Defending Champion Beven Leads Top Seeds in Santa Surf Pro, Curran Bows Out

**SAN JUAN, Lanzarote (Friday, October 17, 2008)** – The ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Prime Santa Surf Pro got straight into business today with Heats 1 to 24 of Round 2 being completed in wind-blown but consistent three foot (one meter) waves at San Juan. The awaited new swell hit the North Shore of Lanzarote during the night and some quality sets offered all top seeds some good scoring potential to get their curcial points’ chase going.

Patrick Beven (FRA), the defending champion and longtime ASP WQS competitor, made his intentions clear to win an unprecedent fourth title here and a second consecutive one winning Heat 8 with the highest heat score of the day, an unequalled 16.33 tally (out of a possible 20). Beven, a former ASP WQS European champion and back on a good roll after a couple of promissing results in August, surfed with impressive power and speed to secure his Round 3 berth and start his 2008 Canarian campaign.

"~I had a good time out there and pushed my turns as hard as I could~," Beven said. "The waves were good enough to get some scores but I let the others start fast and waited for my waves to come. I was not stressed at all and felt good. I am relieved to get that win."

Beven, who won in 2005 and 2007, is very popular in Lanzarote and will once again be a favorite this weekend, his backhand attack giving him all chances to defeat any opponent.

"~I have been coming here for a long time now and won three events including a European crown so I am definitely confident~," Beven said. "~It is still stressing when you paddle out for your first heat because it is the one heat you really don’t want to lose. I am relaxed and focused so I hope I can do good again~."

Beven will surf against Hawaii’s Gavin Gillette (HAW) and 2000 ASP World Champion Sunny Garcia (HAW) in Heat 4 along with current ASP WQS No. 11 Drew Courntey (AUS). With both Garcia and Courntey in position to qualify for next year’s ASP World Tour, a huge clash will take place tomorrow.

David Weare (ZAF), former ASP Dream Tour campaigner and current WQS No. 7, came close to Beven’s heat total netting a promissing 16.10 point tally (out of a possible 20) to win Heat 22 of Round 2 and set the pace before tomorrow’s under-pressure encounters. The natural-footer from Durban in South Africa came up with excellent surfing getting a near perfect 9.93 point ride (out of a possible 10) before paddling in.

"~I am really stoked with that win and it feels good to start off the event with a good score~," Weare said. "~There weren’t many good waves out there but luckily I picked up two. I did not get any good result in the last couple of events so it is nice to take a win~."

Day 4 of competition witnessed some major upsets with current ASP WQS No. 1 Nathaniel Curran (Ca, USA) getting an usual fourth place in Heat 9. Curran, who is in contention for the prestigious ASP WQS World title, was defeated by New Zealand’s Bobby Hansen (NZL) and Australia’s Luke Campbell (AUS).

Hansen, who came up with an excellent performance posting a solid 15.67 point heat score in the 25-minute battle, used great tactics finding two good scores in three waves only to advance through to Round 3.

"~I had nothing to lose and just surfed as good as I could~," Hansen said. "~I tried to get the better waves and found some good potential to score well. I had nothing to lose in that heat but it sure makes it special to surf against the current No. 1. I am definitely happy to make it one more round~."

Hansen will meet with current ASP WQS No. 8 Michel Bourez (Tahiti, PYF) in Round 3 with another opportunity to create some serious upset.

Despite some of them suffering an early loss, many top seeds managed to advance today and keep their end-of-the-year qualification hopes alive knowing the Prime status of the event makes point rewards rise fast round after round. Yadin Nicol (AUS), currently rated No. 11, was one of today’s favorites to move forward in the event netting the third highest result of the day to finish ahead of Sunny Garcia (HAW).

"~I just wanted to surf that heat after waiting around for two days~," Nicol said. "~There were fun waves out there and it looked a bit like Western Australia where I come from so I was definitely feeling good. I like surfing on my backhand as well so I enjoyed surfing that heat~."

Nicol, who is chasing an ultimate solid result to guarantee his Dream Tour inception for next year, left the water relieved but conscious of the tight race taking place at the moment in the heights of the ASP WQS ratings.

"~I did not go to Brazil but there are more points to get here and I need one last result~," Nicol said. "~I know some guys are going to move up, others down, but I am just focused on my surfing and my heats~."

From the 96 men who surfed today, 48 only will gather at 7.30 AM (GMT+1) tomorrow Saturday, October 18th. Two rounds are scheduled for tomorrow and the pressure will rise fast throughout the day as the last 48 men will battle for a spot in the Man-on-man clashes scheduled for the final day.

The Santa Surf Pro is webcast LIVE at {http://www.aspeurope.com|www.aspeurope.com}

|UPCOMING ROUND 3 HEATS|
**Heat 1:** Heitor Alves (BRA), Nic Muscroft (AUS), Flynn Novak (HAW), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
**Heat 2:** Ruben Gonzalez (PRT), Eric Rebiere (FRA), Austin Ware (USA), Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
**Heat 3:** Casey Brown (HAW), Yadin Nicol (AUS), Adam Robertson (AUS), Clint Kimmins (AUS)
**Heat 4:** Gavin Gillette (HAW), Sunny Garcia (HAW), Drew Courtney (AUS), Patrick Beven (FRA)
**Heat 5:** Bobby Hansen (NZL), Michel Bourez (PYF), Stuart Kennedy (AUS), Blake Howard (USA)
**Heat 6:** Luke Campbell (AUS), Evan Valiere (HAW), Shaun Cansdell (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT)
**Heat 7:** Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA), Leigh Sedley (AUS), Che Stang (USA), Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)
**Heat 8:** Hodei Collazo (EUK), Simao Romao (BRA), Greg Emslie (ZAF), Shaun Burrell (USA)
**Heat 9:** Leonardo Neves (BRA), Nathan Yeomans (USA), Travis Mellem (USA), Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY)
**Heat 10:** Jean Da Silva (BRA), Gabe Kling (USA), Adam Melling (AUS), Daniel Ross (AUS)
**Heat 11:** Glenn Hall (IRE), David Weare (ZAF), Shaun Gossmann (AUS), Rudy Palmboom (ZAF)
**Heat 12:** Romain Laulhe (FRA), Tonino Benson (HAW), Phillip MacDonald (AUS), Jay Thompson (AUS)

|ROUND 2 RESULTS|
**Heat 1:** Heitor Alves (BRA) 14.43 pts, Ruben Gonzalez (PRT) 11.74 pts, Bobby Morris (USA) 9.70 pts, Franito Saenz (CNY) 5.63 pts
**Heat 2:** Nic Muscroft (AUS) 14.33 pts, Eric Rebiere (FRA) 14.17 pts, Pablo Paulino (BRA) 12.10 pts, Justin Mujica (PRT) 6.17 pts
**Heat 3:** Austin Ware (USA) 14.10 pts, Flynn Novak (HAW) 14.10 pts, Marlon Lipke (DEU) 13.74 pts, Marco Goirgi (UGY) 9.73 pts
**Heat 4:** Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 12.50 pts, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 10.10 pts, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 9.50 pts, Rowan Aish (NZL) 8.50 pts
**Heat 5:** Casey Brown (HAW) 11.93 pts, Gavin Gillette (HAW) 10.20 pts, Mike Losness (USA) 10.10 pts, Travis Logie (ZAF) 8.03 pts
**Heat 6:** Yadin Nicol (AUS) 15.83 pts, Sunny Garcia (HAW) 13.07 pts, Mason Ho (HAW) 12.10 pts, Norman Landa (EUK) 7.33 pts
**Heat 7:** Drew Courtney (AUS) 16.10 pts, Adam Robertson (AUS) 14.97 pts, Owen Wright (AUS) 14.67 pts, Alain Riou (PYF) 9.77 pts
**Heat 8:** Patrick Beven (FRA) 16.33 pts, Clint Kimmins (AUS) 14.50 pts, Ola Eleogram (HAW) 13.46 pts, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 13.13 pts
**Heat 9:** Bobby Hansen (NZL) 15.67 pts, Luke Campbell (AUS) 15.57 pts, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.84 pts, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 13.10 pts
**Heat 10:** Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.43 pts, Evan Valiere (HAW) 11.17 pts, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 8.74 pts, Wesley De Souza (USA) 7.40 pts
**Heat 11:** Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 14.17 pts, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 11.87 pts, Brian Toth (PRI) 9.37 pts, Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) 8.33 pts
**Heat 12:** Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.83 pts, Blake Howard (USA) 10.84 pts, Sam Page (AUS) 9.43 pts, Eneko Acero (EUK) 8.77 pts
**Heat 13:** Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 14.34 pts, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 13.00 pts, Anthony Walsh (AUS) 12.73 pts, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 7.67 pts
**Heat 14:** Leigh Sedley (AUS) 14.00 pts, Simao Romao (BRA) 10.53 pts, Kyle Knox (USA) 8.83 pts, Jean-Sebastien Estienne (BLM) 2.10 pts
**Heat 15:** Greg Emslie (ZAF) 15.50 pts, Che Stang (USA) 12.70 pts, Joan Duru (FRA) 10.33 pts, Ezra Sitt (HAW) 8.37 pts
**Heat 16:** Shaun Burrell (USA) 13.67 pts, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 13.63 pts, Hugo Savalli (REU) 12.07 pts, Jesse Merle-Jones (HAW) 8.50 pts
**Heat 17:** Leonardo Neves (BRA) 15.00 pts, Jean Da Silva (BRA) 12.73 pts, Dane Gudauskas (USA) 11.64 pts, Christophe Allary (REU) 7.37 pts
**Heat 18:** Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.67 pts, Gabe Kling (USA) 13.07 pts, Clancy Dawson (AUS) 8.27 pts, Anthony Petruso (USA) 8.10 pts
**Heat 19:** Adam Melling (AUS) 14.00 pts, Travis Mellem (USA) 9.87 pts, Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 9.40 pts, Abdel El Harim (MAR) 5.33 pts
**Heat 20:** Daniel Ross (AUS) 14.00 pts, Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 11.40 pts, Oli Adams (GBR) 9.14 pts, David Richards (ZAF) 3.67 pts
**Heat 21:** Glenn Hall (IRE) 15.27 pts, Romain Laulhe (FRA) 13.33 pts, Txaber Trojaola (EUK) 12.63 pts, Blake Thornton (AUS) 11.17 pts
**Heat 22:** David Weare (ZAF), Joel Centeio (HAW), Joao Guedes (PRT), Tonino Benson (HAW)
**Heat 23:** Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 14.70 pts, Shaun Gossmann (AUS) 12.53 pts, Brad Ettinger (USA) 10.16 pts, Ricardo Dos Santos (BRA) 9.77 pts
**Heat 24:** Jay Thompson (AUS), Rudy Palmboom (ZAF), Thomas Bady (FRA), Echedey Mederos (CNY)