CARLSBAD, California (Friday, September 5, 2008) The Vans El Ponto Loco presented by Sun Diego continued today with the completion of Round 4. The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 2-Star event was accompanied by the Billabong Pro Junior Presented by Sun Diego. The ASP North America Pro Junior Series Grade-2 event completed the first two rounds of competition today in the decreasing two-to-three foot (1metre) swell.
Only the event's top performers remain in the inaugural event held at Carlsbad's Ponto beach, with 16 surfers remaining in the men's ASP WQS division and 32 in the junior's. Men's and junior's champions will be crowned tomorrow afternoon. Today's action offered explosive surfing in both divisions, with Magnum Martinez (Caracas, VEN/Carlsbad, CA), 34, dominating Round 4 of the ASP WQS and Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 18, posting the highest score of the event in Round 1 of the ASP North America Pro Junior contest.
Martinez issued big scores in Round 4 of men's competition today, moving confidently into the Quarterfinals. The explosive regular-footer earned a 9.00 out of a possible 10 point score with clean top-to-bottom surfing on a left at Ponto today.
"I wanted to wait and get a wave out the back," Martinez said. "I sat a little wide because the waves were shifting a little bit on the high tide. I saw one that looked pretty good and was able to go to town on it. I just had a good flow and did as many turns as I could. It's all about the lefts out there today. I went and grabbed my little epoxy board and I'm so glad I did. It worked really well out there."
The standout performance by Martinez marks his third consecutive heat victory of the event. Although the Vans El Ponto Loco event has been fortunate enough to see good, contestable conditions throughout the event's entirety, there has been a variety of conditions on offer each day with the changing of the tide and wind, none of which have effected Martinez's performance.
"Yesterday morning was interesting because there were some sets, but it was a little mushy," Martinez said. "The waves got better after that, so I went to get a different board for my next heat. Then the waves changed again when the tide started sucking out and the rip current started. The conditions got really tough, but thank God I made it through."
The seasoned ASP WQS campaigner splits his time between Venezuela and the United States, competing on the North American and South American legs of the ASP WQS. Martinez is using this event as a warm up for his next event in South America.
"I do the Latin tour as well as the domestic contests here,"Martinez said. "I'm going to miss the Newport contest, which is a shame, because it conflicts with an event on the Latin tour, but I'm coming back for the Santa Cruz contest. I'm also planning on doing the Sunset contest and the Puerto Esconditio event as well."
Kieran Horn (Santa Cruz, CA), 33, put on a show in his Round 4 heat as well, besting current ASP World Tour surfer Ben Bourgeois (Wrightsville Beach, NC/Carlsbad, CA) and top seed Jason Collins (Santa Cruz, CA), 34, who advanced in second, to earn his spot in the Quarterfinals tomorrow.
"I had a couple of waves that ran and the other guys were sitting too deep," Horn said. "The waves are pretty fun. It looked like it was a little better yesterday morning. The waves were a little bigger, but I think it has better shape today."
Perillo, who has been a standout in both the men's ASP WQS and the ASP Pro Junior Series events here at Ponto, earned the event's top honors with the highest single wave score of a 9.75 out of 10 in the opening round of the Billabong Pro Junior this afternoon. The young regular-footer followed up with an 8.50, for an impressive heat total of 18.25 out of a possible 20 point score, the highest of the event.
"I took off pretty deep on that wave and was able to make it around the section and tried to go as straight up as I could," Perillo said. "I built up some confidence in my 'QS heat and I felt good on that wave. I got three good turns off on it."
Perillo has been one to watch in both the men's and junior's events, eliminating former ASP World Tour veteran Shane Beschen (San Clemente, CA), 36, on his way to his men's Quarterfinals berth. Perillo has built up confidence by surfing in the early rounds of both events and feels it helps his cause against the competition.
"Surfing in both divisions helps a lot," Perillo said. "Surfing in the men's helps me in junior's and surfing in junior's helps me in men's. I got all of my confidence for the junior heat from my win in the 'QS heat. That heat was pretty gnarly, but I got lucky and got a few good waves."
Perillo was eliminated from junior competition in Round 2 by North Shore charger John John Florence (North Shore, HI), 14, but will continue his ASP WQS campaign tomorrow in a stacked Quarterfinals heat against fellow ASP North America Pro Junior series standout Brent Reilly (Carlsbad, CA), 18, Collins and Kevin Kapsky (Oahu, HAW), 21.
Reilly, who will surf against Perillo tomorrow in the Quarterfinals, has also been a standout in the men's ASP WQS 2-Star event. The Carlsbad native has used his local knowledge to advance through to the latter rounds of the ASP WQS and will compete in the Billabong Pro Junior tomorrow as well.
"I surf out here a lot, so I'm pretty used to Ponto," Reilly said. "I'm still focusing on doing well in both contests, but it's a good warm up for the junior's to surf in the QS too. Everyone is so good once you get into the later rounds that you can't take anyone for granted. Every heat is going to be hard and I'm hoping to do well in both events.
Competition will continue tomorrow with Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Junior at 8am local time. Champions in both the Vans El Ponto Loco and Billabong Pro Junior will be crowned tomorrow afternoon.
For all of the live action log on to www.vanssurf.com/ponto/
Vans El Ponto Loco presented by Sun Diego Results
Round of 32 (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Brent Reilly (USA) 13.25, Micah Byrne (USA) 12.75, Rylan McCart (USA) 5.50, Scott Hammonds (USA) 5.35
Heat 2: Dillon Perillo (USA) 11.25, Jason Miller (USA) 11.15, Travis Mellem (USA) 9.80, Shane Beschen (USA) 3.75
Heat 3: Ted Navarro (USA) 13.75, Kevin Kapsky (HAW) 10.25, Nat Young (USA) 9.75, Brandon Guilmette (USA) 5.75
Heat 4: Kieran Horn (USA) 15.40, Jason Collins (USA) 12.25, Ben Bourgeois (USA) 8.75, Matt Johnson (USA) 8.60
Heat 5: Dane Johnson (USA) 10.40, Brad Ettinger (USA) 9.55, Leif Engstrom (USA) 9.50, Cory Arrambide (USA) 8.15
Heat 6: Travis Beckmann (USA) 10.30, Shey Yates (USA) 6.45, Sean Taylor (USA) 4.30, Richie Collins (USA) 3.90
Heat 7: Casey Brown (HAW) 13.75, Kyle Knox (USA) 10.35, Austin Smith-Ford (USA) 9.95, Josh Montgomery (USA) 7.45
Heat 8: Magnum Martinez (VEN) 16.15, Noi Kaulukukui (USA) 15.85, Bruno Rodrigues (USA) 10.35, Evan Geiselman (USA) 10.25
Billabong Pro Junior presented by Sun Diego Results
Round of 64: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Fisher Heverly (USA) 15.50, David Price (USA) 10.95, Ryan Burch (USA) 10.93, Matt Gallagher (USA) 5.70
Heat 2: Oliver Kurtz (USA) 12.65, Brad Hagglund (USA) 10.50, Nate Zoller (USA) 9.85, Matt Pagan (USA) 7.35
Heat 3: Mike McCabe (USA) 13.75, Tayler Brothers (USA) 8.85, Casey Brown (HAW) 8.00, T.J. Mortellaro (USA) 5.05
Heat 4: Dillon Perillo (USA) 18.25, Jeffrey Lukasik (USA) 11.50, Colton Larson (USA) 5.80, Leif Engstrom (USA) 5.15
Heat 5: Ford Archbold (USA) 11.50, Quinn McCrystal (USA) 9.45, Adam Lambert (USA) 8.45, Matt McCabe (USA) 7.40
Heat 6: Victor Done (USA) 13.65, Conner Coffin (USA) 13.00, Matt Chellemi (USA) 8.60, Nick Suhadolnik (USA) 4.40
Heat 7: Jordan Gaudet (USA) 11.95, Manuel Selman (CHL) 11.75, Spencer Regan (USA) 11.65, Ryah Arthur (USA) 9.80
Heat 8: Andrew Bennett (USA) 13.25, Rob Kelly (USA) 11.15, Daniel Shea (USA) 7.85, Sam McGee (USA) 5.25
Round of 48: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Fisher Heverly (USA) 11.00, Hunter Heverly (USA) 10.35, Brad Hagglund (USA) 10.30, Kyle Kennelly (USA) 7.05
Heat 2: Luke Davis (USA) 11.00, Oliver Kurtz (USA) 10.90, Brett Barley (USA) 10.20, David Price (USA) 5.20
Heat 3: Jeffrey Lukasik (USA) 15.50, Jensen Callaway (USA) 9.90, Riley Metcalf (USA) 8.05, Mike McCabe (USA) 5.75
Heat 4: Victor Done (USA) 13.25, Quinn McCrystal (USA) 10.55, Logan Strook (USA) 10.00, Ashton Madeley (USA) 9.15
Heat 5: Ford Archbold (USA) 11.15, Connor Coffin (USA) 10.70, Bruno Rodrigues (USA) 9.50, Gabe Garcia (USA) 9.10
Heat 6: Victor Done (USA) 13.25, Quinn McCrystal (USA) 10.55, Logan Strook (USA) 10.00, Ashton Madeley (USA) 9.15
Heat 7: Jason Gaudet (USA) 12.40, Michael Dunphy (USA) 12.25, Rob Kelly (USA) 9.75, Dewey Cunnison (USA) 5.95
Heat 8: Dane Zaun (USA) 15.50, Nick Rupp (USA) 10.60, Manuel Selman (CHL) 7.75, Andrew Bennett (USA) 4.60