HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Saturday, November 15, 2008) - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) 1-Star Costa Del Mar Pro Championships presented by the City of Rosarito kicked off today in excellent three-to-four foot (1 metre) offshore conditions at South Huntington Beach Pier. Today's action saw ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT) surfers Roger Barros (Rio de Janeiro, BRA), 20, Ned Snow (North Shore, HI), 23, and Ben Skinner (Newquay, GBR), 24, put on a show in front of the Huntington Beach crowd, proving why they compete amongst the world's finest longboarders.
The ASP LQS offers all competitors a chance to qualify for the prestigious ASP WLT with all ASP WLT surfers earning a chance to claim the title of ASP World Longboard Champion.
Barros, who competes on the ASP WLT, amassed the day's highest heat total of 16.00 out of 20 in his Round 2 heat and followed it up with the highest single wave score of 9.17 out of 10 in Round 3 with an aggressive attack on the waves at Huntington Beach Pier.
"The conditions are really good and the wind is getting better," Barros said. "It's good to be here with my friends and having fun."
Barros is returning to Brazil to defend his national title after the conclusion of the Costa Del Mar Pro and is looking at this event as an opportunity for some extra preparation before he returns home.
"It's good for me to do as many contests as I can," Barros said. "I'm the national champion in Brazil and this contest is good practice for me to try and defend my title."
Snow, who finished third at the Oxbow World Longboard Championships at San Onofre State Beach, was in his usually impressive form today and was on fire in his opening heat. The young Hawaiian surfer annihilated the fun surf on offer at Huntington Beach to advance into the Round of 32.
"It's nice to see some waves," Snow said. "Usually when I compete here it's not very good and we've got some peaky conditions out here today. I hope some more swell fills in for tomorrow."
Snow is looking at the Costa Del Mar Pro Championships as a chance to have some fun with his fellow competitors now that the ASP WLT season is over for the year.
"I'm just having fun now that the World Longboard Tour is over," Snow said. "It's good to be able to do this contest without any pressure."
Skinner, who finished 21st overall on the ASP WLT, began in Round 1 and scalped three heat victories by combining classic noseriding and huge swooping cutbacks.
"It's great fun out there," Skinner said. "I think there's a bit of a combination swell and there are some nice a-frames out there. It's really windy and maybe it'll calm down a little bit."
Skinner has only competed at Huntington Beach Pier once before, but he earned a second place finish in that event, proving that the punchy beachbreak suits his style.
"I've only competed once out here before," Skinner said. "This place has been good to me. I love it here and I'm glad to be back."
The Costa Del Mar Pro Championships will continue tomorrow with the Round of 32 and will crown a champion by day's end.
Tomorrow's action will be webcast LIVE on www.surfpla.com
Costa Del Mar Pro Championships Round of 72 Results: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Jerry Swearinger (USA) 13.26, Jordan Thomas (USA) 7.74, Shawn Keyho (USA) 2.70, Daniel Casgera (USA) 0
Heat 2: Rocky McKinnon (USA) 9.10, Steven Simpson (USA) 8.24, Kelly Kraushaar (USA) 7.23, Ramon Perez (USA) 4.24
Heat 3: Ben Skinner (GBR) 13.67, Mike Jorgensen (USA) 9.30, Gabriel Fimbres (USA) 5.53, Timothee Creignout (FRA) 0
Heat 4: Bryce Young (AUS) 1st, Eli Sims (USA) 2nd, Shane Gadbury (USA) 3rd, Scott Shannon (USA) 4th
Costa Del Mar Pro Championships Round of 64: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Jerry Swearinger (USA) 8.70, Wyatt Potts (USA) 8.60, Cody Ulrich (USA) 8.56, Carlos Bahia (BRA) 0
Heat 2: Roger Barros (BRA) 16.00, Scott Brandenburg (USA) 11.17, Geoff Wong (HAW) 8.14, Jordan Thomas (USA) 4.96
Heat 3: Troy Mothershed (USA) 1st, PJ Johnston (USA) 2nd, Len Barrow (HAW) 3rd, Rocky McKinnon (USA )4th
Heat 4: Corbett Monica (USA) 8.06, Sterling Foxcroft (USA) 7.13, Steven Simpson (USA) 6.20, Dino Mardina (USA) 0
Heat 5: Ben Skinner (GBR) 11.33, Gabriel Nascimento (BRA) 7.87, Brandyn Garske (USA) 3.84, Danny Rider (USA) o
Heat 6: Jeffrey Newell (USA) 10.73, Mike Jorgensen (USA) 10.40, Cory Kisiel (USA) 8.26, Marc Moore (USA) 5.67
Heat 7: Bryce Young (AUS) 13.83, Darryl Bowman (USA) 3.93, Artie Castro (USA) 0.20, Rabledo de Oliveira (BRA) 0
Heat 8: Tommy Lloyd (USA) 10.60, Eli Sims (USA) 9.00, David Arganda (USA) 7.43, Bucky Barry (USA) 6.80
Costa Del Mar Pro Championships Round of 48: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Ned Snow (HAW) 14.84, Tony Silvagni (USA) 11.56, Jerry Swearinger (USA) 9.47, Scott Brandenburg (USA) 8.70
Heat 2: Roger Barros (BRA) 15.07, Brendan White (USA) 11.83, Darren Ledingham (USA) 8.30, Wyatt Potts (USA) 8.30
Heat 3: Troy Mothershead (USA) 13.10, Sterling Foxcroft (USA) 9.93, Mike Stidham (USA) 7.80, Leo Nordine (USA) 0
Heat 4: Steve Newton (USA) 12.50, Rocky McKinnon (USA) 9.63, Corbett Monica (USA) 6.67, Brett Robbins (USA) 5.64
Heat 5: Ben Skinner (GBR) 13.50, Billy Harris (USA) 10.63, Kevin McNicol (USA) 7.43, Mike Jorgensen (USA) 7.23
Heat 6: Eric Lloyd (USA) 11.83, Jeffrey Newell (USA) 10.13, Gabriel Nascimento (BRA) 7.67, Billy Compton (USA) 0
Heat 7: Bryce Young (AUS) 11.67, Christian Clark (USA) 11.17, Eli Sims (USA) 9.76, Chris Koerner (USA) 6.90
Heat 8: Tom Lloy (USA) 12.40, Chase Stavron (USA) 9.37, Jack Sabala (USA) 7.83, Darrell Bowman (USA) 7.67