LOWER TRESTLES, California/USA (Monday, September 17, 2012) – The Hurley Pro at Trestles, Stop No. 6 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), returned to Lower Trestles today and bore witness to phenomenal surfing and heated Round 2 battles in clean three-to-four foot (1 metre) conditions.
Adam Melling (AUS), 27, who hails from the training grounds of Lennox Head, looked at home on the long rights of Lowers this afternoon and unloaded the highest single-wave score of Hurley Pro at Trestles competition, a 9.70 for a ferocious combination of forehand carves to oust Damien Hobgood (USA), 33, in Round 2 of competition.
"I thought there were going to be waves in that heat but there was so much waiting and trying to scrap into those little ones," Melling said. "I knew I had to turn it on against Damien (Hobgood). I'm just so glad that wave came through in that last 10 seconds."
Melling, current No. 27 on the ASP WCT rankings, is in need of a result this season to remain amongst the ASP Top 34 in 2013 and hopes his to continue his momentum throughout the remainder of the event.
"I have to turn it on in this event," Melling said. "Every heat is different and I'm here just surfing every wave and I want to have fun out there because it's such a rippable wave."
Melling will face Taj Burrow (AUS), 34, in Ruond 3 of competition.
Jeremy Flores (FRA), 24, got the best of an incredible battle against local standout Patrick Gudauskas (USA), 26, in a high-scoring affair of 17.30 to 16.93. While Gudauskas launched massive airs, it was Flores who strung together powerful carving combinations to take out a close Round 2 win.
"Pat (Gudauskas) is an amazing air surfer and I was expecting him to do crazy airs," Flores said. "I didn't want to fall into that game because I'm not really an air guy. I wanted to show a difference in my carving turns and mix it up a bit. I know the first guy I saw doing that under-the-lip turn was Andy (Irons). It's just this one turn that I can do and I just stick to a few of my tricks whenever I need to do them or need a score."
Flores had admittedly been struggling to find his feet in warm-up surfs while trying new equipment, and his emphatic Round 2 victory came as a relief to the young international talent.
"I've been feeling so lost since I've been here," Flores said. "I've been trying six or seven different boards because I usually ride a 5'11" and I've been trying to ride a 5'9." It's good in some waves and in others it's not as powerful and in my first heat I felt like I was doing little kid turns. I hate that. I want to be able to push my turns as hard as I could. Last night I had a fun surf and in this heat I was finally feeling better."
Flores has drawn Kai Otton (AUS), 32, in Round 3 of the Hurley Pro at Trestles.
Heitor Alves (BRA), 30, was unable to find consistency in his heat against local standout Kolohe Andino (USA), 18, but launched an incredible rodeo flip on a righthand ramp to collect a 9.00 for the ride to secure a Round 2 win.
"I just prayed for one wave," Alves said. "I just tried my best and I got a 9, it's so funny. I was nervous because with five minutes left, I was thinking I needed the best wave. I try that maneuver a lot on trips, and I've never tried it in a heat before. I knew I had to do something special and I landed it. I'm really glad I won the heat."
Alves will take on Adrian Buchan (AUS), 29, when competition resumes.
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, current ASP WCT No. 2, rebounded after a sluggish Round 1 heat and tore into the clean offshore conditions this morning, eliminating Hurley Pro at Trestles Wildcard Conner Coffin (USA), 19, in convincing fashion.
"Surfing in that first heat of the day can be difficult because you don't really know what's going to be happening with the judging," Parkinson said. "You feel like a guinea pig heat and you've got to get out there and just start it. Whether it's a 5 or a 9, you have to just take it. It was clean and offshore and I knew Conner (Coffin) has a really nice carve and I was thinking I'd match that. There were lots of waves early this morning and once the heat started it was pretty slow so I was glad I got that one 9."
Parkinson, who finished runner-up to Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, in Tahiti last month, has been one of the most consistent surfers on tour this year and feels like his first victory of the season is just around the corner.
"Tahiti was maybe a blessing in disguise," Parkinson said. "I was cut deep losing and I had one stupid mistake and I feel like there's a win around the corner. Hopefully it's here."
Parkinson will face Taylor Knox (USA), 41, in Round 3 of competition.
John John Florence (HAW), 19, was another ASP World Title contender to battle in Round 2 this morning, taking on fellow teen phenom and event wildcard Evan Geiselman (USA), 19, in a series of exciting exchanges at Lowers. Florence got the best of the Floridian talent, compliments of a long righthander and a lofty backhand air-reverse on a left to secure his position in Round 3.
"I just go out there and try and get fun waves," Florence said. "It's a weird swell direction. I don't think I've ever surfed it like this. When sets do come there are some fun ones, but a lot of the waves are too peaky. I'm just going to try and have fun. I think I took my heat too seriously yesterday. I couldn't find a rhythm and coming up against Evan (Geiselman) was really scary. He's such a good surfer and he could easily get a 9. It was fun to surf with him. We haven't surfed against each other since we were little."
Florence has drawn Yadin Nicol (AUS), 26, when competition resumes.
Brett Simpson (USA), 27, was electric in his Round 2 bout against veteran campaigner Kieren Perrow (AUS), 35, and aggressively attacked the righthanders at Lowers to secure a commanding victory and advance through to Round 3.
"I was stoked," Simpson said. "I like a lot of waves and I like to get my feet in the wax. KP (Kieren Perrow) is a great competitor, a great surfer and he did what I expected, which was to wait for good ones. I took my chances on some smaller ones and the judges rewarded me and I'm glad. I just threw out that bad heat yesterday and I was able to find those little ones that I could link a few turns in on."
Simpson will battle Jordy Smith (ZAF), 24, in Round 3 of the Hurley Pro at Trestles.
When competition resumes, up first will be reigning 11-time ASP World Champion and defending Hurley Pro at Trestles winner Kelly Slater (USA), 40, up against Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 23, in the opening heat of Round 3.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:30am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Hurley Pro at Trestles, are calling for:
Solid south swell to build in and be strongest Wed/Thur, with a building trend in the afternoon tomorrow and an easing trend Friday. Fun size SW swell is on track for the weekend. Conditions through Friday will be favorable with light morning wind and light to moderate onshore flow in the afternoons.
Highlights from the Hurley Pro at Trestles will be available at www.hurley.com/hurleypro
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.83 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 10.73
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 14.37 def. Evan Geiselman (USA) 13.93
Heat 3: Taylor Knox (USA) 12.16 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 10.60
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.63 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 16.93
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (USA) 14.63 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.27
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.66 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.30
Heat 7: Heitor Alves (BRA) 14.50 def. Kolohe Andino (BRA) 14.33
Heat 8: Adam Melling (AUS) 17.30 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 17.13
Heat 9: Travis Logie (ZAF) 12.93 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.77
Heat 10: Brett Simpson (USA) 15.83 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 12.70
Heat 11: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 16.30 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.90
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) 16.50 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 16.27
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 5: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 8: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 11: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)