This year’s ASP World Tour has already proven to be one of the most exciting on record. Early on Trent Munro and Mick Fanning made their presence felt. More recently, the two freaks of nature, World Champion Andy Irons and superstar Kelly Slater, have simply torn the competition apart, resulting in back-to-back finals appearances for both of them. The rest of the 44 are simply hoping for a few quarterfinals slots, and who can blame them?
The next event, The Boost Mobile Pro at Trestles in Southern California, again proves pivotal in this nail-biting race for the World Title. For the fourth year in a row the top dogs will take over the fabled point at Trestles to get a chance at $270,000 in prize money, and crucial ratings points for World Title hopefuls. For the first time in the event’s history The Boost Mobile Pro of Surf will hold Trials for three Wildcard slots. One of the Trialists is NSSA Open Men’s Division winner Clay Marzo, who will have the opportunity to compete against heavy-hitters Tom Curren, Shane Dorian, Rob Machado, Jamie O’Brien and others.
This year’s event, though restricted to a September 13th-16th waiting period, with the Finals scheduled to go off on the 18th, could be looking at some solid Southern-Hemi swell according to WaveWatch.com’s forecaster Vic DeJesus. “Things aren’t looking too bad right now,” says DeJesus. “There’s a pretty solid storm in the long range. Not to overhype things, but it might even be worth getting excited about. This swell will arrive starting on the 15th and be easily in the 4- to 6-foot range by the 16th, and Lowers should see solid sets to several feet overhead. This storm should be running its course in about 60 hours so we’ll confirm size estimates once the storm has peaked.”
People To Watch
Kelly Slater: Slater looks stronger than ever with his focus solidly on track. Though a recent loss to A.I. in the Finals of the Quik Pro Japan frustrated a superior ratings leap, the king still sits in first place. Kelly has been running on pure ability lately. Look for Slater to continue to maintain that competitive fire.
Andy Irons: The other favorite right now, sitting 2nd in the ratings, Andy has been on a hot streak. A 2nd Place finish at J-Bay, a win at the U.S. Open at Huntington, and a win in Japan show the consistency and perseverance of this competitor. The continued rivalry with Slater will only increase his hunger.
Mick Fanning: The comeback kid himself. Only a season after ripping his hamstring off and reattaching it with hooks, Fanning sits in a strong 3rd Place. Though trailing Slater by a good 1,300 points, the tapering walls of Trestles suit Mick’s lightning-quick surfing. Anything can happen.
Taj Burrow: Probably the most versatile surfer on the planet, Taj will use his ability to generate speed to his advantage. Look for Taj to dip into his aerial repertoire along with his classically powerful turns to impress the judges. Definitely a favorite.
Tom Whitaker: Proved to be a steady competitor in Japan, placing 3rd, Tom has only been climbing in the ratings this year after gaining more Tour experience. Confidence goes a long way and this man is showing a steady rise. Watch him as a dark horse possibility.
Toby Martin: Same As Whitaker…aussie Martin is on a roll.
It will be interesting to see if Trestles ends up just another showcase for The Andy and Kelly Show, or whether the other competitors can step it up and challenge the juggernaut. Look for results and information on SURFERMAG.com.