Top seeds enter Oakley Newport Beach Pro with mixed results

Day three of the Oakley Newport Beach Pro and Oakley Pro Junior ran in excellent two-to-four foot (1metre) conditions at 56th street in Newport Beach, California.

Today’s action saw two-time event champion Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 27, move one step closer to his third Oakley Newport Beach Pro win, while Micah Byrne (Huntington Beach, CA), 26, posted the event’s highest single wave score and Brett Barley (Cape Hatteras, NC), 18, issued a big upset, defeating Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) No.4 Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 22.

The Oakley Newport Beach Pro, an ASP WQS 2-Star event, and the Oakley Pro Junior, an ASP Grade-2, represent the second stop on the Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series. The miniseries contains three events for both ASP WQS and ASP North America Pro Junior competitors and offers an additional prize purse to the series winner at year’s end. Last year’s Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series Champion Adam Virs (Ventura, CA), 29, was defeated today by Jesse Merle-Jones (North Shore, HI), 29, eliminating the reigning champ’s chances for a repeat victory.

Yeomans was a form surfer in the event today, taking advantage of the roping lefts breaking off of the 56th street jetty. The goofy-footer advanced into Round 5 with his heat win today.

Yeomans, a two-time Oakley Newport Beach Pro Champion, is one step closer to claiming his third Oakley Newport Beach Pro title. The San Clemente native is fresh off of the European leg of the ASP WQS and is out to claim event title number three.

Byrne posted the event’s highest single wave score of a near perfect 9.93 out of a possible 10 with a massive backside blast on a lefthander this afternoon. Byrne was in the lead before earning the big score and the vertical backside maneuver sealed the deal on his heat win. Byrne earned his heat victory over top competitors Shaun Ward (Huntington Beach, CA), 26, Kyle Knox (Imperial Beach, CA), 26 and Blake Jones (Melbourne Beach, FL), 20, who advanced in second.

Barley defeated Gudauskas and topped former ASP World Tour standout Tim Curran (Oxnard, CA), 31, who advanced behind Barley in second, with an 8.93 out of a possible 10 point score in the last few minutes of the heat to claim the win. Barley drove through the barrel and had a huge frontside blast on an oncoming section to solidify a heat victory over the top seeds.

Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 18, continued to standout in both the Oakley Newport Beach Pro and the Oakley Pro Junior today. With significantly different conditions on offer in the afternoon, Perillo proved he could perform in a variety of conditions. The Malibu local posted the highest heat total in today’s ASP Grade-2 pro junior event of 15.17 out of a possible 20 point score.

Perillo managed to post some high scores while fighting the strong rip current running through the lineup. Although Perillo has been a standout in both divisions, the regular-footer has been earning better results in the ASP WQS than in the ASP Pro Junior.

The Oakley Newport Beach Pro will continue with Round 5 tomorrow at 8am local time and will be followed by Round 3 of the Oakley Pro Junior. The Oakley Pro Junior Quarterfinals and Semifinals will run as well.

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