Billabong Pro Junior: big scores posted on day 2

The Vans El Ponto Loco continued today, completing Round 2 and Round 3 of competition in two-to-four foot surf. Only 32 of the eventís top performers remain in the ASP World Qualifying Series 2-Star event, the sixth of nine ASP WQS contests held in North America.

Jason Miller.  Copyright: Brent HillemannToday’s action saw the event’s top seeds hit the water against yesterday’s standout competitors, with each surfer vying for the valuable ratings points on offer towards qualification for the ASP World Tour. Today’s top performers included Brent Reilly (Carlsbad, CA), 18, Jason Miller, (San Clemente, CA), 22, Rylan McCart (Melbourne Beach, FL), 22, Brandon Guilmette (Huntington Beach, CA), 25 and Brad Ettinger (Huntington Beach, CA), 24.

Reilly, who is also competing in the Billabong Pro Junior event, was a standout in today’s competition. The young talent earned the highest heat total of the day, a 16.50 out of a possible 20, claiming a Round 3 heat victory. Reilly, a Carlsbad native and Ponto local, used his local knowledge to dominate his Round 3 heat and is enjoying having a contest so close to home.

Guilmette matched Reilly’s high heat total of a 16.50 out of a possible 20 in his heat. The Huntington Beach local used a clean backhand approach on the Ponto lefts to earn his high score, carving his way into Round 4. Guilmette, who issued some of the top scores in yesterday’s competition, was in form again today, taking advantage of the improved conditions on offer this afternoon.

The first heat of Round 3 offered explosive surfing from McCart and Miller, both earning some of the day’s top scores by attacking the lefthanders on offer at Ponto. McCart started the heat off with a series of massive frontside blasts, earning a solid 8.75 out of a possible 10 for his opening ride to put him in the lead.

The Floridian followed up with a second single wave score of 7.25, for a combined heat total of 16.00 out of a possible 20 to fend off Miller for the heat win. Miller advanced to Round 4 in second behind McCart.

Miller answered back to McCart’s big scores with one of his own. The regular-footer posted a near-perfect 9.50 out of a possible 10 with two committed backside snaps, earning the day’s highest single wave score. Miller tried to find a second score to take the lead from McCart, but was unable to find the wave he needed to post another big score. Miller still advanced in second behind the goofy-footer and will surf again in Round 4 tomorrow.

Ettinger was another surfer who posted big scores today. The explosive goofy-footer is fresh off of the European leg of the ASP WQS and was in form at Ponto today, posting the day’s second highest single wave score of a 9.25 out of a possible 10 point score.

Tomorrow’s action will include the men’s Round 4, which includes the event’s top 32 surfers, as well as the first two rounds of the Billabong Pro Junior Presented by Sun Diego. The event’s top competitors will hit the water at 8am standard time. 

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Mick Fanning.  Copyright: ASP Kirstin
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Heath Walker.  Copyright: Brent Hillemann
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Heath Walker leads opening rounds of Vans El Ponto Loco

The Inaugural Vans El Ponto Loco kicked off today in clean two-to-four foot (1 metre conditions). The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 2-Star event saw the completion of Round 1 and the first eight heats of Round 2.


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