Friday 30 September
Trials Event completed in spectacular conditions at HB
After 2 full days of spectacular conditions here at Surf City USA for the Huntington Beach Pro, presented by Starboard, a field of nearly 60 athletes from 14 different countries stepped up to the challenge to earn their place in the Main Event.
With consistent 3 – 5ft surf on tap providing clean walls for the athletes to show what they’re made of, the Huntington Beach Pro clearly showcased the sheer level of up and coming talent not only here in California, but worldwide. With a hurricane far south off Mexico sending pulses of swell up to Southern California combined with a WNW pulse, the conditions just south of the Pier were nothing short of ideal.
Australia’s Keahi de Aboitz makes his presence felt
Australia’s Keahi de Aboitz put on an impressive show on both days of the trials, combining fluid rail driven turns with progressive and mind blowing aerials to win the fiercely contested Trials. It didn’t stop there, as Keahi went on to score the first 10 of the contest in heat one of Main event and then went on to become one of the few athletes that have managed to beat World Champion Kai Lenny this year. Despite Keahi’s victory, Kai finished in 2nd, securing his spot directly into Round 3, so they will meet again.
California youth stand strong in the face of international competition
Young Matt Becker from Santa Barbara put on a great performance throughout the Trials, making it all the way to the finals, and finishing a close second to Keahi, with impressive style and fluid rail to rail turns. Also standing out were the Hughes brothers, taking their assault to the air and representing their local beach admirably – all great talents for the future.
Huntington Beach spotlights the sport’s progression
From the the aggressive aerial attack of the Hughes brothers, to Keahi de Aboitz’s effortless airtime, the Huntington Beach Pro Trials has clearly showcased how far the evolution of the sport has come, as Stand Up Paddling emulates the aerial movement that shortbard surfing has witnessed over the past decade. Huntington Beach provides the perfect arena for this kind of development, with ideal punting sections that further define the diversity, scope and appeal of the sport.
However, carving full rail turns will never grow old
With a warm up area to the left of the contest zone, the Top 24 have been warming up over the past few days, providing a spectacle for the assembled audience. Here Dave Muir reminds us that power turns will never grow old, especially when they are done by him
Athletes advancing to the Main Event
The athletes that advanced to the Main Event to join the wildcards in a preliminary heat were as follows: Keahi de Aboitz, Matt Becker, Noah Shimabukuro, Brenan Rose, Bernd Roedigger, Dave Boehne, Daniel Hughes, Anthony Vela, Pat Huber and Fernando Stalla. They joined the wildcards, Colin McPhilips, Connor Baxter, Rocky McKinnon, Justin Holland, Chuck Patterson and Josh Sleigh, who all battled it out for their place in the second round with the world’s best.
The Women are represented at Huntington Beach
With 2 women athletes competing in the Trials, they were joined by a further 4 women that battled it out in a fiercely fought out expression session that showcased their legitimate presence here at Huntington Beach. Continuing her winning form and as one of the women facing up against the men in the Trials was Candice Appleby, closely followed by
Still to come here at the Huntington Beach Pro
We are now in the second round of the main event, and when competition resumes today we will see the world’s best once again battle it out to progress through the rounds right here at Stop 4 of the 2011 Stand Up World Tour. Friday should see us right through to the Quarter Finals if the conditions allow, with the Quarters, semis and Finals being contested on Saturday.
Saturday will also see the widely anticipated People’s Choice Super Session that has seen so much activity online: make it down to Huntington Beach on Saturday the 1st to cast your vote for the People’s Choice event.
Finally, we will be holding the Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge for the exceptional U16 talent, stay tuned as the sport’s future will show us what is in store for us over the coming years
Highlights and galleries now online plus ustream live feed
Check out the highlights and galleries now up online at www.standupworldtour.com. You can also look out for the simple live feed that has been set up for you to get a live glimpse of the action. This is not a Waterman League live production, but a simple camera feed to give the audience a glimpse of this prestigious event here at Huntington Beach.
Stay tuned to www.standupworldtour.com