Mikey February takes third place in Vans Pro Junior at Virginia Beach, USA
Michael February, 19, from Kommetjie clinched third place in the ASP 6-Star rated Vans Pro Junior at Virginia Beach in the USA on Sunday.
February, one of the form surfers throughout the event, destroyed the waist high half metre waves with a combination of powerful carves and technical aerial manoeuvres, advancing through four rounds in the top class 64-man field that included many of the world’s best 20-and-under competitors to reach the final.
“Being a bigger guy, I didn’t expect to do that well in smaller waves, but I was here last year and got an idea of what boards I needed to ride and what to expect,” the lanky teenager said earlier in the week. “My board feels good under my feet.”
He finished third behind winner Keanu Asing (HAW) and Evan Thompson (USA) and ahead of Taylor Clark (USA) in the Vans Pro Junior to pocket US $2 350 (approx. R19 500).
February, who matriculated last year, is building momentum on the global stage and the South African standout added another $1 200 to his wallet and a valuable 380 points on the ASP World Rankings when he finishing equal 37th in the ASP 6-Star rated Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championships (ESSC).
“These 6-Star events are a great opportunity to build your seed for next season,” February said. “There aren’t as many in the back half of the year and I’m glad to get some points here, they help a lot.”
Shaun Joubert, 21, from Mossel Bay but currently based in California, secured a great heat victory in his opening encounter in the ESSC but was eliminated in the Round of 48 when he placed third. Joubert finished equal 25th overall with $1 500 and 410 ranking points.
The event was won by Jean da Silva who defeated fellow Brazilian Filipe Toledo in the final to claim the $25 000 winner’s pay-cheque and 3 500 points.
COASTAL EDGE ECSC VANS PRO JUNIOR FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Keanu Asing (HAW) 14.73
2 – Evan Thompson (USA) 13.87
3 – Michael February (USA) 11.87
4 – Taylor Clark (USA) 9.50
COASTAL EDGE ECSC VANS PRO JUNIOR SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Evan Thompson (USA) 15.50, Michael February (ZAF) 11.80, Cooper Chapman (AUS) 9.23, Andrew Doheny (USA) 6.34
SF 2: Taylor Clark (USA) 12.00, Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.50, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 10.36, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 7.50
Perfect 10s and Big Upsets at Billabong Pro Tahiti, Winner Crowned Tomorrow
The Billabong Pro Tahiti, Event No. 5 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, recommenced yesterday with Rounds 3 and 4 being completed in rapidly-improving three-to-five foot (1.0 to 1.5 metre) waves at Teahupo’o.
The event got underway in tricky windblown one metre waves that cleaned up and produced occasional two metre waves later in the day, enabling the world’s best surfers to post incredibly high scores, including two perfect 10-point rides and a number of upsets.
The upset of the day came when Ricardo dos Santos (BRA), two-time Von Zipper Trials winner and wildcard into the main event, eliminating reigning 11-time ASP World Champion and defending Billabong Pro Tahiti winner, Kelly Slater (USA), 40, with an incredible down-to-the-wire performance in Round 3.
Needing a major score with 10 seconds remaining in the heat, Dos Santos threaded a lengthy forehand barrel to attain 9.87 out of a possible 10 and the emotional win.
“That wave came to me at the very end and I was just hoping for a chance to show what I can do,” Dos Santos said. “That wave was so good and it just allowed me to pull in early and keep running through it. That was my last chance – it was either make it or go home.”
While Slater bowed out of the Billabong Pro Tahiti uncharacteristically early in Round 3, the iconic Floridian remained ever-gracious in defeat and will return to competition at the upcoming event in California.
“I honestly don’t know a whole lot about Ricardo (dos Santos),” Slater said. “I know that he won the Trials last year in huge surf and won the Trials this year in small surf so he’s obviously very competent out here in any kind of conditions.”
Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, two-time ASP World Champion (2007, 2009) and current ASP WCT No. 1, survived a tight heat against lethal goofy-footer Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), 30, in Round 3 this morning, but was able to confidently overcome Taj Burrow (AUS), 34, and Julian Wilson (AUS), 23, in this afternoon’s Round 4 heat.
“The conditions are night and day between the two heats today,” Fanning said. “This morning wasn’t classic Chopes and it was more turns than barrels. Then this afternoon the wind came good and the swell was pulsing. It was so much fun. I’m into the quarter-finals now so that’s a pretty good result for me historically at this event.”
The10-point rides were posted by Jeremy Flores (FRA), 24, last year’s recipient of the Andy Irons Forever Award, and Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, competing in his first ever Billabong Pro Tahiti, for threading their way though long barrels.
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, who powered his way to a Round 4 victory with the highest heat total of the round, a near-perfect 18.23 out of a possible 20, and CJ Hobgood (USA), 33, former ASP World Champion (2001) and current No. 12 on the ASP WCT rankings, also advanced directly to the quarterfinals to join Fanning and Medina.
Round 5 sees the eight surfers who placed second or third in Round 4 fight it out for the remaining quarter-final berths.
The Billabong Pro Tahiti will culminate later today. Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 7am start. (7pm in South Africa).
Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, are calling for a much larger, long period South swell for tomorrow with easing winds.
When competition resumes, up first will be wildcard Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) up against Taj Burrow (AUS), 34, in the opening heat of Round 5.
All the action and highlights from the Billabong Pro Tahiti will be available via http://www.billabongpro.com
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.17 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 8.34
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.83 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 9.37
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.04 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 11.00
Heat 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 18.30 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 17.50
Heat 5: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 18.30 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.17
Heat 6: Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) 18.34 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 16.44
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.83 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 4.47
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.60 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 12.60
Heat 9: Damien Hobgood (USA) 15.10 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.93
Heat 10: John John Florence (HAW) 13.30 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 13.17
Heat 11: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.60 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 4.73
Heat 12: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 16.87 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.67
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.60, Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.10, Julian Wilson (AUS) 2.80
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.76, Owen Wright (AUS) 15.60, Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) 9.67
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.23, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.77, Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.47
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.83, John John Florence (HAW) 7.00, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 3.23
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 5 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
South Africa’s Jordy Smith and Travis Logie were both eliminated in Round 2 of the event, finishing equal 25th overall. Smith was ousted by Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials winner Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) while Logie was sidelined by Kai Otton (AUS).
Pictured: Michael February, 19, from Kommetjie (on left in white vest) joins the finalists in the Vans Pro Junior on the podium after his third place finish in Virginia Beach yesterday
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About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the recognized world governing body of professional surfing and has been crowning surfing’s undisputed World Champions since 1976. The ASP sanctions and crowns World Champions for the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, ASP World Junior Tour, ASP World Longboard and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts and other media platforms. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.