BELMAR, New Jersey (Friday, September 13, 2013) â€“ The opening day of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 1-Star Fins Pro Junior completed four rounds of competition in offshore three-to-four foot (1 metre) waves today, narrowing the field down from the original 64 to just eight Semifinalists.
The Fins Pro Junior marks the final stop on the 2013 ASP North America Pro Junior Series, offering crucial seed points towards surfers' 2014 regional campaigns.
Kevin Schulz (San Clemente, CA) marched through all four rounds of competition today to lead the pack with the day's top scores. The Californian was lethal on his forehand, belting an 8.73 high single-wave score and 16.10 for the lefthanders breaking off of the jetty.
â€œThe waves are pumping and I think it's the best it's ever been here for this contest,â€ Schulz said. â€œThis is definitely the best surf we've had out of the last three years I've done the event. It's so fun and I've been surfing my mind out. This is my best result so far, in to the Semifinals, so hopefully I can go one more. I've just been sitting on that left off of the jetty and I'm going to do that again tomorrow and hopefully it provides.â€
Parker Coffin (Santa Barbara, CA) past winner and runner up of the Fins Pro Junior, returned to Belmar once again and was excited to score fun conditions in New Jersey again this season.
â€œI love this place,â€ Coffin said. â€œI was thinking about not coming, but at the time it was so flat at home and we always get waves for this event. I like to surf a lot this time of year and it always seems to be fun for this contest. I just came to surf and stay with my friend. It's like a mini vacation.â€
Coffin stayed busy while advancing to the Semifinals today and admitted catching several waves was the key to his success at the Fins Pro Junior today.
"My strategy was to have no strategy, it made no sense out there, there were waves everywhere, there's not a defined sandbar,â€ Coffin said. â€œYou just have to be in that little wind wedge. I was trying to focus on where a line was. There are eight different waves you could surf and I just tried to catch waves.â€
Michael Ciaramella (Stone Harbor, NJ) carried the torch for the local contingent, advancing to the Semifinals while posting the day's second highest single-wave score. The East Coaster would find a left breaking off of the jetty, unloading several strong backhand turns to post an excellent 8.63 out of 10.
â€œIt wasn't a big wave or set, but it had a perfect peeling shoulder to it with perfect speed. I didn't have to do much, just did a tic-tac-toe with it and got a score. â€œ
Ciaramella has recently relocated to San Diego but hopes to post a big result while competing in his local event.
â€œSurfing in California is awesome,â€ Ciaramella said. â€œIt gets a good here, if not better in Jersey, but you can surf chest high waves in California everyday, which is awesome and I live on top of Blacks Beach and surf there everyday. I'm happy to be back here though and happy I'm still going. Hopefully I can keep going and hopefully make the final.â€
A Fins Pro Junior Champion will be crowned tomorrow.