Kanoa Igarashi has won the 2014 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 1-Star Shoe City Pro. The final day of competition saw beautiful offshore conditions, with clean 3-5 ft. surf gracing the Southside of the Huntington Beach Pier. Rounds 3 and 4 kicked off in the morning before moving on to complete the final rounds of the event. Competitors were in top form throughout the entire day and the scores reflected it, but in the end it was Igarashi that ended up on top.
The Final was a close battle between two Huntington Beach natives, Kanoa Igarashi (USA) and Chris Waring (USA). Waves poured in during the thirty-minute man-on-man heat, and both competitors were dropping solid scores in multiple back and forth exchanges and lead changes. Kanoa jumped into the lead in the dying minutes, after dropping a 7.57 on a long right-hander where he connected multiple turns from the outside before finishing with a final blast in the shore break, and held on until the final horn. This is Igarashi's first ever Qualification Series (QS) win.
â€œThis is the one place where I would have loved to win my first QS event, so it's funny how the stars align like that. I'm so stoked on getting this result, there's really no other feeling like winning an event. I feel like I've been surfing pretty consistent lately and to get this win towards the end of the year just tops things off. Surfing against Chris (Waring) in the Final was awesome. I've looked up to him ever since I was a little kid and this is actually the first time we've had a heat with each other. He was the one guy I wanted to surf against throughout the event, so it's crazy how everything came together in the end.â€
Kanoa will add this win to a string of good results he has had lately on the QS, with a second place finish at the Pacifico Belmar Pro and a 3rd at the Galicia Pro in Spain. The well-decorated seventeen year old will be a face to remember as his results in the Qualification Series seem to only be getting better.
Runner-up Chris Waring (USA) used his strong backhand attack and local knowledge to surf his way to the Final and almost overtake the in-form Igarashi. Waring pocketed the highest score of the Final with an 8.37 on a left-hander going toward the pier before heading back right into the shore break, finishing with a massive frontside re-entry. But, in the end he was caught searching for another solid backup wave as time ticked away.
â€œI had a lot of fun this event and I'm super proud of Kanoa. He and I have been surfing together for years so it was funny how we met in the Final. I was really motivated to try and take him down, but he got me. He's the new up-and-comer out of Huntington Beach and has been surfing so well lately.â€
San Clemente native Nate Yeomans (USA) also made a good showing on Finals day, but went down to Waring in the Semifinals. Yeomans looked loose and light in the peaky Huntington conditions and this result will serve as positive momentum going into his trip to Portugal for the ASP Prime Cascais Billabong Pro.
â€œUnfortunately in the Semis there was a section next to the pier that kept getting the best of me, and I was falling on moves I wouldn't normally fall on. Overall the waves have been incredible for this event though.â€ Explained Yeomans, â€œI was really stoked on this contest becoming a 1-Star; having these ASP sanctioned events is great for the younger guys to get some competitive experience under their belts.â€
Jake Marshall (USA) earned himself an impressive result today finishing equal 3rd along with Yeomans, and claiming his best QS result to date. The young fifteen-year-old was surfing fast and sharp, putting on a display of smooth technical surfing throughout the entire event.
â€œThis event was a huge confidence booster for me. I haven't really done many QS events so to get this result just proved to me that I could compete with the all the big guys. The waves were super fun and I felt like I was surfing well, so I am stoked with my performance here.â€