DEFINING MOMENTS OF THE 2010 ASP WORLD TOUR
Image: Quiksilver/Steve Sherman
2010 ASP World Tour of Surfing, Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, new format, defining moments
DEFINING MOMENTS OF THE 2010 ASP WORLD TOUR
The ASP World Tour of Surfing witnessed just about everything during the course of its 2010 season. A legend of the sport tragically passed away, the greatest got even greater, the competition format was overhauled and fans were routinely thrilled as progressive surfing was rewarded by the judges like never before. On top of all this, 2010 was littered with classic moments of sporting drama and individual brilliance. Here are the moments that define 2010.
THE NEW ASP WORLD TOUR COMPETITION FORMAT
The new ASP World Tour format came into play halfway through the 2010 season, following the Billabong Pro Tahiti. Radical changes saw the World Tour field of 46 shaved down to just 32. Following this, each stop on the tour hosted a new 36-man format (32 seeded surfers and 4 Wildcards - two selected by ASP two selected by event organises).
Motives for a reduced field were to ensure the fans had greater opportunities to watch the top guys surf, and so these big names and stars of the sport could come up against each other more often in competition.
Another big change came with the introduction of non-elimination Round 4 Heats. This enabled surfers at the business end of competition to throw caution to the wind in the most explosive fashion. What’s more, judges were duly rewarding surfers doing so. Again, this change was brought about to boost the entertainment value of the sport.
The new 36-man ASP World Tour competition format is as follows.
Round 1: 12 three-man heats, 1st and 2nd advance to Round 3, 3rd to Round 2
Round 2: 12 man-on-man heats, 1st to Round 3, 2nd is Equal 25th place
Round 3: 12 man-on-man heats, 1st to Round 4, 2nd is Equal 13th place
Round 4: Four 3-man heats, 1st advances to Quarterfinals, 2nd and 3rd to Round 5
Round 5: Four man-on-man heats, 1st advances to Quarterfinals, 2nd is Equal 9th
Quarterfinals: Four man-on-man heats, 1st advances to Semifinals, 2nd is Equal 5th
Semifinals: Two man-on-man heats, 1st advances to Finals, 2nd is Equal 3rd
Final: One man-on-man heat, 1st and 2nd
New ASP Format Explained
THE HURLEY PRO TRESTLES
It didn’t take long for the fruit of the ASP’s new the format to blossom. At the very first event following the changes, The Hurley Pro Trestles, organises and fans were treated to some of the most explosive competitive surfing seen for some time, maybe even ever. The new trimmed down Top 32 thrilled onlookers by taking playground moves once only flashed around their local break and launching them into ASP competition. As was hoped, this first event under the new format was characterised by big names and big moves. Here’s a snapshot of highlights from Hurley Pro Trestles – the ASP event we believe was best in 2010.
Highlights from the Hurley Pro
...what’s that you say? Trestles is naturally a high performance wave, hence why the level of surfing spiked through the roof? Well, before you get on your high horse, as you’re about to see, things kept on rolling. Here’s the Top 5 aerial manoeuvres pulled off not just at Trestles, but also at its following two events, the Quiksilver Pro France and the Rip Curl Pro Portugal. Such was the high level of progressive surfing; this could have easily been a Top 20 countdown.
Top 5 ASP airs (Hurley Pro- Trestles, Quiksilver Pro- France, Rip Curl Pro- Portugal)
'SOME HOW, SOME WAY' - Memorable Moments
There were many memorable moments of sporting brilliance throughout the course of the 2010 ASP season. Who could forget Jadson Andre’s fairytale homecoming? The young Brazilian and ASP rookie thrilled his packed local crowd by defeating Kelly Slater in the final of the Billabong Pro, Santa Catarina. And what about Jordy Smith? He would mirror these efforts by taking out the Billabong Pro Jeffery’s Bay in front of his delighted South African countryman.
On top of this we saw Stephanie Gilmore continue her dominance by clinching her four straight Women’s ASP World Title and Joel Parkinson complete a remarkable comeback from injury to score a perfect 10 on his very first wave back, win that overall event (The Reef Hawaiian Pro, Haliewa) and take out his third Triple Crown title in a row.
Such achievements aside, some of the greatest ASP moments of 2010 came when we least expected them. I’m referring to those moments of sporting greatness where an athlete is down on the scoreboard with next to no time left on the clock and some how, some way, they steal victory in the dying moments.
There are two such moments of 2010 clutch-play that are permanently etched in our memory.
The first came at Stop No. 5 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Tahiti. Under the ASP format changes the top 45 field was to be reduced to just 32 following the culmination of this event. Many pro’s were surfing to save their spot on the World Tour. Sitting 41st on the ASP rankings coming into The Billabong Pro, 24-year-old American rookie, Pat Gudauskas, was one such surfer in serious jeopardy of loosing his place.
Down on the scoreboard and with the clock ticking in Round 3 against Australian Chris Davidson, the heat and Gudauskas’ place the Dream Tour looked all but over. Then, in the dying moments Gudauskas managed to snag an otherwise insignificant two-footer. Needing an unlikely 7.83 to win, the Californian made something from nothing by executing an incredible Rodeo Flip in the final seconds to overtake Davidson with an 8.10 and secure his place in the Top 32.
Gudauskas' tour-place-saving Rodeo Flip
The second moment of last second heroics came at the ASP's final stop of 2010, the Billabong Pipeline Masters. 21-year-old Hawaiian Dusty Payne pulled off a remarkable come-from-behind victory in his Round 3 heat against two-time World Champion Mick Fanning.
Down on the clock, Payne needed an unlikely 9-point ride to overcome Fanning. Without the score Payne would fail to requalify for the 2011 ASP World Tour.
Just when all had seemed lost, in the final 20 seconds of the heat Payne snared a miracle wave that saw him pull into a deep tube right as the final hooter sounded. He emerged to rapturous applause from his home crowd, the winning score from the judges and a place on the 2011 tour.
Payne's amazing heat
at the culmination of 2010
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