WSL Men’s Qualifying Series Prepared For Vans Pro

August 22, 2016 • Media Buzz

– 6:30 AM CALL WILL DECIDE A 7:00 AM START FOR MEN OR JUNIORS
– WSL WILDCARDS ANNOUNCED; BO RAYNOR WINS TRIALS FOR MAIN EVENT SPOT
– NORTH AMERICA JUNIOR TITLE RACE HANGS IN THE BALANCE
– MORE AT
WWW.WORLDSURFLEAGUE.COM 

Location:   

Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA 

Event:

Vans Pro Men’s QS3,000 & Vans Pro Junior

Event Window:

August 23 – 28, 2016

Griffin Colapinto will look to better his Quarterfinal performance from last year's Vans Pro Men's QS3,000 and move futher up the QS rankings. Image: WSL/ John W. Ferguson

Griffin Colapinto will look to better his Quarterfinal performance from last year’s Vans Pro Men’s QS3,000 and move futher up the QS rankings.
Image: WSL/ John W. Ferguson

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Monday, August 22, 2016) – The World Surf League Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) has arrived on the shores of Virginia Beach, Virginia for the sixth consecutive installment of the Vans Pro Men’s QS3,000 and fifth annual Vans Pro Men’s Junior. Taking place alongside the 54th annual East Coast Surfing Championships (ECSC), the longest-running event in North America and second only to Bells Beach in the world, competitors are geared up for the five-day window stretching from August 23 –through August 28, 2016. With 3,000 vital points on the line, some of the world’s top QS surfers are in attendance looking to claim a big win and kick off the second half of their 2016 season.

Taylor Clark (USA) earned the WSL North America event wildcard, alongside Matt Passaquindici (USA), and wants to capitalize on the opportunity to perform well in this event. Already with a win on the East Coast earlier this year in Cocoa Beach, Florida, Clark is prepared for what conditions may offer and to be a threat to the Top 100 QS surfers. Currently sitting at No.1 on the North America ratings, Clark needs to maintain that position for a chance at competing in the WSL QS10,000 events.

“Virginia will be big for both my North America ranking and regular seed — if I can get a result in VB I’ll hopefully keep my North America rating and be able to get into Caiscais on my own right,” Clark said. “I’d say the biggest part when it comes to competing on the East Coast is having a magic board and I’ve got some great boards right now. I feel like I’m doing better this year than previous years because I’m trying to keep everything more simplified.  With the whole Europe leg coming up after Virginia I feel like I have a good chance, just need to make some heats.”

Bursting onto the QS scene this year, Griffin Colapinto (USA) has been gaining momentum through each event — taking down some hefty names at the Vans US Open of Surfing. Turning 18 at the end of July, Colapinto has plenty of opportunity in front of him to grow as a competitive surfer and will also be competing in the Vans Pro Junior.

“The US Open felt super good and gave me a lot of confidence, especially after I beat Jordy [Smith] in my second heat,” Colapinto said. “Virginia is a perfect spot to get the ball rolling before the big Europe leg. I’m pretty excited, my main focus is the QS so I’m not too worried about all the ratings in the junior. It’s really nice to have that as backup though. If I can pull of a win at VB that would be great moving forward and I’m looking forward to the event.”

Nolan Rapoza (USA) will take on Colapinto in both the Vans Pro Men’s QS3,000 and Vans Pro Junior in search of his first-ever Junior Tour victory. Closing the gap on No. 1 ranked Kei Kobayashi (USA) after a third-place finish at the Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Junior, Rapoza sits just under 300 points behind Kobayashi and is eager for a big win.

“This will be my second time coming to VB, but this venue is always a hard event to conquer because of how small and inconsistent the waves are,” Rapoza said. “I feel confident in myself that I will get a victory this year in the Jr. Series and to finish atop the North America series is my goal for the year. I hope I can keep my ball rolling for the rest of the junior events, though I feel I have learned the most in my competitive surfing from doing the QS event this year. I’ve taken note of all of the experienced guys on tour which has helped a lot.”

Senior Marketing Manager for Vans Surf Scott Sisamis knows the roots that Virginia Beach offers and continues to provide each year. Standing behind this competition is something Vans takes pride in and look to further their support for coming generations of youth surfing.

“Virginia Beach has a tremendous sense of community and rich surf culture, so for Vans to be part of this is nothing short of amazing,” Sisamis said. “Surfers, from amateurs to pros, look forward to competing at this event regardless of points and places. It’s a very unique event and can offer the occasional hurricane swell that every surfer dreams of.”

Trials winner Bo Raynor (USA) earned a spot into the Vans Pro QS3,000 main event, joining event wildcards Carlos Munoz (CRI), Aaron Cormican (USA), and local standout Philip Goold (USA).

“Making it into the QS event is all I was worried about — the prize money and everything was the last thing on my mind so I’m just so stoked to make into the main event,” Raynor said. “This is a great opportunity to get some points and start building experience in the QS since I don’t have any points, or seeding. I still have two years left on the Junior Tour so I’m pretty focused on that but my ultimate goal is to make onto the QS in coming years and surf with those guys. I’m so excited right now.”

Senior Marketing Manager for Vans Surf Scott Sisamis knows the roots that Virginia Beach offers and continues to provide each year. Standing behind this competition is something Vans takes pride in and look to further their support for coming generations of youth surfing.

“Virginia Beach has a tremendous sense of community and rich surf culture, so for Vans to be part of this is nothing short of amazing,” Sisamis said. “Surfers, from amateurs to pros, look forward to competing at this event regardless of points and places. It’s a very unique event and can offer the occasional hurricane swell that every surfer dreams of.”

Event organizers will convene at 6:30 a.m. to make a Call for a possible 7:00 a.m. Start. Go to www.worldsurfleague.com, or download the WSL App, for live scoring and event updates throughout the week on all your devices.

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