BELMAR, New Jersey/USA (Sunday, September 16, 2012) – Knox Harris (Ocean Isle, NC), 17, has taken out his maiden ASP victory, winning the 1-Star Fins Pro Junior over fellow East Coasters Evan Thompson (Jacksonville Beach, FL), 20, Cam Richards (Garden City Beach, SC), 16, and Californian Griffin Colapinto (San Clemente, CA), 14.
Harris relied on committed maneuvers on the closeout sections compliments of a building hurricane swell to take out the Fins Pro Junior. The North Carolina native started strong but was forced to battle back to the lead after he was relegated to second with solid backhand turns to easily earn the four-point score needed and the Fins Pro Junior victory.
“I caught that second wave and I wasn’t sure if it was going to count or not because I slipped after I was riding out of it,” Harris said. “I was skeptical about that and you couldn’t really hear out there so I didn’t figure I was in first. I fell back to second and needed a four. Since I couldn’t hear I think it took the pressure off of me and when I came in all of my friends were freaking out. I got carried up the beach and I was so stoked.”
Harris established a presence on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series this season with standout performances in both Florida and Virginia and hopes his win in New Jersey will act as a momentum builder for the 2013 season.
“I did decent in ECSC and had a close call with Tanner (Hendrickson) and got bumped out of the Quarters. I made the Quarterfinals at the DNA, but I’m stoked with this win and it’s a good momentum builder for next year.”
Evan Thompson, who finished runner-up, took his second-consecutive second place finish in New Jersey while competing in his final event on the regional circuit. While Thompson was disappointed to walk away without the win the hard-working Floridian was pleased with another Final and was happy to join his close friends on another podium finish.
“This was my last Pro Junior event and I’m stoked to be in New Jersey again,” Thompson said. “I’m stoked that I made another Final, I wish I could have won, it’s two events in a row that I’ve gotten second place in. I’m kind of over getting second, but I’m stoked Knox won. He, Cam (Richards) and I are all staying in the same house and we were like a little team and we pretty much dominated.”
In addition to the Fins Pro Junior, Tony Silvagni (Kure Beach, NC), 25, won his fourth consecutive Belmar Longboard title, taking out the ASP Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) 1-Star 8Eighty Longboard Pro over Southern California standout Steve Newton (San Clemente, CA), 27, reigning ASP World Longboard Champion Taylor Jensen (Carlsbad, CA), 28, and Steve McClean.
Silvagni managed to find the best wave of the heat and capitalized on the opportunity, earning an excellent score for the lengthy ride which would see Silvagni hold on to the lead throughout the heat’s entirety.
“I just went in to it having fun and the surf picked up. We all had scoring potential and Taylor Jensen, Steve Newton and Steve McClean are exceptional surfers. To be able to compete against them in solid head-high surf was a good way to end a contest. I got lucky with a set wave that came in. I took off on a smaller one and got set up for the big bomb set that came in and I had some nice maneuvers on it and it was just fun.”
Steve Newton got off to a quick start in the Final and was a standout throughout the entirety of the 8Eighty Longboard Pro, but was unable to find the scores needed to surpass Silvagni and finished runner-up overall .
“The swell is filling in a bit from Tropical Storm Nadine and the actual takeoff area has changed and it’s more like a pointbreak when the waves come in,” Newton said. “We were all stacked up against the jetty and it was a gentleman’s heat and I had my work cut out for me . I started out really quick, with my first two waves being my best scores, but I was just playing catch up the whole time with Tony.”