Kevin Peraza took first place and $5,000 today at the Vans Off the Wall BMX Invitational which kicked off Friday, August 23 during the 51st Annual ECSC Beach Festival in Virginia Beach. Due to strong wind conditions and safety precautions, final winners were determined by Friday’s heated qualifiers race, where Kevin Peraza rivaled runner-up Daniel Sandoval in a fierce battle between two new-school, tech rippers. Landing massive bar spins and tail whip combinations and reaching impressive heights, the top three finalists, including Vans’ own Ryan Guettler in third place, brought high-level BMX action to Virginia Beach once again.
Preceding an exciting closing demo, Vans honored BMX rider Brett Banasiewicz, who was severely injured during last year’s BMX competition. Steve Van Doren presented Brett, accompanied by his family, a custom Vans guitar along with a matching first place prize of $5,000. Brett’s condition continues to improve and Vans wishes the best for the Banasiewicz family.
Final Top Three
1. Kevin Peraza (Tucson, Arizona) - $5,000
2. Daniel Sandoval (Corona, CA) - $3,750
3. Ryan Guettler (Beenleigh, AUS) - $3,000
Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 27, has won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 4-Star Vans Pro in peaky two-to-four foot waves at 1st Street Jetty in Virginia Beach.
Gudauskas, current alternate on the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), led the final from start to finish, opening his campaign with a strong 7 point ride, quickly finding a backup score of a 5. The San Clemente surfer would hold on to the victory despite a late-heat charge by runner-up Deivid Silva (BRA), 18, solidifying the win over additional finalists Keanu Asing (HAW), 20, and Kaito Ohashi (JPN), 21.
“That was so classic,” Gudauskas said. “That was such a fun event. There were good waves and good vibes and I almost didn’t get the win. Deivid nearly got me in the end. Thanks so much to everyone at Vans and my family. I’m really happy to get the win.”
Gudauskas, had struggled to find a big result this season entering the Vans Pro, but today’s victory acts as a major confidence booster heading in to the remainder of the season.
“It’s insane, because I haven’t made a final in so long,” Gudauskas said. “To win is amazing because everyone was surfing great this whole event. The Brazilian contingency and Japanese contingency were on fire the whole time and obviously Keanu (Asing) was ripping. Those guys were pouring it on at the end and I almost didn’t get the win.”
Deivid Silva put in an incredible effort
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