HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Sunday, August 28, 2016) – The World Surf League (WSL) Vans Pro Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 crowned Evan Geiselman (USA) its 2016 champion after making his way through an incredible field of competitors. With a massive win, Geiselman now moves to No. 6 on the QS Rankings with a lot of momentum heading into an all-important European leg. Earning the Vans Pro Junior title and his first-ever Junior Tour victory, Nolan Rapoza (USA) got his long awaited chair up the beach in a WSL competition and now sits atop the North America Junior Tour Ratings.
Taking out two former Vans Pro champions, Michael Dunphy (USA) and Pat Gudauskas (USA), along with an in-form Samuel Pupo (BRA), the New Smyrna Beach, Fla., surfer started off the heat with a 6.17 and 6.33 (out of a possible 10) and got off to a solid lead. With the competitors keeping up throughout the heat, Geiselman notched away two excellent scoring rides, meaning they were between an 8.00 – 10, on his final two rides to secure his second massive win of 2016.
“Just to be on the East Coast and have this event as the only one with some prestige over here it feels great to win,” Geiselman said. “A lot of great surfers have won this thing and I was just in a heat with two of them so I’m just so stoked. This is another big result for me and my goal this year was just to stay consistent. I was really bummed when those primes came and I didn’t do as well as I wanted to — it’s just the ups and downs of this year have been pretty hectic.”
Geiselman joins a number of surfers from the Vans Pro Men’s QS3,000 heading straight into the string of European events that will begin to define who will qualify for next year’s Samsung Galaxy Men’s Championship Tour.
“I feel great heading over there, I just love Europe after some good results there last year and just want to keep surfing well,” Geiselman added. “As long as I’m doing that I’m happy and the scores will speak for themselves. I’ve just tried to stay positive and I’ve been excited for every opportunity I can get so now it’s time to go to Europe and just keep making heats.”
Joining Geiselman on a quest for a massive result in Europe, runner-up Michael Dunphy (USA) represented his hometown of Virginia Beach, Va. with pride and made it back to a Final after a tough start to this year. The 2014 Vans Pro champion was on a slow start to the Final but turned the heat around and clinched 2,225 valuable points.
“Making a final here felt so great with just a really bad run of results over the last year so now I’ve got some momentum,” Dunphy said. “This was a great event that got some solid waves all week so that was great. These events are stacked and it makes for no easy heats. Just with guys like Pat who I’ve looked up to since surfing as a kid is really cool to be competing against. I would’ve loved to get a win here at home and really get a boost heading out for the next leg but this is still good for my confidence and I’ll just build from here.”
A career bookmark was notched by Nolan Rapoza (USA) winning his first-ever Junior Tour event in defining fashion. Taking out an international field of Junior competitors including QS standouts Griffin Colapinto (USA) and Samuel Pupo (BRA), as well as Yuji Nishi (JPN), the Long Beach, Ca. native now sits at No. 1 on the North America Junior Tour rankings. It was no easy feat with the talent around him and the exuberance coming in from the water showcased all his efforts being rewarded at once.
“I really don’t even know how to feel right now,” Rapoza said. “I’ve wanted a win on the Junior Tour so bad and my other goal is to get on top of the Junior rankings so right now I’m there and just have to keep it going — I’m still hungry. I was so stressed out in that final and my stomach was in knots the whole time. I was wondering how much time was left because every time I end up losing it in the last few minutes even after getting in the lead at some point — it just always comes back to haunt me. It was amazing to finally just stay in the lead and come out of that one with a win.”
Runner-up Griffin Colapinto (USA) found his way into the second final of his 2016 Junior Tour year and maintains his spot at No. 3 behind Kei Kobayashi (USA). Besting Rapoza in Los Cabos on a last second wave, Colapinto had to settle for second best but made one step closer to the World Junior Championships remaining in the Top 4.
“It was a fun heat and I really wanted to win another one so definitely a little bummed but still got some good scores that I’m happy with — and it’s another final so I’m alright with that one,” Colapinto said. “There was a little more push out there today which made for better rides that we could capitalize on. It felt great to get a lot of heats in and head out with a lot of confidence but I still want to keep making more. There was a few priority situations I may have blew so just need to work on that and I’ve really just tried to do the opposite of what I’ve been doing and surf smarter heats.”
The Men’s QS now heads to Europe to begin a string of events including two QS6,000 competitions between Galicia, Spain and Azores, Portugal before heading into the main QS10,000 contest in Cascais, Portugal.
The Juniors will continue their 2016 season at Newport for the RVCA Junior Pro September 23 – 25.
Vans Pro Men’s QS3,000 Final Results:
1 – Evan Geiselman 3,000 points $16,000
2 – Michael Dunphy 2,225 points $10,000
3 – Pat Gudauskas1,680 points $4,750
4 – Samuel Pupo 1,580 points $4,250
Vans Pro Men’s Junior Final Results:
1- Nolan Rapoza 1,000 points $2,500
2- Griffin Colapinto 750 points $1,500
3- Samuel Pupo $1,110
4- Yuji Nishi $900
Updated Top 4 North America Junior Tour Rankings:
1- Nolan Rapoza 2,575 points
2– Kei Kobayashi 2,260 points
3– Griffin Colapinto 2,030 points
4- Cole Houshmand 1,435 points
Vans Pro Men’s QS3,000 Semifinal Results:
SF 2: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.90, Michael Dunphy (USA) 13.13, Mitch Crews (AUS) 12.66, Noah Schweizer (USA) 10.97
Vans Pro Men’s Junior Semifinal Results:
SF 2: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 15.34, Nolan Rapoza (USA) 14.93, Eithan Osborne (USA) 10.20, Tommy Coleman (USA) 8.00
Vans Pro Men’s QS3,000 Quarterfinal Results:
QF 2: Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 15.40, Samuel Pupo (BRA) 11.63, Brad Ettinger (USA) 11.24, Tomas Hermes (BRA) 10.60
QF 3: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 14.67, Noah Schweizer (USA) 14.64, Kilian Garland (USA) 12.90, Tomas Tudela (PER) 8.23
QF 4: Michael Dunphy (USA) 15.67, Mitch Crews (AUS) 12.06, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 10.36, Parker Coffin (USA) 9.00
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Tuesday, August 23, 2016) – The World Surf League (WSL) Vans Pro Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 and Vans Pro Junior kicked off opening day at the 1st Street Jetty of Virginia Beach, Va. in challenging, two-foot windswell. Despite the conditions on offer, surfers were able to find diamonds in the rough and still managed to post near-excellent, and excellent scores. Round 1 of the Men’s QS3,000 was completed in its entirety as the Juniors finished Round 1, Heats 1-8.
Australian Harrison Martin (AUS) lit up what the 1st Street Jetty had to offer and posted an impressive 15.60 (out of a possible 20) for the day’s highest heat total. Martin looked eager to get his first Vans Pro campaign underway and capitalize on anything that came his way. The Sydney native knows how important these events are and will look for a big result before heading back to Australia.
“I was just really fortunate to get two waves that doubled up properly and stood up the whole way to shore,” Martin said. “To get from out the back to shore is everything. If you can’t connect from A to B you won’t get much over a five. You really need the points here now that we’re starting to see what the cutoff has been set at. It’s all about trying to get into that top 100 to earn a spot into the higher level events for next year. So this event is really important to start getting your ranking going.”
Micha Cantor (USA) found the gem of the day and went to work on it, posting an 8.33 (out of a possible 10) to earn the highest single-scoring wave of Round 1. The South Carolina surfer is all too familiar to these types of conditions and put that experience to use over an international heat. Cantor’s fate for a chance into the Vans Pro fell from his hands as Bo Raynor (USA) posted a win in final seconds of the Tautog’s Pro which determined the final wildcard — but found his way in as an alternate.
“I wasn’t even supposed to be in this event so I’m stoked just to get a chance to surf here now,” Cantor said. “My focus is just on winning at least one of these events since I’m also in the Junior, but I really want to do well in both contests. If I walked up to the beach back home and saw this I’d think it was fun and would get out there anyway. I’m just soaking this all in and want to do my best here.”
“It ended up being pretty fun out there being on the right ones,” Cantor added. “I was just trying to better my 6.67 and found a higher score so that was great. I thought it was going to close out but it just kept giving me sections and provided me enough to go bottom to top on it.”
Hailing from Florianopolis, Brazil, Mateus Herdy (BRA) felt at home as well surfing in Virginia Beach as it reminds him of a small day at his home break of Joaquina Beach. Herdy made his debut at his first-ever Vans Pro one to remember with a heat win and posting a 14.03.
“I’m feeling good with what’s out there,” Herdy said. “It’s a bit like back home so I’m always training on these types of waves. It’s not typically this small when there’s waves but when the wind is onshore it’s very similar and I prepare for every type of condition. It’s my first time on the East Coast and I’m so stoked to be here after doing a surf trip from San Francisco down to Los Angeles in preparation for this one.”
But, it wasn’t until the Vans Pro Junior got underway that the highest score of the day was posted by Kei Kobayashi (USA) with an 8.50 and highest Junior heat total, 14.67. Following his QS heat win, Kobayashi took that momentum into the Junior event and continued his rhythm with the ocean. The 17-year-old knows the importance of each passing heat to maintain his No. 1 ranking on the North America Junior Tour.
“I thought my first wave was going to be a little higher but that motivated me to open up a lot more which I did on the next wave and got that 8.50,” Kobayashi said. “It’s a little soft still but it’s the same exact copy of my board that I won Florida on and just feels really good. Waves are pretty small but stoked to find a couple. To get in the Top 4 is insanely hard and it’d be great to keep that No. 1 seed all the way through. But I’m just keeping my head in it and these conditions suit my surfing really well so I’m just excited to move forward and hopefully make some heats.”
With both Jake Marshall (USA) and Griffin Colapinto (USA) through to Round 2, Kobayashi will have plenty to surf for in coming days.
Ryland Rubens (USA) may not be in a title hunt but he’s putting in solid results in his time as a Junior. Clinching a Semifinal apperance at the Vans US Open of Surfing and fourth-place out of region at the Pipe Pro Junior, Rubens is on a quick learning curve with the competitors around him.
“Doing these Junior events are always fun and a really good challenge,” Rubens said. “Hopefully the waves get a little better but I’ll be stoked to make a few more heats. Coming here a few years ago for the first time I didn’t realize how big of an event this was with a lot of people coming down to watch so it’s pretty cool. To get the experience out here is great.”
Tomorrow’s 7:00 a.m. EST Call will determine a 7:30 a.m. EST Start for either Round 2 of the Vans Pro Men’s QS3,000 or the final eight heats remaining in Round 1 of the Vans Pro Junior. For more information on the Vans Pro go to www.worldsurfleague.com, or download the WSL App for updates on your mobile device.
Vans Pro Men’s QS3,000 Round 1 Results:
Heat 2: Jacob Wilcox (AUS) 12.50, Nick Marshall (USA) 10.16, Austin Neumann (USA) 8.46, Dylan Kowalski (USA) 6.70
Heat 3: Eithan Osborne (USA) 13.83, Braden Jones (USA) 6.70, Bruce Mackie (BRB) 6.47, Kelly Norris (AUS) 4.60
Heat 4: Noah Hill (USA) 12.00, Victor Mendes (BRA) 10.34, Alex Pendleton (USA) 10.03, Alejandro Moreda (PRI) 7.90
Heat 5: Rafael Pereira (VEN) 10.03, Jordan Lawler (AUS) 9.37, Wil Reid (USA) 7.03, Cobie Gittner (USA) 5.83
Heat 6: Jake Kelley (USA) 13.00, Pedro Neves (BRA) 12.40, Jhony Corzo (MEX) 7.73, Jacob Burke (BRB) 7.60
Heat 7: Mateus Herdy (BRA) 14.03, Gabriel Farias (BRA) 9.33, Cole Houshmand (USA) 7.37, Spencer Bridges (USA) 5.63
Heat 8: Chris Foster (HAW) 12.67, Dane Mackie (BRB) 11.50, Asher Nolan (USA) 10.20, Brandon Todd (USA) 3.43
Heat 9: Harrison Martin (AUS) 15.60, Knox Harris (USA) 10.60, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 8.20, Frank Chenault (USA) 2.50
Heat 10: Jake Marshall (USA) 14.10, Tyler Gunter (USA) 13.17, Shane Borland (USA) 7.83, Shane Sykes (ZAF) 7.57
Heat 11: Reef Hazelwood (AUS) 11.40, Rory Reep (USA) 9.73, Chauncey Robinson (USA) 9.33, Jordy Collins (USA) 6.70
Heat 12: Micha Cantor (USA) 15.00, Gabriel Andre (BRA) 10.80, Andrew Jacobson (USA) 7.56, Joe Sear (AUS) 7.27
Heat 13: Kairi Noro (JPN) 10.97, Tomas Tudela (PER) 10.73, John Mel (USA) 10.07, Ryland Rubens (USA) 7.53
Heat 14: Juninho Urcia (PER) 13.33, Tales Rodriguez (BRA) 10.67, Sean Woods (USA) 8.73, Micky Clarke (USA) 7.37
Heat 15: Alonso Correa (PER) 11.60, Renan Peres (BRA) 9.63, Che Allan (BRB) 9.50, Quentin Turko (USA) 4.33
Heat 16: Kei Kobayashi (USA) 11.10, Jack Boyes (USA) 7.23, Ashley Keillah (AUS) 4.86
Heat 2: Ryland Rubens (USA) 10.40, Zander Venezia (BRB) 9.90, Renan Peres (BRA) 8.97, Mateus Herdy (BRA) 8.60
Heat 3: Kei Kobayashi (USA) 14.67, Crosby Colapinto (USA) 10.23, Spencer Bridges (USA) 6.13, Nick Brady (USA) 4.56
Heat 4: Yuji Nishi (JPN) 10.50, Simon Hetrick (USA) 10.46, Braden Jones (USA) 9.43, Dylan Hord (USA) 6.67
Heat 5: Victor Mendes (BRA) 10.60, Nick Marshall (USA) 7.70, Nothea Futrell (USA) 5.60, Kyle Tester (USA) 4.00
Heat 6: Sean Woods (USA) 8.43, Kairi Noro (JPN) 7.04, Jordy Collins (USA) 6.33, Shane Kertesz (USA) 4.53
Heat 7: Jake Marshall (USA) 8.77, Taro Watanabe (USA) 8.00, Logan Kamen (USA) 6.00, Sebastian Mendes (USA) 5.60
Heat 8: Kade Matson (USA) 12.20, Wil Reid (USA) 11.43, Evan Brownell (USA) 5.13, Sean Forester (USA) 3.97