FISTRAL BEACH, Newquay (Tuesday, August 4, 2009) – The Relentless Boardmasters in association with Vans, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star men’s event, kicked-off today at Fistral Beach, main venue of the 28th edition of England’s biggest surfing event. With consistent three to four foot (1 to 1.2 meter) waves greeting Round 1 competitors, the prestigious event could move straight into business completing sixteen heats of world class action led by favorites.
With most of the event top seeds securing their ticket through to Round 2 of competition, the day was marked by several high performances, Patrick Beven (FRA) and Travis Beckmann (HAW) taking control of proceedings to confidently advance through their heats with respectively the day’s highest single ride and highest heat result.
Beven (Biarritz, FRA), 31, event seed No. 12, came up with impressive surfing to open his British campaign in style, the French representative posting an outstanding 16.33 point heat score (out of a possible 20) to win his first encounter ahead of reigning ASP European Junior champion Maxime Huscenot (REU), 17. Beven, who found a couple of 8+ scores to set pace, was unstoppable throughout the 25-minute decider, a promising start.
“I am happy to get on with the event with a strong start,” Beven said. “The waves improved a lot by the time my heat was paddling out and I had a good time out there. It’s good to be back here in Newquay and catch-up with all the local legends Spencer (Hargraves) and Grishka (Roberts).”
Beven, who hasn’t had any significant result so far this year, is counting on a good European run starting in the Relentless Boardmasters, an event where he has had several keepers in the past including an equal 9th last year. Having not qualified for the ASP World Tour since he started competing on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), Beven will be looking for a solid second half of the year with the series of five consecutive events coming-up in Europe.
“I have been changing a few things this year like not going to all big events,” Beven said. “I am more focused on enjoying the tour, and I am looking forward to the next events. I remember the one year I got close to qualifying and I was in the same kind of situation halfway through the year so I know it’s makeable.”
Unexpected in the day’s top statistics was Travis Beckmann (HAW), the Hawaiian surfer posting the day’s second and fourth best wave scores to easily lead his battle with former ASP European Champion Spencer Hargraves (Newquay, GBR) and Portuguese veteran Ruben Gonzalez (PRT). Beckmann, 21, who came to Europe for this one event only, left the water with a confidence boost before he surfs amongst the last 48-men in the event, possibly tomorrow.
“I felt good competing out there and I just got a fantastic board ten days ago,” Beckmann said. “I feel like I have glue on my feet on this board and it definitely helped a lot to score those two eight pointers during my heat. I am super stoked to start this way.”
Beckmann, who has been touring for a couple of years on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), has had a mellow year competing in a few events only and giving priority to free surfing. Having surfed in Scotland in April in the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime event at Thurso, Beckmann’s first trip to England starts off perfectly and the Hawaiian native will try and repeat his good performance when Round 2 commences.
“This year is like a cool relaxed year for me, just doing the events I really want to go to” Beckmann said. “I am more focused on me and on what I really want to do for the year which is more about getting back to what surfing really is. I will be off to Mexico to get barreled as soon as I am done here.”
Much expected for his start in the Relentless Boardmasters in association with Vans, current ASP WQS ratings’ No. 1 and event top seed Daniel Ross (Angourie, AUS), 26, managed to avoid an early upset elimination and advanced through to Round 2 with an average score. Ross, a former ASP World Tour campaigner who dropped back down to the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) in 2009, has dominated the international stage thus far with impressive consistency at all events he has attended.
“There is always a little bit of pressure when you start in an event,” Ross said. “It was fun to surf out there and the waves were pretty good. It’s good to get rid of this first one and hopefully move forward.”
Ross, who is considered one of the most trained athletes on tour, should be at ease when the expected new swell hits Newquay in the five to six foot (1.5 to 2 meter) range, the more solid the conditions get, the better it suits Ross’s surfing.
“All these years of training and learning seem to be paying off,” Ross said. “I am trying to put all I’ve learned in practice this year. I am just going to attend Lacanau after Newquay and hopefully get a couple of good results to wrap it up after these two.”
Defending Relentless Boardmasters champion Wiggoly Dantas (BRA), 19, advanced as well today, along with several top seeds including current ratings’ No. 11 Joan Duru (Ondres, FRA), Blake Thornton (New South Wales, AUS), Gony Zubizarreta (Vigo, ESP) and local representative Matt Capel (GBR) and Brazilian native Jorge Spanner (BRA)
Visit www.aspeurope.com for results, photos and news of the ASP WQS 5-Star Relentless Boadrmasters
RELENTLESS BOARDMASTERS ROUND 1 RESULTS
Heat 1: Daniel Ross (AUS) 12.10 pts, Jayke Sharp (AUS) 11.50 pts, Michael Bailey (USA) 6.13 pts, Sam Scobie (GBR) 5.26 pts
Heat 2: Sam Page (AUS) 10.00 pts, John John Florence (HAW) 9.93 pts, Lee Bartlett (GBR) 7.66 pts, Martin Black (GBR) 5.06 pts
Heat 3: Eric Rebiere (FRA) 13.43 pts, Mark Harris (GBR) 12.17 pts, Javier Rosino (ESP) 7.16 pts, Dean Winter (GBR) 6.24 pts
Heat 4: Patrick Beven (FRA) 16.33 pts, Maxime Huscenot (REU) 13.36 pts, Frederic Robin (REU) 12.70 pts, Toby Donachie (GBR) 8.50 pts
Heat 5: Oliver Kurtz (USA) 10.37 pts, Stephen Michelsen (ZAF) 4.94 pts, Anton Hawkins (GBR) 1.47 pts, Yannick De Jager (NLD) 0.00 pts
Heat 6: Travis Beckmann (HAW) 16.44 pts, Ruben Gonzales (ESP) 10.27 pts, Spencer Hargraves (GBR) 8.64 pts, Aaron Evans (ESP) 5.96 pts
Heat 7: Eneko Acero (EUK) 13.83 pts, Reubin Pearce (GBR) 8.90 pts, Ben Baird (GBR) 6.30 pts
Heat 8: Wiggoly Dantas (BRA) 14.33 pts, Omer Bar (ISR) 5.03 pts, Chris Owen (GBR) 5.03 pts, Cheyne Willis (HAW) 4.57 pts
Heat 9: Romain Cloitre (FRA) 10.33 pts, Chad Du Toit (ZAF) 10.17 pts, Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA) 8.97 pts, Tim Boydell (GBR) 4.73 pts
Heat 10: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 12.60 pts, Jorge Spanner (BRA) 11.17 pts, Simon Marchand (FRA) 8.97 pts, Grishka Roberts (GBR) 6.04 pts
Heat 11: Clancy Dawson (AUS) 14.00 pts, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 12.10 pts, Mike Young (GBR) 5.13 pts, Steve Winter (GBR) 4.40 pts
Heat 12: Joan Duru (FRA) 11.67 pts, Sam Lamiroy (GBR) 9.80 pts, Arthur Ryah (USA) 6.86 pts, Josh Knowles (GBR) 4.93 pts
Heat 13: Blake Thornton (AUS) 14.06 pts, Matt Capel (GBR) 9.37 pts, Nathan Webster (AUS) 9.23 pts, Ricardo Lange (DEU) 6.24 pts
Heat 14: Antonio Bortoletto (ZAF) 12.30 pts, Txaber Trojaola (EUK) 9.33 pts, Lewis Clinton (GBR) 8.90 pts, Joss Ash (GBR) 7.33 pts
Heat 15: Christophe Allary (REU) 16.00 pts, Abdel El Harim (MAR) 11.77 pts, Jayce Robinson (GBR) 10.86 pts, Richard Mullins (GBR) 7.24 pts
Heat 16: Medi Veminardi (REU) 13.77 pts, Alan Stokes (GBR) 12.40 pts, Charlie Brown (BRA) 9.84 pts, Joe Moran (GBR) 4.94 pts
RELENTLESS BOARDMASTERS ROUND 1 REMAINING HEATS
Heat 17: Leonardo Neves (BRA), Eduardo Fernandes (PRT), Alexander El Naib (DEU), Eddie Wilson (GBR)
Heat 18: Joske Heath (AUS), Russell Winter (GBR), Johnny Fryer (GBR), Mitch Corbet (GBR)
Heat 19: Joao Guedes (PRT), Miguel Ximenez (PRT), Travis Logie (ZAF), James Mitchell (GBR)
Heat 20: Glenn Hall (IRE), Freddie Meadows (SWE), Remi Bertoche (FRA), Matt Rodwell (GBR)
Heat 21: Hodei Collazo (EUK), Reubyn Ash (GBR), Josh Hugues (GBR)
Heat 22: Jarrad Sullivan (AUS), Oli Adams (GBR), Micah Lester (GBR), Danny Wells (GBR)
Heat 23: Jean-Sebastien Estienne (BLM), William Madison (AUS), Tom Butler (GBR), Jamie Owen (GBR)
Heat 24: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Klee Strachan (ZAF), Roland Lefeuvre (FRA), Nathan Phillips (GBR)