Day three of the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro began today with a light south swell pulsing along the cobbles at Lower Trestles, making for shoulder to head-high in four-man lineups. True to the past couple days of competition, the level of surfing at the event left more than a few jaws on the floor.
The performance of the day went to Adriano De Souza—the current ASP World Tour number six surfer—who looked to be the most polished and dynamic competitor in the event. With an unblemished, powerful backhand attack, De Souza went vertical on the lefts in his heat from the outside peak through the inside section on a number of crisp set waves. He would go on to win the heat with a combined 17.43 score. De Souza recently relocated to San Clemente from Brazil, a move that has apparently paid off in spades as the transplant looks to have Lowers on lockdown.
"I moved to San Clemente in January, just in time for the cold," said De Souza whose been honing his attack on Lowers on a daily basis since jumping the pond. Tomorrow he will square up against Sebastian Zietz and Chris Waring in the round of 24.
San Clemente native and hometown hero Nate Yeomans put on another amazing display of surfing at break-neck speeds today that earned him a solid second-place finish and a seed in the next round of competition. Coached by the fabled Ian Cairns, Yeomans has shown throughout the event that he's an extremely dangerous draw, claiming scalps in every heat he's surfed thus far.
Other claim-worthy performances went to the ever-apathetic-but-always mesmerizing Dane Reynolds and Rob Machado. On land the two often need to be checked for a pulse, but in the water…well you know the story. In their heat against Brett Simpson and Marcio Farney, both surfers looked eons above their competition, with Machado effortlessly cutting apart the lefts on his forehand, soaked fro dancing in the wind with every turn. As far as Dane is concerned, when he surfs, the beach seems to go quiet with every turn. Editors and writers temporarily sheath their pens while the drum roll of photographers grabbing stills of the California wonder cut the silence. There's something so fluid, dynamic, and recklessly perfect about the way Dane approaches the wave at Lowers that it's unfailingly impressive.
In the second-to-last heat of the day, Nat Young, the alabaster-toned wonder from Santa Cruz, put on one of the more nail-biting performances of the day as he came from behind in the dying minutes of the heat to take the lead. On an impeccable right-hander, Nat flawlessly surfed from the outside peak to the inside cobbles. The wave earned him a 9.57 and a seat in the next round of competition.
"In the beginning of the heat everybody was getting good ones and I kept falling," said Young. "I definitely thought that I was gonna lose. But you can never count yourself out. Once I got that first turn in on the outside of that one wave, [his 9.57] I felt pretty good and thought that I might get a high score. I was just trying to go the best I could. It was definitely the best wave I got out there."
As the day wore on, the Lowers Pro took a backseat as the world's best groms converged on the peak for the Oaklely Pro Junior.
"Will the grom who took the female mannequin from the Oakley tent please return it? We need that thing back," blared the announcer over the loud speaker to a reply of swallowed chuckles from the sandy groms seated in the competitor's area. God only knows what terrible fate awaits the kidnapped mannequin, but these type of things happen when you huddle teenage groms under a single tent.
For the groms, the clear winner of the day was Conner Coffin, who put on a blistering show of force mixed with grace along the lefts, earning himself a 10-point ride. Coffin would follow his 10 with a 9.67, giving him the highest heat total of the day. Other notable performances went to Luke Davis and Spencer Regan, two surfers that are showing all of the earmarks of budding professionals and future greats.
Stay logged on to Surfermag.com as we continue to bring you the action from the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro and Oakley Pro Junior.