LOWER TRESTLES, San Clemente, California (Friday, May 4, 2012) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) PRIME Nike Lowers Pro saw the Quarterfinalists decided in glassy two-to-four foot (1 metre) waves at Lower Trestles with the remaining surfers consistently putting on amazing performances throughout the day.
Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA), 26, got the best of a slow heat against hard-working Brazilian Heitor Alves (BRA), 30, in the Round of 24 and roared to life in the afternoon, topping Granger Larsen (HAW), 22, with the day’s highest scores of a near-perfect 9.80 single wave score en route to a combined heat-total of 18.63 out of 20 with his unpredictable dissection of the Lower Trestles right-handers.
“I’ve been feeling really sketchy this event and been having unsuccessful free-surfs,” Reynolds said. “I was feeling better in that one. I had been riding a different board in every heat and I rode this one this morning and just stuck with it.”
Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, battled back in an action-packed heat against Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA), 27. Medina was in need of an excellent ride with time winding down in the Round of 16 match and launched a gigantic air-reverse to earn a 9.50 out of 10 to solidify a victory over the Huntington Beach surfer in a high-scoring heat of 17.96 to 17.43.
“I was comfortable and I knew that was going to be a tough heat,” Medina said. “Brett (Simpson) surfed really well, he had the 9 and the 8 and it was the hardest heat that I’ve had here. I was just waiting for one more wave and I fell on the one before. I needed the last one and I went big and got the score.”
Medina, who will face Dane Reynolds in the Quarterfinals, admittedly has his eye on the coveted gold-spike trophy and the Nike Lowers Pro title tomorrow.
“I’m excited for tomorrow and I want to try and win the contest,” Medina said. “That’s my goal. Hopefully tomorrow we have good waves.”
Jeremy Flores (FRA), 24, also took out two heat wins today. The talented surfer from Reunion Island notched his first victory over Sebastian Zietz (HAW), 24, in the Round of 24 despite breaking his board and went on to win on a borrowed board from former ASP Women’s World Champion Lisa Anderson (Huntington Beach, CA), 43.
“I broke my board on this lay-back and Lisa was really nice and let me borrow her board,” Flores said. “It actually goes pretty good, but it’s a lot different from what I’m used to riding. I was lazy this morning and had a hard time waking up. Early morning heats are not really my thing. I didn’t bring that many boards. That one I broke was my best one and I don’t know, I might keep surfing this one.”
Flores went on to get the best of a high-scoring affair over Californian Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 20, on an unfamiliar backup board in his Round of 16 heat, but looked in rhythm with today’s conditions regardless of his struggle with equipment.
“I got two really good rights with a long wall on the whole wave,” Flores said. “I think I was lucky to get those waves and get some scores. I was kind of trying out this board, I haven’t ridden it in a couple of years so I didn’t really know how it was going to go and it went pretty good.”
Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 23, runner-up at last year’s Nike Lowers Pro, continued to keep the hope of a potential local champion alive when he defeated ASP World Championship Tour veteran C.J. Hobgood (Melbourne, FL), 32, with a dominant performance on both the lefts and rights in his heats.
“I got off to a good start and then it seemed like it just hit the brakes and we didn’t have any waves,” Gudauskas said. “Luckily I had that first score and I wouldn’t have been as comfortable had I not.”
John John Florence (Oahu, HI), 19, further asserted his dominance in the Nike Lowers Pro, topping his idol Cory Lopez (FL), 35, in the Round of 16.
“The waves were super fun and I was nervous going against Cory (Lopez),” Florence said. “He’s been one of my favorite surfers since I started surfing and surfing against him is pretty scary. He’s so consistent and he’s got airs down like nothing. He’s been looking so sharp and I’m just really happy to have made it through that heat.”
Florence, a progressive leader of the next generation, has appreciated the high-scores awarded for the variety of both power-surfing and above-the-lip maneuvers at this year’s Nike Lowers Pro.
“I love it,” Florence said. “Not everybody surfs the same, everyone has a different style and I like that the judges have been rewarding guys for the way they’re surfing.”
The Nike Lowers Pro will return tomorrow, May 5 and crown a champion by day’s end. To watch the event LIVE log on to www.nikelowerspro.com
Surfline, official forecasters for the Nike Lowers Pro, are calling for the current swell to ease with a new reinforcing south-southwest swell to fill in throughout the day.
Nike Lowers Pro Round of 16:
Heat 1: Glenn Hall (IRL) 16.83 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 16.13
Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.70 def. Nat Young (USA) 16.30
Heat 3: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 18.73 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 6.90
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW) 16.27 def. Cory Lopez (USA) 8.26
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.96 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 17.43
Heat 6: Dane Reynolds (USA) 18.63 def. Granger Larsen (HAW) 16.47
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.94 def. Jay Thompson (AUS) 11.00
Heat 8: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 16.40 def. Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 16.30
Nike Lowers Pro Round of 24 Results:
Heat 1: Glenn Hall (IRL) 13.43 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 13.10
Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.93 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.20
Heat 3: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.23 def. Gabe Kling (USA) 11.77
Heat 4: Cory Lopez (USA) 14.87 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 12.43
Heat 5: Brett Simpson (USA) 15.50 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 13.50
Heat 6: Dane Reynolds (USA) 12.00 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 10.17
Heat 7: Jay Thompson (AUS) 13.94 def. Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.50
Heat 8: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 13.10 def. Blake Thornton (AUS) 13.00