbelievable to win."
The massive victory earned by the young Brazilian dark-horse now puts him on the international stage alongside his fellow countrymen who are pushing the limits of surfing to new heights and Toledo plans on returning to Brazil to establish himself on the ASP World Ranking.
"I feel like this win puts my name with the rest of the Brazilians like my friends Alejo (Muniz) and Miguel (Pupo) and Jesse (Mendes)," Toledo said. "I'm going to go back to Brazil and do some ASP contests and hopefully I can do well."
Lakey Peterson clawed her way back into the Nike US Open of Surfing Pro Junior Final after former event champion Malia Manuel (Wailua, HI), 18, opened her account with a strong ride and tore into two right-handers, earning an 8.50 and a 7.27 for the rides to solidify her victory. The up-and-coming Californian took out Manuel, and elite ASP Women's World Title Surfers Laura Enever (AUS), 19, and Coco Ho (North Shore, HI), 18, and was elated to win at Huntington Beach.
"It's amazing to win this event," Peterson said. "I was looking at the trophy before I paddled out and I was like 'I want that thing so bad.' Nike does such a great job and I'd like to thank them for putting on this event. It's been an amazing day. The final wasn't really serious, we were all laughing and cracking jokes, it was really fun."
Peterson, wildcard into the Nike US Open of Surfing ASP Women's World Title event, continued her tear against the ASP Top 17 as well when she ousted Laura Enever (AUS), 19, in their Quarterfinals bout and will face top seed Carissa Moore (Honolulu, HI), 18, in the Semifinals.
"I'm actually shaking pretty bad right now," Peterson said after her Quarterfinal win. "I'm just really excited. I got to the Semifinals last year as a 6-Star but it's a World Tour event this year. I'm surfing against Carissa (Moore) in the Semifinals. She's a great friend and I'm looking forward to surfing against her, she always pushes me to surf the best that I can."
Carissa Moore, winner of last year's ASP 6-Star Hurley US Open of Surfing, took a come-from-behind victory to overtake local favorite Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana, CA), 17, in their Quarterfinals matchup when she blasted the day's highest single-wave score of 8.93 while taking the highest heat-total of 16.53 (out of 20) with committed and polished forehand surfing.
"I had my back up against the wall," Moore said. "I ended up really far down the beach from Courtney (Conlogue) and we kind of were surfing different peaks and I was just hoping the waves would come. In the beginning Courtney got the better of it and got that sick left and I felt like if I was going to go out, I'd want to go out kicking and screaming. Luckily some waves came."
Kolohe Andino, who finished second in the ASP Pro Junior Final, battled fellow up-and-comer John John Florence in the Round of 12 and found his way into clean barrel before launching a massive air-reverse on his second wave to notch the day's highest heat-total in men's competition of 16.10 to advance through to the Quarterfinals.
"Conditions are really fun, especially for airs and high-performance surfing and I'm stoked to make it through," Andino said. "I had a blast. Once I got that first 8.5 I knew I had to get at least a 7.5 to put John John (Florence) in a combo. I really wanted to put him in a combo to have a better chance to win the heat."
The young talent will now face his idol Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA), 26, in the Quarterfinals and is motivated to take on the progressive wizard in their upcoming matchup.
"Yesterday, in my heat against Dane (Reynolds), it just slipped through my fingers, I needed a 7.5 and just couldn't find a second wave after I got the 9," Andino said. "Dane (Reynolds) is one of my favorite surfers and it's just a have fun heat because I'm supposed to lose so I'm just going to go for it."
Yadin Nicol (AUS), 26, kept his qualification campaign alive to make the midyear cut for the elite ASP Top 34 when he got the best of dangerous Brazilian Thiago Camarao, 23, in their hard-fought Round of 12 heat.
"I'm really happy," Nicol said. "This is a big contest for me and a great opportunity. I'm pretty excited right now. Thiago is a great surfer and I'm happy to move through to the Quarterfinals."
Men's and Women's Nike US Open of Surfing champions will be crowned tomorrow afternoon.
LIVE webcast of the Nike US Open of surfing will run from August 1 through 7, 2011 via www.usopenofsurfing.com
Nike US Open of Surfing Round of 12 Results:
Heat 1: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 12.00 def. Richard Christie (NZL) 9.26
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.10 def. Evan Geiselman (USA) 10.90
Heat 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.10 def. John John Florence (HAW) 12.17
Women's Nike US Open of Surfing Quarterfinals Results:
QF 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.80 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 10.24
QF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 16.53 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 8.17
QF 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 10.83 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 8.17
QF 4: Coco Ho (HAW) 11.20 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10.37
Nike US Open of Surfing Pro Junior Men's Final Result:
1 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.17
2 - Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.96
3 - John John Florence (HAW) 13.47
4 - Conner Coffin (USA) 11.44
Nike US Open Pro Junior Men's Semifinals Results:
SF 1: Conner Coffin (USA) 16.23, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.46, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 13.44, Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.57
SF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 16.10, Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.16, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 12.13, Colin Moran (USA) 7.70
Nike US Open Pro Junior Women's Final Result:
1 - Lakey Peterson (USA) 16.07
2 - Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.67
3 - Laura Enever (AUS) 12.36
4 - Coco Ho (HAW) 3.66