Originally posted at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 18, 2013.
Australian Taj Burrow has been crowned the Association of Surfing Professionals’ 2013 Hurley Pro champion at Lower Trestles at San Onofre State Park in 2-3-foot surf, the first ASP World Tour win for Burrow this year.
This is the seventh of 10 competitions surfers face on the ASP world tour series. Since Sunday the natural-footed Aussie has been carving and boosting his way to the number one spot earning him a check for $105,000, a trophy and valuable ASP points that will help his world rank.
“I really wanted to take this one off the list,” said Burrow. “It was a tough task but it feels incredible! I’m just thrilled.”
This win puts Burrow in the No. 4 spot on the ASP World Championship Tour, according to the ASP web site.
Through a series of fierce heats, Australian Julian Wilson met Burrow in an intense final round, both surfers exchanging waves and splitting peaks. Through the lackluster conditions, Burrow was still able to project a series of high-power maneuvers to which Wilson would answer back with incredible carves and often ended each ride with 360 aerials.
“The event was really fun and the buzz was pretty crazy,” said Wilson. “The swell wasn’t incredible, but the level of surfing was great and the waves were worth it when it was.”
Although the day started with a south wind and high tide, the wind eventually calmed down and the dropping tide helped improve wave consistency, however, overall the heats remained challenging with wave quality and quantity.
Local standout pro surfer Patrick Gudauskas put on an impressive show until the quarterfinal round, where he was bested by this year’s champ. Although the patient Gudauskas seemed to wait for those few solid waves to come, Burrow snagged any other wave that rolled through to score heat points that put him in the lead.
South African Jordy Smith also put on a standout performance in the quarterfinals when he defeated Australian Kai Otton with his powerful carves. However, Smith met his match with Burrow in the semi-final round.
“I felt like I didn’t have to do much to get the big scores,” Smith told ASP. “All I needed was an opportunity, but I surfed my net and maybe over-surfed some waves. I did the best I could and I’m happy with my performance.”
The semi-final round also saw Julian Wilson and Tahitian Michel Bourez battle through the slowly diminishing surf. Bourez threw arcs of spray on the lefts and rights at Lower Trestles, however, Wilson’s energy remained unstoppable as he took every opportunity to answer back to Bourez’s performance.
The next stop on the WCT will be the Quiksilver Pro in France, Sept. 26 through Oct. 6, according to the ASP web site.
For day-to-day coverage, visit www.aspworldtour.com.