Alan Stokes (Newquay, GBR) 30, won the Quiksilver Expression Session an ASP Europe sanctioned specialty event pulling off a massive air-reverse to claim the 3,500 Euro first prize in peaky 3-4ft (1m) waves at Tullan Strand beach Bundoran.
The Quiksilver Expression Session is the first specialty event that ASP Europe have sanctioned in Ireland and saw the best surfer’s of Ireland and the UK in a simple ‘best move wins’ format. 5,000 Euros total prize purse as well as a wildcard spot for best Irish surfer for the up-coming ASP 6-Star Relentless Boardmasters at Fistral beach, Newquay 9-14 August 2011.
A rapid increase in swell late this afternoon offered Quiksilver Expression Session officials the perfect window to run the qualifying heats and final which saw Stokes streak away from the pack with some innovative aerial surfing to clearly take home the winner’s cheque.
“It is not a bad day’s work really,” laughed Stokes on his win. “Stoked and really happy with the win. There were great waves in the end and it was good to have it on a wedge because it is high performance surfing and it all came good. It is my first trip to Bundoran, I love it and it is great. Guinness and waves I can do airs on is as good as it can get for me.”
“It got so much better the last heat that it felt like it was punchy and you could do loads of stuff so it was a good call by the local boys to run,” continued Stokes. “We were looking at it this morning saying ‘not again’ because we have been here for 3 days and looking out at the reef with no waves so it is sick to have waves here now.”
Cain Kilcullen (Easky, IRL) 25, was awarded the best local performance to earn himself a wildcard in the Relentless Boardmasters this August. Surfing hard and mixing it with some of Europe’s finest aerial specialists has been a learning experience for the young Irishman.
“I am really happy with the result even though it is kind of embarrassing with the English guys blowing us out of the water but it is really good to see that sort of surfing over here. I am happy so a good day.”
Kilcullen repeats his appearance as a wildcard in Newquay and hopes to continue improving in such a high level event.
“It is way out of my league but it is always good to see that level of surfing. It is a good experience and hopefully do better than last year.”
Best performance in the runner-up round and 500 Euros went to Nick Hardie (Raglan, NZ) 24, for his standout surfing performance during the 25-minute heat. Riding both the left and right peaks, Hardie laid down powerful rail-to-rail turns to impress the hard core crew of onlookers lining the headland.
“I’m pleased with the result and it was flat and raining this morning and then it has turn into a really nice day so everyone is pleased. Some of the surfing, I just saw Stokesy out there, is blowing my mind so there has been some excellent surfing going down in some quality waves. Everyone was a bit apprehensive about going out there in the beginning but it has turned out to be good in the final.”
For all photos, news and info on Quiksilver Expression Session and Sea Session Surf & Music Festival log-on to http://www.seasessions.com/ or www.aspeurope.com
Quiksilver Expression Session Results
BEST MANOUEVRE; Alan Stokes.
BEST LOCAL PERFORMANCE; Cain Kilcullen.
BEST PERFORMANCE; Nick Hardie.