THE 2003 NSSA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: DAY FIVE

posted by / News / June 26, 2003

SURF: Waist to head with occasional overhead sets — darn near perfect contestable Lowers. The long, sectiony rights were the ticket todayEVENTS HELD: A whole slew of ‘em: {{{Explorer}}} Super Seniors; Explorer Masters Repercharge; Explorer Boys Round Two; Explorer Seniors Repercharge; Explorer Womens Semi Finals; Explorer Longboard Repercharge; Explorer Boys Quarterfinals; Explorer Menehune Repercharge; Explorer Mens Repercharge; Explorer Boys Repercharge; Open Mens Round One; Open Womens Quarter Finals.NATURE’S CALL: She’s not gonna give us more and she’s not gonna give us less, either. But, she’ll keep sending those consistent, irresistible wedges right on through to the Finals.PREDICTED: The Open Mens battle will only get tighter as we go into Round 2, and you can bet that the interferences will keep on coming, too.HEAT OF THE DAY: With the amount of talent infesting the cobblestones this week, ‘heats’ of the day seem to be as abundant as all the blond-haired, salt-water soaked grommets frothing the Lowers rights and lefts. But today the nailbiter came in the form of the Explorers Boys Quarter Final, Heat 2 featuring miniature talents Tanner Gudauskas and Kellen Ellison. Ellison absolutely blows the lid off of two separate race-track right-handers for a combined score of 17.50, matching the highest two-wave point total for the 2003 Nationals yet. Knowing Ellison had a suffocating chokehold on the heat, Tanner Gudauskas maintained composure and quickly chipped away at Ellison’s handiwork, needing a 13.25 to steal back the lead. With only a few minutes left, young Tanner ropes together a series of carves and lippers on a smoking right, earning an 8.0 then quickly nabs another for a 4.75. Shy by .50 … Ellison breathed a sigh of relief and wiped the sweat from his brow. “It’s on now, Kellen.’” Tanner must have been thinking, “It’s on now!”

PERFORMANCE OF THE DAY: OK, so Brett Simpson’s known to flake sometimes when it comes to contests (see O-SMAS final). But not today. In Open Mens, Heat 8 Simpson begins with a blistering right-hander then sets the pace for the event when he screams off an opening bottom turn and explodes his way down the point with sheer ‘CT style. He caps the whole freakshow off when he blasts straight up off the closeout section, grabs rail and throws his fins way out and around into a nasty 180 with not a toe out of place. His efforts: the first 10.0 of the event, a tie for the highest two wave point total (17.50) with Kellen Ellison and an attack that will win him the title.SHOCKERS: Last year’s Open Junior’s champion Jeremy Johnston gave us a scare in his Explorer Mens Repercharge heat when he picked up an interference, lost his composure and fell to sixth. But he soon gathered himself and ended up dominating his Open Mens Round 1 heat. But, as was the case yesterday, nothing was shocking with the results that ultimately turned out. The Gudauskuses, Cuizon, Gahan, Johnston, Bacalso, Mellem, Reynolds and Petroni win their heats — same old story.QUOTABLE: “Hate to say it, but I’m just gonna have to go surfing right now.” — Pat O’Connell as he looks toward a delectable, glassy Upper Trestles about an hour before his Expression session heat with Rob Machado, Timmy Reyes and other surf stars.

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