C.J. Hobgood claims 2007 ASP North America Men’s title

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Monday, Oct. 1, 2007) – Former Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Champion C.J. Hobgood (Melbourne Beach, FL) has claimed the 2007 ASP North America Men’s Title, following a stellar start to the season which saw him win three major regional events.

His incredible run on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) has boosted Hobgood to current No. 6 on the qualifying series, which puts him in excellent position to back up his qualification for next season’s elite ASP World Tour.

“Well, obviously things went pretty well as most of the ’QS events I entered, I ended up getting a result and to get a result on the WQS this year, you had to be in the final,” Hobgood said.

Kicking things off with the first qualifying event of the season, Hobgood took down the ASP WQS 4-Star O’Neill SI Pro presented by Ron Jon Surf shop in front of a packed hometown crowd at Sebastian Inlet, Florida.

From there, Hobgood ventured to Southern California’s Lower Trestles for the ASP WQS 4-Star Jeep Body Glove Surfbout, in which he dispatched of fellow Foster’s ASP World Tour campaigners Dayyan Neve (Manly, AUS), Gabe Kling (St. Augustine, FL) as well as WQS battler Shaun Ward (Huntington Beach, CA) to claim his second major win of the season.

The phenomenal goofy-footer capped off his stellar North American run with a huge victory at the ASP WQS 6-Star Honda U.S. Open presented by O’Neill in Huntington Beach, besting another fellow elite tour campaigner in Jeremy Flores (Hossegor, FRA).

“Everyone knows how hard Huntington is to win with the field and dealing with the waves and it has always been a dream of mine to win the US Open,” Hobgood said.

With his solid finishes in North America, Hobgood ventured abroad to compete in other major ASP WQS events, in addition to competing as a member of the Foster’s ASP World Tour, and provided himself a strong rating on the WQS to backup his campaign on the elite tour.

“I definitely wouldn’t have done the WQS this year if it wasn’t for my results in North America as I would have been too far behind the ball,” Hobgood said. “As it was the other way around, I was put into a position where I couldn’t turn down the WQS. All I had to do was show up to a few more events and get some insurance.”

Currently sitting at 15th on the Foster’s ASP World Tour, and No. 6 on the ASP WQS, Hobgood is in a good position to qualify for the elite tour in 2008, and finds his focus shifting to events in Spain, Brazil and Hawaii.

“I’ve never given up hope on my goals,” Hobgood said. “Top 5 might be a little hard to get, but I still think I have a good chance of finishing in the Top 10 so we’ll see.”

While the Floridian’s plans for next season’s ASP North America Men’s Tour are uncertain, the Champ hasn’t counted out a possible defense of his title in 2008.

“I’ll definitely be doing the Sebastian event and the Huntington event and we’ll see about the rest as I love lowers as well.”

Although the ASP North America Men’s Champion has been decided, there is still plenty on the line with the ASP WQS 2-Star No Fear Mexican Surf Fiesta in San Miguel this weekend, the ASP WQS 4-Star O’Neill Cold Water Classic presented by Jeep in Santa Cruz from Oct. 9-14 as well as the ASP WQS 1-Star Reef Classic from Nov. 16-18 in Barbados.

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