Local Boy Micah Byrne Wins Vans Pier Classic at Huntington Beach

posted by / News / March 26, 2007

A new baby on the way. A new barbecue. A newly remodeled kitchen and a new competitive fire lit. After his first WQS victory at the {{{Vans}}} Pier Classic, Huntington Beach’s Micah Byrne is ready to keep the ball rolling. SURFING Magazine caught up with him just before his celebration barbecue in HB to find out what’s next.


SURFING MAGAZINE: BIG WIN ON THE HOME COURT, HOW YOU FEELING?

Oh I’m super stoked. I was pretty exhausted by Sunday, which was day 5 of the comp, and I was doing the Internet commentating for the event, so I was at the beach till five O’clock every day. Needless to say I was drained by the end of the day yesterday.

YOU MUST HAVE WATCHED A FAIR AMOUNT OF SURFING ALL WEEK WHILE IN THE COMMENTATING BOX. YOU THINK THAT HELPED YOU OUT?

Yeah I definitely got to do a little homework on all the other surfers. And then when guys were having really good heats it was getting me amped up to go out there and surf my heats. I definitely watched way more surfing than normal. I generally show up an hour before, watch a heat and have a free surf, but throughout the week I really got to check the line up and see where the hot spots were and where they weren’t.

HOW DID THE HB CELEBRATE LAST NIGHT?

By sleeping. My wife and I were so exhausted.

NO DINNER WITH THE WIFEY OR ANYTHING?

Well, the wife is actually pregnant, so yeah we’re pretty excited about that lately.

OH WOW, NICE WORK DAD. BIG THINGS GOING ON FOR THE BYRNES.

Yeah that’s all new. She’s about 4 months along, but as far as celebrating I actually just went and bought a new barbecue today, so we’re going to have some people over and celebrate with some sodas (laughs).

HOW YOU SPENDING THE BIG CHECK, BABY STUFF?

Well were actually redoing our kitchen. We don’t even have a kitchen right now, so I’m fixing that. Which is why we had to buy the barbecue for the party tonight. I never thought I’d say it but I’m over eating out. So I’m getting this kitchen dialed.

YOU’VE BEEN RIDING SOME NEW BOARDS LATELY. MUST BE GOING GOOD.

Yeah I’ve been riding for Steve Boysen lately. They’ve been going so good. I called him today, actually just to thank him. My knee had been bothering me a bit lately too, but before the contest my chiropractor/Physical Therapist Dr. Jerry Romine was down at the contest so he helped whip me into shape before the event. My knee wasn’t too serious, but it hurt enough that I had been wearing a knee brace. I took it off Sunday actually, and that worked out.

SO WHAT’S NEXT, YOU GOING TO TRY TO KEEP THE BALL ROLLING?

Yeah, this definitely was a confidence booster.

YEAH I KNOW YOU HADN’T BEEN TOO FIRED UP ON COMPETING IN THE PAST.

Oh yeah, this definitely lit a fire under my butt I think. I’m going to start training with one of my lifeguard buddies tonight actually and try to get ready for Lowers and go from there. It’s nice to get a win and see if you can keep the ball rolling. TELL ME ABOUT THE FINAL.

Well it started with me lucking out really. I had been surfing to the south at Machado’s peak most of the event, but in the final I got a good left set closer to the pier. Got an 8.25 and that sealed it early for me. I expected those guys to get the scores and have to better my 5, but they didn’t get the waves. So bad luck for them and good luck for me.

YOU DID WELL LAST YEAR WITH A 3RD. YOU PRETTY MUCH OWN THE PIER NOW.

Yeah, it felt good to better my last year’s result out there. I mean last year I surfed from round 1, but I went out this past year and got some points so I can start in the later rounds. Last year it was pretty frustrating to get that far and then get third. It bummed me out. It was definitely on my mind to do better this year. I got in the zone and stuck with it. I’d lost the competitive edge for a bit, but I’ve gotten the eye of the tiger thing going lately. It’s pretty easy to get fired up when you’re winning.

SO NEXT YEAR ALL YOU GOTTA DO IS WIN THE PAINTBALL EVENT GOING ON UP THE BEACH AND YOU’RE THE KING OF HUNTINGTON.

I got it all worked out for next year already. Paintball at night, commentate all day then surf early afternoons. I’m ready.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California – Repeat Vans Pier Classic finalist Micah Byrne (Huntington Beach, CA) scored a sensational win over fellow local Michael Hoisington (Huntington Beach, CA), prodigious junior Eric Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL) and Federico Pilurzu (Tamarindo, CRI) to claim the 2007 Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack’s Surfboards Title.


The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America World Qualifying Series (WQS) 2-Star event culminated a week’s worth of action today that saw the men, women and junior men all lift their respective games as they charged towards the winner’s dais.

Byrne, who was also moonlighting as the official webcast commentator for the Vans Pier Classic, opened the final up solid at his home break blasting away at the shifty afternoon peaks. The progressive natural-footer locked in an excellent 8.25 followed by a 5.75 to jump out to an early lead which he held onto claiming his first ASP WQS victory.

“It was a long week,” Byrne said. “I’m so stoked right now – I’m really pumped. I opened up with a pretty good left. I got lucky and it had a really nice section to throw down on for an 8.25. I thought for sure that Hoisington and Pilurzu were going to get the scores they needed. Fortunately the waves went kind of bunk and I didn’t need to get another solid score.”

Byrne, who finished third at last season’s Vans Pier Classic, was one of the favored surfers going into the event, and this year’s victory was made doubly-sweet in front of the hometown crowd.

“It was my goal to finish better than I did last year and I knew that was going to be pretty hard since I finished third,” Byrne said.” I’ve got a new board sponsor in the last few weeks – Steve Boysen – and the boards have been going really well. I had a pretty bad knee injury a couple months back, but that feels a lot better now – today was actually the first day I surfed without my knee brace. I just felt really good and I’m so rapt with this win.”

Eric Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, CA) surfed brilliantly all week in both the Vans Pier Classic and the Ezekiel Pro Junior. Surfing double-duty on the final day, Geiselman advanced all the way through to both finals, often surfing back-to-back-heats.

“I’m pretty exhausted,” Geiselman said. “I think I ended up surfing six heats today so I’m pretty beat. Everything felt really well all event. The boards that my Dad (Orion Surfboards) has been shaping me have been going insane. I just couldn’t put it together in the men’s final, but I’m happy with my result and I’m looking forward to the next one.”


Geiselman, who was last season’s ASP North America Pro Junior Champion, scored a sensational come-from-behind victory to claim the Ezekiel Pro Junior title from fellow finalists Chris Waring (Seal Beach, CA), Travis Beckmann (Vero Beach, FL) and Chad Compton (Ventura, CA). With less than three minutes left, Geiselman snuck in a solid righthander to steal the win away from Waring who had led all heat.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to get that score there at the end, but that wave came to me right when I needed it,” Geiselman said. “I’m stoked to get back on the podium. The waves were pretty small at the last event, and I was just really happy we had waves here. I’m looking for another consistent season both at the Pro Junior and WQS level.”

Travis Beckmann (Vero Beach, FL), who finished runner-up at the Billabong Sebastian Inlet Pro Junior earlier this month, has taken over the ratings lead from Tommy Bursian (San Juan, PRI) in the 2007 ASP North America Pro Junior Series with his 3rd-place finish in the Ezekiel Pro Junior.

“I’m psyching – what an incredible way to start the year – two events and two finals,” Beckmann said. “I’ve never been so consistent in my entire life. The ASP World Junior Championships are a guarantee – I definitely want to get there. I’ve never been to Australia and to get there on my own merit would be amazing. The next Pro Junior is in Cocoa Beach, which is another stomping ground of mine so I’m hoping for another big result.”

Ornella Pellizari (Mar de Plata, ARG) caused a sensational upset in defeating in-form Americans Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana, CA), Sage Erickson (Oxnard, CA) and Christa Alves (Cocoa Beach, FL) to claim the Vans Women’s Pier Classic title. Surfing without a sponsor, the 19-year old smashed the tricky afternoon righthanders to victory in her maiden ASP WQS event.

“The plan is to do some of the WQS events this season and hopefully do the whole tour next year,” Pellizari said. “This is my first WQS event ever and my second ASP event. I did a Pro Junior in Florida and now this. I am so happy to win here and it is a great result and honor.”

Conlogue looked the form surfer of the event, even locking in the event’s only perfect 10-point ride in the Semifinals, but was unable to push past Pellizari.

“It was just difficult to find waves out there this afternoon,” Conlogue said. “Everything felt pretty good – my boards and everything – but I just couldn’t find the waves. Ornella surfed really well. I’m still happy with my performance, but would have liked a win.”

The next event on the 2007 ASP North America Tour will be the Lost Easter Pro Junior (ASP Grade- 1) at Cocoa Beach from Apr. 6-8, 2007. Following that will be the Body Glove Surfbout at Lowers (ASP WQS 4-Star) from Apr. 24-28, 2007 featuring the Oakley Pro Junior (ASP Grade-2).

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

RESULTS – DAY 5

Vans Pier Classic Quarterfinals: 16 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd advance to Semifinals)
Quarterfinal 1: Brad Ettinger (USA) 13.70, Kyle Knox (USA) 11.00, Ted Navarro (USA) 10.25, Dillon Perillo (USA) 7.50
Quarterfinal 2: Michael Hoisington (USA) 14.00, Eric Geiselman (USA) 11.75, Michel Flores (BRA) 11.25, Eric McHenry (USA) 8.85
Quarterfinal 3: Federico Pilurzu (CRI) 14.50, Cody Thompson (USA) 11.40, Jason Miller (USA) 11.40, Pat O’Connell (USA) 8.60
Quarterfinal 4: Chris Waring (USA) 14.25, Micah Byrne (USA) 13.50, Cory Arrambide (USA) 12.{{{90}}}, Jeff Deffenbaugh (USA) 12.54

Vans Pier Classic Semifinals: 8 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd advance to Final)
Semifinal 1: Eric Geiselman (USA) 14.00, Michael Hoisington (USA) 13.15, Brad Ettinger (USA) 12.05, Kyle Knox 9USA) 10.15
Semifinal 2: Federico Pilurzu (CRI) 14.50, Micah Byrne (USA) 11.60, Cody Thompson (USA) 11.10, Chris Waring (USA) 9.25

Vans Pier Classic Final
1 – Micah Byrne (Huntington Beach, CA) 14.00
2 – Federico Pilurzu (Tamarindo, CRI) 11.75
3 – Eric Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL) 8.85
4 – Michael Hoisington (Huntington Beach, CA) 8.00

Vans Women’s Pier Classic Semifinals: 8 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd advance to Final)
Semifinal 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 19.40, Ornella Pelizare (ITA) 13.00, Marii Bakker (JPN) 9.25, Jamie Hannula (USA) 6.10
Semifinal 2: Sage Erickson (USA) 18.50, Christa Alves (USA) 11.50, Lexi Von der Leith (USA) 8.90, Maria Gonzales (USA) 7.75

Vans Women’s Pier Classic Final
1 – Ornella Pellizari (Mar de Plata, ARG) 13.75
2 – Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana, CA) 9.90
3 – Sage Erickson (Oxnard, CA) 8.35
4 – Christa Alves (Cocoa Beach, FL) 6.85

Ezekiel Pro Junior Quarterfinals: 16 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd advance to Semifinals)
Quarterfinal 1: Cory Arrambide (USA) 12.50, Jamie Parkhurst (USA) 11.85, Jason Harris (USA) 10.75, Matt Pagan (USA) 9.55
Quarterfinal 2: Eric Geiselman (USA) 17.00, Travis Beckmann (USA) 11.75, Cody Thompson (USA) 9.60, Jesse Heilman (USA) 9.50
Quarterfinal 3: Dillon Perillo (USA) 14.50, Bruno Rodrigues (BRA) 10.95, Andrew Doheny (USA) 10.00, Blake Jones (USA) 8.70
Quarterfinal 4: Chad Compton (USA) 11.75, Chris Waring (USA) 10.50, Kilian Garland (USA) 9.75, Dane Ward (USA) 8.75

Ezekiel Pro Junior Semifinals: 8 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd advance to Final)
Semifinal 1: Eric Geiselman (USA), Travis Beckmann (USA), Cory Arrambide (USA), Jamie Parkhurst (USA)
Semifinal 2: Chris Waring (USA) 12.75, Chad Compton (USA) 12.65, Bruno Rodrigues (BRA) 11.90, Dillon Perillo (USA) 9.75

Ezekiel Pro Junior Final:
1 – Eric Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL) 13.65
2 – Chris Waring (Seal Beach, CA) 13.40
3 – Travis Beckmann (Vero Beach, FL) 9.70
4 – Chad Compton (Ventura, CA) 9.65

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