Vans Pier Classic kicks off ASP NA West Coast season

The Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack’s Surfboards will kick off the west coast leg of the 2007 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America Tour at Huntington Beach, California, from March 21-25, 2007.

In its second year as an ASP event, the Vans Pier Classic will host a field of 160 men in the World Qualifying Series (WQS) two-star event as well as 32 women in the WQS one-star event as they battle for prize money and valuable ratings points. Micah Byrne (Huntington Beach, CA), one of the returning finalists from last season’s Van Pier Classic, will look for a repeat stellar performance utilizing his years of experience at the venue.

“Local knowledge can play a huge factor, depending on the conditions,” Byrne said. “If the waves are good, it’s anyone’s game, but it’s when the conditions are less than ideal that the locals have a little bit of an edge over everyone else. However, as with any contest, there’re so many good surfers that anyone can win this thing.”

The hallowed beachbreak peaks of Huntington Beach Pier will see the Vans Pier Classic provide five days of high-performance competition and will see several young surfers in their maiden event at the professional level.

“My motivation is that it’s in my backyard, and it’s a great place for an event because there’re always waves here,” Byrne said. “People don’t realize that if the pier is only 2-3 ft, and you travel anywhere north or south, it will be half the size. I also like this contest because it’s a great place for some of the local groms to surf in their first ASP WQS event. I saw quite a few of their names on the entry list and can’t wait to see them take down some pros – just not me.”

The women’s event will feature perennial threats Karina Petroni (Atlantic Beach, FL), Sage Erickson (Oxnard, CA) and Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana, CA) all vying for the Vans Pier Classic title as the 32-surfer field does battle. The Ezekiel Pro Junior, running in conjunction with the Vans Pier Classic, will see 64 junior men surfers compete in the second event on the 2007 ASP North America Pro Junior Series.

Tommy Bursian (San Juan, PRI) currently leads this season’s ratings following a convincing win at Sebastian Inlet earlier this month. The powerful goofy-footer will now be challenged by last season’s ASP North America Pro Junior Champion Eric Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, CA) as well as other standouts in Adam Wickwire (Satellite Beach, FL), Kilian Garland (Orcutt, CA), Jesse Heilman (Daytona Beach, FL) and Cory Arrambide (Ventura, CA).


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