ASP World Title Contenders Set Sights on Upcoming Hurley Pro Trestles
LOWER TRESTLES, California (Friday, August 28, 2009) – The world’s best surfers are preparing for an assault on one of the world’s most high-performance waves as the Hurley Pro Trestles, Event No. 6 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, bringing the ASP Top 45 to Lower Trestles from September 13 – 19, 2009.
The site of some of the most electrifying performances in the sport’s history, the cobblestone A-Frame not only provides the ideal canvas for the world’s best to unleash upon, but Lower Trestles will also play a pivotal role in the hunt for this year’s ASP World Title.
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, current ASP World No. 1, has had a landmark season in 2009, collecting three wins, a 3rd and a 9th en route to his position at the top. Although currently sitting a comfortable 1,402 points ahead of the nearest challenger, the phenomenal natural-footer has been guarded this season when commenting on his ASP World Title campaign as well as details regarding his preparation.
“When you do something that excites you and you enjoy doing it, then it is not hard to stay focused on what needs to be done,” Parkinson said. “As far as preparation is concerned, I have just continued with what I have been doing all year, but at the same time you just think about the opportunity of surfing a wave at Trestles and there’s that excitement again.”
Having proven victorious at the venue before (2004) and given his near-unstoppable form in 2009, Parkinson remains an event favorite going into this season’s Hurley Pro Trestles, and the high-performance lefts and rights will allow the well-built Australian to utilize his impressive repertoire of tricks.
“I think one of the necessary skills of any professional sportsperson is adaptability,” Parkinson said. “Being able to adapt to different environments, opposition and conditions. I think about the wave at Trestles and I believe my surfing can adapt to it pretty well. I know I am looking forward to it.”
C.J. Hobgood (USA), 30, former ASP World Champion (2001) and current ASP World No. 2, will be first in line of those looking to put a halt to Parkinson’s juggernaut run this season. The ultra-fit goofy-footer holds an ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) event title at Lower Trestles (2007), but his results at the elite level of competition at the venue have been mixed with two 5ths in ’07 and ’05, a 33rd in ’06 before a 17th last season.
“Lowers suits my surfing and Lowers should suit everyone on tour’s surfing as it’s one of the most high-performance surfing venues we have on the tour,” Hobgood said. “However, with that said, from the results it does favor the regular-footers, so the goofy-footers do need to dig deeper to get further at this event. Kelly’s record winning percentage at Trestles is something no one has ever seen. Taj (Burrow), Mick (Fanning), Joel (Parkinson), Bede (Durbidge), Taylor (Knox) and Dane (Reynolds) have shown they can do some damage out there and they’ll be favored at the event as well.”
In terms of hunting down current ASP frontrunner Parkinson, Hobgood keeps his strategy simple.
“I’m just trying to surf better regardless of the results,” Hobgood said. “It says I’m 2nd, but I have the same amount of work to do as No. 15. I need to win a contest, then repeat that twice.”
Parkinson and Hobgood lead the pack in terms of ASP World Title challengers, but they’ll need to contend with an army of the world’s best including reigning nine-time ASP World Champion and defending event winner Kelly Slater (USA), 37, former ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, up-and-coming South American threat Adriano de Souza (BRA), 22, and new-age icons of progressive surfing Jordy Smith (ZAF), 21, and Dane Reynolds (USA), 23.
Brett Simpson (USA), 24, winner of July’s ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Hurley U.S. Open in Huntington Beach and wildcard at the upcoming Hurley Pro Trestles, will take on the world’s best for the second time in his young career this September. Last year saw Simpson finish equal 17th as a wildcard at Lowers, but after taking down a bevy of top names at Huntington Beach, the young natural-footer’s confidence in his abilities is at an all-time high.
“I have always felt I can mix it with the top dogs,” Simpson said. “It’s just about having a good game plan and executing it to your best ability. Mistakes against the top guys are daggers to your heart and you can’t afford to make them. I definitely feel like I’m a better surfer and am competing much better now too, so I believe that if I can put some waves together, it can be a great event for me. So that’s the goal, to stay sharp and give them a run for their money!”
Joining Simpson as wildcards will be former ASP World No. 2 Rob Machado (USA), 36, and reigning ASP World Junior Champion Kai Barger (HAW), 19, as they take on the world’s best surfers.
The Hurley Pro Trestles will host the ASP 45 from September 13 – 19, 2009.
The event will be webcast LIVE via www.hurley.com/hurleypro/
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com