Blueberry blue shave ice syrup and perfect south swell lines dripped to the sand on a sunny Saturday afternoon to usher in the finals of the 2008 Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro. After a week of top-notch surfing and some epic waves to close the event, Wrightsville Beach, NC native and current Carlsbad resident, Ben Bourgeois claimed the crown.
"Everything was going my way for that last heat," said Benny B. "It's always a good feeling to win, and all those guys in the finals are good friends of mine."
The final heat consisted of Hawaiians Freddy Patacchia, Joel Centeio, and San Clemente perma-grinner, Pat Gudauskas. After a San Clemente massacre on day three of competition, Pat G. represented his hometown's last hope for a champion.
"I like to think there's a bit of an advantage being a local," said Gudauskas. "But all those guys surf really well, so you never know."
By advancing to the finals, Gudauskas reclaimed the top spot in the WQS rankings.
"That was my goal," said Pat. "I wanted to come here and get a thousand points minimum and then to win."
“It feels really good to be back on top with another result,” Gudauskas added. “It's a long season, but hopefully I can keep putting away results and stay consistent.”
In the Oakley Pro Junior competition, which ran alongside the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro, Sebastian Zietz came out on top. Surfing in both events, "Seabass" surfed almost twenty heats in the last two days.
"Now I've got some beer money for tonight," said Zietz, giving a sinister grin as the press mugged him for comments.
All in all, the 2008 Nike 6.0 Pro was a raging success. Despite a slow start in the early days, perfect waves and perfect weather collided to bring it home. Next stop in the Macy's Trifecta Series is the Oakley Pro in Newport Beach.