Gabe Kling (USA) has won the 2014 Association of Professional Surfing (ASP) 1-Star Pacifico Belmar Pro, with Joshua Burke (BRB) winning the ASP 1-Star Fins Pro Junior. The Men's Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Final were completed today along with the Juniors Semifinals and Final in clean 1-3 ft. conditions.
The Men's Final was between ASP veteran Gabe Kling (USA) and young up-and-comer Kanoa Igarashi (USA). Both Kling and Igarashi opened their campaign in the final with similar mid-range scores and it looked to be a close battle. Under Igarashi''s priority, Gabe snagged a left-hander and put together a few solid turns take the lead and hold on for the win.
â€œI'm so stoked to get the win. That's for sure why I came here, but it's never easy to do.â€ Said Gabe, â€œWe both started with fives and then I was lucky to get my best score under Kanoa's priority. It was a little left runner and I was stoked to get a couple of stronger turns off. I'd already had my opening ride, which ended up as my back up score, and that was it. I really had a fun time surfing against Kanoa. He's been surfing so good all week and I knew he'd was going to give me everything he had to get the win.â€
Kanoa made and impressive showing on Finals day in both the Men's and Junior's competition. Just before facing up against Kling in the Men's Final, Igarashi had also made the Final of the Juniors event where he placed 3nd.
â€œThat was probably the most heats I've ever surfed in one day.â€ Said Kanoa, â€œIt's really hard to stay consistent throughout a long day like that, and unfortunately I felt a little off in the Men's final. I'm stoked to make it this far though, and anytime I get a chance to surf a man-on-man heat it's a great learning experience for me.â€
Fins Pro Junior champion Josh Burke (BRB) put on an amazing display of consistent surfing throughout today's competition. The Barbados native needed a win here at this event in order to qualify for the ASP World Junior Championships, and in a back and forth battle between the other competitors in the Final, he achieved just that. This is Burke's first ever career win on the ASP Pro Junior series.
â€œThat was my first Final I've been in and I'm so psyched to win. The first half of the heat was really slow and I was sitting in third behind Kanoa (Igarashi) and Parker (Coffin), and then I got two waves in a row and all the sudden I was in the lead; from there I was just hoping I could hold on.â€ Burke said, â€œI've been traveling for two months now competing and I couldn't be happier to finish my trip with a win and to qualify for Worlds.â€
With Parker Coffin's (USA) 2nd place finish behind Burke, the California goofy-footer earned enough points to jump back into the series lead ahead of Cam Richards (USA) and claim the title of ASP North America Junior Series champion. Coffin has had an impressive string of results here in Belmar in years past, including a win back in 2011, and can now ad another runner-up result to his collection.
â€œThis whole week I just set my sights on winning this event regardless of whatever I needed to do to win the series. New Jersey has always been a really special place for me and I've just always had a lot of fun here. I was really fired up for this event and just wanted to finish out the year strong. The Final was really close, but I'm really stoked for Josh (Burke), he's a great kid and a great surfer.â€
Pacifico Belmar Pro Results
Final Gabe Kling (USA) 11.76, Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 9.47
Semifinal Heat 1: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 13.34, Ben Bourgeiois (USA) 12.03 Heat 2: Gabe Kling (USA) 15.07, Kilian Garland (USA) 11.47
Quarterfinal Heat 1: Kanoa Igarshi (USA) 13.00, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 10.50 Heat 2: Ben Bourgeois (USA) 11.97, Parker Coffin (USA) 11.00 Heat 3: Kilian Garland (USA) 14.33, Brian Toth (PRI) 13.43 Heat 4: Gabe Kling (USA) 14.33, Cam Richards (PRI) 13.43
Fins Pro Junior Results
Final Joshua Burke (BRB) 12.50, Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 12.23, Noah Schweizer (USA) 11.66, Parker Coffin (USA) 10.80
Semifinal Heat 1: Joshua Burke (BRB) 14.13, Noah Schweizer (USA) 13.93, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 13.17, Nolan Rapoza (USA) 9.60 Heat 2: Parker Coffin (USA) 14.43, Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 12.64, Luke Marks (USA) 10.93, Patrick Curren (USA) 7.63