Hank Gaskell, winner of the Copa Quiksilver El Salvador, was in striking form again today at the Quiksilver Surf Open Acapulco.
PLAYA REVOLCADERO, Acapulco/Mex (Friday, July 20, 2012) ? Top seeds at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 4-Star Quiksilver Surf Open Acapulco were dominant once again today as the event marched into the Round of 32 in two-to-four foot (1 metre) offshore conditions.
The Quiksilver Surf Open Acapulco is the second Latin event on the ASP North American calendar this season and the standout performers in the Copa Quiksilver El Salvador maintained their form with dominant performances today in Mexico.
Gavin Gillette (Kauai, HI), 26, continued his tear today, launching a massive backside air-reverse to capture his Round of 32 heat win in the dying seconds as well as the day?s highest single-wave score of 8.83 out of 10 for the single maneuver. The Hawaiian?s amazing air combined with his previous ride allowed him to secure the day?s highest heat-total as well, 13.76 out of 20.
?I was pretty nervous because second place is not a good spot to be in,? Gillette said. ?I knew the Mexican guys could get barreled or do an air and they didn?t need much of a score. I knew I had to come back and battle with those guys and I?m glad I did.?
Gillette has been surfing Playa Revolcadero in all conditions on his off days and feels his efforts are contributing to his success.
?I?ve been surfing out here two or three times a day just to try and figure it out,? Gillette said. ?My first session, I didn?t catch any waves and it?s difficult. When it comes, there can be a bunch of close outs, so you?ve really got to be on it.?
Dege O?Connell (Hana, HI), 22, runner up at the Copa Quiksilver El Salvador, found the sole barrel in his Round of 64 heat. The powerful Hawaiian drove through the deep righthander to earn one of the day?s highest scores of an 8.00 and while O?Connell was unable to find a solid backup score, the barrel proved enough to claim a heat victory.
?I paddled out early because I wanted to check out the lineup and saw a drainer in the heat before so I knew there were a couple of barrels,? O?Connell said. ?I just dropped in to that one and all I had to do was ride it. It was just a perfect barrel.?
Miguel Tudela (PER), 17, equal 3rd place finisher in El Salvador, took to the air to secure his Round of 64 heat victory over former ASP WCT veteran Shane Beschen (San Clemente, CA), 40, who advanced in second.
?I?m pretty happy,? Tudela said. ?The waves were fun and the tide is coming up so the waves are breaking a little more flat and you can fit in more maneuvers on the wave. I got a couple little waves and then I had the air reverse. Shane Beschen is one of the greatest of all time and I?m really stoked to have won this heat.?
Tudela is emerging as a leader among the field of rising Latin talent and the Peruvian goofy-footer is looking to carry his recent success to Europe for the upcoming ASP leg.
?My last result in El Salvador definitely gave me a lot of confidence for this event and the upcoming ones in Europe,? Tudela said. ?I?m stoked and making it through this heat as well just helps my confidence more.?
Hank Gaskell (Hana, HI), 26, winner of the Copa Quiksilver El Salvador, got off to a quick start to open his campaign in Acapulco and convincingly moved through to the next round compliments of a clean barrel and committed power turns.
?It?s nice when you get two 6s right off the bat and there was no stress from there,? Gaskell said. ?Everyone was struggling and there were not a lot of good waves. It seems like whoever catches the best waves is going to win because everyone surfs so well. It?s all about positioning, being aggressive and surfing smart.?