Kick off: Costa Del Mar Pro Championships
The Costa Del Mar Pro Championships will be held at South Huntington Beach Pier from November 15 till 16. The event will see several ASP World Longboard Tour competitors tackle regional standouts in the two-day contest.
The ASP LQS allows longboarding competitors a chance to qualify for the ASP World Longboard Tour for the following year, with the ASP WLT giving all competitors a chance to earn the title of ASP World Longboard Champion.
Josh Baxter (San Clemente, CA), 38, who is a former three-time regional longboarding champion, will be one ASP WLT surfer competing at the Costa Del Mar Pro Championships. The veteran longboarder was the top American finisher at the ASP WLT World Longboard Championships this past weekend, earning a fifth place finish, and the San Clemente native is hoping he can earn a good result at Huntington Beach as well.
“I’m feeling really good after my result at home,” Baxter said. “I’m going to ride the same board that I rode in the last event and it’s always nice to compete at home. I’d love to keep the ball rolling and get another good result at Huntington, too.”
With several of the ASP WLT competitors sticking around to compete in the Costa Del Mar Pro Championships, Baxter feels that the event is more of an international contest than a regional one.
“I’m a bit nervous,” Baxter said. “This is turning out to be more of an international contest than a regional one since several of the international ASP WLT competitors have stuck around to compete in this event after the World Longboard Tour contest. With all of those top guys in the contest, it’s going to be tough.”
Baxter is coming off of a much-needed ASP WLT result. The Californian earned the points needed to hold his place among the world’s finest longboarders with his fifth place finish at San Onofre State Beach and is looking to enjoy himself at the Costa Del Mar Pro Championships now that the pressure of requalification is off for next year.
“I’m stoked on my result at San Onofre State Beach,” Baxter said. “I was debating hanging it up if I didn’t requalify for next year’s tour and it’s such a relief for me to know that I’m good for next year. The pressure is off and I’m really looking to have fun at an event close to home.”
Taylor Jensen (Oceanside, CA), 24, was the winner of the last ASP LQS at Huntington Beach, the Honda U.S. Open of Surfing, and is out to claim another win at the Costa Del Mar Pro Championships. Jensen’s repeat will not be an easy task however, as he will have to battle the international contingent of longboarding talent in order to claim the win.
“I was happy to win at the U.S. Open and I’m looking forward to the event,” Jensen said. “I’d love to have a repeat victory and now that the ASP WLT season is over I’m looking to have some fun.”
Harley Ingleby (Coffs Harbour, AUS), 25, who finished third on the ASP WLT, is one international surfer who is a serious threat to Jensen’s repeat victory. The young Australian has proven himself on the world stage with a win at the World Longboard Tour event in Anglet, France and the fierce competitor has shown the ability to take out the world’s finest longboarders.
“I’m hoping I can get a good result at Huntington,” Ingleby said. “I’m really hoping that we have some good swell for the weekend which should make for a fun contest.”
Stop No. 10 of 11 finished with the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro. Americaís finest competitive surfers were unable to escape Round 4, as they were eliminated by the stacked field of international talent that make up the top 45 on the ASP World Tour.
The ASP International released its 2009 events calendar. Dates and locations for the World Tour, Womenís World Tour, World Qualifying Series, Pro Junior and World Longboard events are now posted.
Todayís action saw local standout David Rutherford (Puerto Escondido, MEX), 25, earn the eventís first perfect 10, while Dean Brady (Noosa, AUS), 22, and Ryan Turner (Huntington Beach, CA), 29, were standouts as well.