Junior Surfers dominate opening day of Oakley Newport Beach Pro

The Oakley Newport Beach Pro completed the first two rounds of competition today in peaky two-to-four foot (1 metre) surf. The ASP World Qualifying Series 2-Star event is the seventh of nine held in North America, with each contest offering ratings points towards qualification for the ASP World Tour.

Dillon Perillo.  Copyright: Brent HillemanThe Oakley Newport Beach Pro is the second of three stops on the Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series, the other events being the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro held last April and the upcoming O’Neill Cold Water Classic taking place next month in Santa Cruz, California. The miniseries running in conjunction with the ASP WQS is the only ASP sanctioned miniseries held in North America, offering an additional prize purse to the series winner.

Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 18, led the charge this afternoon, earning the day’s highest scores. Perillo punted a massive frontside air on a closeout section at 56th street today, earning the day’s highest single wave score of a 9.50 out of a possible 10. The regular-footer combined the high score with a 7.67 out of a possible 10 for the highest heat total of 17.17 out of a possible 20 point score. Perillo is fresh off of a second-place finish at the Vans El Ponto Loco and is carrying the confidence earned at the last ASP WQS 2-Star event in Carlsbad to the Oakley Newport Beach Pro.

Perillo is currently rated eighth on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series and is hoping he can carry his standout surfing into the Oakley Pro Junior.

Conner Coffin (Santa Barbara, CA), 15, earned his first career ASP WQS heat victory today when he entered Round 2 as a wildcard. The young surfer posted the day’s second highest heat total of 16.00 out of a possible 20 point score to earn the win. Coffin used the tricky conditions on offer this afternoon to his advantage by blasting explosive turns on the oncoming sections.

Matt Meola (Kuau, HI), 19, was a standout in today’s early rounds. Meola boosted a plethora of airs and posted some of the day’s highest scores while claiming two heat victories. The rampy peaks on offer in Newport Beach today fit the young Hawaiian’s progressive style. Meola was happy to advance through the first two rounds of competition today in the increasing swell.

Austin Smith-Ford (Santa Cruz, CA), 20, donated a standout performance on the punchy Newport beachbreak today. The Santa Cruz native sat further north than his fellow competitors and his strategy paid off. Smith-Ford advanced into the Round of 96. Smith-Ford competes in the North America Pro Junior series as well and has been using the early rounds of the ASP WQS contests as a warm up for his junior heats.

Tomorrow’s action will see the completion of the third round of the Oakley Newport Beach Pro as well as Round 1 of the Oakley Pro Junior.

Kelly Slater.  Copyright: ASP Kirstin

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Tim Boal.  Copyright: Aquashot/ASPEUROPE.COM

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