EL CONFITAL, Gran Canaria (Monday, October 6, 2008) - The Ocean & Earth Pro, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star event, officially started today but uncontestable two foot (0.5 meter) waves forced organisers to call the day off and have the 96-men field of competitors come back tomorrow at 9 AM.
The perfect barrels that have blessed the past three editions are expected to break again this week and give some of the world's best qualifiers another exciting experience in the crystal clear waters of El Confital, the famous righthander that has witnessed world class action for many years now. ASP Top 45 members Aritz Aranburu (EUK), Daniel Ross (AUS) and Jay Thompson (AUS) will be among those battling for the prestigious crown and will start in Round 1 after losing their seeding due to late entries.
Nic Muscroft (AUS), defending champion and top WQS contender who has surfed all ASP World Tour events this year thanks to a replacement wildcard, will be the number one seed in the Ocean & Earth Pro and will have to face some serious resistance from a large field of local experts who could possibly create big upsets when El Confital starts firing its classic barrels. Multiple Canarian champion and event wildcard Felix Ortega (CNY) will be against Muscroft when Round 2 resumes more likely Thursday when the new swell starts hitting the north shore of Gran Canaria.
The Ocean & Earth Pro will be crucial for both international and European WQS ratings with no less than 1500 points going to the winner. Current Top 10 European surfers Hugo Savalli (REU), Romain Laulhe (FRA) and Glenn Hall (IRE) will be among those looking to secure a big result and keep their regional campaign going as all three of them have the opportunity to jump back on top of ratings if they win at El Confital.
Officials will meet at 9 AM tomorrow morning to assess conditions and make a new call. The event is webcast LIVE from Round 1 through to the final on www.aspeurope.com
ROUND 1 HEATS
Heat 1: Matt King (USA), William Pasquet (REU), Evan Valiere (HAW)
Heat 2: Travis Mellem (USA), Edgar Nozes (PRT), Fernando Roca (CNY), Jonathan Torres (CNY)
Heat 3: Brandon Jackson (ZAF), Rafael Batista (BRA), Marco Giorgi (URY), Gary Gonzalez (CNY)
Heat 4: Devon Tresher (USA), Ricardo Dos Santos (BRA), Darren Muschett (PRI), Armando Navarro (CNY)
Heat 5: Kyle Knox (USA), Norman landa (EUK), Leif Engstrom (USA), Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 6: Txaber Trojaola (EUK), David Rutherford (MEX), Franito Saenz (CNY), Manolo Lezcano (CNY)
Heat 7: Sean Moody (HAW), Marc Lacomare (FRA), Anthony Walsh (AUS), Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 8: Parrish Byrne (AUS), Jason Miller (USA), Damian Moro (CNY), Bentor Gonzalez Dominguez (CNY)
Heat 9: Blake Howard (USA), Josh Lewan (AUS), Alexander El Naib (DEU)
Heat 10: Stuart Kennedy (AUS), Dallas Petersen (AUS), Eduardo Acosta (CNY), Alexander Zirke (CNY)
Heat 11: Joao Guedes (PRT), Mikey Bruneau (HAW), Cheyne Willis (HAW), Luiz Hernandez (CNY)
Heat 12: Brandon Ragenovich (USA), Ezra Sitt (HAW), Julian Cuello (CNY), Juan Manuel Florit (CNY)
Heat 13: Bobby Morris (USA), Clancy Dawson (AUS), Casey Brown (HAW), Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
Heat 14: Adam Melling (AUS), Luis Rodriguez (ESP), Aaron Romero (CNY), Antonio Marques (CNY)
Heat 15: Owen Wright (AUS), Dylan Melamed (HAW), Mario Azurza (EUK), Alexis Sanchez (CNY)
Heat 16: Nick White (NZL), Killian Garland (USA), Chris Jimenez Garcia (CNY), Ivan Monagas Torres (CNY)