Most competitors wouldn’t come to the beach smiling after they had just spent a half-hour being tossed around by 20- to 25-foot-plus sets, with only a 2.64 total heat score and an event elimination to show for it all. But Pat and his twin brother, Dane, are obviously not most competitors. Although they each came in with total heat scores of less the 6 points, their younger bro had just earned himself a rookie position on the 2010 World Tour, and that was enough to make them beam ear-to-ear. Oh no, wait, they always beam ear-to-ear.
In a rare stroke of coincidence, all three Gudauskas bros advanced through the third round and wound up surfing against one another in the Round of 32, alongside North Shore standout Mason Ho (possible heat title: Three Bros and a Ho… no sorry, that’s wrong). Though the three consistently compete in the same events year after year, it’s been a while since they’ve been pitted against each other in a heat. “We were saying before the heat that we haven’t had each other all together in one heat since we were amateurs, like five or six years ago,” said Pat.
In the unruly surf, the four slipped in and out view, searching for a wave that wouldn’t a) closeout or b) kill them, and would offer some inkling of open face or scoring potential. Though it was Mason and Tanner who eventually advanced to the Quarters, the two older G-bros were stoked to see their younger brother dominate the heat, hooting him into waves and cheering. “I owe a lot to Pat and Dane because they were like having caddies in the water, and Mason as well,” said Tanner. “I think Pat and Dane were testing me and making sure I was pushing them so that they didn’t just give it to me. I would have done the same for them. I actually had an opportunity last year with Pat and he was in the same spot and I tried to help him out, but this year I had both of them. It was epic.”
With his Round Four victory, Tanner Gudauskas joined his brother Pat, as well as fellow Southern Californians Brett Simpson and Nate Yeomans, as the new crop of rookies joining the 2010 ASP World Tour. And with several more Californians on the bubble for qualification, next year is looking to be a possible comeback year for the Golden State.