Its amazing what these guys can do in small surf. On a day you might pass up, these pros are turning nothing into something. By the time you make one bottom turn they make 3 slashes. Truly amazing to watch as the 16 athletes trying to gain the wildcard spot. Competition started this morning at at 8am.
Heat 1 saw local New Yorker Leif Engstrom (USA) showing his stuff against Jeremy Johnston (USA), Christobal De Col (Peru), and Travis Logie (ZAF). Johnston was the standout in this heat and would advance later to the finals only to be penalized by a judges decision of interference.
Heat 2 saw TJ Gumiela (USA) another local against Garrett Parkes (Aus), Aaron Cormican (USA), and Maxime Huscenot (Fra), 2010 world junior champion from far away Reunion Island. Huscenot was the standout who advanced from this group.
Heat 3 consisted of Masatoshi Ohno (Japan), Clay Marzo (Hawaii), Fisher Heaveryly (USA), and Sam Hammer (USA). Ohno worked the small waves best in this heat advancing.
Heat 4 was Asher Nolan (USA) from Florida, Keanu Asing (Hawaii), Marc Lacomare (Fra), and Ryan Carlson (USA). Nolan and Carlson are both from the East Coast with Carlson credited as being the first to land a rodeo flip in 2001. However, Asher Nolan wins this heat.
In the end it was Asher Nolan, Keanu Asing, Garrett Parkes, and Jeremy Johnston battling it out, they all have the skill, but it comes down to wave selection, and luck, on a small day like this. Jeremy Johnston was poised to take the heat when he was called for a questionable interference colliding with Garret Parkes. The judges gave the wave to Parkes and Johnston was penalized by cutting his best wave score in half, putting him in a terrible position to win the heat, even when he landed an arial 360 he still couldn't catch the leader. In all of this it was East Coaster Asher Nolan who picked off wave after wave to impress the judges and carves and slash his way to the finish line. The East coasters cheered as the last horn rang and Asher Nolan landed his spot to compete against the pros.
Rumor has it that Kelly Slater is in Montauk 2 hours from here, possibly practicing without the crowds. Tomorrow is the official start of the waiting period and is also a holiday here in the United States. Opening Ceremonies kick off at 7am and Voice of Nosara will be there to bring you the scoop as the Quiksilver Pro NY takes off like a rocket.