HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Sunday, April 5, 2009) The first Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star PRIME event of the 2009 season saw Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, California), 24, lead the American charge in Western Australia, finishing in a respectable ninth place at the Drug Aware Pro in Margaret River. Simpson's result bumps him up to second overall on the ASP WQS.
All surfers competing on the ASP WQS are looking to earn points towards qualification for the prestigious ASP Dream Tour, with 15 of the series' finest earning their chance at an ASP World Title the following year. The Drug Aware Pro is an ASP 6-Star PRIME event, which offers the most points towards each surfers ASP WQS rating. The significant ratings points drew the world's best up-and-coming talent to Australia's shore for a chance to get a good start to their 2009 campaign.
Simpson earned a ninth place finish at last week's O'Neill Cold Water Classic event, an ASP WQS 6-Star contest held in Tasmania, and stayed consistent again this week when he matched his performance at the ASP 6-Star PRIME contest and the back-to-back performance displayed by the young Huntington Beach native sets him in second place overall on The Grind.
The talented regular-footer ousted several top international surfers on the way to his solid finish, including former ASP World Tour competitors Travis Logie (Durban, ZAF), 30, and Leonardo Neves (Saquarema, BRA), 29.
Other top American performers at the premier event were San Clemente natives Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 27, and Dane Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 23. Both surfers earned 17th place results.
The next event on the ASP WQS calendar will be the ASP WQS 4-Star Protest Vendee Pro in France from April 6-12, 2009.