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Haakenson: American Pro Surfing Series returns to Huntington Beach

Joe Surf

September 27, 2012|By Joe Haakenson

Nothing against the U.S. Open of Surfing, which reflects how big surfing has become on a financial level for both sponsors and the pro surfers, but if you want to go to a surfing contest and actually see some world-class surfing without sharing your view with a couple hundred thousand of your best friends, you're in luck.

The American Pro Surfing Series is a three-event series, with all three contests being held on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier. The first event was held back in April, and event No. 2 will take place Friday and Saturday.

"I've been judging and working events for more than 25 years," said Scott Waring, a surfing industry veteran and frontman for the APSS. "And I'm thrilled to be putting this event together. The APSS is a great opportunity for young pros and amateurs to compete in their own country, have some fun and display some progressive surfing.

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"I expect to see a big turnout of talented amateurs, young pros and proven legends all mixing it up in surfing's version of Times Square, Huntington Beach. We'll be displaying a live webcast so if you can't come down to the beach, you can catch all the action from your home."

Indeed, some of the best local surfers and some not-so-local are competing. But there is one rule — nobody from the Assn. of Surfing Professionals is allowed. Sorry Kelly Slater.

The inaugural event in April saw San Clemente's Chris Ward take home the $5,000 first-place check, beating out second-place Torrey Meister (San Diego) and third-place Kilian Garland (Santa Barbara). Newport Beach's Erica Hosseini won $1,000 in winning the women's division, and she was followed by 12-year-old Meah Collins (Costa Mesa) and Anastasia Ashley (Malibu).

Other surfers expected to compete this weekend include Chris Waring (Seal Beach), Cory Arrambide (Ventura), Kalani Robb (San Clemente), Colin Moran (Costa Mesa), Teddy Navarro (Huntington Beach), Matt Pagan (Hermosa Beach) and Brad Ettinger (Huntington Beach) on the men's side, and former world champ Lisa Andersen on the women's side.

The contest format is a 64-man men's field and a 16-woman women's field with both divisions surfing four-person heats with 50% elimination.

"I think the APSS is a great event," Hosseini said. "It gives a chance for non-ASP surfers to come in and compete, and obviously, being from Newport I would not, not compete in it. Next town over and yeah, it's always good to stay on your toes and compete and have more events in California."

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