Costa Rica’s Carlos Munoz, 20, dominated on day two of the ASP 4-Star Vans Pro.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia/USA (Tuesday, August 20, 2013) -The 2013 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 4-Star Vans Pro returned to peaky one-to-three foot waves at 1st Street Jetty for day two of competition and would see Floridian prodigy Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 19, and Central American standout Carlos Munoz (CRI), 20, post the highest scores of Round 3.
Geiselman took to his backhand during Round 3 of the Vans Pro, unloading searing backhand combinations to secure both the event’s high single-wave score of 9.77 and the high heat total of 17.50 while advancing to the Round of 32.
“You have to best on the best waves in conditions like this and everyone was bunched up in the beginning of the heat wanting to get that little right,” Geiselman said. “It’s funny because I was the last person to get a wave in that heat. I started of with a mid 6 and then a high 7 and then I felt comfortable. That one 9 wasn’t even a set. It was a mid chip on the inside and I stuck it I think four of five times. I’m pretty happy with it, it was fun!”
Geiselman, current No. 80 on the ASP World Ranking, is hungry to join the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) and after a recent slump on the Qualifying Series, the Floridian is out to regain some confidence at the Vans Pro before heading to Europe.
“I’m just want to get this monkey off my back because I haven’t been making too many heats this year,” Geiselman said. “I had an injured foot on that last three event leg between South Africa and the US Open and I’m feeling really good now. I’ve got Portugal after this and I’m excited. I’m hoping to get a good result here and I’m happy to be in an event on the East Coast.”
Carlos Munoz dismantled the righthanders on offer during his Round 3 affair with unmatched speed and power, unloading electric forehand gouges while securing a 17.40 heat total and a Round 4 berth.
“The waves are really small, but it’s consistent and there are a lot of chances for everybody,” Munoz said. “I found a good board and that was the secret for me out there. I can keep my speed and flow in between turns and I got lucky with a few sets out there and I’m enjoying the vibe here with these little waves and the people on the beach.”
The Costa Rican up-and-comer has established himself as a leader among the recent Latin American charge on the international scene and hopes his efforts will help pave the way for future Latinos.
“For me it’s all about being a good example for Latin America,” Munoz said. “We have so many good surfers coming up and I know there will be a CT surfer from there soon. It makes me so happy to think about it.”
Keanu Asing (Ewa Beach, HI), 20, defending Vans Pro Junior Champion, immediately found a rhythm in the Vans Pro with a commanding Round 3 win and attributes his success in Virginia Beach to his training grounds of Ewa Beach.
“I was just trying to find a rhythm out there because I knew there weren’t many waves,” Asing said. “I knew the swell was deteriorating, so I was trying to find waves that would give me opportunity to get a score. These conditions are similar to where I live, down in Ewa Beach, and it’s definitely good to pick up where I left off. It feels good to get some scores on the board.”
Asing, current ASP World No. 57, is another up-and-comer at the Vans Pro looking to establish themselves as a force on the ASP Qualifying Series, and hopes to regain some momentum following a successful start to his 2013 season.
“I’m really focusing on my performance,” Asing said. “I had one good result at the beginning of the year and I’m trying to find my feet midyear. I’m just glad I got some scores on the board and got to perform.”
Nathaniel Curran (Oxnard, CA), 29, former ASP WCT surfer, looked lively in the challenging low-tide conditions on both his forehand and backhand, capitalizing on his veteran experience to aid in a commanding Round 3 heat victory.
“The waves are small and I wanted to get two scores on the board and then wait for a better one to just get in rhythm,” Curran said. “I’ve been coming here for a long time and knew I’d need a groveler so I brought the same board as last year. I knew it’d work well out there.”
Curren, current ASP World No. 124, has struggled to find a rhythm in recent events and admitted a big result at the Vans Pro is crucial towards his seeding for 2014.
“The points in this event are important for me,” Curran said. “I need a result here to get in to the Top 96 an be in the Primes for next year. It’s been a hard year with not as many events and it’s tough for the US guys because there aren’t many events here this year. I’m hoping to get a good result here in Virginia.”
Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 27, ASP WCT alternate, was one of several surfers to dominate their heats today on borrowed equipment. The Californian made a seamless transition to Parker Coffin’s backup board and would dominate his heat with a vicious frontside attack to secure his Round 3 win.
“I was thankful that there were so many waves out there because that was my first surf since Tahiti and I wanted to get my feet wet and riding a borrowed board always puts an extra twist in to it,” Gudauskas said. “I came in late last night and I guess our boards never left LA. I borrowed this board from Parker Coffin and it’s a little small for me, but at least I had a board to ride. I’m stoked.”
Following the Vans Pro Round of 64, Round 1 of the Vans Pro Junior would cap off the day’s action with Hiroto Ohhara (JPN), 16, leading the field.
Ohhara, who has advanced to Round 4 of the Vans Pro, would punctuate the day’s affairs with an incredible performance in Round 1 of the Vans Pro Junior. The Japanese standout would unload a near-perfect 19.00 out of 20 heat total compliments of an impressive air game and polished railwork..
“I’m really happy with that heat,” Ohhara said. “The waves are pretty fun and I think it helped surfing in both divisions because I’m getting used to the wave. It’s a little bit like my homebreak in Japan. It’s not easy to make heats here and I’m happy that I made it through two rounds today.”
The Vans Pro and Vans Pro Junior holds a waiting period from August 19 through 25 and is webcast LIVE via www.vans.com/ecsc.