Photos by Travis Owney
Jean Da Silva (BRA), 27, defeated fellow Brazilian Filipe Toledo (BRA), 17, to win the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star Coastal Edge ECSC pres. by Vans and hydrated by vitaminwater in clean two-to-four foot waves at 1st Street Jetty in Virginia Beach.
Da Silva put up powerful backhand combinations against Toledo's high-flying forehand aerial attack and the seasoned Brazilian's polished turns surpassed Toledo's above the lip efforts in the close Final.
"Filipe is the big thing now, he surfs so well and he's getting so many results and that Final was hard," Da Silva said. "I was never in a rhythm out there. I was kind of lost and was just watching him get all of his waves. I was waiting patiently and couldn't find the right waves but at the end I was just ripping as hard as I could in the last few minutes and I got the scores."
The hard working goofy-footer quietly navigated through the early days of competition, unloading his furious backhand attack throughout the Final rounds. The then No. 41 ranked surfer looked at home in the conditions reminiscent of his home in Brazil and his Da Silva is now one step closer to joining next year's ASP Top 34 due to today's victory.
"I tried to just do big turns the whole event," Da Silva said. "I was watching Tanner Gudauskas get high scores on his backhand. I got here a few weeks ago and it was my first time in Virginia Beach and I felt really good. I learned how to surf in these conditions and felt comfortable out there."
Toledo was deadly throughout the Final day, launching the event's highest heat-total in his Semifinals win of 17.76 and maintained his form against Da Silva, but fell just short of the victory to finish runner-up.
"It feels great to have another Final and to surf against Jean (Da Silva)," Toledo said. "He's a really good surfer and was doing big turns on his backhand. In the Final, I was trying to do big turns too and it was a close one in the end."
Toledo, who was sitting at 19 on the ASP World Ranking entering the event, took his runner-up finish immediately following his win in Lacanau, France and the high-flying goofy-footer is hungry for another big result at the upcoming event in Zarautz, Spain to further his chances of joining the world's best surfers next season.
"It's definitely good to get some more big points to try and qualify for the WCT," Toledo said. "I'm feeling good and ready for Zarautz and hopefully I can win there."
While the men's main event offered up non-stop action, the ASP 6-Star Coastal Edge ECSC Vans Pro Junior saw Keanu Asing (Ewa Beach, HI), 19, take out a hard fought victory over Evan Thompson (Jacksonville, FL), 20, Michael February (ZAF), 18, and Taylor Clark (San Diego, CA), 16.
Asing notched an impressive 14.73 out of 20 heat total of his own in the Final and held on to the win while engaging in a seesaw paddle battle against Thompson. Thompson secured the ASP Pro Junior's highest single-wave score in the Final of 9.60, but Asing made it nearly impossible for the Floridian to find a backup score and the young Hawaiian's strategy helped him hold on for the win.
"After that Semifinal, I was just happy to be in the Final," Asing said. "I finished 3rd last year and Nat Young got a 9 and beat me, so when Evan (Thompson) got the 9.60, I was thinking there was no way I was going to let him get his backup score. It's tough to sit on your friends and your fellow team rider, but we all come here to do one thing and that's to win, so I was going to make it hard for him."
Asing, who finished No. 1 on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, took on several international campaigners at the Coastal Edge ECSC Vans Pro Junior and looked at the opportunity as the perfect training grounds for the upcoming ASP World Junior Championships in Bali.
"Coming from US Open and then the Junior here, it's a great warm up for us to know what's coming to us when we go to Bali to battle it out for the world title," Asing said. "It's really good to mix it up with everyone and see what everyone is doing and see talents from around the world. It was a tough international field and it's good to compete with them."
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COASTAL EDGE ECSC PRES. BY VANS FINAL:
1 - Jean Da Silva (BRA) 14.76
2 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.50
COASTAL EDGE ECSC PRES. BY VANS SEMIFINALS:
SF 1: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 15.57 def. Nathan Yeomans (USA) 8.20
SF 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.76 def. Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 8.20
COASTAL EDGE ECSC PRES. BY VANS QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.74 def. Michael Dunphy (USA) 13.60
QF 2: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 13.67 vs. Dege O'Connell (HAW) 6.67
QF 3: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 13.37 def. Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 12.56
QF 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.40 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 12.27
COASTAL EDGE ECSC VANS PRO JUNIOR FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Keanu Asing (HAW) 14.73
2 - Evan Thompson (USA) 13.87
3 - Michael February (USA) 11.87
4 - Taylor Clark (USA) 9.50
COASTAL EDGE ECSC VANS PRO JUNIOR SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Evan Thompson (USA) 15.50, Michael February (ZAF) 11.80, Cooper Chapman (AUS) 9.23, Andrew Doheny (USA) 6.34
SF 2: Taylor Clark (USA) 12.00, Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.50, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 10.36, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 7.50