JONESIN’ FOR THE CROWN

posted by / News / November 12, 2004

For a complete Photo Gallery of the event, CLICK HERE

To stand out in a performance epicenter like Sebastian Inlet, even if only for a moment, is in itself a great achievement.. But to out-surf your heroes in such a competitive arena is a fantastic, almost insolent suggestion. After a couple years sitting on the fence between talented Melbourne Beach grom and A-list pro surfer, Justin Jones leaped into the big leagues this year with the whip of a 6’0″ Mike Daniel WRV. In drifty stormchunks ranging from gutless to gladiator, Joneser convincingly dominated some of the coast’s most notorious sharks in the tenth anniversary of the $10,000 Quiksilver King Of The Peak. With seven heat wins in the East Coast’s only Skins event, there could be no better signal: “Joneser” has officially arrived.

After a frustrating, three-day postponement due to mostly flat conditions, those who stuck around town were rewarded with very little on November 9th, the first day of competition — disappointing waist to boob-high poo, the Inlet’s eternally dependable First through Third Peaks all but destroyed from this fall’s many hurricane thrashings. Outer Banks entrant Jeff Myers knows ‘cane-whipped sandbars as well as anyone, and he got on an early roll that could only be described as sinister—blazing where others were bogging, finding sections within sections to serve caveat that perhaps this crown wanted to venture out-of-state. Jeff had just bagged a solid section in Pat Stublen and Brian Townsend’s eagerly anticipated new video release Back To The Front, and looked eager to back up his celluloid rep with some solid contest scalps. He eventually claimed three skins before noon on Day One. “Don’t let all the video and photo missions fool you,” offered one observer. “Myers is deadly in shit like this.”

But by the second day, it was actually two non-Brevard Floridian goofyfoots who looked most likely to take the crown out of the county for the first and only time since Fernandina Beach’s Eric Hatton did it back in ‘99. A freshly sponsored Jon Gosman, who had put in an impressive showing in the 2003 contest, immediately returned to top form, taking out a double-skin-holding Jason Borte, aerial wizard Robbie Blevins and sole New Jersey entrant Mike Gleason on the way to four skins. Meanwhile, New Smyrna Beach uber competitor Jeremy Johnston grabbed four of his own, and also pocketed ${{{300}}} for ESM‘s “Best Aerial Award” for a frontside tail-whip.

“The thing is this,” explained longtime Inlet force Ron Kiendl while reviewing the bracket sheet. “This younger generation is turning the tide. Where are the veterans this year? Rhino got put out. Speir got put out. And Melhado and Morcom didn’t get on a roll. These kids are all getting older and better, and it shows. It makes perfect sense for one of them to win.”

But despite several valiant goes from a wide variety of surfers young and old— Costa Rican visitor Gilbert Brown, Fernandina’s Brady McKenzie and Kyle McCarthy, and local threats Rylan McCart, Danny Melhado, and Phillip Watters all snatching two skins apiece—Joneser was clearly the standout of the contest, a statement he punctuated by taking the highest score of the comp, an 8.0, in Day Two’s Heat #19. It was a natural progression, actually. Jones was on it in a big way this fall—touring the coast with Volcom, entering every pro and specialty contest he could, and within a day of this comp, he was officially on his way to Barbados for the Independence Day Pro. And to top everything off, he now stands in the royal company of Slater, Morcom, Hartley, Hatton, Speir, Hobgood, and Hewitson with a glistening KOP crown. If pro surfing is a three-pronged fork of photo assignments, public relations, and contest success, Joneser’s got a firm grasp of his utensils. “I’m stoked. I just hope that I can exceed this and move on to the next level now, and take it to the WQS,” Justin said humbly before being crowned King. “I’m going to Hawaii, then Australia at the beginning of the year, and I’m just gonna try and rack up the points…”

Then, still searching for closing words, his eyes trailed off to the ocean, but it seemed he wasn’t looking at the action going on in the day’s concluding heat, but something much further away—the Barbados contest and beyond, perhaps. “I don’t know,” he managed. “I just feel like I gotta do it now, gotta do it now…”

Could there ever be a better time?

FINAL RESULTS OF THE 2005 QUIKSILVER KING OF THE PEAK

JUSTIN JONES, 7 SKINS, $1785
JEREMY JOHNSTON, 4 SKINS, $1020
JON GOSMAN, 4 SKINS, $1020
JEFF MYERS, 3 SKINS, $765
BRADY MCKENZIE, 2 SKINS, $510
JASON BORTE, 2 SKINS, $510
DANNY MELHADO, 2 SKINS, $510
GILBERT BROWN, 2 SKINS, $510
PHILLIP WATTERS, 2 SKINS, $510
RYLAN MCCART, 2 SKINS, $510
KYLE MCCARTHY, 2 SKINS, $510
MJ SIZEMORE, 2 SKINS, $510
SCOTT POSNER, 1 SKIN, $255
RYAN BRIGGS, 1 SKIN, $255
CT TAYLOR, 1 SKIN, $255
TODD MORCOM, 1 SKIN, $255
RYAN CAPPELLEN, 1 SKIN, $255
DAVE BEGLEY, 1 SKIN, $255
JUSTIN ELLINGHAM, 1 SKIN, $255
BRIAN DENNING, 1 SKIN, $255
TOMMY O’BRIEN, 1 SKIN, $255
GABY ESCUDERO, 1 SKIN, $255
ROBBIE BLEVINS, 1 SKIN, $255
KRIS WIERNICKI, 1 SKIN, $255
RON KIENDL, 1 SKIN, $255
ZACH THOMPSON, 1 SKIN, $255

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