SEBASTIAN INLET, Florida - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) will kick off the 2009 season with the O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro presented by Ron Jon. The ASP WQS 4-Star event will be held at Florida’s prized Sebastian Inlet from the new dates of January 12-18, 2009.
The 2009 ASP WQS season will play host to surfing’s finest up-and-coming competitors who are all vying for one of the top 15 positions on the series, qualifying them for the prestigious ASP World Tour the following year. O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro competitors will all look to start their season out on the right foot at Florida’s famed Inlet which is the East Coast’s biggest ASP WQS event.
"The O’Neill SI Pro Presented by Ron Jon is one of the most anticipated sporting events in Central Florida and draws spectators from all walks of life,” Mitch Varnes, Event Founder and president of Board Sports Management, said. “Besides the great ongoing support of major sponsors O’Neill, Ron Jon Surf Shop and Red Bull, the SI pro enjoys tremendous backing from the community, local media and, of course, East Coast surfers. Now, if we could only get Kelly to come back for the event."
The O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro also marks the first of several events sponsored by the company. In addition to Florida based event, O’Neill has upgraded the O’Neill Cold Water Classic in Santa Cruz, California from an ASP WQS 4-Star to a 6-Star Prime event. In addition to the beefed up Cold Water Classic in Santa Cruz, O’Neill has also added the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada, also a 6-Star event, marking the first ASP event in the Nation’s history.
"O’Neill is excited to continue its support of the WQS and the amazing surfing coming out of the East Coast,” Steve Ward, Vice President of Marketing for O’Neill Clothing, said.” The O’Neill SI Pro is the biggest event on the East Coast, and a great way to kick off the 2009 WQS season."