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30th annual NSSA National Champs to launch this week

 




NSSA Nationals
Presented by No Fear

NSSA
Salt Creek & Lowers California
18 - 28 June 2008


30th annual NSSA National Champs to launch this week

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 16 June, 2008 : - - Huntington Beach, Ca - - Another chapter of NSSA history will open as the 30th annual National Championships takes the nation by storm from Wednesday June 18 to Saturday, June 28.

The largest and highest profile amateur surfing event in the country will bring hundreds of surfers to the shores of beautiful Salt Creek in Dana Point and America’s premier cobblestone reef at Lower Trestles located in the treasured San Onofre State Park. The massive nine day event offers four days of exciting competition at Salt Creek and five days of guaranteed spectacular action at Lower Trestles.

As is the case with all NSSA Nationals, the greatest youth surfing talent in the nation will be there. The National Interscholastic Championships, the National Explorer Championships and the National Airshow Championships at Salt Creek will provide the early fireworks kicking off on Wednesday, June 18 and running through Saturday, June 21.

The championships will then shift 10 miles south to Lower Trestles where the atmosphere will turn electric with anticipation as the prestigious National Open Championships and California State Parks Governor’s Cup are showcased. It’s both showtime and crunch time on amateur surfing’s biggest stage.

The list of past National Champions reads like a who’s who of American surfing including current World Tour surfers Kelly Slater, Andy and Bruce Irons, Bobby Martinez, Fred Patacchia, CJ and Damien Hobgood, Kalani Robb, Taylor Knox, current WQS No. 1 Patrick Gudauskas and 2008 Mavericks Champion Greg Long.

OPEN MENS: There is no lack of story lines entering the upcoming National Championships. In the Open Men’s division there are many people pursuing the most celebrated title in amateur surfing and the level this year is superior. Granger Larsen (Lahaina, Hi) leads the contenders list coming off a successful season capturing the Hawaii Conference regular season Open Men’s title and then winning the Regional Championships.

He wasn’t a happy camper after his loss in the National quarterfinals in 2007. In his final amateur year, Larsen, a four-time National Champion, will be gunning for the title. Hot on his heels will be fellow Hawaiians Alex Smith (Kilauea, Hi) and Kai Barger (Haiku, Hi) who placed third and fourth respectively in the last year’s Open Men’s final.

Barger has four National titles to his credit including a victory last year in the Explorer Juniors. Smith was hot in the 2007 Open Championships winning every heat until the final. He’s got his eyes on the prize and will be determined to go all the way this time. Southwest Conference No. 1 ranked Dane Zaun (Hollyglen, Ca) had a strong start to the 07-08 season but hasn’t won an Open event since last November.

He will be aiming to get over the hump and his cutting edge aerials could be a significant weapon. Dillon Perillo (Malibu, Ca) came out the gates blazing to an eight event win streak at the onset of the season but he’s also been winless since late September. It didn’t help that he was fighting off a serious virus that hampered him at the end of the season but he rebounded at the West Coast Regionals making three finals.

Perillo definitely has the ability to come up big like his ’06 Open Juniors victory if he is in his best form. Brent Reilly (Carlsbad, Ca) was a standout performer in the Southwest regular season posting eight combined victories in Open and Explorer. He will also be a major player for the Carlsbad High School team in their hunt for the Interscholastic crown.

Northwest Conference top seed Nat Young (Santa Cruz, Ca) has the potential to become the first Norcal surfer to win the coveted title. He put up respectable numbers during the 07-08 season winning nine events and came very close to winning the West Coast Regionals. Leading for the East is Michael Dunphy (Virginia Beach, Va) who turned in a monster performance at the East Coast Regionals sweeping the big three divisions (Open Men’s, Explorer Men’s and Explorer Juniors).

OPEN JUNIORS: No. 1 seed Conner Coffin (Santa Barbara, Ca) has stepped up his game enormously this season and will be a top prospect in the Open Juniors category. Coffin’s powerful approach also gives him a solid shot for a championship run in the Open Men’s and the Explorer divisions.

Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, Ca) closed out the 2008 season in brilliant and historic fashion becoming the youngest surfer to win the Open Men’s division in the NSSA Regional Championships and the only surfer to win both the Men’s and Juniors in the same year. He currently has a career total of five National titles and at 14 years of age is on track to smash the male record of seven currently held by Bobby Martinez.

Andino will be competing in six divisions at the Nationals and is fully capable of winning any of them (Open Men’s, Open Juniors, Explorer Boys, Explorer Menehuene, Airshow, Middle School Boys). East Coast phenom Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, Fl) has a record 12 Regional titles to his name and has proved he can win at the Nationals (2007 Explorer Boys, 2004 Open Mini Grom).

Hawaii’s No. 1 ranked Tanner Hendrickson (Haiku, Hi) is expected to turn in a big performance and lay down a heavy challenge for the title. He won three events in the Open Juniors during the regular season and topped it off with a victory at the Regionals. The odds are good for a repeat showdown between defending Open Juniors Champion Andrew Doheny (Newport Beach, Ca) and runner-up Keanu Asing (Ewa Beach, Hi).

Doheny edged Asing out for the title last year by a half point. Hawaii’s No. 3 ranked John John Florence (Haleiwa, Hi) has a big track record at the Nationals with four titles to his credit and despite going winless the past two years, he is sure to be one of the biggest challengers.

OPEN WOMENS: The Open Women’s title will be up for grabs this year with the departure of 11-time National Champion Carissa Moore who has claimed it the past four years. Despite the absence of Moore, the Women’s field is brimming with talent. The top seed is 14-year-old Alessa Quizon (Waianae, Hi) who dominated in Hawaii taking three victories over the regular season and triumphed at the Regional Championships.

She won the National Explorer Girls in 2007, and will seek to defend that title along while making a strong bid for the Open. After an impressive runner-up finish in 2007, Coco Ho (Haleiwa, Hi) can taste victory and after four years of attempts expectations are high for her to finally join the exclusive club. From the West, Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana, Ca) has been getting it done all year.

She set an exception standard winning her fourth consecutive Southwest Conference title and then capped off the West Coast season winning her first Regional title. She will be more passionate and determined than ever to win her first Nationals. Sage Erickson (Ojai, Ca) has made it to two straight Open finals appearances.

This is her final shot as an amateur so look for her to bring her best game to Lowers. 14-year-old Jasset Umbel (Melbourne Beach, Fl) shined at the East Coast Regionals with double wins in the Open Women’s and Explorer Girls. Also from the East, Amy Nicholl (New Smyrna Beach, Fl) will be eager to give it another shot after a costly interference penalty kept her out of the final last year.

THE NATIONAL INTERSCHOLASTIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: The spirited San Dieguito team clicked into gear at the 2007 championships taking their first National title in 15 years. This year, however the No. 1 seed is 17-time National Champion Huntington Beach who spanked the field at the 2008 State titles winning it by a 26-point margin.

The Oilers are focused and committed to be National Champions again, being shut down since their last triumph in 1998. Carlsbad was runner-up to HB at this year’s State titles but will bring on a stronger squad to the Nationals including Brent Reilly and Gabe Garcia who did not compete at the State Championships. San Dieguito is the No. 3 going into the Nationals followed by eight-time National Champion San Clemente at No. 4.

The complete list of High Schools competing are Huntington Beach , Carlsbad, San Dieguito, San Clemente, Edison, Carpenteria, Marina, Manasquan from New Jersey, Middle Township from New Jersey, Kealakehe from Hawaii, Elite Academy from Hawaii.

San Diego State is the reigning National Champions and still one of the top teams to beat. In a nail biter at the 2008 State titles, ten-time National Champion UCSB beat San Diego State by a mere two points. Perinneal power Mira Costa is always a contender as is 2006 National Champion Saddleback. The complete list of Colleges competing are UCSB A & B, San Diego State, CSU San Marcos, Mira Costa, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Saddleback, UC San Diego, University of Central Florida, University of Florida.

Shorecliffs Middle School will be going for their third consecutive National title. They have a powerhouse squad led by 2007 National Middle School Champion Kolohe Andino and 2008 State Champion Ian Crane. The complete list of Middle Schools competing are Shorecliffs A & B, Sowers A & B, Dwyer, Carpenteria, Marco Forster, Niguel Hills and Kapaa from Hawaii.

CALIFORNA STATE PARKS GOVERNOR’S CUP: For the eighth consecutive year, the NSSA is pleased to team up with the California State Parks in presenting the prestigious Governor’s Cup trophy to the winners of the Open Men’s and Women’s divisions. The NSSA is honored to have the support of the State of California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California State Parks in their recognition of the National Championships and our commitment to education and scholastic surfing.

ESTEEMED NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP JUDGING PANEL: Dedicated to the highest quality of event operations and competition, a judging panel with nearly 100 years of experience has been selected for the 2008 National Championships. Gayline Clifford, completing her 20th year as the NSSA Head Judge will be joined by ASP World Tour judge Davy Shipley (10th season on the ASP World Tour), ASP World Tour Regional Head Judge Jack Shipley (judged 38 ASP Pipe Masters events), ASP WQS Judge Bryson Greaves, ASP WQS judge Dylan Feindt and ASP WQS Judge Anthony Ferriero. All six members of the judging crew also worked the 2008 NSSA Regional Championships.

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WEBCAST: For the second consecutive year, Surfing Magazine’s website at surfingthemag.com will host the webcast of the final three days of the competition, June 26-28. The webcast, sponsored by Nike 6.0, will take Nationals coverage to the next level with unprecedented coverage of the Open Championships and all of the National Championship and Governor’s Cup finals.

Now, surfing fans worldwide will be able to follow all of the action, the three peak days at Lower Trestles. The webcast will be hosted by Surfing Magazine Editor in Chief Evan Slater who will provide expert analysis and background information of the NSSA and the National Championships. He will be joined by the color commentary of David Stansfield, Peter Mel and Saxon Boucher.

PARKING AT SALT CREEK AND LOWER TRESTLES: Salt Creek offers a large metered parking lot off of Ritz Carlton Drive which requires quarters so bring lot's of them. There is a path from the parking lot that leads to Salt Creek beach. At Lower Trestles, special events parking of $10.00 per day will be available at the State Parks parking lot at the Basilone Rd exit. Shuttle service provided by the NSSA will be available from the parking lot to the contest site from 6:00am - 5:00pm Tuesday-Saturday.

WAVEWATCH.COM OFFICIAL FORECAST

Wavewatch.com Forecast for the NSSA Nationals @ Salt Creek
We are going to have a good run of surf for the Salt Creek contest this year. The South Pacific has been extremely active over the last few days with several storms have moving out from under New Zealand and blasting swells towards Southern California. New SW swell (200-220) moves in on Wednesday June 18th, and will peak into Thursday June 19th.


A second SW swell (again from 200-220) moves in directly behind the first swell and will peak on Friday and Saturday June 20-21st. Both swells are showing some healthy sizes and we can expect surf to stay consistently in the shoulder-head high range, with sets going 1-2'+ overhead at times, throughout the contest period. Conditions look pretty good as well...extended range weather forecasts are calling for light to moderate eddy conditions with overcast skies and light S winds for the mornings. Sunny skies and onshore W winds (around 10-12 knots) will be on tap through the afternoons. All in all there should be plenty of swell and decent weather to hold a great contest.


Wavewatch.com Forecast for the NSSA Nationals @ Lower Trestles
While it is still a little far out to get a great read on the forecast conditions for the contest we are seeing some decent storm conditions developing in the South Pacific. At this point we can expect the continuation of SW swell (200-220) for the start of the contest on the 24th...a second round of SW swell is due to arrive around the 27-28th.


While neither of these (currently) look as big as the swells for the Salt Creek contest they do look healthy and have the added bonus of the wave-mechanics that occur at Trestles that help to focus SW swell energy. Overall we expect more chest-shoulder high surf for most of the contest period with some head high sets mixing in as the two swells hit their peaks. Keep checking Wavewatch.com for all the updates and details as the competition period gets closer.


2008 NSSA CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: The NSSA National Championships presented by No Fear is the sixth of seven events in the 2008 NSSA Championship Series. The 2008 Championship Series events include the Interscholastic State Championships at Church, Ca March 7-9; the Hawaii Championships at Kewalo Basin, Hi March 15-20; the East Coast Championships at Sebastian Inlet, Fl March 27-30; the NSSA Jr. Championships at Huntington Beach Pier, Ca April 5; the West Coast Championships at Huntington Beach Pier, Ca May 14-18; the NSSA National Championships at Salt Creek and Lower Trestles, Ca June 18-28; the Northeast High School Championships at Ocean City, NJ October 19.

In addition to title sponsor No Fear, the NSSA National Championships is proud to have support from Nike 6.0, Huntington Surf and Sport, Surfing Magazine, WaveWatch, Sex Wax, Kerns Nectar and the California State Parks.

THE NSSA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 2008 National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA), Championship Series presented by No Fear.

JUNE 18-21, 2008 SALT CREEK: Competition will run from 6:30am-6:00pm

JUNE 24-28, 2008 LOWER TRESTLES: Competition will run from 8:00am-5:00pm Governor’s Cup competition will run concurrently with the National Open Men’s and Women’s divisions June 25-28 National Championship finals will be held on June 28

2008 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP AWARDS BANQUET: June 29 at 5:00pm at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott, Dana Point

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: A complete schedule of the 2008 NSSA National Championships is available on the website at nssa.org.


Check the heat schedule: Click on Heat Times.


www.nssa.org

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Janice Aragon

Scholars - Surfersvillage

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