NEWPORT BEACH, California (Sunday, September 21, 2008) - Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 27, has claimed his third consecutive event title with a big win at the 2008 Oakley Newport Beach Pro over fellow finalists Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 18, Travis Mellem (San Clemente, CA), 23, and Micah Byrne (Huntington Beach, CA), 26, in clean two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at Newport Beach's 56th Street.
The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 2-Star event is the second of three stops on the 2008 Macy's California Trifecta Surf Series (an ASP North America Specialty Series), and Yeomans' emphatic victory vaults the phenomenal goofy-footer into the lead heading intp the third and final stop in Santa Cruz this October.
Yeomans, the two-time defending event champion and 2006 Macy's California Trifecta Surf Series Champion, wasted no time in this afternoon's Final, picking off an excellent 8.50 out of a possible 10 for detonating on a roping lefthander in the opening minutes.
"I knew that all the other guys were ripping so I wasn't planning on leaving anything to chance out there," Yeomans said. "I got that pretty good left at the start and that set me up for the rest of the heat. Dillon (Perillo) was ripping everything that came his way, but I got a solid righthander about midway through and was able to throw a little backhand air and that sealed it for me."
Currently sitting No. 26 on the 2008 ASP WQS ratings, Yeomans will be looking to use the momentum from today's win as he continues his campaign to qualify for the prestigious ASP World Tour in 2009.
"I'm a little bit speechless after all this," Yeomans said. "Everyone is coming up to me and saying that no one has ever won a 'QS three years in a row and that kind of spins me out. It's great. I love this event and it's a great confidence boost heading into the rest of the year. My goal is to qualify for the ASP World Tour and I'm planning to do that in the next few months."
Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 18, former No. 8 on the 2008 ASP North America Pro Junior Series, claimed the ASP Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior today over fellow finalists Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 20, Michael Dunphy (Virginia Beach, VA), 18, and Trevor Saunders (San Clemente, CA), 19. The stylish natural-footer comboed the field, netting a 9.33 and an 8.83 (throwing away a 7.33) with a blistering series of backhand blasts and forehand aerials to secure his first ASP Pro Junior victory.
"It feels great to get that first win out there," Perillo said. "There were so many good guys in that Final and I'm stoked to come out on top. I came really close a couple of weeks ago at Ponto, but came up just short. I was in a really good rhythm for the junior Final and everything just went my way."
Competing in both the Oakley Pro Junior and the ASP WQS 2-Star Oakley Newport Beach Pro, Perillo took honors for being the form surfer of the event, announcing himself as a legitimate threat on the 2008 ASP North America Tour.
"I was maybe a little bit tired for the men's Final," Perillo said. "It's a whole new level of surfing in the men's division and I felt like I had it in me, but Nate (Yeomans) was ripping and kind of unstoppable. Still, I'm stoked with 2nd and it's been a pretty good day for me all in all."
Highlights from the Oakley Newport Beach Pro and Oakley Pro Junior will be available via www.newportbeachpro.com
The next stop on the 2008 ASP North America Men's Tour is the ASP WQS 4-Star O'Neill Cold Water Classic at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz from October 21 - 26, 2008. The ASP North America Pro Junior will be culminating alongside the O'Neill Cold Water Classic with the ASP Grade-3 Oakley Pro Junior.
The ASP WQS 4-Star O'Neill Cold Water Classic and ASP Grade-3 Oakley Pro Junior in Santa Cruz will also culminate the 2008 Macy's California Trifecta Surf Series.
RESULTS: Day 6
Oakley Newport Beach Pro - ASP WQS 2-Star Men's
1 - Nathan Yeomans (USA) 15.37
2 - Dillon Perillo (USA) 13.67
3 - Travis Mellem (USA) 12.40
4 - Micah Byrne (USA) 10.57
Semifinals: 8 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd advance)
SF 1: Dillon Perillo (USA) 12.40, Travis Mellem (USA) 10.90, Brett Barley (USA) 10.16, Darrell Goodrum (USA) 9.30
SF 2: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 15.83, Micah Byrne (USA) 14.60, Asher Nolan (USA) 11.90, Brad Ettinger (USA) 11.10
Oakley Pro Junior - ASP Grade-2 Pro Junior Men's
1 - Dillon Perillo (USA) 18.16
2 - Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 14.16
3 - Michael Dunphy (USA) 11.93
4 - Trevor Saunders (USA) 9.86
Macy's California Trifecta Surf Series (ASP North America Specialty Series) Ratings:
ASP WQS Men
1 - Nathan Yeomans (USA) 2,175 points
2 - Asher Nolan (USA) 1,800 points
3 - Joel Centeio (HAW) 1,650 points
3 - Kieran Horn (USA) 1,650 points
ASP Pro Junior
1 - Sebastian Zietz (USA) 778 points
2 - Dillon Perillo (USA) 725 points
3 - Jason Harris (USA) 630 points