VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia/USA (Monday, August 20, 2012) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star Coastal Edge ECSC Vans Pro Junior kicked off competition at 1st Street in Virginia Beach and the under-21 competitors capitalized on the one-to-three foot windy peaks on offer to narrow the field from 64 down to eight Semifinalists.
The ASP 6-Star Coastal Edge ECSC Vans Pro Junior marks the final major event on the North America schedule and the heightened points on offer make a standout performance necessary for several surfers looking to qualify for the ASP World Junior Championships.
Cooper Chapman (North Narrabeen, AUS), 18, is quickly building a name for himself on the international stage. The talented Australian was deadly in each of his appearances today and combined an impressive repertoire of turns and airs to earn a Semifinals berth while earning the highest heat-total in the Quarterfinals, 17.20 out of 20.
“I was looking at the conditions and it looked the same everywhere so I figured there was no reason to go sit with the pack,” Chapman said. “I saw a few little wedges and figured I’d sit there by myself.”
Chapman, who is also competing in the men’s ASP 6-Star division, was relieved to have the opportunity to become familiar with the 1st street lineup during the Coastal Edge ECSC Vans Pro Junior and hopes his added water-time will contribute to a successful campaign in the men’s main event.
“It’s good just got get a start and get those first heats out of the way,” Chapman said. “It’d be good to get on a roll and win a few heats.”
Kaimana Jaquias (Lihue, HI), 19, stayed busy in his heats today and consistently posted some of the day’s top scores including an excellent 9-point single-wave score as well as a 17.00 heat-total en route to his Semifinals berth.
“Because the waves are so hard, it’s pretty much luck of the draw,” Jaquias said. “Whoever gets the best waves is probably going to win the heat. You’ve got to do what the wave allows and I got lucky. My strategy was to go on any wave that looked good. If it doesn’t work out you can just kick out and get another one because there are so many waves.”
Jaquias, current No.5 on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, is one top Hawaiian looking to qualify for the ASP World Junior Championships with a top result at the Coastal Edge ECSC Vans Pro Junior. Because Hawaii and North America combine rankings for ASP Pro Junior events, the East Coast contest provides the perfect opportunity for the Hawaiian talent improve his standing amongst his fellow Hawaiian competitors.
“My worst result this year is a Quarters and everyone is on the bubble at this event,” Jaquias said. “This event means a lot to everyone trying to qualify for worlds and I want to show, if I do qualify, this is why.”
Evan Thompson (Jacksonville, FL), 20, was one East Coast talent to shine in the stormy conditions on offer at 1st street. The quick regular-footer took a commanding win in the Round of 64 and went on to advance through his heats in both the Round of 32 and Quarterfinals to keep his hopes of a Coastal Edge ECSC Vans Pro Junior win alive.
“I’m stoked, to surf three heats in one day is like a little marathon,” Thompson said. “I was a little surprised when I found out today that we were going to run all the way to the Semifinals, but I’m happy that there are waves. I can’t believe that there are fun contestable waves and it’s such a hard event because there are so many good guys in the event.”
Thompson, current No. 13 on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, is in excellent position to rejoin the global elite at the ASP World Junior Championships compliments of his efforts today and is out to solidify his spot in the event’s final rounds.
“It feels good to make the Semifinals, but I think I need to make the Final to guarantee my qualification,” Thompson said. “A few of us are really close and it just depends on how everyone else does, so I need to keep it going.”
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am local time for a possible 7am start. The ASP 6-Star Coastal Edge ECSC presented by Vans holds a waiting period from August 20 through 26 and is webcast LIVE via www.vans.com/ecsc.
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspnorthamerica.org