San Clemente standout Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 23, earned a third place finish at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro in Lacanau, France this past week, bumping him up to fifth overall on the ASP WQS, significantly helping his cause towards qualification towards next year’s ASP World Tour.
Gudauskas, who is currently the highest rated American on The Grind, was in top form throughout out the event’s entirety, taking down and international field of big names including former ASP World Tour surfer Leonardo Neves (Rio De Janeiro, BRA), 29, Australian talent Yadin Nicol (Margaret River, AUS), 22, and current ASP WQS No. 3 Owen Wright (Cullburra, AUS), 19, before falling to Sooruz Lacanau Pro runner-up and former ASP World Tour campaigner Travis Logie (Dairy Beach, ZAF), 30.
“I am stoked to make this far but Travis (Logie) is a great competitor and I kind of made an error on one wave,” Gudauskas said. “Conditions changed fast and I think it was a good call to go because there were a couple of really good barrels and it is challenging to adapt to the waves.”
The talented San Clemente native was satisfied with the solid result in the critical ASP WQS 6-Star event, but after falling just one spot shy of qualification for this year’s ASP Dream Tour, Gudauskas knows he’ll have to continue to perform on an elite level in order to achieve his goal of qualification for next year’s ASP World Tour.
“I love Europe in general and to do well here is great,” Gudauskas said. “I would really like to win, I love Lacanau and hopefully it will happen. That last heat wasn’t my best one this week but the conditions made it hard. Looking at the ratings, I have been closer before and it ended just one spot short so I am just keeping this out of my head and trying to win an event.”
Also posting an impressive showing at the Sooruz Lacanau Pro was Austin Ware (Solana Beach, CA), 28, who marched to a fifth place finish, bumping him up to No. 13 on the ASP WQS.
Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA), 24, who did not compete in the European-based event due to an ankle injury, is currently sitting in the No. 7 position, while Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 21, is currently in the No. 11 spot. Rounding out the top 15 is Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 28, who is currently rated 14th overall.
Next Stop on The Grind is the ASP 6-Star Azores Islands Pro in Portugal, which runs from August 25-30, 2009.
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspnorthamerica.org