HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Sunday, October 26, 2008) - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) saw an action packed week of competition with two ASP 6-Stars and a ASP 4-Star. Gabe Kling (St. Augustine, FL), 28, finished second at the Estoril Coast Pro at Cascais, Portugal, securing a spot on the 2009 ASP World Tour.
All surfers competing on the ASP WQS earn points towards qualification for the ASP World Tour. North American surfers Nathaniel Curran (Ventura, CA), 24, and Kling have officially secured positions on the 2009 dream tour, while Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 22, is also in excellent position to secure an ASP World Tour seed as well.
Kling has made a remarkable comeback from a rocky first half of the ASP WQS season. The Floridian fought off pneumonia and a knee injury and managed to make a remarkable comeback to qualify for next year's ASP World Tour, which began at the Honda U.S. Open.
"It has been a strange year and I almost feel like it was two years in one," Kling said. "To have that many big events until the end just made my year and I am lucky I had the opportunity to come back that fast with three events in a row. I am stoked to be back on tour next year."
Kling finished second in the Estoril Coast Pro behind an unstoppable Jean de Silva, who claimed the event in a close, low scoring Final of 9.83 over Kling's 9.67, both scores out of a possible 20, to claim the ASP WQS 6-Star win. Kling's result gives him another shot at the ASP World Tour. The regular-footer competed on the ASP Dream Tour back in 2007, but was unable to re-qualify for 2008. The Final berth by Kling finds him back on the tour for 2009.
"I am stoked with the result but it is very disappointing not to be able to surf," Kling said. "The conditions were testing and I surfed four times today which made it hard for me but I just couldn't sit at the right place and I missed a couple of better waves."
ASP WQS action continues in Hawaii with the Xcel Pro at Sunset Beach on Oahu. The event has a waiting period from October 26-November 10, 2008 and can be found live at www.xcelpro.xcelwetsuits.com/2008
For more information, log onto www.aspnorthamerica.org