HURLEY PRO - THE BEST EVER SHOW?
LATEST UPDATE - 09/09/09
Hurley today announced a $100,000 first place prize and a global
record $400,000 overall purse for the upcoming Hurley Pro, Sept. 13 to
19 at Lower Trestles. The lone 2009 ASP World Tour event held on the
U.S. Mainland features the world’s top 45 surfers (Kelly Slater, Joel
Parkinson, C.J. Hobgood, etc.) and three wildcards (Brett Simpson, Rob
Machado and World Junior Champion Kai Barger).
"We don't do a lot of big surf events," said Hurley Pro
Contest Director Pat O'Connell, "but the ones we do, we want to make
sure it's the best experience possible for the athletes and fans.
Having this elevated prize purse adds to the excitement both on the
beach and in the water, so it's worth it for us."
Keeping in step with the Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing, which
awarded $100,000 to a victorious Brett Simpson, the Hurley Pro will
offer the largest first place and overall prize purse in ASP World Tour
history; up from the standard $40,000 first prize and $340,000 overall
purse. Note: Bob Hurley upped last year’s Boost Mobile purse from
$30,000 to $75,000 right before the finals ultimately won by Kelly
Slater. “Never have the stakes been so high at the world’s ultimate
performance wave,” added O’Connell.
Mother Nature appears to be doing its part. According to
Surfline’s Sean Collins, “A developing storm right now off Antarctica
looks hopeful so far to give us a swell in the head high plus range
beginning to fill in Thursday afternoon and more solid by Friday and
Saturday. As a wildcard, the tropics are still pretty active and we
can’t count out that option just yet.”
The $400,000 Hurley Pro is Hurley’s first as the sole sponsor
of an ASP World Tour event. Lined with cobblestones, Trestles is
California’s premier point/reef break and a world-class showcase for
high performance surfing. The five day competition has been won by
Slater three out of the past four years (’08, ’07 and ’05). Although
Parkinson has opened a sizeable lead in the 2009 World Title chase,
nine time world and defending event champ Slater remains within
striking distance and Trestles may well be his launching pad to a once
unfathomable 10th title.
"Witness the power"
by The Colt
Broadcasting surf events online is like baking a cake - if you get all the
ingredients and instructions right your sweet, if however you screw one up you're left with
a mess and bitter after taste. Billabong recently showcased how amazing an ASP CT event can be when a little time, effort, good planning and a bit of luck all come together. Billabong nailed it with their coverage of JBAY and people are still talking about. They literally set the benchmark. Sure the conditions were epic, but there's a lot more to an event than just waves. It was their attention to detail on everything that went on around the main event, little things like 'Clash of the Icons' special event, fantastic commentary and roving camera's happening all around the place. It was a pleasure logging on each day and being a part of the whole experience.
Recently Hurley put on a show for the U.S open of surfing, and while the overall spectacle was amazing (all time waves, huge crowds, the best surfers in the world competing for $100k) there seemed to be something missing. Again just like the cake analogy I referred to above if you miss a piece it can be costly. There were a few things that were missed including the commentary which was off. And while I didn't leave pissed off, the event certainly didn't have me frothing like JBAY day in and day out. I was pumped for the U.S open but a lot of the elements didn't come up to par sadly.
Well that's in the past and I'm sure Hurley took out some hard lessons from that comp, and that's why for their first ever CT sponsored event they're aiming to make it 'The best ever!'. The 'Hurley Pro' kicks off on September 13 and is held at Trestles, the only U.S mainland ASP world tour event. It's stop number 6 and we think this could go down in the history books as the best 'broadcast' event on tour. (assuming everything comes together they way it should). Why? Let's have a look at what got my loins moving in this state of affairs...
First up Hurley is very well cashed up thanks to a buy out by now parent company Nike. As they say 'cash is king' and this extra cash can help boost ideas. But...that's not the be all and end all of a great event as was shown in the Hurley U.S Pro broadcast. It takes good ideas and execution as Billabong displayed in Stop No.5 at JBAY. What initially caught my attention for this event wasn't the money, the location (Trestles can be a bit hit and miss), or the sponsor (a company that has embraced the digital age), but the fact that Hurley have announced they'll be broadcasting the event live in High Definition!
"Eight high definition cameras will capture the excitement of the Hurley
Pro like never before and we have a few new ideas for the webcast to
enhance the viewing experience." - Echo’s Director of Production, Phil
So what you ask? Well, the difference is the same as the quality between watching a youtube clip and a vimeo HD clip. A crystal clear offering like no other that has you immersed in the action. Now imagine 8 HD camera's spread around the event and the type of quality and experience you're going to witness from the comfort of your own home. HD also allows you to blow up the size of the footage with less distortion than we currently experience, so you could plug your laptop into your TV, kick back with a coldy and watch the show unravel. Now that's entertainment!
The state-of-the-art Hurley Pro webcast will be produced by Echo
Entertainment and will feature unprecedented content for consumers
including multiple videos and photos, heats on demand and pre-produced
“broadcast-quality” segments (promo's/ads. As long as their the high quality clips Hurley have been dropping recently then that's cool). The extensive content will also be made
available to print and broadcast media, free of charge so no matter where you are you're likely to catch the event. I'd say check in with mesurf, as these guys only publish the best of the best and you can be assured the results, clips and photo's from the event makes it through the mesurf doors is the creme of the crop.
On top of this Hurley have laid down the bench mark and set the scene to be something out of a Hollywood surf scene. "Hosts include Dave Stanfield, Mark Fewell and Mitchell Ross.
Pat O'Connell, Evan Slater, Brock Little and Saxon Boucher headline the
color commentators and beach reporters are led by Jodie Nelson, Rosie
O’Laskey and Peter King. In addition to 'yet to be named' celebrities, Hurley Pro guest
commentators include Bob Hurley, Sean Collins, Rob Machado, Peter
Townend, Ian Cairns and San Clemente locals Tanner Gudauskas, Pat
Gudauskas, Dino Andino, Mike Parsons and the Hurley Sliders." Seriously, the only thing missing here is Bar Refaeli who should be parading the beach in her Hurley black bikini and dress while talking us through the action or just looking hot, both of which we'll be happy with.
If you're still not excited or convinced this is worth getting excited about - Hurley, a brand that has embraced the digital age is utilising their 114,000 + facebook members by offering them the opportunity to get involved with the action by voting in the Hurley Expression Session.
wanted to give the online audience an opportunity to really be
thinks they’re a good judge — now they have their chance. In the early
rounds of the event, we will be holding an expression session with the
world’s best surfers. At the end of the heat, the online audience
votes for the winner on our facebook page" - Pat O’Connell.
As with all CT events there's the special wildcard pool, and this event will have Brett Simpson, Rob Machado and World Junior Champion Kai Barger battling with the best of the best. Simpson off the back of the Hurley US open win and Machado just being Machado could have the place going wild. Simpson is on fire lately and Machado is always a pleasure to watch.
With the addition of HD camera's,
a brand that is taking the world by storm and guys like Machado and
Simpson getting a run it's like getting to witness a surfing circus under the big top of the U.S banner. If Huey and
mother nature produce what they're supposed to, and Hurley deliver on the discussed goods, this could be the event
of all events.
So that's why I'm personally frothing for this event to get underway and am looking forward to some amazing surfing go down without having to leave the comfort of my own home. Let's hope that Trestles puts on it's skate park best and we'll get to watch the future of surfing from all angles.
Counting down the days like a kid before Christmas...
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