Posts in Surf News

VID :: MONSTER PADDLE WAVES SHATTER BILLABONG XXL BIG WAVE RECORDS

Posted on January 14th, 2010 in Contests, News Stories, Surf News, Top stories.

HAS EL NINO ALREADY SERVED UP THE LARGEST WAVES EVER CAUGHT?

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — The promise of the El Nino winter appears to have delivered for big wave surfers, as many long-standing records are ready to fall in this year’s Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy.  And more than ever before, the Monster Paddle category (just for surfers who catch their waves without any jet ski assistance) has taken center stage as the elite of the sport refocus on this elemental man-against-the-sea tradition.  Visual evidence of these landmark performances can be viewed at the event website at www.BillabongXXL.com.

While huge swells have blasted nearly every coastline of the planet in recent months, it has been the Hawaiian Islands which have had the most mind-bending proof of the power of the current El Nino weather phenomenon.  December 7-8, 2009 saw one of the biggest swells in modern history batter the northern shores of the entire Hawaiian Chain, followed by another extraordinary day of outer reef waves on Christmas.  From these historic moments of oceanic grandeur have come images which show several top big wave surfers paddling into what may well be the biggest waves ever caught by human power in the long history of the sport.

Among these superlative rides is a massive dark wall caught by Shane Dorian and Mark Healey which closed out the legendary Waimea Bay on Oahu on December 7.  Also up for consideration is another mammoth peak at Waimea ridden by Chile’s Ramon Navarro which earned the South American hero a perfect score in the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau event on December 8. And more recently, grainy, documentary photos have arrived depicting Garrett McNamara paddling into a distant peak at Outer Log Cabins, a rarely-seen outer reef far off the North Shore shoreline, previously only the domain of tow-in surfers with jet-powered watercraft.

All are likely to figure prominently as finalists for the Monster Paddle Award to be given out at the tenth annual Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards to be held in California in late April.  A panel of big wave surfing and photography experts will analyze the available images and by interpreting the known sizes of the surfers and their surfboards, calculate reliable height estimates for the face of each wave.  One will emerge as the Monster Paddle winner and will receive $15,000 out of the total event purse of $130,000.

The current world record for a paddle-in wave belongs to Taylor Knox of San Diego, California who rode a wave measured at 52 feet at Todos Santos Island off of Ensenada, Mexico during the last major El Nino episode in 1998.  Many experts are expecting an update to the Guinness Book of World Records once this winter’s measurements are complete.

Dorian and Healey are veterans of decades of big wave hunting and both concur that their shared ride at Waimea was easily the biggest either had ever caught.  “I’d been waiting 15 years for that wave,” said Dorian, of Kona, on the Big Island. “That wave, we could see it from when it was like two or three minutes away from breaking, we could see the wave coming in, everybody’s screaming on the beach and yelling and stuff… When the wave finally came in, it was SO big.  The thing was a MONSTER.  We both put our heads down and started paddling and somehow we both caught it.

“I was going no matter what,” Dorian added. “And I know Mark felt the same way. It was just fun. A party wave — a wave of that size, and it was for sure the biggest wave I’ve ever paddled into, and to do it with my real good friend, it was very….memorable.”

Mark Healey has lived down the road from Waimea all his life and has been one of its most dedicated practitioners.  But he’d never seen waves like this.

“That was the biggest day I’ve ever had at Waimea,” said Healey.  “And that wave in particular was definitely by far bigger than anything I’ve ever caught out there, for sure.”

The wave was so large it closed out all the way across the Bay, not allowing the surfers the opportunity to kick out over the top of the wave as usual, and forcing them to straighten out and take the endless tons of whitewater on their heads.  But for Healey, a renowned freediver with the ability to hold his breath for over five minutes, it was a fun experience.  The longtime friends surfaced unharmed right next to each other, hooting with excitement.

“We were pretty stoked,” said Healey. “Big waves are different, there’s a lot of brotherhood involved, stuff like that.  I’d rather have had Shane catch that wave than ride it alone.  It was cool to share a wave like that with a friend, and someone I look up to.”

McNamara, another North Shore stalwart, likes his own chances in the Monster Paddle derby.  A past winner of the XXL Paddle crown in 2007 for a huge wave at Northern California’s Maverick’s, “GMac” reckons his Outer Logs Christmas present was several notches larger.  “I don’t know how big it was,” McNamara said.  “But I do know it felt at least ten feet bigger than anything I’ve ever paddled into.  The Mavs wave a few years back was small compared to it….”

Remarkably, there may be much, much more to come.  This week the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center issued an alert confirming that the current El Nino episode had intensified in the last 30 days from “moderate” to “strong,” adding that the condition would exert a “significant influence on the global weather and climate in the coming months.”  And for surfers in the North Pacific basin, that means more enormous waves.  According to Surfline.com, major new swell events are lining up in the coming days, impacting the Hawaiian Islands around Monday and the West Coast around Wednesday of next week.

Categories in this year’s event include the Billabong XXL Ride of the Year, XXL Biggest Wave, Monster Paddle, Monster Tube, Surfline Best Performance, Billabong Girls Best Performance and the crowd-pleasing Verizon Wireless Wipeout of the Year.  In addition to all the latest entries in each category, full event details including formats, rules and archives of past XXL years can be seen at the event website at www.BillabongXXL.com.


Surfers’ Code of Etiquette?

Posted on January 13th, 2010 in Local Colour, Surf News, Top stories.

We received a couple press releases related to the Manly Surfers Code of Etiquette signs (designed some years ago by Nat Young). One arrived from a PR agency following publiction of this story in the Sydney Morning Herald. And the second came in from Manly Council.

The crew in our forums have been weighing in on the topic too.

Here’s one we received from Hannah at Five Star PR on behalf of Matt Grainger and Manly Surf School…

In relation to Paul Bibby’s story, published in the Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday January 13, 2010, Sign of the Times: Council drops in to show who rules the waves and regarding the comments by Mr Ohlbak on the Manly Surf School, Matt Grainger, owner of Manly Surf School has said that any previous tension between local surfers was discussed and resolved at a local surfer’s action group meeting in October.
Manly Surf School students are taught in only one area of the 1.4 km stretch of beach between Manly to Queenscliff and incorporating North Steyne beach. This means there are plenty of waves for locals and learners alike.
Manly Surf School teaches surf etiquette to all its students. It is more likely that the beginner surfers who are in the way of locals are those who have not been taught surf etiquette by Manly Surf School. Many visitors to Manly often hire a board and try to learn to surf by themselves which can cause problems.
Manly Surf School which has been running for 17 years employs locals in each of its surf schools: Manly, Long Reef and Palm Beach. Manly Surf School embraces the local surfers by sponsoring North Steyne and Queenscliff Boardriders. They have an elite program which has helped surfers such as Laura Enever, Davey Cathels, Chelsea Hedges and Nathan Hedge – all professional surfers from the Northern Beaches. MSS is also sponsoring the Summer Series in support of local surfers.

Text of press release from Manly Council:

Manly’s new ‘Surfers’ Code of Etiquette’ signage

The  ‘Surfers’ Code of Etiquette’ signs were designed by Nat YoungManly Council in association with the Manly Surf Club Liaison Working Group and the Manly Surfers Action Group has begun displaying brightly coloured ‘Surfers’ Code of Etiquette’ signage on Manly’s world famous beaches, initially on the walls of the North Steyne Surf Club and the Boat Shed at Queenscliff).

The signs, shaped like surf boards and complete with easy-to-follow illustrations, outline the basic ‘rules’ of surfing etiquette, encouraging surfers to avoid such common mistakes as ‘dropping in’ and ‘snaking’; explaining ‘right of way’ conventions; giving rules for paddling out; and giving safe-surfing tips.

To see what the signs look like, go to this link http://www.manly.nsw.gov.au/Content.aspx?PageID=42&ItemID=471

Manly’s ‘Surfers’ Code of Etiquette’ is based on a ‘Surfers Code’ developed by a NSW Department Sport & Recreation working group comprising surf life saving clubs, board rider clubs (both long and short), body boarding clubs, professional lifeguards, surf schools and local councils.

“All surfers, whether beginners, intermediate or proficient professional surfers, ought to be aware that the waves are for all to share and that even a small amount of consideration will go a long way in making Manly Beach enjoyable for all,” said Mayor of Manly, Councillor Jean Hay.

“The ‘Surfers’ Code of Etiquette’ aims are to promote safer surfing on beaches, to foster a culture of respect and responsibility and to reduce the incidence of surf rage.”

Background:
Manly Beach is one of the most popular surf beaches in Australia, attracting between five- and eight million visitors annually.
Since Duke Kahanamoku first visited Freshwater Beach almost one hundred years ago to introduce surfing to Australia, the sport has become one of the most popular recreation activities in Manly, its associated culture contributing greatly to the development of Manly as a community.
Surfing is in the top 20 participated sports in Australia with an estimated two million Australians surfing during the summer of 2008-2009.
“Surfing is a sport that most members of our community can enjoy, so the surfing community encourages respect of others who are also there to enjoy the beach lifestyle,” said Councillor Hay.
(ends)


Qualifiers Set for 2010 ASP World Tour and ASP Women’s World Tour

Posted on December 17th, 2009 in Contests, News Stories, Surf News, Top stories.

Owen Wright (AUS), 19, 2010 ASP World Tour rookie and one of the new faces expected to make an impact amongst the world’s elite. photo: ASP/ CI/ CESTARI via GETTY IMAGES

COOLANGATTA, Queensland/Australia (Wednesday, December 16, 2009) – With the culmination of the 2009 ASP World Tour and ASP Women’s World Tour in Hawaii, the qualifiers for the 2010 ASP Dream Tour season have been decided.

Taking the Top 27 surfers from the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Top 15 from the 2009 ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) and three ASP wildcards, the 2010 ASP Top 45 are as follows:

ASP Top 27 (ASP World Tour)

Mick Fanning (AUS)

Joel Parkinson (AUS)

Bede Durbidge (AUS)

Taj Burrow (AUS)

Adriano de Souza (BRA)

Kelly Slater (USA)

C.J. Hobgood (USA)

Bobby Martinez (USA)

Damien Hobgood (USA)

Dane Reynolds (USA)

Jordy Smith (ZAF)

Taylor Knox (USA)

Tom Whitaker (AUS)

Kieren Perrow (AUS)

Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)

Dean Morrison (AUS)

Kai Otton (AUS)

Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)

Mick Campbell (AUS)

Chris Davidson (AUS)

Michel Bourez (PYF)

Ben Dunn (AUS)

Adrian Buchan (AUS)

Tiago Pires (PRT)

Jeremy Flores (FRA)

Roy Powers (HAW)

Drew Courtney (AUS)

Top 15 (ASP WQS)

Dan Ross (AUS)

Patrick Gudauskas (USA)

Jadson Andre (BRA)

Adam Melling (AUS)

Owen Wright (AUS)

Luke Munro (AUS)

Jay Thompson (AUS)

Nathan Yeomans (USA)

Dusty Payne (HAW)

Brett Simpson (USA)

Matt Wilkinson (AUS)

Tanner Gudauskas (USA)

Travis Logie (ZAF)

Marco Polo (BRA)

Blake Thornton (AUS)

ASP Wildcards:

Andy Irons (HAW)

Luke Stedman (AUS)

Neco Padaratz (BRA)

The national breakdown for the 2010 ASP World Tour is:

Australian: 46.7%

American: 22.2%

Hawaiian: 11.1%

Brazilian: 8.9%

South African: 4.4%

French: 2.2%

Tahitian: 2.2%

Portuguese: 2.2%

The ASP Top 45 will be featured in the first five events of the 2009 ASP World Tour season before reducing the elite field down to 32 surfers. The 32 surfers will come directly from the top-placing members of the ASP Top 45.

The ASP Top 45 will first do battle at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast from February 27 – March 10, 2010.

Taking the Top 10 surfers from the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Top 6 surfers from the 2009 ASP Women’s World Qualifying Series (WQS) and one ASP wildcard, the 2010 ASP Top 17 are as follows:

Top 10 (ASP Women’s World Tour)

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)

Silvana Lima (BRA)

Sofia Mulanovich (PER)

Coco Ho (HAW)

Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)

Melanie Bartels (HAW)

Chelsea Hedges (AUS)

Paige Hareb (NZL)

Rebecca Woods (AUS)

Rosanne Hodge (ZAF)

Top 6 (ASP WQS)

Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)

Carissa Moore (HAW)

Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)

Lee Ann Curren (FRA)

Bruna Schmitz (BRA)

Nikita Robb (ZAF)

ASP Wildcard

Amee Donohoe (AUS)

The national breakdown for the 2010 ASP Women’s World Tour is:

Australian: 41.2%

Hawaiian: 17.7%

Brazilian: 11.8%

South African: 11.8%

Peruvian: 5.9%

New Zealand: 5.9%

French: 5.9%

The ASP Top 17 will first face off at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast from February 27 – March 10, 2010.

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com


Taj Burrow Claims Billabong Pipe Masters, Parkinson Takes Vans Triple Crown

Posted on December 17th, 2009 in Contests, News Stories, Surf News, Top stories.

Taj Burrow (AUS), 31, is your 2009 Billabong Pipe Masters Champion. photo: ASP/ CI/ CESTARI via GETTY IMAGES

Billabong Pipe Masters
Stop No. 10 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour
Pipeline, Oahu/Hawaii
December 8 – 20, 2009

PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii Taj Burrow (AUS), 31, has claimed the 2009 Billabong Pipe Masters, defeating fellow Finalist Kelly Slater (USA), 37, in clean three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves at the Banzai Pipeline.

The final event of the 2009 ASP World Tour season, the Billabong Pipe Masters culminated the Vans Triple Crown (an ASP Specialty Series), and provided non-stop, high-caliber action from the outset.

Burrow wasted little time in putting Slater on the ropes in the 35-minute Final, racking up a 7.00 out of a possible 10 on his opening ride for an electric air reverse followed by some solid forehand maneuvers. With deteriorating conditions, Burrow stayed busy before collecting a 5.83 for an incredible full-rotation alley-oop, putting the pressure on Slater as time ran out.

“There were perfect backdoor waves this whole event and then for the Final it went onshore,” Burrow said. “It was strictly turns. It was all about turns and hopefully doing a few airs and I dropped down to my shortboard and my plan was to just to let loose. It was tough because I knew Kelly (Slater) could do anything. Even when there was 20 seconds to go and I had priority, I was still scared. I just had nothing to lose and tried to let loose.”

Today’s victory mark’s Burrow’s first ASP World Tour win since 2007 and his first-ever win at the infamous Banzai Pipeline.

“This win feels about as good as you could imagine,” Burrow said. “For me, winning this contest is the next best thing to winning a World Title. This is the one and only event that everyone would probably pick to win and I can’t believe I’m standing here right now. It’s an amazing feeling. There are so many tough guys that you go up against in this event that I thought it was out of my reach. This is the best victory of my career.”

Burrow, who has long been considered a legitimate ASP World Title contender, is thrilled with his finish to the 2009 season looks forward to 2010 with renewed vigor and hunger to hunt down the ever-elusive ASP crown.

“This win is an excellent springboard into next season,” Burrow said. “There is nothing but confidence to take from this and I’m excited for the Gold Coast. It comes around really fast. It feels like we’re on holiday now, but the Gold Coast sneaks up on us pretty quick and I’m excited for it. Hopefully I can win some more events, but this is the number one that I’ve ever dreamed of winning.”

Slater looked near unbeatable throughout the Billabong Pipe Masters, deftly maneuvering his 5’11” craft through one incredible tube after another before running into Burrow in the Finals. While his opponent stayed busy throughout the bout, Slater waited patiently for scoring opportunities that never manifested.

“Unfortunately the Final had the absolute worst conditions of the contest, but there are still fun waves out there,” Slater said. “You could go out for a free surf and have a good time. It’s difficult to transition when you’re already expecting one thing. I had already had a couple of heats with barrels and then all of a sudden it’s completely different conditions. Still, there’s a shallow reef there, so you’re expecting one to throw out and barrel, but it just didn’t happen.”

The former nine-time ASP World Champion was in the hunt for an unprecedented seventh Pipe Masters title, but the conditions didn’t cooperate for the Floridian, despite finding the only barrel of the Final, scoring a 3.93 out of a possible 10.

“I thought the wave would be more than a three,” Slater said. “I still needed two waves, basically. There really weren’t any nine-point rides out there and had that been only a six I would have needed a seven. I thought the judges put me in a weird situation there, and in the end, nothing else came. Well, that’s not entirely true. I caught that last wave and did an off-the-top and Taj (Burrow) took off on it and just kicked off the side. He almost stood up too late and could have got an interference. Had he done that he would have only been judged on one wave. Had I landed that air reverse I could have gotten a score, but it was a long shot.”

In terms of returning in 2010 for an unprecedented 10th ASP World Title, Slater is characteristically guarded.

“I don’t know if I’m going to do the tour full-time next year,” Slater said. “I’m sort of feeling it out. I’ve just competed for so many years, doing the same thing and going to the same places, it’s a little monotonous. When you find some meaning in it and it’s bigger than just going and surfing, then it becomes more exciting, but, unfortunately, this year I had a pretty lackluster year in a lot of ways, both personally and competitively and it probably showed in my surfing.”

Dean Morrison (AUS), 28, secured his best result of the season today, finishing Equal 3rd at the Billabong Pipe Masters to cement himself at No. 16th on the year-end ratings. Besting Damien Hobgood (USA), 30, in a tight Quarterfinal before falling to Slater in the Semifinals, Morrison put himself into excellent position heading into the 2010 ASP World Tour season.

“There’s a lot of hassling going on out there, but that’s the way it goes when it’s such a tight peak,” Morrison said. “I spend a lot of time out here at Pipeline though, so it’s nice to have made it through to the Semifinals.”

Dane Reynolds (USA), 24, continued his impressive run through the back half of the 2009 ASP World Tour season, finishing Equal 3rd today at the Billabong Pipe Masters and cracking the Top 10 in the year-end ASP ratings. Although quickly dispatching of compatriot C.J. Hobgood (USA), 30, in the Quarterfinals, Reynolds was unable to negotiate the deteriorating conditions in his Semifinal bout against event winner Burrow.

“I was kind of stuck between trying to find air sections and still trying to find one of those rare tubes and ended up not doing either,” Reynolds said. “I just got stuck in the middle. I’m stoked though. It was a good way to end the year and it’s been a good event.”

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, was in the running for the 2009 ASP World Title before bowing out of the Billabong Pipe Masters in Round 3 of competition. Although Gold Coast stable mate Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, claimed the 2009 ASP World Title, Parkinson’s efforts throughout the Vans Triple Crown (an ASP Specialty Series) saw the talented natural-footer awarded with his second consecutive Vans Triple Crown Title as well as a bonus $50,000 from the Vans Triple Threat prize pool.


“This is my consolation prize to this year’s ASP World Title,” Parkinson said. “To me, the Triple Crown is the next best thing to the World Title. Last year I wanted to win the Vans Triple Crown and this year I wanted to win the ASP World Title, but I won the Triple Crown and I’m over the moon with what happened this year. I should be proud of everything I’ve done and I can’t wait for next year and I’ll be back strong for another Triple Crown and all that and I just want to thank Vans for stepping it up to a new level for putting out huge incentives for us.”

Highlights from the Billabong Pipe Masters can be found on www.billabongpro.com and www.triplecrownofsurfing.com

While the 2009 season has come to a close, the 2010 ASP World Tour is just around the corner, and will set new benchmarks in performance as it continues to showcase the world’s best surfers in the world’s best waves.

For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS FINAL RESULTS:

1 – Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.83

2 – Kelly Slater (USA) 7.10

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS SEMIFINAL RESULTS:

SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.17 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 7.00

SF 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.50 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 11.67

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:

QF 1: Dean Morrison (AUS) 11.00 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.17

QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.24 def. Flynn Novak (HAW) 13.87

QF 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.90 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.40

QF 4: Dane Reynolds (USA) 15.10 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 8.67

VANS TRIPLE CROWN TRIPLE THREAT AWARDS:

2009 ASP World Champion: Mick Fanning (AUS) – awarded bonus $50,000

2009 Vans Triple Crown Champion: Joel Parkinson (AUS) – awarded bonus $50,000

2009 Billabong Pipe Masters Champion: Taj Burrow (AUS) – awarded bonus $50,000

VANS TRIPLE CROWN FINAL TOP 3 (Men’s):

1 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 6694 points

2 – C.J. Hobgood (USA) 6213 points

3 – Torrey Meister (HAW) 5775 points


Wahu Surfer Grom Comps 19-20th December at Dee Why

Posted on December 15th, 2009 in Contests, For the Diary, Local Colour, News Stories, Surf News, Top stories.

Zack Lukas (Cudmirrah, NSW) will be one to look out for in the field of the Under 15s division. photo: PA/Surfing NSW

Calling all kids, calling all kids. Grab your boards and head out to the fifth event of the Wahu Surfer Grom Comps to be held on Sydney’s Northern Beach (NSW) this weekend.

There’s no turning back now with four of the seven Wahu Comps done and dusted. The powerhouse event moves from the Gold Coast to Sydney’s pristine Northern Beaches where the next breed of potential Mick Fanning’s and Stephanie Gilmore’s will take to the water.

The all-grommet event has already seen some excellent results so far, not only here in NSW but all around Australia.

A major focus for the event is the junior development aspect, promoting a fun competitive environment with the seriousness of competing in a surfing contest.

One sure starter taking part is Under 15 boys standout Zack Lukas (Cudmirrah, NSW) who says he thrives on competition whether he’s surfing at Newcastle (NSW), Surfers Paradise (QLD) or this coming weekend on Sydney’s Northern Beaches (NSW).

“I’ve surfed a few times at Dee Why and Curl Curl (both contest location options), but it doesn’t matter where I surf as I’m always up for new and different breaks to take on,” said Lukas, “At the moment all the boys are surfing really well, so I’ll be hoping for some good waves and just try to surf my best”

Featuring Under 9 and Under 11 divisions, the Wahu Surfer Groms Comp events cater for younger male and female ‘micro-grommet’ aged surfers who generally have to compete against older kids rather than kids their own age. The event features a fully professional event setup with computer scoring and commentary giving the competitors a taste of what their surfing heroes are used to on the ASP World Tour.

Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark says he’s excited about what the Wahu Grom Competitions have delivered so far.

“These prestigious junior events not only provide a perfect national junior surfing development program for our sport, but they maximise participation of budding ‘micro-grommet’ surfers from all over the country,” said Stark.

Besides the surfing, Lukas says that he loves turning up to the Wahu grom competitions with all that the event has to offer.

“I love mucking around with all the beach games that they (Wahu) provide for us. It’s so much fun and it’s such a good break from competition and watching heats.”

Divisions to be contested include Under 15 boys and girls, Under 13 boys and girls, Under 11 boys and girls, Under 9 parent assist mixed and Under 15 boys and girls Bodyboard divisions.

Apart from the surfing, there’ll be loads of other activities happening on the beach with plenty for competitors to do between heats with Wahu footys, flyers and balls bouncing and flying around left, right and centre. However the fun won’t stop there, with awesome prize packs awarded to respective divisional winners.

The event is mobile on the Northern Beaches with Curl Curl, Dee Why and Long Reef Beaches the event venue options. Competition is expected to get under way each day at 7:45am with the daily running schedule and contest location confirmed on the Surfing NSW Event Hotline (0458 247 212) after 6:45am each day of the event.

Limited entry places are still available across some divisions. To enter, contact the Surfing NSW Office on (02) 9349 7055.

The Wahu Surfer Groms Comp is proudly supported by Surfing Australia and Surfing NSW.

Wahu Surfer Groms Comps Schedule:

Event 1

November 14-15 2009

Newcastle, NSW

Event 2

November 21-22 2009

Ocean Grove, Victoria

Event 3

December 5 2009

Glenelg, South Australia

Event 4

December 12-13 2009

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland

Event 5

December 19-20 2009

Northern Beaches, NSW

Event 6

January 12-13 2010

Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Event 7

January 23-24 2010

Trigg Point, Western Australia


LATEST NEWS FROM NOOSA – TICKETS NOW ON SALE ON-LINE FOR SURF CITY EVENTS

Posted on December 15th, 2009 in Contests, For the Diary, Just for fun, Local Colour, News Stories, Surf culture, Surf history, Surf News, Top stories.

As the off-beach entertainment for the Global Surf Industries Noosa Festival of Surfing, presented by Golden Breed, heats up, with additions to the program coming thick and fast, tickets went on sale on line last week for four ticketed events to be held at the Surf City village at Lions Park.

  • Richard Tognetti’s The Glide, with vision by Jon Frank and Jack McCoy, promises to be an outstanding performance, combining the master violinist’s twin passions for surf and music. Also featuring Satu Vanska and other members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Supported by Peter Howe and Tim Gaze.
  • Noosa Longboards presents Gidget’s Girls Night Out. A perfect retro fit, featuring special guest Kathy Kohner, (the original Gidget), live music, movies and a ‘50s swimsuit parade.
  • Going Vertical. The world premiere of the long-awaited documentary of the shorboard revolution will be a night to remember for surfers of all ages, with Bob McTavish, Dick Brewer and a host of surf stars in attendance.
  • Saturday Night at Surf City, with six great acts, headlined by The Beautiful Girls and Ash Grunwald. The climax to a week of killer entertainment.

Earlybird ticket prices now available, including a Platinum Pass to all ticketed events for just $165.

www.noosafestivalofsurfing.com

Hotline 07 54735676


Hawaiians Dominate Completion of Round 2 at the Billabong Pipeline Masters

Posted on December 12th, 2009 in Contests, News Stories, Surf News, Top stories.

John John Florence (HAW), 16, wildcard and youngest the competitor in the Billabong Pipeline Masters, was dominant once again today.

Billabong Pipe Masters
Stop No. 10 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour
Pipeline, Oahu/Hawaii
December 8 – 20, 2009

PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Friday, December 11, 2009) – Competitors reveled in the gently groomed four-to-six foot (1.5 – 2 metre) barrels of the Banzai Pipeline today as the remaining nine Round 2 heats of the Billabong Pipe Masters were completed before competition was called off for the day.

Event No. 10 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pipe Masters marks the third and final stop of the Vans Triple Crown (an ASP Specialty Series) and the Hawaiians ruled the day’s proceedings, taking six wins in nine heats.

John John Florence (HAW), 16, wildcard and youngest the competitor in the Billabong Pipe Masters, was dominant once again today, effortlessly threading both the Backdoor rights and the Pipeline lefts with pancahe and aplomb to net the day’s highest heat total, an 18.90 out of a possible 20, to eliminate ASP World No. 27, Heitor Alves (BRA), 27.

“I’m just going crazy out there with only three people out,” Florence said. “There are so many fun waves and I was just trying to catch as many as I could while I had the chance. It’s good to know the lineup out here when it’s smaller because a lot of times they run along the reef faster and those right barrels get really small and can be tough to make it out of.”

Florence will take on Bobby Martinez (USA), 27, in Round 3 when the Billabong Pipe Masters resumes.

Andy Irons (HAW), 31, former three-time ASP World Champion and former four-time Pipe Masters Champion, continued his blitzkrieg on the competitive field this afternoon, navigating his way through several Backdoor pits to dispatch Drew Courtney (AUS), 30, in the final heat of the day.

“I’m having a lot of fun in the event,” Irons said. “The waves have been really good the past two days and they look like they’re going to be getting really good tomorrow. I’m really enjoying putting the jersey on again and am excited to get a result here before I start back full-time in 2010.”

Irons faces Damien Hobgood (USA), 30, in the upcoming Round 3 when the Billabong Pipe Masters resumes.

Chris Ward (USA), 31, current ASP World No. 37 and last year’s event Runner-Up, is in need of a solid result to vault himself into the qualification cutoff for the 2010 ASP Dream Tour, but if today’s inspired approach in the lethal Backdoor barrels was any indication, the combustible Californian knows what it takes to win at the Pipeline.

“It’s going to take good barrel riding and charging because the waves are going to get good here over the next couple of days and I’m really looking forward to it,” Ward said. “I’m looking forward to some big barrels. Finishing runner-up to Kelly (Slater) last year was pretty rad. I would have loved to win the Pipe Masters and the Triple Crown, but this year’s a new year and I’d love to win the Pipe Masters.”

Ward will battle Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), 27, in Round 3 of the Billabong Pipe Masters.

Dean Morrison (AUS), 28, current ASP World No. 17, put in a juggernaut performance in the early proceedings today, showing an uncanny rapport with the Backdoor righthanders.

“Backdoor is one of my favorite waves,” Morrison said. “I look forward to it all year and I spend another six weeks here just to try and get my barrels. I love it. Spending time here, for myself, it makes me a little more comfortable out there and it’s nice when you’re competing – it’s nice to know a break.”

Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pipe Masters, are calling for a prime 10-to-12 foot (3-4 metre) swell to build for tomorrow.

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start.

When competition resumes, up first will be current ASP World No. 27, Adrian Buchan (AUS), 27, up against fellow ASP Dream Tour competitor Dean Morrison (AUS), 28, in Heat 1 of Round 3.

The Billabong Pipe Masters will be webcast LIVE via www.billabongpro.com and www.triplecrownofsurfing.com

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

REMAINING BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 2 RESULTS:

Heat 8: Torrey Meister (HAW) 14.83 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 14.00

Heat 9: Dean Morrison (AUS) 16.93 def. Sion Milosky (HAW) 8.37

Heat 10: Chris Ward (USA) 15.50 def. Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 14.66

Heat 11: Flynn Novak (HAW) 14.17 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.84

Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW) 18.90 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 3.24

Heat 13: Gavin Gillette (HAW) 14.20 def. Mick Campbell (AUS) 8.97

Heat 14: Dayyan Neve (AUS) 14.16 def. Tim Boal (FRA) 13.17

Heat 15: Hank Gaskell (HAW) 16.44 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 15.67

Heat 16: Andy Irons (HAW) 18.40 def. Drew Courtney (AUS) 9.74

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Dean Morrison (AUS)

Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Torrey Meister (HAW)

Heat 3: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Andy Irons (HAW)

Heat 4: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. John John Florence (HAW)

Heat 5: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Flynn Novak (HAW)

Heat 6: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Michael Picon (FRA)

Heat 7: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Chris Ward (USA)

Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Hank Gaskell (HAW)

Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Liam McNamara (HAW)

Heat 10: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Roy Powers (HAW)

Heat 11: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Bruce Irons (HAW)

Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Dayyan Neve (AUS)

Heat 13: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Phillip MacDonald (AUS)

Heat 14: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Shane Dorian (HAW)

Heat 15: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Gavin Gillette (HAW)

Heat 16: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)


Stephanie Gilmore Claims Billabong Pro Maui and Vans Triple Crown

Posted on December 10th, 2009 in Contests, News Stories, Surf News, Top stories.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, claimed her third consecutive Billabong Pro Maui title today as well as her second Vans Triple Crown title. photo: ASP/CI/SCHOLTZ va GETTY IMAGES

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, claimed her third consecutive Billabong Pro Maui title today as well as her second Vans Triple Crown title. photo: ASP/CI/SCHOLTZ va GETTY IMAGES

Billabong Pro Maui
Stop No. 7 of 7 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour
Honolua Bay, Maui/Hawaii USA
December 8-20, 2009

HONOLUA BAY, Maui/Hawaii (Wednesday, December 9, 2009,Thursday Australia time) – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, took out the final stop on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour today, the Billabong Pro Maui, in clean four-to-six foot (1.5 metre) conditions at the iconic pointbreak of Honolua Bay over Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, clinching her third consecutive Billabong Pro Maui title after three years of competition at the premier event. Gilmore wrapped up her dominating season amongst the Top 17 by claiming her second consecutive Vans Triple Crown title today as well.

Gilmore capped the year off in appropriate form after claiming her third ASP Women’s World Title at the Gidget Pro Sunset Beach, when she advanced over Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 18, in the Semifinals, en route to defending her flawless record at the Billabong Pro Maui while claiming the prized Hawaiian specialty series and the beefed up $25,000 prize purse supplied by Vans.

“Once again, Maui has just been incredible and to win this event three times in a row is just awesome,” Gilmore said. “I couldn’t have been happier with the way things have gone today. Winning the Vans Triple Crown is definitely up there with winning the World Title and it’s definitely one of the biggest accolades of surfing professionally. I can’t believe it’s all happening again, it’s awesome.”

Gilmore absolutely dominated the day’s proceedings, blitzing the highest heat total of the entire 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour season by surfing a near-perfect heat of 19.67 out of 20 to usurp Samantha Cornish (AUS), 29, in her Quarterfinals heat before topping Fitzgibbons and Mulanovich en route to her second ASP Women’s World Tour win of 2009.

“I guess it’s a little surprising,” Gilmore said. “I would have thought that the highest heat total would have gone down yesterday with all of the barrels. Today there are still some rippable waves out there, but I don’t know. I just went surfing.”

Mulanovich campaigned through a lengthy day of competition, topping Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 23, Australian veteran Rebecca Woods (AUS), 25, and ASP Women’s World No. 2 Silvana Lima (BRA), 25, but was unable to top Gilmore for the victory and claimed a runner-up finish at the final event of the year to finish her season ASP Women’s World No. 3.

“It’s been a great day,” Mulanovich said. “Congratulations to Steph (Gilmore). She’s a champ and a hero to all of us and thanks to the sponsors of the event and my family and friends. It’s been a great event.”

Fitzgibbons navigated the Honolua Bay lineup with poise and maturity beyond her years and posted some amazing scores before falling in her Semifinals bout against Gilmore, but clinched an impressive heat victory over Coco Ho (HAW), 18, in the Quarterfinals on the way to her third place finish.

“I always love surfing heats with Coco (Ho),” Fitzgibbons said. “She always pushes my level up and I usually have my best heats with her. She’s also a really great friend. I wish there were more waves so we could have dueled a little bit more. She surfed amazing this year and my hat goes off to her.”

Lima, who smashed one of two perfect 10-point rides during the Billabong Pro Maui with amazing barrel riding in yesterday’s action, was in stellar form for the final day of competition, but was overtaken by former Peruvian ASP Women’s World Champion, Mulanovich, in the dying minutes of their Semifinals heat, taking a third place finish to wrap up her year while finishing ASP Women’s World No. 2 for 2009.

“The waves were a lot smaller than yesterday, but it was still good,” Lima said. “Sometimes the heats were slow, but the conditions were still great.”

For Billabong Pro Maui highlights, videos, photos and more log on to www.triplecrownofsurfing.com or www.billabongpro.com

For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com

Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines Final:
1 –
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 18.00
2 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 10.17

Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines Semifinals Results:
Heat 1:
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.03 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.94
Heat 2: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.83 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 11.70

Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1:
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.83 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 15.83
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 19.67 def. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 7.26
Heat 3: Silvana Lima 16.70 def. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 7.20
Heat 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 12.77 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 6.50

Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines Round 3 Result:
Heat 8:
Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 9.50 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8.17

Final 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour ratings

1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)

2. Silvana Lima (BRA)

3. Sofia Mulanovich (PER)

4. Coco Ho (HAW)

5. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)

6. Melanie Bartels (HAW)

7. Chelsea Hedges (AUS)

8. Paige Hareb (NZL)

9. Rebecca Woods (AUS)

10. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF)

11. Samantha Cornish (AUS)

12. Jacqueline Silva (BRA)

13. Alana Blanchard (HAW)

14. Bruna Schmitz (BRA)

15. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)

16. Amee Donohoe (AUS)

17. Megan Abubo (HAW)

18. Layne Beachley (AUS)


Lay Day for Pipeline Masters BUT – Final Day for Billabong Pro Maui ON

Posted on December 10th, 2009 in Contests, News Stories, Surf News, Top stories.

Samantha Cornish (AUS), 29, was a standout yesterday at Honolua Bay. photo: ASP/ CI/ SCHOLTZ via GETTY IMAGES

Samantha Cornish (AUS), 29, was a standout yesterday at Honolua Bay. photo: ASP/ CI/ SCHOLTZ via GETTY IMAGES

Billabong Pro Maui presented Hawaiian Airlines
Stop No. 7 of 7 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour
Honolua Bay, Maui/Hawaii
December 8 – 20, 2009

HONOLUA BAY, Maui/Hawaii – The last of seven stops on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour season, the Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines, is on this morning in good six foot (2 metre) conditions at Maui’s iconic pointbreak of Honolua Bay and will crown a champion by day’s end.

The culmination for the ASP Women’s World Tour season plays a critical role in several surfers’ campaigns towards requalification for the 2010 ASP Women’s Dream Tour. The Billabong Pro Maui also represents the final event of the Vans Triple Crown, which boasts an additional prize purse of $25,000 to this year’s winner.

Due to a compromising interference by a non-competitor in the Heat 8 of Round 3 yesterday, this morning’s action will rerun the heat and follow through with Quarterfinals, eventually crowning the 2009 Billabong Pro Maui and Vans Triple Crown champion by day’s end.

“We’ve got good six foot waves today and we want to capitalize on this swell, so we’ll crown a champion this afternoon,” Rodney Kilborn, Billabong Pro Maui Contest Director, said.

Yesterday’s action saw three-time ASP Women’s World Champion and two-time Billabong Pro Maui champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, clinch the day’s highest heat total while overtaking the Vans Triple Crown Ratings. ASP Women’s World No. 2 Silvana Lima (BRA), 25, was also a leader in yesterday’s competition, earning the day’s only perfect 10-point ride with a throttling barrel.

The Billabong Pro Maui will begin at 8am local time. For live scores, heats on demand, photos, video and more, log on to www.triplecrownofsurfing.com or www.billabongpro.com

For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com

Billabong Pro Maui pres. By Hawaiian Airlines Quarterfinal Match-Ups:

QF 1: Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (HAW)

QF 2: Samantha Cornish (AUS) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)

QF 3: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Melanie Bartels (HAW)

QF 4: Rebecca Woods (AUS) vs. TBD


Greg Long Wins Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau

Posted on December 10th, 2009 in Contests, News Stories, Surf News, Top stories.
Greg Long (USA), 2009 Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau Champion. photo: ASP/ CESTARI

Greg Long (USA), 2009 Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau Champion. photo: ASP/ CESTARI

WAIMEA BAY, Oahu/Hawaii After 25 years with most of those spent waiting, Waimea Bay delivered an event of legendary proportions today at the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, Fueled by Monster Energy. It was 25 years to the day since the first “Eddie” was held and waves of up to 50 feet poured in to Oahu’s North Shore as if on cue. With younger brother Clyde still in the lineup, at age 60, joined by the contemporary top guns of big wave riding, a packed arena celebrated every gutsy ride in brilliant sunshine befitting of a tribute to local hero Eddie Aikau.


When all was said and done, it was California’s Greg Long, 26, (San Clemente) who made a late charge in the final heat of the day to claim the $55,000 winner’s purse. Long committed to an unbelievable never-say-die attack, securing all four of his top scores – several of them death-defying and one of them a perfect 100-point ride, in macking 40- to 50-foot waves. It was the high point of his career to-date – pretty incredible given that he only rode Waimea for the first time this week.


“I’m so happy just to be here, invited into the biggest event of big waves in the world with all my heroes, I’m so excited,” said Long.


“It’s a dream come true for me. Riding big waves is my passion and I’ve been following The Eddie since I knew exactly what it was, I was probably 12-years-old just getting into surfing. Since then, I’ve had every single poster from Brock Little to Bruce Irons on my wall. I look to those guys for inspiration and to be standing up here with Sunny (Garcia) and Kelly Slater is a dream come true for me. I never would have thought that this is my first year surfing the event and to come away with a victory is really a childhood dream become real.


“I’m still standing here in awe and I want to go check the scores to make sure someone isn’t going to come here and take this away.


“It really is about the wave and celebrating the ocean. It’s what we do: go out there and ride big waves. The respect and camaraderie in the lineup you don’t find in too many places in the world, and this event really encapsulates everything that’s great about surfing: the friendships you make in the water and looking out for one another.”


The Monster Drop Award, for the most hellacious-but-successful takeoff of the contest, went to Chile’s Ramon Navarro, who also finished fifth overall. This is his first time as an invitee into the event. Navarro’s winning wave was one of the last of the competition; a huge, seemingly endless drop on his backhand, followed by a detonation of whitewater that he emerged from and then stuck with all the way to the beach. He earned a perfect 100 points.


Navarro first came in 2004 to surf Waimea with an invitation from good friend and fellow contestant today, Kohl Christensen. He baked empanadas and sold them to pay his rent and learn the ropes. Today was pay day. Navarro won $10,000 for the Monster Drop Award, and $2,000 for fifth place. It was a great result for someone who almost didn’t surf today after his pregnant wife was accidentally injured on the beach.


“This is a dream for me,” said Navarro. “I want to say thank you to Kohl Christensen, Dusty Middleton and all the crew because those are the guys that invited me here and taught me how to surf The Bay. I appreciate everything from these guys.”


Nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Florida, USA), who won here back in January of 2002, placed second after leading the score board from the first second heat of the day. Long turned the tables on him in the final hour of competition. All Slater could do was look on in as much disbelief as the frenzied crowd who were at that point ready to celebrate with anyone. Slater earned $10,000. Third was Hawaii’s Sunny Garcia, earning $3,000. Fourth was defending Eddie champion Bruce Irons (Kauai), $3,000.


Navarro’s buddy Christensen can lay claim to the most devastating wipeout of the day that remains burned in every mind here today. He also posted several solid scores, but a wipeout like his is as unforgettable as a win.


The call to wait for today and the ensuing result was mind-boggling, especially since many were questioning not running yesterday in 40-foot surf. By afternoon, all concerned were stunned that 79-year-old contest director and big wave icon George Downing had kept his cool so well and timed it perfectly for a second peak in swell energy. The past 48 hours of massive surf is the largest sustained episode to hit the Hawaiian Islands in 40 years.

From the moment the event was declared “on” at dawn, to the final gut-wrenching wipeouts that came with the peaking swell of afternoon, the air was filled with salt spray and adrenaline. Not a square foot of sand or lava rock was empty as a capacity crowd of over 50,000 packed the natural amphitheater of Waimea Bay to experience the pairing of Mother Nature and the men who ride her mountainous surf.


The insane wipeouts that dropped like dominoes, the hairball air drops and perfect scores, the 28 surfers of the event who put their lives on the line in honor of Aikau today – it all made for the greatest day of the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau’s history.

Waimea Bay’s best known big-wave rider and first life-guard, Eddie Aikau, was smiling down on his successors today. Along with the surfers, he would have admired Hawaiian Water Patrol for keeping the lineup and the surfers safe all day yesterday and today. There is no greater collection of guardian angels of the sea than the lifeguards of the North Shore.


Everyone came out in support of Hawaii’s big wave gift to the world, including football: The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, along with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Oahu Visitors Bureau came together with support that enabled highlights of the day to reach all four corners of the globe.


Mahalo to Hawaii’s Oceanic Cable, who along with the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing took today’s action live, all day, throughout the Hawaiian Islands.FUEL TV will air a one-hour highlight show in the United States: 6:30pm PT/9:30pm ET on Friday, December 11, 2009. The show will re-air several times over the weekend.


The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, Fueled by Monster Energy, is the only ASP sanctioned big wave event in the world.


For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com