Saturday, May 7, 2011

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., May 7, 2011 – Miguel Pupo (BRA), 19, claimed the ASP PRIME Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro over local standout Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 22, at Lower Trestles at San Clemente’s San Onofre State Beach in a close Final of 13.63 to 13.57 today. Also clinching a victory was Hawaiian Keanu Asing (Ewa Beach, HI), 17, who won the ASP 5-Star Oakley Pro Junior.

Miguel Pupo

In addition to the $40,000 prize check and 14-carat solid gold trophy worth $30,000, Pupo earned 6,500 valuable points towards his ASP World Ranking, which helps his campaign towards qualification for the elite ASP World Tour. Gudauskas’ runner-up finish earned him $20,000 and 5,200 points.

Pupo, who was trailing Gudauskas throughout the first half of the Final, got the best of a crucial exchange by taking the heat’s highest single-wave score of an 8.33 for a steep left that offered several turns which the talented Brazilian completed with an air-reverse on the inside. Pupo found a back up score of a 5.30 on his last wave to secure the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro victory.

“I’m just so happy to win this event and I’m sorry that I took out the town’s local guy,” Pupo said. “I knew there was going to be a Brazilian in the Final. I was just trying to be that Brazilian and I can’t believe I won. I’m just so happy. I brought my father here and it’s the first time he’s gone to a contest with me and things just went my way.”

Miguel Pupo tasting the win...and the gold

The progressive Brazilian, who was sitting in 42 on the men’s ASP World Ranking, will catapult up the standings with the win and substantially increase his chances of achieving his dream of qualifying for the elite ASP World Tour.

“I was thinking just about the points when I first got here, and this is great to win this event going into the next PRIME in Brazil,” Pupo said. “It’s my dream to make the World Tour and these points will help.”

Gudauskas, who was in need of a 6.50 to overtake Pupo for the victory, caught a last-minute wave in the Final on a lefthander and earned a 6.07, to nearly overtake Pupo for the win in front of his hometown crowd.

Keanu Asing taking in his victory

“Miguel ripped and it makes it exciting when it’s a close Final,” Gudauskas said. “Congratulations to him, it’s been a fun week.”

Gudauskas, who had just returned to the water after six weeks from an ankle injury, entered the event with no expectations and surprised by the result.

“This week has just been classic,” Gudauskas said. “It has been a blur. I am just coming off of an ankle injury and wasn’t expecting anything and I just started making heats and then I was in the final.”

Keanu Asing struggled to find a rhythm in the action packed Oakley Pro Junior Final against defending ASP World Junior Champion Jack Freestone (AUS), 19, current ASP North America Pro Junior Series leader Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 17, and 2009 ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 19. However, he locked into a left just before the buzzer, linking a series of critical backside turns for an 8-point ride which proved enough to take the Oakley Pro Junior victory, $5,000 paycheck and 2000 ASP points. The Oakley Pro Junior’s ASP 5-Star status offered the most points on offer towards surfers’ campaigns towards qualification for the prestigious ASP World Junior Tour.

Keanu Asing

“I don’t really know, I was so down in that Final and was just trying to put on a good performance because there are a lot of people on the beach,” Asing said. “I got that one set and got an 8. I needed a 4 and was hoping I would get a wave and as I was paddling I asked Nat (Young) which wave he was going to go and he said he wasn’t going. I’m just glad I got that little wave at a clutch time in the heat, Mother Nature and God gave that one to me.”

Asing, who now sits at No. 2 on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series rankings, was quick to admit that the prestigious Oakley Pro Junior marked a pinnacle moment in his budding career.

“This is huge, to win this big event. It’s a 5-Star, it’s one of the biggest wins of my career for sure,” Asing said. “I’m at a loss for words right now, I’m just so excited and so happy.”

Caio Ibelli earned $1,000 for winning Most Valuable Performance for a maneuver he executed earlier in the competition. Each day, three surfers were nominated and voted on online. Ibilli secured the final win over Dane Reynolds, Kolohe Andino and Miguel Pupo.

Re-broadcasts of Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro and Oakley Pro Junior action will be televised in Hawaii on Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s Channel 250 and 1250HD, as well as, Time Warner Cable’s Los Angeles (Channel 101), San Diego (Channel 411) and Desert Cities (Channel 111) markets.

For Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro highlights, visit nike6lowerspro.com and for Oakley Pro Junior, visit oakleyprojunior.com.

The Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro and Oakley Pro Junior wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of sponsors. A special thank you goes out to presenting sponsors Nike 6.0 and Oakley, co-sponsors Red Bull and Sierra Nevada, media sponsor SURFER Magazine (Surfermag.com) and official forecaster Surfline.com.

Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro Final Results:

1 – Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.63

2 – Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 13.57

Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro Semifinals Results:

Heat 1: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 12.03 def. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 11.33

Heat 2: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.70 def. Thiago Camarao (BRA) 12.67

Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro Quarterfinals Results:

Heat 1: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 16.37 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 11.76

Heat 2: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 11.60 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 8.33

Heat 3: Thiago Camarao (BRA) 14.50 def. Junior Faria (BRA) 11.47

Heat 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.24 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.93

Oakley Pro Junior Final Results:

1 – Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.70

2 – Jack Freestone (AUS) 13.43

3 – Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.30

4 – Nat Young (USA) 11.53

Oakley Pro Junior Semifinals Results:

Heat 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.00, Jack Freestone (USA) 9.73, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 9.37

Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) 14.77, Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.47, Conner Coffin (USA) 10.73, Andrew Doheny (USA) 9.14

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