(Updated on Sept. 17)
By Andrea Swayne
After four days on hold, the arrival of a formidable southern hemisphere Hurricane Odile swell brought the world’s best surfers back to the famed cobblestone break at Lower Trestles on Tuesday. Among the Association of Surfing Professionals World Championship Tour’s best were San Clemente surfers Kolohe Andino and Tanner Gudauskas.
Gudauskas earned an extra day off on Tuesday after conquering possibly the toughest Round 1 match-up a surfer can get on Sept. 11, the first day of competition. Deploying his home break expertise, Gudauskas took down Australian Matt Wilkinson (10.13) and 11-time world champion Kelly Slater (14.80) with a score of 14.94, earning him a pass to Round 3.
Also on day one, Andino (13.97) was sent to Round 2 after a third-place finish in his first heat, coming in third behind Brazilian Jadson Andre (14.50) and Fred Patacchia of Hawaii (15.43).
In his Round 2 man-on-man heat Tuesday, Andino put on an exciting performance, dropping a score of 7.00 on his second wave and then, with only about three minutes left in the heat, turning in the back-up score he needed, for a 12.73 to 11.74 win over South African Travis Logie.
Just over five hours later—as storm clouds rolled in and the wind turned offshore—Andino returned to the lineup in Round 3, heat No. 4 against Miguel Pupo of Brazil. In another close “edge of your seat” exciting contest, Andino found himself in need of a 5.67 for the win with only seconds left on the clock. His attempt at a winning buzzer-beater garnered only a 4.33, relegating him to the runner-up position, 10.93 to 11.16, behind Pupo, and ending his Hurley Pro campaign.
Andino’s heat would be the last of the day, as contest organizers were asked by state park officials to stop, due to possible lighting storm activity.
Round 3 competition resumed Wednesday morning and in the third heat of the day Gudauskas faced Slater once again. This time Slater edged him out, 14.17 to 13.84, to take the win by a mere 0.33 of a point.
As of press time on Wednesday, contest officials were expecting to finish the Hurley Pro and the Swatch Women’s Pro on Thursday.