BELMAR, New Jersey/USA (Saturday, September 15, 2012) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 1-Star Fins Pro Junior continued in one-to-two foot low-tide conditions in Belmar, New Jersey to decided the event’s Semifinalists.
With the 2012 ASP North America Pro Junior Season culminating after Virginia Beach, the Fins Pro Junior acts as the first event for 2013 regional season.
Cam Richards (Garden City Beach, SC), 16, took to his forehand and locked in to a solid lefthander that allowed him to link together a series of carves to secure his Quarterfinals heat victory. Richards, who is a leader among the East Coasters of his generation, effortlessly tore though the challenging beachbreak conditions and looked at home in the Belmar lineup.
“The waves were really small, but they weren’t too bad,” Richards said. “I was able to find a few little lefts that got me through the heat. I’m used to these small conditions, so I didn’t have too much trouble out there.”
Richards, who has been a standout on the American amateur circuit, has yet to find his feet in ASP Pro Junior competition and hopes a big result at the Fins Pro Junior will act as a catalyst for future success on the North America tour next season.
This is my best result in an ASP event,” Richards said. “I’ve done well in amateur events but this is a good confidence booster to start off the new season. I haven’t done very well in the Pro Junior events yet, so hopefully a result here will help my seed.”
Knox Harris (Ocean Isle, NC) was another East Coast goofy-footer to successfully navigate through to the Semifinals today. Harris, who took out two heat victories yesterday, maintained his form this afternoon and his Semifinals berth also guarantees his career-best ASP result.
“I won my two heats yesterday and then the Quarterfinals today, so I’m happy,” Harris said. “This is my first Semifinal finish and the farthest I’ve made it in an ASP event. It feels good because I had a close call in my Round of 32 heat at ECSC and just lost out. “
Harris was also hungry to capitalize on the points on offer at an event relatively close to his North Carolina home, rather than investing the money in travels to the West Coast in order to climb the ranks on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series.
“It’s sick to have a few East Coast events this year,” Harris said. “I think us East Coasters have a little advantage when the waves are small because we’re used to it and it’s also good because there aren’t too many junior surfers from this area. It’s really exciting to have these events.”
In addition to the Fins Pro Junior action, Semifinalists were also decided at the ASP 1-Star 8Eighty Longboard Pro, the last of two ASP North America Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) events this year.
Taylor Jensen (Carlsbad, CA), 25, reigning ASP World Longboard Champion, led the charge at the 8Eighty Longboard Pro today. The California powerhouse managed to pull off a combination of swooping carves and nose rides at Belmar and took a convincing Quarterfinals victory.
“This is my first time in New Jersey and I’ve had a nice beach day and there are some little waves,” Jensen said. “It’s fully contestable. “There’s sort of a remnants of the hurricane and it’s looking good for tomorrow. “
Jensen looked to catch as many waves as possible in his Quarterfinals affair and attributed his strategy of staying busy to his success today.
“I just get busy,” Jensen said. “ It’s hard to tell if one wave is better than the other so you’ve just got to pick and choose. The more waves you catch the better your chances are. If you get that one that holds up just enough and then dies out, the offshores allow you to get a turn in and a noseride and sneak in another turn.”
Tony Silvagni (Kure Beach, NC), 25, led the East Coast longboard charge, taking out Quarterfinal No. 3 in peaky high-tide conditions to advance through to the Semifinals with a combination of stylish noserides and committing turns.
“It was just pretty much positioning on where you’re going to catch the best waves out here,” Silvagni said. “There were two peaks that were pretty solid and as the tide’s coming in there are these backwash, high-tide peaks rolling in. I actually had a lot of fun out there.”
Silvagni, who competes alongside the world’s best longboarders on the ASP WLT, is the defending three-time men’s Belmar Longboarding Champion and the talented waterman hopes to add a fourth consecutive victory to his belt tomorrow while enjoying the New Jersey beach community.
“I’ve won here the past three consecutive years and I really like it here,” Silvagni said. “I really like this beach, it’s nice, it’s clean and there are a lot of great families that come down and support the event and fun venues to check out. There have been a lot of good surfers in this event and it looks like we’re going to have a little bump in swell tomorrow so it should be fun.”
Fins Pro Junior and 8Eighty Longboard Champions will be crowned tomorrow. For all of the LIVE action log on to www.belmarpro.com