Check out SURFING photo editor Peter Taras’ exclusive photos from Day 4 HERE
Visit the official event website at www.Nike6LowersPro.com
Day four of the 6.0 Lowers Pro began with the arrival of a highly anticipated south swell gracing the lineup with four-to-five foot waves, and the top-seeded surfers of the event unleashed their talents on the pumping sets in classic Lower Trestles conditions. The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star event completed Rounds 5 and 6 of the men’s competition today, as well as the opening round and a half of the ASP Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior, the North American qualifier for the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge.
Sebastian Zietz (Hanalei, HAW) posted the events first perfect 10 for a series of lightning-fast forehand maneuvers punctuated with an incredible under- the-lip reverse. Zietz has proven the dark horse of the event, starting his 6.0 Lowers Pro campaign in Round 1 and advancing through an astonishing six heats.
“It’s pretty all-time Lowers and I’m just stoked to be out there with three other guys,” Zietz said. “I jumped on some new equipment, and it seems to be working really good, and I hope it takes me further in the event. I really wanted to push my first turn on that 10, because the first turn is the most important one, then I got stuck a bit, and just worked through it because it was such a good wave I didn’t want to blow it, then I just went for it on the last turn.”
Adriano de Souza (Guaruja Sao Paulo, BRA), current ASP World Tour campaigner and former ASP WQS Champion (2005), unleashed the highest total heat score of the event so far with an impressive 18.64 out of a possible 20, applying his world class form to advance through to the Quarterfinals of the 6.0 Lowers Pro.
“I’m really happy about that heat, because my first two events on the World Tour didn’t go as well as I wanted, de Souza said. “Lowers is pumping right now, and I’m hoping to make the finals in this event, so this heat helped my confidence for that.”
Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA) was another standout surfer today, representing his hometown as the last local surfer remaining in the event. Gudauskas’ polished forehand assault saw the young natural-footer advance through two rounds today, and will look to capitalize on his Quarterfinals berth tomorrow.
“I’m going to try to carry the torch for San Clemente, and it’s the best to come home to a good swell after being gone for a month,” Gudauskas said.
Following the completion of Round 6 of the 6.0 Lowers Pro, the ASP Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior got underway with the opening round and a half of competition. Dusty Payne (Lahaina, HAW), who is also into the Quarterfinals of the 6.0 Lowers Pro, was in sensational form this afternoon, posting the single highest scoring wave of the Oakley Pro Junior, a 9.70 out of a possible 10.
“I didn’t think I was going to get that good of a score because I was digging my rail a little bit on the first couple of turns, but then I got that inside runner,” Payne said. “I’m stoked on doing both divisions because I just get to go out there and catch more waves, and I just get to have fun.”
Adam Wickwire (Satellite Beach, FL), reigning ASP North America Pro Junior Champion, kept his Oakley Pro Junior hopes alive this afternoon, narrowly advancing over Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL) and Reilly Metcalf (San Clemente, CA) into the Quarterfinals.
“It was a stacked heat, and I really haven’t been feeling good all day,” Wickwire said. “I have a tweaked foot, so I wasn’t feeling too good, but I got the job done, and that’s all that matters in the end.”
Tomorrow will see champions crowned in both the 6.0 Lowers Pro and the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge, as well as the list of contenders up for the Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series bonus. The two Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge qualifiers will go on to the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge Championships in Bali, October 7-17.
All 6.0 Lowers Pro and Oakley Pro Junior action is being webcast LIVE via www.Nike6LowersPro.com In addition to title sponsor Nike 6.0, the 6.0 Lowers Pro is happy to have support from Red Bull, Oakley, SURFER, SURFING, WaveWatch and FUEL TV.