PUERTO ESCONDIDO, Oaxaca (Tuesday, November 11, 2008) - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) will begin the final event held in North America this week with the PXM International Vans Pro, an ASP WQS 3-Star event, at the famed break of Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca, Mexico.
All ASP WQS surfers compete to earn points towards the coveted ASP World Tour, with the top 15 surfers on the series' end earning a spot alongside the rest of the world's top 45 competitors that make up the ASP World Tour.
Cory Arrambide (Ventura, CA), 19, who was the top finisher on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, will wrap up his stellar season at the ASP WQS 3-Star event. With one year left on the ASP Pro Junior series, Arrambide will look to events like the PXM International Vans Pro to build a seed for his eventual full-time ASP WQS campaign.
"I was stoked to finish first on the Pro Junior series," Arrambide said. "That was my goal going into the season and now I'm hoping I can do well at the event in Mexico."
Arrambide has spent a little time at the heavily touted Mexican Pipeline and is hoping for a solid swell to hit during the event.
"I'm looking forward to the event," Arrambide said. "I'm down here with a bunch of friends and it should be fun. Hopefully we should have some swell. I came down here about three years ago and I'm hoping we get good waves this time around."
Blake Howard (Carpinteria, CA), 26, who was a standout performer in the last ASP WQS contest in Santa Cruz, CA, the O'Neill Cold Water Classic, is one of the top seeds entering the PXM International Vans Pro. The Californian is hoping he can claim his first ASP WQS event in Mexico.
"I love surfing barreling waves, and Puerto is known for its big barrels," Howard said. "I've never won a WQS event but if I do win I hope its in good surf. It would make it that much better."
Howard has been surfing in Hawaii over the past few weeks and hopes he can transition his comfort level from the powerful surf of Hawaii to Mexico and feels that his time spent in Hawaii could help his chances at Puerto Escondido.
"I've been in Hawaii for a few weeks too, so all that combined definitely gives me a lot of confidence," Howard said. "I would be so psyched to win this event."