O.C. surfers look strong for 2013 World Tour

1 of 4
Huntington Beach surfer Brett Simpson is in a strong position to requalify, with a few solid results this year. Here, he goes for a big turn at the Billabong Pro Tahiti last August, where he came in equal 13th.
Kelly Cestari/ASP

O.C. surfers look strong for 2013 World Tour

O.C. surfers look strong for 2013 World Tour


It's coming down to the wire.

There's just two ASP World Championship Tour events left on the calendar, and the world's best surfers will be competing to get the most points possible to try to re-qualify for next year's tour.

These athletes spend the year away from home, traveling to some of the best and most exotic surf breaks around the world – testing their skills in everything from big Tahitian barrels to perfect Trestles peaks. There's the warm waters of Hawaii, and the chilly, sharky surf in Santa Cruz.

Basically, here's how it's decided by the Association of Surfing Professionals on who will make it to the list of top 34 surfers in the world: The top 22 ranked surfers on the WCT will get a spot, along with the next top 10 surfers on the ASP World Ranking – those are points made up of WCT points combined with lower-ranked star events and Prime contests that can add up in points if surfers do well in those events. There's also two wildcards who make the cut.

With the next Association of Surfing Professional event happening here in Santa Cruz, Ca., I thought it would be a good time to give an update on how each of the Orange County surfers are doing in the rankings, and how they've done so far this year.

Huntington Beach's Brett Simpson is looking solid in the rankings, sitting at 17th in the world so far this year. His best results came from the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach early in the year, taking equal ninth (equal meaning other surfers ended with the same result.)

Young Kolohe Andino, from San Clemente, is in a strong spot. The 18-year-old sits at 22nd among the top 34, not too shabby after injuring his ankle mid year, causing him to miss the big Billabong Pro Teahupoo event. He made it to the quarterfinals recently at the Quiksilver Pro France, and scored a ninth-place at the Rip Curl Pro – not bad for his rookie year. It's his 17th-place on the World Ranking that gives him a bit of insurance on solidifying a spot on next year's tour.

Click on image for more images of the O.C. World Tour surfers:

The last Orange County surfer on the World Tour, Pat Gudauskas of San Clemente, needs a good showing at the next few events to really make sure he grabs a slot on the 2013 tour. He's on the cusp for world tour points – sitting at 33rd – but fortunately he has done well enough at Prime and 6-star events that he comes in at 26th on the world ranking.

Then there's San Clemente surfer Nate Yeomans, who was able to sneak onto the list, while at the same time welcoming a new baby girl to the world. He has done well enough at events through the year to nab the 31st spot in the rankings, meaning if nothing changed as of today, he'd make the cut. But be sure other surfers will be scrambling to earn points and take his spot. Yeomans had a taste of the tour a few years back.

And, of course, we can't forget about Santa Ana surfer Courtney Conlogue – who is technically the highest-ranked professional surfer out of Orange County. On her second year on the ASP Women's World Tour, she was able to come in fifth among the best 17 women on the planet. She took home her first World Tour victory last April at the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic in Australia. The last women's World Tour event was in Huntington Beach at the U.S. Open of Surfing last August, and she made the cut when the 2013 list was recently released.

Simpson, Andino and Guduaskas are all gearing up to hit the frigid waters of Northern California for the O'Neill Cold Water Classic, with the waiting period Nov. 1-11. The World Champion race is heating up, and there's a chance the 2012 World Champion could be named at this event.

Things got interesting after 11-time World Champ Kelly Slater got knocked out early at the last event in France. He's still ranked second, behind Australia's Joel Parkinson, but right behind Slater is Mick Fanning and a young, hungry John John Florence.

Stay tuned at oneill.com/cwc/

See this post in its original form, and read more on the blog.

See archived 'Lifestyle' stories »