CJ Hobgood wins Body Glove Surfbout

Former ASP World Champion {{{CJ}}} Hobgood (Melbourne Beach, FL) has defeated fellow finalists Gabe Kling (St. Augustine, FL), Dayyan Neve (Manly, AUS) and Shaun Ward (Huntington Beach, CA) to claim the 2007 {{{Jeep}}} Body Glove Surfbout in clean 2 to 3 foot surf at Lower Trestles.

The ASP WQS 4-Star event came to a close in stunning fashion this afternoon with the finalists, three of whom are elite Foster's ASP World Tour members, going blow for blow in the rippable afternoon peaks.

Hobgood, surfing on an unconventional quad-fin board with a futuristic V-tail setup, opened up strong on his forehand with a blend of progressive fin-free maneuvers and blistering carves.

"I've got this great board under my feet that I've only ridden once before and it's gone unbelievable in these conditions," Hobgood said. "I don't really know what to call it, but my shaper (Bill Johnson) may have a better idea. The conditions at Lowers this week were not the ideal south swell setup that we would have preferred, but I think my equipment really made a difference."

Hobgood, who currently sits equal 30th on the elite Foster's ASP World Tour, will jet off next to Tahiti for the Billabong Pro Teahupoo which begins May 4, 2007.

"My brother is in Tahiti right now and I am hoping to get out there as soon as possible," Hobgood said. "Winning here feels great. I had a good start to the year in Sebastian and to get another win this year feels amazing. Wins, either on the World Tour level or on the WQS, are a rare thing and it always feels good to get one. Hopefully this competitive momentum transfers into Tahiti next week."

The finals berth puts Southern California's Shaun Ward in excellent standings for the 2007 Macy's California Trifecta Surf Series presented by Jeep. With stop No. 2, the NB Pro presented by Jeep, conflicting with the elite tour event in France, Ward (the only non-elite tour Surfbout finalist) will be in prime position to capitalize on his result here.

"I've been fortunate enough to make back-to-back finals in 4-Stars so I'm just really happy with my result," Ward said. "I'm stoked about the increased prizes for the Trifecta and I am definitely going to try to give it a go this season. Obviously my number one priority is qualifying for the World Tour, but the Trifecta championship is also very prestigious."

Mitchell Coleborn (Maroochydore, AUS), who consistently established himself as one of the premier talents throughout the week, was dealt a hard blow today suffering back-to-back eliminations in his semifinal heats in both the Jeep Body Glove Surfbout and the Oakley Pro Junior. Despite coming up short of the finals, Coleborn's performance put out a definite notice to fellow competitors.

"Unfortunately the waves didn't really come through for me in either of my semifinals," Coleborn said. "I never really got that one good score to come and push me through the heat, but it was still a good event for me and I'm happy with my results. I'll be doing a few more WQS events overseas before heading home to focus on the junior series there."

The ASP Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior, stop No. 4 on the 2007 ASP North America Pro Junior Series, was won by Australian sensation Brent Dorrington (Coolangatta, AUS) in a star-studded final with Eric Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, CA), Cory Arrambide (Ventura, CA) and Nick Rozsa (Oxnard, CA).

Dorrington, who gained entry into the event as a wildcard, was ecstatic following his inaugural ASP Pro Junior victory.

"I'm so stoked right now as I've never done well in a Pro Junior," Dorrington said. "This win gives me a huge confidence boost heading back over to Australia as the talent level out here is so high."

After kicking off his finals heat in solid fashion, Dorrington was unable to secure a second scoring ride until the dying seconds of the heat.

"I started out really well with an 8.17 but it's really hard to get waves out there," Dorrington said. "I knew I needed a pretty average score and I just had to sit there for 20 minutes. That one little left came through at the end there and I just put everything I had into it. I'm so stoked to have pulled this out."

With his third place finish at the Oakley Pro Junior, Arrambide has rocketed from third to first on the 2007 ASP North America Pro Junior Series. Although disappointed with his finals performance, the prodigious goofy-footer remained optimistic about the rest of the season.

"I just couldn't get the waves I needed out there in the final unfortunately," Arrambide said. "I'm happy that I'm leading the ratings now, but I still would have liked a win today. I'll definitely be doing all the rest of the Grade-2 Pro Juniors this season in hopes of qualifying for the ASP World Junior Championships in Narrabeen."

For full coverage of the event's action including photos, results and news feeds, log onto www.aspnorthamerica.org or www.surfbout.com.

FUEL TV will telecast highlights from the Jeep Body Glove Surfbout beginning May 5th on The Weekly Update. For FUEL TV airdates and show times, check www.fuel.tv

The next stop on the ASP North America Men's Tour will be the ASP WQS 6-Star US Open at Huntington Beach in July. North America's top junior competitors will don the jerseys next at stop No. 5 on the 2007 ASP North America Pro Junior Series, the ASP Grade-2 Nike 6.0 Pro Junior at Huntington Beach from July 7-8, 2007.

The Macy's California Trifecta Surf Series presented by Jeep will touch down next for the NB Pro presented by Jeep in September before heading to Santa Cruz for the season-closing O'Neill Coldwater Classic.

For more information, log onto www.aspnorthamerica.org or www.aspworldtour.com


Jeep Body Glove Surfbout - ASP WQS 4-Star

Quarterfinals: 16 surfers remain (1st and 2nd advance)
Quarterfinal 1: Gabe Kling (USA) 15.17, Kyle Garson (USA) 13.00, Anthony Petruso (USA) 11.33, Heath Walker (AUS) 9.97
Quarterfinal 2: Shaun Ward (USA) 15.67, T.J. Barron (HAW) 11.60, Ian Walsh (HAW) 9.07, Chris Waring (USA) 5.20
Quarterfinal 3: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.76, Dayyan Neve (AUS) 12.10, Adam Virs (USA) 10.16, Kai Otton (AUS) 4.93
Quarterfinal 4: Mitchell Coleborn (AUS) 16.33, Jason Shibata (HAW) 11.77, Chris Abad (USA) 9.13, Gavin Gillette (HAW) 7.26

Semifinals: 8 surfers remain (1st and 2nd advance)
Semifinal 1: Gabe Kling (USA) 13.37, Shaun Ward (USA) 12.67, T.J. Barron (HAW) 12.40, Kyle Garson (USA) 10.10
Semifinal 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.83, Dayyan Neve (AUS) 14.26, Jason Shibata (HAW) 10.30, Mitchell Coleborn (AUS) 7.03

1 - CJ Hobgood (USA) 15.36
2 - Dayyan Neve (AUS) 14.06
3 - Gabe Kling (USA) 13.74
4 - Shaun Ward (USA) 12.43

Oakley Pro Junior - ASP Grade-2 Pro Junior

Quarterfinals: 16 surfers remain (1st and 2nd advance)

Quarterfinal 1: Dane Ward (USA) 14.33, Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.73, Jesse Heilman (USA) 9.33, Kilian Garland (USA) 6.27
Quarterfinal 2: Brent Dorrington (AUS) 11.84, Eric Geiselman (USA) 10.76, Kris Wiernicki (USA) 7.73, Blake Jones (USA) 7.34
Quarterfinal 3: Nick Rosa (USA) 16.16, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.00, Tommy Bursian (PRI) 8.06, Eddie Lester (USA) 6.40
Quarterfinal 4: Cory Arrambide (USA) 15.44, Mitchell Coleborn (AUS) 15.10, Jason Harris (USA) 8.83, Adam Wickwire (USA) 2.93

Semifinals: 8 surfers remain (1st and 2nd advance)
Semifinal 1: Eric Geiselman (USA) 15.00, Brent Dorrington (AUS) 13.53, Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.43, Dane Ward (USA) 9.67
Semifinal 2: Nick Rozsa (USA) 15.{{{90}}}, Cory Arrambide (USA) 14.63, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.90, Mitchell Coleborn (AUS) 12.{{{80}}}

1 - Brent Dorrington (AUS) 13.90
2 - Eric Geiselman (USA) 12.77
3 - Cory Arrambide (USA) 12.67
4 - Nick Rozsa (USA) 0.77