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Joe Surf: Newport surfer rising

April 05, 2012|By Joe Haakenson
  • Chase Wilson from Newport Beach punts a huge air as he competes in last weekends Van's Pier Classic in Huntington Beach.
Chase Wilson from Newport Beach punts a huge air as he competes… (Daily Pilot )

Chase Wilson, welcome to the big time.

While Wilson's rise in the ranks in the Assn. of Surfing Professionals' Juniors events is no secret, he took a major step last weekend just a few miles north of his Newport Beach home in the ASP Vans Pier Classic on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier.

Wilson, 21, found himself in the final heat of the Vans Pier Classic with a couple of San Clemente surfers: Nathan Yeomans, 30, and Chris Ward, 33, as well as Santa Cruz's Nat Young, 20.

"It means a lot," Wilson said. "I felt I worked hard for it all week and it feels great it paid off. It's a big confidence boost for me. Being my best QS [qualifying score] result ever, it's so exciting and I'm looking forward to keep the ball rolling."

Wilson reached the final heat by winning both his quarterfinal and semifinal heats, each of which was a four-man heat. He matched up with Young in those heats as well, out-pointing him in the quarters and semis before Young finally came through in the final heat to win the event.

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Wilson's performance in the event, though, was huge in the wild, 6- to 10-foot surf. Reaching the final heat in an ASP 4-Star event was another major step in his blossoming career.

Getting to the final, Wilson had to overcome some tough competition. In the quarters his score of 12.10 beat Young (11.67), Asher Nolan (9.70) and Luke Davis (8.43).

Then in the semis he scored a 10.40 to beat Young (9.04), Gabe Kling (8.56) and Santa Barbara's Conner Coffin (2.50).

"My result definitely met my expectations, not to say I wasn't really excited to even make the final," said Wilson, who will spend a little time at home now in Newport until his next contest next month that's another ASP 4-Star event: the Quiksilver Clásico in Mazatlan, Mexico.

"You have to believe you're going to do well going into it or there's no point in going out."

Wilson scored just a 7.00 in the final heat, as Young won it with two waves totaling 15.07. Yeomans was second with 14.87 and Ward third at 10.66.

"The conditions were very wild the final day," Wilson said. "The strong winds and current made it challenging to surf a 25-minute heat."

Yeomans had the best single score in the final heat with a 9.17 when he hit a big frontside air, but his second wave came in at 5.70 when he needed a 5.90 to win it.

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