Shoe City Pro
World Surf League QS1000
Huntington Beach, California
12 - 14 January 2016
Surf delivers for Day 3 of the first WSL North America event of 2016
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 January, 2016 - Huntington Beach - The World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) Shoe City Pro QS1000 finished competition today in consistent four-to-six foot, rebuilding swell as Patrick Gudauskas (USA) and Maud Le Car (FRA) earned their respective titles in the Men and Women divisions. Ending with the Men’s Final, Gudauskas took full advantage of the unrelenting waves throughout this event and capped it off with an incredible win.
“I’m so stoked to come out of this one with a win at the first event of the year,” Gudauskas said. “It was so fun out there but wave choice was huge because there were some really long ones and if you snagged one of those then you had to make that tough paddle all the way back out. I’m just really psyched to win this contest after an incredible day of surfing - there were some really good battles all day and that just topped it off. Nate’s been surfing well this whole event and to come against him in the Final was great.”
It was not an easy road to the Final for Gudauskas, dealing with Chris Waring (USA) in a dramatic Semifinal. The San Clemente native sat and had to watch Waring take off on a last minute wave that he rode all the way to shore, but was unable to complete the finishing maneuver to pull off a comeback - putting Gudauskas into the Final.
“Waring knows this wave better than anyone,” Gudauskas said. “He was surfing so great out there and when he caught that last wave I wasn’t sure I would’ve been able to do anything out there if he had gotten the score. Those are the sickest heats to be a part of and really test you as a surfer. I had those all day long and couldn’t be happier to make them. I’m really excited for this year after that win.”
Taylor Clark © Nilton Baptista
Fellow San Clemente surfer Nate Yeomans (USA) put on a showcase of high-performance surfing that took him all the way to the Final. Posting big scores, including a buzzer-beating Semifinal wave to overtake an in-form Dylan Goodale (HAW), Yeomans secured multiple excellent waves but couldn’t overtake Gudauskas.
“That Final with Pat was insane and it’s just a great way to start the year,” Yeomans said. “My goals this year are to win events and I was only one spot away from that in this contest. I’m really just focusing on each event at a time and giving it my all. I think by doing that, qualifying and everything will fall into place.”
“That Semifinal heat with Dylan was just scary,” Yeomans added. “I made a couple of mistakes and it all came down to the wire but I was able to get that score on the last wave. But, it’s those heats that really show if you stay confident and give it your best shot sometimes it’ll go your way - there’s just so many variables in surfing you have to be confident in your ability.”
Posting massive numbers throughout the final day of competition, Maud Le Car (FRA) took down the inaugural Women’s Shoe City Pro in dominating fashion. Le Car saved her best for last – posting the contest’s highest single-scoring wave of 9.37 and heat total, 16.04 in the Final..
“I’m so stoked to get the win and start this year much better than I did last year,” Le Car said. “It was so fun out there and I’ve been training so hard to work on my combination surfing in waves like this – it’s a dream start. Just having Tia, who was ripping, and Meah who knows this spot perfectly along with Mainei in the lineup was unbelievable. I’m just happy to get the waves and come away with a win.”
Tia Blanco © Nilton Baptista
Building momentum all the way into the Final, Le Car won each of her heats en route to her title and $2,000. Earning a 9.17 in the Quarterfinals, the Capbreton local was in-form throughout the contest and looked to be a force to be reckoned with since the opening day of Women’s competition. With the win, her year is off to a great start and will look to continue her roll into the event.
“I felt so good in the water and just tried to keep that going the whole contest,” Le Car added. “Now I leave for Israel tomorrow to compete in the contest out there,” Le Car added. “It’ll be the first time they run that one so to get another win there would be amazing. Hopefully there’s waves at that event.”
Already in competitive form coming from a Quarterfinal appearance at her first World Junior Championships, Tia Blanco (USA) earned runner-up at the Shoe City Pro. Chasing down Le Car after losing the lead, the Oceanside, Ca local had one last chance in the dying minutes to take that lead back. But, it wasn’t to be as Blanco fell short of the 8.45 needed.
“It feels pretty good even though I really wanted to win. Maud was just surfing amazing out there and made it so difficult - super happy for her and it was a really good event. With each round it just got tougher with the competitors really doing well and getting stronger throughout the contest so I was stoked to the make the Final.”
Off to a great start to 2016, Blanco will take this experience into her preparation for the string of QS events abroad.
“I’m going to be doing all the 6,000’s this year so I’m heading to Australia to do those events and really get the year going,” Blanco added. “The more you train I feel like that will just reflect on your surfing so I’m looking forward to doing these bigger events. I don’t really notice too much change in my surfing but I hope I just keep progressing and hoping for the best as this year continues.”
MEN’S SHOE CITY PRO FINAL RESULTS:
1- Pat Gudauskas (USA) 14.06
2- Nathan Yeomans (USA) 12.50
WOMEN’S SHOE CITY PRO FINAL RESULTS:
1- Maud Le Car (FRA) 16.04
2- Tia Blanco (USA) 14.87
3- Meah Collins (USA) 8.10
4- Mainei Kinimaka (HAW) 6.50
MEN’S SHOE CITY PRO SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.73 def. Dylan Goodale (HAW) 13.20
SF 2: Pat Gudauskas (USA) 15.80 def. Chris Waring (USA) 15.30
WOMEN’S SHOE CITY PRO SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Maud Le Car (FRA) 13.43, Meah Collins (USA) 13.26, Chelsea Roett (BRB) 7.80, Alexxa Elseewi (USA) 6.60
SF 2: Mainei Kinimaka (HAW) 13.47, Tia Blanco (USA) 11.56, Frankie Harrer (DEU) 9.44, Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 7.23
MEN’S SHOE CITY PRO ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.53, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 11.26, Quinn McCrystal (USA) 10.80, Derek Peters (USA) 9.40
Heat 2: Chris Waring (USA) 13.47, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.44, Lucca Mesinas (PER) 12.96, Yuri Goncalves (BRA) 6.50
WOMEN’S SHOE CITY PRO QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Maud Le Car (FRA) 14.74, Alexxa Elseewi (USA) 9.87, Reika Noro (JPN) 7.43, Malia Ward (USA) 5.87
QF 2: Chelsea Roett (BRB) 8.93, Meah Collins (USA) 8.50, Sara Taylor (USA) 7.20, Kayla Durden (USA) 4.83
QF 3: Tia Blanco (USA) 12.12, Frankie Harrer (DEU) 11.00, Moana Jones (HAW) 10.84, Maddie Peterson (USA) 6.87
QF 4: Mainei Kinimaka (HAW) 7.36, Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 6.97, Tiare Thompson (USA) 6.60, Shelby Detmers (USA) 6.20