Slater advances to round three with today's Quiksilver Pro N.Y. win in Long Beach
Balaram Stack competed in his first ASP tour event in his hometown.
All eyes were on Balaram Stack Tuesday morning when he competed in his first ever ASP World Tour contest at his home break in Long Beach.
As the competition's most publicized wildcard, Stack faced some tough competition against 10-time ASP World Champ Kelly Slater and tour veteran Daniel Ross in the sixth of 12 heats, all of which are non-elimination rounds. Although Stack placed 3rd in his heat, he will still advance into round one, where he will surf on the next day of the competition.
Slater won the heat by posting a 7.17 and a 7.03, totaling a heat score of 14.20. Slater’s 1st place result will advance him directly into round three.
During the heat, many stood as close to the water as possible, cheering on Stack, including his mother, Mary, and his brothers, Red and Skanda. After the heat ended, friends, family and bystanders lined up on the beach as Stack exited the water, calling his name and cheering him on.
"I had fun--it was really cool," Stack said after the heat, noting it was an honor to compete against Slater. "It was pretty awesome to surf with him." He added, with a smile, "He smoked me [during the heat]."
Stack said that though he placed third, he's stoked for the next round and intends to give it his best shot to continue on in the contest.
"I'm looking for longer lefts and a couple of barrells, if they're around," Stack said of his preferred water conditions.
He noted that the event holds a special significance, especially since his family is on hand. "This means a lot to me that they're all here," Stack said. "To have people cheering your name...it's a little nerve-racking, but it's exciting."
Check out the competition live throughout the week at http://quiksilverpro.com/live.en.html, or visit www.liherald.com or www.visitlongbeachny.com for updates.