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ASP Top 17 Re-Ignite for Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic

August 31st, 2009 No comments

 AAW90831 - Gilmore - Beachley - Robbo - 500 

Pictured: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP World No. 1, will look to further cement her ratings’ lead at the upcoming Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic. Credit: © ASP/ CI/ ROBERTSON via GETTY IMAGES

DEE WHY, New South Wales (Monday, August 31, 2009) – After a lengthy mid-season break, the world’s best female surfers are re-igniting with the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic, Event No. 3 of 7 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, running at Sydney’s Dee Why Point from September 30 through October 5, 2009.

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP Women’s World No. 1, will look to further cement her ratings’ lead as she hunts down a third, consecutive ASP Women’s World Title, but will first need to refocus following the five-month break.

“Throughout the break I have enjoyed a fair bit of downtime,” Gilmore said. “I’ve been exploring California, seeing the sights, filming for my sponsors and taking pleasure in a few surf trips here and there. In the last few weeks I have really started to focus on the recommencement of the ASP Women’s World Tour and I am looking forward to putting the contest vest on and racking up another win.”

For the first time in the event’s four-year history, the Commonwealth Beachley Classic will move venue’s from the beachbreaks of Manly to the nearby pointbreak of Dee Why, a move that Gilmore believes will be to her advantage.

“I just got back from some great pointbreaks where the paddles were long and hard, so I feel fit and ready to tackle whatever current comes my way at Dee Why,” Gilmore said. “I am ready to slot into some backdoor action at the Point, lets hope it turns on.”

A two-time past winner at the event (2006, 2007), Gilmore’s bid for a three-peat was demolished early on in 2008, and the young Australian knows that the competition will be even fiercer at this season’s incarnation of the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic.

“With five rookies on tour this year it is like we have a whole lot of wildcards,” Gilmore said. “Sure, wildcards are hard, but that is just a part of the challenge. If you want to win the event you have to push past all of the other 17 surfers. Layne Beachley will be tough. But saying that, all the girls will be a threat at this year’s event. After such a long break, it will be interesting to see how everyone comes back.”

Tyler Wright (AUS), 15, defending Beachley Classic winner and the youngest ever winner of an elite ASP Women’s World Tour event, holds the added prestige of having taken out Gilmore at last season’s event. The two Australians will certainly meet again in 2009, having been paired up against one another in Round 1 of competition.

“I’m not really sure how to manage my nerves against someone like Steph (Gilmore),” Wright said. “I guess I just get so excited to surf against her that I forget about that stuff. The ASP Women’s World Tour has five new rookies this season so the event is going to be harder than ever, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Despite returning as event champion, Wright still feels little pressure competing on the world’s stage at such a young age and hopes experiences of the last season will only serve to make her a stronger competitor.

“I’ve only just turned 15 so I still have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Wright said. “I still have a lot to learn and having another opportunity like this is unbelievable. Since last year, I’ve grown at least a centimeter so hopefully I have a bit more power behind my turns.”

Gilmore and Wright will take on the world’s best female surfers including current ASP Women’s World No. 2 Silvana Lima (BRA), 24, former seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion Layne Beachley (AUS), 37, at the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic.

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

Vision opportunity
CBA Executive General Manager Local Business Banking, Symon Brewis-Weston and Layne Beachley will be available for a pic opp at Dee Why beach.

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Visit the Press Room on www.aspworldtour.com for news, images, transcribed athlete interviews and more.

Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Media
Dave Prodan
email: dave@aspworldtour.com
USA mobile: +1 949 678 0987
AUS mobile: +61 (0) 400 455 228

EVENT MEDIA
Mandy McKinnon
email: mandy.mckinnon@bigpond.com
AUS mobile: +61 (0) 417 079 941

Digital Photographs:
High-resolution digital images for newspapers and Internet sites are available through ASP’s photography distributution partner Getty Images. To register for access, log onto http://corporate.gettyimages.com/marketing/editorial_frontdoor/ASP/index.html

——————————————————————————–

About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the governing body of professional surfing. Crowning surfing’s undisputed world champions since 1976, the ASP sanctions the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, the World Qualifying Series (WQS) and the World Longboarding, Junior and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

ASP World Title Contenders Set Sights on Upcoming Hurley Pro Trestles

August 31st, 2009 No comments
Pictured: Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, current ASP World No. 1, will look to further cement his lead at the upcoming Hurley Pro Trestles.

Pictured: Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, current ASP World No. 1, will look to further cement his lead at the upcoming Hurley Pro Trestles.

Credit: © ASP/ CI/ ROWLAND via GETTY IMAGES

LOWER TRESTLES, California (Friday, August 28, 2009) – The world’s best surfers are preparing for an assault on one of the world’s most high-performance waves as the Hurley Pro Trestles, Event No. 6 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, bringing the ASP Top 45 to Lower Trestles from September 13 – 19, 2009.

The site of some of the most electrifying performances in the sport’s history, the cobblestone A-Frame not only provides the ideal canvas for the world’s best to unleash upon, but Lower Trestles will also play a pivotal role in the hunt for this year’s ASP World Title.

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, current ASP World No. 1, has had a landmark season in 2009, collecting three wins, a 3rd and a 9th en route to his position at the top. Although currently sitting a comfortable 1,402 points ahead of the nearest challenger, the phenomenal natural-footer has been guarded this season when commenting on his ASP World Title campaign as well as details regarding his preparation.

“When you do something that excites you and you enjoy doing it, then it is not hard to stay focused on what needs to be done,” Parkinson said. “As far as preparation is concerned, I have just continued with what I have been doing all year, but at the same time you just think about the opportunity of surfing a wave at Trestles and there’s that excitement again.”

Having proven victorious at the venue before (2004) and given his near-unstoppable form in 2009, Parkinson remains an event favorite going into this season’s Hurley Pro Trestles, and the high-performance lefts and rights will allow the well-built Australian to utilize his impressive repertoire of tricks.

“I think one of the necessary skills of any professional sportsperson is adaptability,” Parkinson said. “Being able to adapt to different environments, opposition and conditions. I think about the wave at Trestles and I believe my surfing can adapt to it pretty well. I know I am looking forward to it.”

C.J. Hobgood (USA), 30, former ASP World Champion (2001) and current ASP World No. 2, will be first in line of those looking to put a halt to Parkinson’s juggernaut run this season. The ultra-fit goofy-footer holds an ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) event title at Lower Trestles (2007), but his results at the elite level of competition at the venue have been mixed with two 5ths in ’07 and ’05, a 33rd in ’06 before a 17th last season.

“Lowers suits my surfing and Lowers should suit everyone on tour’s surfing as it’s one of the most high-performance surfing venues we have on the tour,” Hobgood said. “However, with that said, from the results it does favor the regular-footers, so the goofy-footers do need to dig deeper to get further at this event. Kelly’s record winning percentage at Trestles is something no one has ever seen. Taj (Burrow), Mick (Fanning), Joel (Parkinson), Bede (Durbidge), Taylor (Knox) and Dane (Reynolds) have shown they can do some damage out there and they’ll be favored at the event as well.”

In terms of hunting down current ASP frontrunner Parkinson, Hobgood keeps his strategy simple.

“I’m just trying to surf better regardless of the results,” Hobgood said. “It says I’m 2nd, but I have the same amount of work to do as No. 15. I need to win a contest, then repeat that twice.”

Parkinson and Hobgood lead the pack in terms of ASP World Title challengers, but they’ll need to contend with an army of the world’s best including reigning nine-time ASP World Champion and defending event winner Kelly Slater (USA), 37, former ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, up-and-coming South American threat Adriano de Souza (BRA), 22, and new-age icons of progressive surfing Jordy Smith (ZAF), 21, and Dane Reynolds (USA), 23.

Brett Simpson (USA), 24, winner of July’s ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Hurley U.S. Open in Huntington Beach and wildcard at the upcoming Hurley Pro Trestles, will take on the world’s best for the second time in his young career this September. Last year saw Simpson finish equal 17th as a wildcard at Lowers, but after taking down a bevy of top names at Huntington Beach, the young natural-footer’s confidence in his abilities is at an all-time high.

“I have always felt I can mix it with the top dogs,” Simpson said. “It’s just about having a good game plan and executing it to your best ability. Mistakes against the top guys are daggers to your heart and you can’t afford to make them. I definitely feel like I’m a better surfer and am competing much better now too, so I believe that if I can put some waves together, it can be a great event for me. So that’s the goal, to stay sharp and give them a run for their money!”

Joining Simpson as wildcards will be former ASP World No. 2 Rob Machado (USA), 36, and reigning ASP World Junior Champion Kai Barger (HAW), 19, as they take on the world’s best surfers.

The Hurley Pro Trestles will host the ASP 45 from September 13 – 19, 2009.

The event will be webcast LIVE via www.hurley.com/hurleypro/

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

Visit the Press Room on www.aspworldtour.com for news, images, transcribed athlete interviews and more.

Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Media
Dave Prodan
email: dave@aspworldtour.com
USA mobile: +1 949 678 0987
AUS mobile: +61 (0) 400 455 228

Event Media
Press Credentials and Inquiries
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phone: +1 714 375 2188

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email: evan_slater@hurley.com
USA mobile: +1 949 698 2242

Digital Photographs:
High-resolution digital images for newspapers and Internet sites are available through ASP’s photography distributution partner Getty Images. To register for access, log onto http://corporate.gettyimages.com/marketing/editorial_frontdoor/ASP/index.html

About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the governing body of professional surfing. Crowning surfing’s undisputed world champions since 1976, the ASP sanctions the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, the World Qualifying Series (WQS) and the World Longboarding, Junior and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

Travis Logie climbs to No. 9 on ASP World Qualifying Series after runner-up finish in France

August 24th, 2009 No comments

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Pictured: Travis Logie clinched second place at the Sooruz Lacanau Pro in France on Sunday Photo: Aquashot / ASP Europe

Sooruz Lacanau Pro

ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Men’s Event
Lacanau Ocean – France

August 17-23, 2009

Travis Logie climbs to No. 9 on ASP World Qualifying Series after runner-up finish in France

Durbanite Travis Logie climbed from No. 12 to No. 9 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) when he finished runner-up to French local Joan Duru, 20, in the final of the 6-Star rated, R1.1 million Sooruz Lacanau Pro at Lacanau Ocean on the Bay of Biscay coast of France on Sunday.

Competing in excellent 1 to 1.5 metre waves, Logie was on fire on the final day, defeating WQS No. 13 Austin Ware (USA) in their quarterfinal encounter with the event’s second highest heat total of 18.24 out of 20 before taking out No. 5 Patrick Gudauskas (USA) in the semis to reach the final.

Despite Logie briefly holding the lead, it was Duru who found the better waves in the final and his combination of vertical manoeuvres and confident tube-riding saw the Frenchman triumph with a tally of 16.47 to 15.30 to claim his maiden WQS event victory.

“I was very happy with the way I surfed and I just didn’t get any of the better waves during the final,” Logie said. “Joan (Duru) really surfed a smart heat and got the best waves and he had been surfing good all event so congratulations to him. It’s a great result and that requalification is always at the back of my mind.”

The result earned Logie US $10 000 (approx. R80 000) and 2 188 ratings points which replaced the 875 points for the lowest of his seven counting scores, boosting his chances of requalifying for the ASP World Tour, the top-tier of competitive surfing, where Logie was a fixture for four years, from 2005 to 2008, before failing to requalify at the end of last year.

He needs to maintain his position in the top 15 in the WQS through four more 6-Star and four 6-Star Prime rated events to automatically qualify for the 2010 ASP Dream Tour.

Logie was one of five South Africans to reach the last 48 at Lacanau, but the only one to advance to the last 24 when Rudy Palmboom Jnr. (Bluff) and Durbanites Brandon Jackson,  Antonio Bortoletto and David Weare were eliminated by placing third or fourth in their respective four-man heats.

The next event on the WQS schedule is the inaugural Azores Island Pro, a 6-Star rated event in the islands off the coast of Portugal starting tomorrow (Tuesday) and running until Sunday 30 August.

SOORUZ LACANAU PRO FINAL
1st, Joan Duru (FRA), 16.47 pts
2nd, Travis Logie (ZAF), 15.30 pts

SOORUZ LACANAU PRO SEMIFINALS
Heat 1: Travis Logie (ZAF) 14.60 pts Def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 10.76 pts
Heat 2: Joan Duru (FRA) 11.17 pts Def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.03 pts

SOORUZ LACANAU PRO QUARTERFINALS
Heat 1: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 15.43 pts Def. Leonardo Neves (BRA) 7.50 pts
Heat 2: Travis Logie (ZAF) 18.24 pts Def. Austin Ware (USA) 10.00 pts
Heat 3: Joan Duru (FRA) 13.24 pts Def. Brian Toth (PRI) 9.76 pts
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.04 pts Def. Adam Melling (AUS) 11.66 pts

ASP World Qualifying Series ratings

(After Lacanau, event # 26 of 42)

1          Ross,Daniel               AUS    14975
2          Andre,Jadson            BRA    13350
3          Wright,Owen              AUS    12838
4          Melling,Adam            AUS    12801
5          Gudauskas,Patrick   USA    12513
6          Wilkinson,Matt           AUS    12150
7          Duru,Joan                  FRA    12050
8          Simpson,Brett           USA    11863
9          Logie,Travis             ZAF     11326
10        Thornton,Blake          AUS    10826

South Africans (Top 150)

34        Jackson,Brandon      ZAF     8238
48        Wright,Warwick         ZAF     7069
49        Palmboom,Rudy       ZAF     7001
74        Fahrenfort,Damien    ZAF     6114
79        Redman,Daniel         ZAF     5976
92        Basnett,Ricky            ZAF     5276
126     Strachan,Klee            ZAF     4406

For further information on the ASP Africa members, including profiles and rankings, visit www.aspafrica.com

Ends

Issued on behalf of:

ASP Africa

Contact:            Colin Fitch – Operations Manager

Tel:                   021 534 5738

Email:               aspafrica@mweb.co.za

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications

PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa

Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965

Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250

Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964

Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

About ASP:

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the governing body of professional surfing. Crowning surfing’s undisputed world champions since 1976, the ASP sanctions the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, the World Qualifying Series (WQS) and the World Longboarding, Junior and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

2009 Billabong Junior Series champions to be crowned at Victoria Bay in September

August 21st, 2009 No comments

 

BJS74 - D4 - dale staples_winner u20

Pictured: Dale Staples shows the form that earned him the Billabong Junior Series Pro Junior title at Victoria Bay Photo: Clinton Theron / Billabong

2009 Billabong Junior Series
South Africa’s premier national junior surfing series
Scottburgh, Jeffreys Bay & Victoria Bay
April – September 2009

The 2009 Billabong Junior Series champions will be crowned at Victoria Bay next month when the third and final event in South Africa’s premier national tour for surfers aged 20-and-under is staged at the picturesque Southern Cape point-break from 23-26 September.

The 13th annual series champions in the Pro Junior (U20) men and women, U16, U14 and U12 boys’ divisions will join an elite group of surfers such as Jordy Smith, Royden Bryson, Ricky Basnett and David Weare who honed their competitive repertoires on the Billabong Junior Series before going on to qualify for the ASP Dream Tour.

The Vic Bay event will also determine the 2009 ASP Africa Pro Junior champions and features an ASP Grade 2, R80 000 Pro Junior men’s event and an ASP Grade 1, R20 000 Pro Junior women’s event. The top four men and top woman on the yearend ASP Africa ratings receive sought after invitations to the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in Australia in January, the event that launched the careers of the likes of Joel Parkinson (AUS), Andy Irons (HAW) and Adriano de Souza (BRA).

Casey Grant (Scottburgh), winner of the first Billabong Pro Junior event of 2009 at his home-break in April, leads both the series and ASP Africa rankings going into the most important Pro Junior event of the year. Grant will be hard pressed to retain his lead by the outstanding current crop of local chargers that include local standout Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay), who took the title at the Pro Junior event at Port Alfred in May and has been winning nationally rated events at Victoria Bay since his days in U12’s.

Others with the talent and form to challenge for honours include former Vic Bay winner Dale Staples (St Francis Bay), who recently finished third in the Billabong Pro Junior Bali against a world-class field, national junior surfing team captain Matthew Bromley and fellow Kommetjie ripper Brendon Gibbens and the likes of Chad du Toit (Durban) and Kyle Lane (Umhlanga).

Vic Bay local Bianca Buitendag, who triumphed in the first series event at Scottburgh, has the talent and local knowledge to clinch the event title and the series crown at her home-break, while ASP Africa ratings leader Sarah Baum (Athlone Park) will be hoping to earn the invitation to Australia for the second successive year.

Both will be eyeing the form of multiple event champion Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie) who campaigned on the ASP Women’s World Qualifying Series (WQS) earlier this year and missed the Pro Junior women’s events in SA. Kirsty Delport (Durban), Heidi Palmboom (Bluff) and Tanika Hoffman (Kommetjie) are all potential event champions.

The highly competitive U16 boys’ division is wide open with the likes of recently crowned King of the Groms champion Davey Brand and fellow Kommetjie rippers Michael February, Jarred Veldhuis and Daniel Wilson strong contenders. They are joined by point-break experts such as Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) and Dane Staples (St Francis Bay) along with Scottburgh event winner David van Zyl (Glenashley), all of whom are red hot performers.

Benji Brand (Kommetjie), Slade Prestwich (Park Rynie), Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) and Max Armstrong (Scarborough) head a particularly exciting group of U14 boys with Daniel Buitendag, winner of the Billabong Occy Grom Comp at Jeffreys Bay in July, bound to be in the mix at his home break.

The youngest division, the U12 boys, produces incredible surfing from the likes of Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay), Shane Sykes (Salt Rock), Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie) and the fast improving Donovan Wichmann (Marina da Gama), the winner in J-Bay. Matthew McGillivray (PE), Steffen Burrows (Strand) and Jonah Paarman (Kommetjie) will also make their presence felt at Vic Bay.

The event will also feature the dazzling Von Zipper Air Show where selected contestants are rewarded for their expertise in performing aerial manoeuvres above the lip of the wave with the top performer earning the winner-takes-all R2 000 prize-purse.

Video footage, images, results and news will be available daily during the event at www.billabong.com and a TV documentary produced by Silver Bullet Productions will be broadcast on the channels of SuperSport.

The PST events in the Billabong Junior Series are sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), the national controlling body for the sport, while the internationally rated Pro Junior events are sanctioned by ASP Africa, the regional office for ASP International.

The series is proudly supported by First National Bank, Von Zipper and Kustom.

Online entries for the PST events can be made at www.billabong.com while the ASP events must be entered via www.aspafrica.com Please note that the closing date for the ASP Africa sanctioned Pro Junior events is next Tuesday, 25 August, while the PST events close two weeks prior to the event dates.

Billabong Events & Contest Coordinator Laureen Payne can be contacted for queries at 042 200 2600 or laureen.payne@billabong.co.za

The 2009 Billabong Junior Series started in Scottburgh (8-11 April) and continued with the inaugural Occy Grom Comp in Jeffreys Bay (9-15 July) before concluding at Victoria Bay (23-26 September) where the series champions will be crowned for the 13th time.

ends

Issued on behalf of:

Billabong South Africa

Tel:                   042 200 2600
Fax:                  042 293 2478
Email:               laureen.payne@billabong.co.za

Compiled & Issued by:

Life’s a Beach Communications 
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie, 7976 South Africa
Tel / Fax:     +27 (0) 21 783 4965
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EPIC MONSTER PADDLE SESSION PRODUCES FLOOD OF BILLABONG XXL BIG WAVE AWARD ENTRIES

August 20th, 2009 No comments

 

XXL908 - TwiggyBakerDungeons - KimiStewart - lrTHIRD MAJOR SWELL IN A ROW SLAMS SOUTH AFRICA’S DUNGEONS WITH CLASSIC CONDITIONS;
EPIC MONSTER PADDLE SESSION PRODUCES FLOOD OF BILLABONG XXL BIG WAVE AWARD ENTRIES

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — (August 18, 2009) — An El Niño condition may be brewing, but in the Southern Hemisphere there is no more waiting as extraordinary storms have been a regular occurrence over the last several weeks, generating some of the most intense surf seen in years.  Most recently, one of the biggest and best swells to ever hit South Africa arrived last Sunday, producing more eye-popping entries into the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards fueled by Monster Energy.  Those latest photographs may be viewed on the BillabongXXL.com website.

This was the third significant swell to strike the region in ten days, sparking a series of key sessions at the spooky big wave break of Dungeons, off of Cape Town.  A warm-up swell hit the region on August 6, followed by a huge and windy episode on August 11 which saw some massive tow-in waves worthy of the XXL Biggest Wave category.  And on August 16 yet another enormous swell arrived, but this time with pristine sunny weather and light offshore winds — every surfer’s ideal scenario.

According to Surfline forecaster Ken Wallis, “A large complex low pressure system was spinning in the South Atlantic this past week, occupying most of the ocean between South Africa and Argentina. As a result of this consistent storm activity, a series of XXL size southwest swells have been slamming the West Coast of South Africa and, more specifically, the big wave break Dungeons.

“The most recent of these very sizable swells arrived as high pressure briefly settled over the region,” added Wallis, “setting up light wind, clear skies and near flawless conditions.”

Durban’s Grant “Twiggy” Baker — South Africa’s most decorated big wave surfer — was on the scene at Dungeons for the duration, part of the annual “Endless Winter” pilgrimage for the sport’s elite.  But even to Twiggy’s experienced eyes, this recent swell was something special.

“Obviously this was a historic day for us at Dungeons, not just the size of the waves but also how clean it was and that it lasted an entire day,” said Baker. “This is very unusual and the fact that we got to surf it for ten hours straight meant we became very comfortable out there and managed to push ourselves that little further.”

The day’s exploits were yet another clear example of the growing dedication to paddling into ever bigger waves among the top athletes and not simply “grabbing the rope” and utilizing watercraft tow-in assists on extreme surf situations.  In the Billabong XXL Awards, the biggest of these rides qualify as entries in the Monster Paddle Award.  On a number of waves the riders were able to get into the barrel — a special feat which has its own category, the Monster Tube Award.

“The local crew was pushing it all day with James Taylor, Andrew Marr and Mike Baleta standing out,” said Baker of his fellow countrymen.  “Greg Long had some bombs as well.  It’s so important to have the right mix of surfers on a day like this to really help force the level of commitment.”

The Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, now in its tenth annual cycle, has never experienced such a deluge of world-class entries this early in the season.  Huge Southern Hemisphere storms continue to slam south-facing coastlines worldwide, and many top surfers view this as just the precursor to things to come.  The National Weather Service has announced a strengthening El Niño condition in the world’s oceans, which has many times in the past produced historic swell episodes in the North Pacific for Hawaii and the West Coast of the USA.

Grant Baker is happy with the booming start.  “It’s good to know we have had some big waves in Cape Town this season that will go up against what looks like a major Northern Hemisphere El Niño winter,” he said.

The XXL Awards acknowledge the biggest and best waves ridden anywhere in the world based on the photographic evidence, with the annual awards gala occurring in California each April.  Over $130,000 in prizes are awarded to the top male and female big wave performances in a variety of categories including the XXL Biggest Wave, Monster Tube, Monster Paddle and Verizon Wipeout of the Year.  The top-line Billabong XXL Ride of the Year carries a $50,000 first prize.

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

The Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards are presented by Monster Energy.  Surfline is the official surf forecast, Verizon Wireless is the official communications provider and Honda Aquatrax the official watercraft.  The event is sponsored by Surfing Magazine and Air Tahiti Nui airlines.

ends

PRESS CONTACT
Bill Sharp    SurfNewsEd@aol.com     949-548-6740

Issued on behalf of:  

Billabong South Africa
Contact:            Peter Nicholson
Telephone:        +27 (0) 42 200 2600
Email:               peter.nicholson@billabong.co.za          

Issued by:

Life’s a Beach Communications 
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
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Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

SA girls surf into Pro Junior finals in France and USA

August 20th, 2009 No comments

 

AAW90818 - BuitendagBiancaJ4_Aquashot_0001 - lr
Pictured:
Bianca Buitendag shows the form that earned her 4th place and R2 400 at the Oakley Pro Junior in France on the weekend Photo: Aquashot / ASP Europe

SA girls surf into Pro Junior finals in France and USA

Redman, Palmboom and Bortoletto advance to Round 2 at Lacanau

ASP Africa Pro Junior titles to be decided at Victoria Bay in September

South Africans Bianca Buitendag and Nikita Robb posted stellar performances to reach the finals of ASP Pro Junior girls events in France and the USA respectively on the weekend.

Buitendag, 15, from Victoria Bay was one of the standouts in the Grade 2 Oakley Pro Junior at Lacanau, on the Bay of Biscay coast of France, taking on and defeating the cream of Europe’s 20-and-under female surfers in small 0.6 to one metre waves to reach the final four in the 40-strong field.

A lack of waves in the final, and an amazing last three minute performance that saw ASP World Pro Junior champion Pauline Ado (FRA) vault from fourth to first with two excellent rides, resulted in Buitendag, described as the ‘South African wunderkind’ in event media releases, finishing fourth overall with prize-money of R2 400.

Tanika Hoffman (Kommetjie), the only other SA surfer in the event, eventually lost out in the quarterfinals after starting strongly in the first two rounds, ending equal ninth overall.

Meanwhile in the Pacific Ocean, East London’s Nikita Robb cruised through a talented line-up of American and Hawaiian competitors to finish fourth in the Grade 4 Supergirl Pro Junior at Oceanside in California.

Referred to as the ‘international sensation from South Africa’, Robb, 20, from East London battled to find waves with scoring potential in the tiny 0.3 to 0.6 metre windswept waves for the final and ended behind winner Courtney Conlogue (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW) and Sage Erickson (USA), collecting prize-money of R13 000.

Robb is currently ranked No. 13 on the ASP Women’s World Qualifying Series (WQS), the highest of the SA contingent and narrowly ahead of fellow East Londoner Rosanne Hodge who is No. 14. With just two WQS events remaining on the 2009 schedule for women, a 5-Star in Rio de Janeiro starting on 7 October and a 6-Star at Haleiwa in Hawaii in November (still listed as Tentative), the ratings tallies are extremely close and the pair are still in with a chance of reaching the top six in the yearend rankings and automatically qualifying for the 2010 ASP Women’s World Tour.

ASP Women’s WQS Rankings

(After event No. 7 of 9)

1          Moore,Carissa          HAW   7980
2          Ho,Coco                     HAW   7740
3          Bevilacqua,Claire     AUS    6800
4          Miley-Dyer,Jessi       AUS    6420
5          Woods,Rebecca       AUS    6345

South Africans (Top 5) 

13        Robb,Nikita                ZAF     5650
14        Hodge,Rosanne        ZAF     5620
35        Buitendag,Bianca     ZAF     3520
37        Chudleigh,Tarryn       ZAF     3380
53        Smith,Tammy Lee     ZAF     2430

Redman, Palmboom and Bortoletto advance to Round 2 at Lacanau

Daniel Redman (Durban), Rudy Palmboom Jnr. (Bluff) and Antonio Bortoletto (Durban), all put their small-wave abilities to good use at Lacanau in France to advance to Round 2 of the 6-Star rated, R1.1 million Sooruz Lacanau Pro, Europe’s longest running professional surfing tournament.

The 0.6 to occasional one metre waves and light onshore winds produced conditions that were ideal for aerial manoeuvres with several near-perfect scores recorded as the competitors boosted themselves above the lip.

Chad du Toit (Durban) was SA’s only Round 1 casualty, while Durbanites David Weare, Travis Logie and Brandon Jackson were seeded directly into Round 2. The event runs until Sunday and all the action can followed live on the internet at http://sooruzlacanaupro09.com

ASP Africa Pro Junior titles to be decided at Victoria Bay in September

The 2009 ASP Africa titles for Pro Junior men and women will be decided at the Billabong Junior Series event at Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape from 23-26 September which features a Grade 2, R80 000 event for men and a Grade 1, R20 000 event for women.

The results will also determine the four men and one woman who will receive coveted invitations to represent ASP Africa at the annual Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in Sydney, Australia at the beginning of January 2010.

The men’s ratings after three events are led by Casey Grant (Scottburgh), winner of the first Billabong Pro Junior in his hometown at Easter. He is followed by the consistent Chad du Toit (Durban), Kyle Lane (Umhlanga), winner of the Quiksilver Pro Junior in Durban in April, Brendon Gibbens (Kommetjie) and Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay), who won the Oakley Pro Junior at Port Alfred in May.

Fifteen-year-old Sarah Baum (Athlone Park) heads the women’s ratings after one event ahead of Kirsty Delport (Durban) with Heidi Palmboom (Bluff) and Tanika Hoffman (Kommetjie) tied third.

Those surfers wanting to compete in the Billabong Pro Junior events at Vic Bay are advised that the closing date for entries is next Tuesday, 25 August, after which seeding privileges will be forfeited and a late entry fee will be charged.

ASP Africa Pro Junior men’s ratings (After event No. 3 of 4)

1          Grant, Casey             Scottburgh                 3190
2          Du Toit, Chad            Durban                       2920
3          Lane, Kyle                  Umhlanga Rocks       2710
4          Gibbons, Brendon     Cape Town                2690
5          Joubert, Shaun          Mossel Bay                2600
6          Bromley, Matthew     Cape Town                2230
6          Strachan, Klee           Warner Beach           2230
8          Staples, Dale             Cape St Francis        2115
9          MacNicol, Haydn       Scottburgh                 2110
10        Leppan, Chris            Umhlanga Rocks       2000

ASP Africa Pro Junior women’s ratings (After event No. 1 of 2)

1          Baum, Sarah             Durban           1000
2          Delport, Kirsty            Durban           850
3          Palmboom, Heidi      Bluff                 730
3          Hoffman, Tanika        Cape Town    730
5          McGregor, Laurie      East London  610
5          Zoetmulder, Faye      East London  610
5          Rautenbach, Chantelle         Melkbosstrand           610
5          McGregor, Alive        East London  610

For further information on the ASP Africa members, including profiles and rankings, visit www.aspafrica.com

ends

Issued on behalf of:

ASP Africa

Contact:            Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel:                   021 534 5738
Email:               aspafrica@mweb.co.za

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications

PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

About ASP:

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the governing body of professional surfing. Crowning surfing’s undisputed world champions since 1976, the ASP sanctions the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, the World Qualifying Series (WQS) and the World Longboarding, Junior and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

MASSIVE SOUTH AFRICAN WAVES ROCK THE 2010 BILLABONG XXL BIG WAVE AWARDS

August 14th, 2009 No comments

Maya Gabeira at Dungeons

MASSIVE SOUTH AFRICAN WAVES ROCK THE 2010 BILLABONG XXL BIG WAVE AWARDS;

GABEIRA RIDES BIGGEST EVER BY A WOMAN — BURLE, LONG & BAKER ALSO GO HUGE

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — (August 13, 2009) — A mad dash from their homes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Cape Town, South Africa paid off for Maya Gabeira and tow surfing partner Carlos Burle as they rode the biggest waves of the season at the notorious Dungeons break this week.  Photos of the South American pair in action are now among the leading contenders in the Biggest Wave category of the 2010 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy.  The entered images may be viewed at the event website at www.BillabongXXL.com.

Also captured challenging some massive walls at the infamously sharky break were Grant “Twiggy” Baker (Durban, South Africa), Andrew Marr (Cape Town, South Africa) and Greg Long (San Clemente, California, USA).  All three have either won or been finalists in the XXL Awards in recent years.

Gabeira, 22, has already won the Billabong Girls Best Performance Award three years running, but on August 11 she reaffirmed her status as the top female in big wave surfing when she charged down an enormous, bumpy face after being towed in by Burle on a personal watercraft.  The duo arrived in Africa five days ahead of the giant swell in order for Gabeira to obtain her skipper’s license to legally operate the jet-powered craft.

According to Gabeira, “My days previous to the big day were the biggest mission ever! The swell came with onshore winds which the waves and ocean bumpy. But in the end of the day everyone had managed to get some bombs and safely finish a day of big surf.

“My biggest wave was just one drop and had a crazy boil in the face that I managed to jump through it,” said Gabeira.  “It was exciting to get that much speed down the face and manage to make such an irregular wave on my backside. Thanks to Carlos I had the biggest waves of my life that day!”

Gabeira was able to return the favor, putting her new driver’s license to work and towing Burle into his share of monsters along the spooky offshore reef.

The tenth annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards season runs through March 19, 2010 and acknowledges the biggest and best ridden waves of the year based on the photographic evidence.
Additional entries have also been arriving daily from around the world in all the key event categories including Monster Paddle, Monster Tube and the $50,000 XXL Ride 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.

The Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards are presented by Monster Energy.  Surfline is the official surf forecast, Verizon Wireless is the official communications provider and Honda Aquatrax the official watercraft.  The event is sponsored by Surfing Magazine and Air Tahiti Nui airlines.

ends

PRESS CONTACT
Bill Sharp    SurfNewsEd@aol.com     949-548-6740

Issued on behalf of:   
Billabong South Africa
Contact:            Peter Nicholson
Telephone:        +27 (0) 42 200 2600
Email:               peter.nicholson@billabong.co.za          

Issued by:
Life’s a Beach Communications 
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Travis Logie heads SA contingent on ASP World Qualifying Series

August 12th, 2009 No comments
Travis Logie

AAW90424 - Ewing_Quiksilver_TLogie_D8-Friday

Pictured: Travis Logie in action on his way to 5th place and 2 275 points in the Quiksilver Pro Durban at Ansteys in April Photo: Ewing / Quiksilver

Travis Logie heads SA contingent on ASP World Qualifying SeriesTravis Logie continues to head the South African challenge on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) after placing ninth in the 5-Star rated Relentless Boardmasters in Newquay, England, last Friday.

 

After the completion of 22 of the 42 stops on The Grind, as the gruelling WQS is known, Logie occupies No. 12 position in the rankings and given the 30-year-old Durbanite’s previous record in the European events, he looks well placed to regain his place amongst the world’s top 45 ranked surfers on the 2010 ASP World Tour.

Logie spent four years on the Dream Tour before failing to re-qualify at the end of 2008 but has shown he still has the ability and determination to succeed at the highest level of competition surfing by winning an event in Australia earlier this year and subsequently posting consistently high finishes in major WQS events.

He will be targeting the back to back 6-Star rated events scheduled for Lacanau, France, and the Azores Island off the coast of Portugal later in August before consecutive 6 Stars in Brazil – Guaruja and Rio de Janeiro – in September / October before the final flurry of 6-Star Prime rated events, which carry a bonus 40% increase in ratings points, in the Canaries and California (overlapping) and two in Hawaii – Haleiwa and Sunset Beach.

Logie has competed in 12 WQS events this year, the most by any of the 65 ASP Africa members in the WQS rankings, accumulating 10 013 points at an average of 1 430 per event for his best seven results to date. He will be looking to improve on his lowest scores of 875, 1 100 and 1 125 in the upcoming events to maintain a position in the top 15 on the yearend WQS ratings and automatically qualify for the following year’s ASP World Tour.

ASP Africa champion for 2009, Royden Bryson who, like Logie, dropped off the ASP World Tour at the end of last year, is the next highest placed Saffa in the latest rankings. The former East Londoner relocated to Cape Town a couple of years back and is currently No. 35 with 7 951 points but has three low scores of under 1 000 to improve upon.

Close behind Bryson is Brandon Jackson (Durban North) with 7 738 points in 37th spot while Durban’s Warwick Wright is the only other Saffa currently in the top 50 at No. 46 with 7 069 points.

Australia’s Daniel Ross, another who failed to re-qualify for the Dream Tour this year, has had a phenomenal year on the WQS, breaking the record set by Jordy Smith (Durban) in winning the 2007 WQS title by amassing 14 975 points at an average of 2 139 per event to assure his place at the top table of competitive surfing in 2010.

Ross is followed in the current rankings by Jadson Andre (Brazil), winner of the 6-Star Prime rated Quiksilver Pro Durban in April, Australians Adam Melling and Owen Wright, who is ranked fourth despite having only competed in six events, and recent Hurley US Open winner Brett Simpson (USA).

Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Matt Wilkinson and fellow Australian Blake Thornton, winner of the O’Neill Coldwater Classic in Cape Town in June, Tanner Gudauskas (USA), winner of the Mr Price Pro Ballito in July, and Joan Duru (FRA) round out the current WQS top 10.

ASP World Qualifying Series

Ratings after Relentless Boardmasters in Newquay (Stop No. 22 of 42)

1        Ross,Daniel                     AUS    14975
2        Andre,Jadson               BRA    13350
3        Melling,Adam               AUS    12051
4       Wright,Owen                  AUS    11963
5       Simpson,Brett               USA    11863
6       Gudauskas,Patrick      USA    11513
7       Wilkinson,Matt            AUS    11500
8       Thornton,Blake            AUS    10713
9       Gudauskas,Tanner      USA    10700
10     Duru,Joan                     FRA    10675

South Africans (Top 150)

12        Logie,Travis                ZAF     10013
35        Bryson,Royden          ZAF     7951
37        Jackson,Brandon      ZAF     7738
46        Wright,Warwick         ZAF     7069
52        Palmboom,Rudy        ZAF     6689
69        Fahrenfort,Damien   ZAF     6114
78        Redman,Daniel           ZAF     5726
86        Basnett,Ricky              ZAF     5276
87        Bortoletto,Antonio  ZAF     5220
115     Strachan,Klee               ZAF     4406
150     Holmes,Sean                ZAF     3338

ends

Issued on behalf of:

ASP Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel:  021 534 5738
Email:  aspafrica@mweb.co.za

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

About ASP:
The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the governing body of professional surfing. Crowning surfing’s undisputed world champions since 1976, the ASP sanctions the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, the World Qualifying Series (WQS) and the World Longboarding, Junior and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

Rosanne Hodge takes silver as Team SA place 5th at Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in Costa Rica

August 9th, 2009 No comments

 

WSG09 - D8 - Rosy Hodge - doc

Pictured: Rosanne Hodge in action on the final day of the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in Costa Rica on Saturday where the East Londoner clinched the silver medal for South Africa

Photo: Sanchez / ISA

Billabong ISA World Surfing Games
August 1-8, 2009
Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

Rosanne Hodge was the star of the South African surfing team at the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in Costa Rica when she grabbed the silver medal in the Grand Final of the Women’s division on Saturday.

Team South Africa, supported by a grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF), narrowly missed out on three further medals in the team event, Open men and Aloha Cup competitions, finishing in fifth place in each category.

Team USA cruised to victory in the team event, their first team gold medal since the corresponding event in California in 1996, with France confirming the emergence of Europe as a surfing power by taking silver, defending team champions Australia slipping to third and Hawaii clinching the copper medal just ahead of South Africa. This was a two place improvement by the SA team who placed seventh in the corresponding event in Portugal last year.

Hodge (East London) started the final day confidently, posting rides of 6.20 and 7.0 out of 10 to win her heat in Round 5 of the Qualifying stream and advance directly into the Women’s Grand Final along with second placed Sage Ericson (USA). The pair was joined by ASP World Junior Champion Pauline Ado (FRA) and the in-form Courtney Conlogue (USA), winner of the US Open Surfing event in California two weeks back, who advanced from the Repecharge rounds.

The 25 minute final saw Hodge lead early on before Conlogue took control with 18 minutes remaining by recording rides of 5.60 and then 7.0 points. Hodge fought her way back into contention with a 5.56 but the American clinched the gold with an excellent 8.20 with four minutes on the clock, leaving Hodge needing a near perfect ride of 9.64 and Ericson and Ado needing to improve on both their rides.

Hodge’s silver medal was one better than her bronze in the 2006 ISA World Surfing Games in California in 2006, the last time SA’s sole contender on the ASP Women’s World Tour represented her country.

Brandon Jackson came within one place of medal in his first ISA World Surfing Games when he finished fifth overall in the Open Men’s division. The 22-year-old from Durban North fought his way through to the last four in the Repecharge rounds before slipping to third spot behind Jeremy Flores (FRA) and Ben Bourgeois (USA).

Flores, the current ASP No. 16, went on to win the gold medal, finishing ahead of Cory Lopez (USA) and Gabriel Villaran (PER), who had advanced from the Qualifying stream, with Bourgeois in fourth.

The Longboard title was won by Antoine Delpero (FRA) who relegated Harley Ingleby (AUS) to second place with Ben Skinner (UK) and Tony Silvagni (USA) taking third and fourth. Justin Bing (Noordhoek) was SA’s top finisher in equal ninth spot with Michael Hill (St Francis Bay) ending equal 15th.

Team SA narrowly missed out on the final of the Aloha Cup tag team event when they ended third in their semi-final on Friday. Australia went on to win the final, their only gold medal of the event, with France, Peru and Tahiti taking silver, bronze and copper respectively.

Video highlights, photos, news and full results of the 2009 Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in Costa Rica can be found at www.billabongpro.com/isa09

Billabong ISA World Surfing Games

Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

Team Results:
Gold –
United States – 14910 points
Silver – France – 13280 points
Bronze –
Australia – 10996 points
Copper –
Hawaii – 10856 points

South Africa: 5th – 10666 points

Open Men
Gold:
Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Silver:
Cory Lopez (USA)
Bronze:
Gabriel Villarán (PER)
Copper:
Ben Bourgeois (USA)

South Africans:
Brandon Jackson – 5th
Rudy Palmboom Jnr. – 29th
Ryan Payne – 33rd
Damien Fahrenfort – 49th

Open Women
Gold:
Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Silver: Rosanne Hodge (ZAF)

Bronze:
Sage Erickson (USA)
Copper:
Pauline Ado (FRA) 

South Africans:
Nikita Robb – 8th

Longboard 

Gold:
Antoine Delpero (FRA)
Silver:
Harley Ingleby (AUS)
Bronze:
Ben Skinner (GBR)
Copper:
Tony Silvagni (USA)

South Africans:
Justin Bing – 9th
Michael Hill – 15th 
Aloha Cup
Gold:
Australia

Silver:
France
Bronze:
Peru
Copper:
Tahiti

 

South Africa – Equal 5th

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS

1 – USA – 14910 points
2 – France – 13280 points
3 – Australia – 10996 points
4 – Hawaii – 10856 points
5 – South Africa – 10666 points
6 – Peru – 10180 points
7 – Costa Rica – 9650 points

8 – Venezuela – 9040 points
9 – Brazil – 9000 points
10 – Puerto Rico – 8820 points
11 – New Zealand – 8100 points
12 – Argentina – 7160 points
13 – Tahiti – 6688 points
14 – Ecuador – 6170 points
15 – Panama – 5952 points
16 – Italy – 5670 points
17 – Mexico – 5560 points
18 – Japan – 5324 points
19 – Chile – 5208 points
20 – El Salvador – 4784 points
21 – Ireland – 4568 points
22 – Austria – 4320 points
23 – Barbados – 4128 points
24 – Germany – 4024 points
25 – UK- 3810 points
26 – Guatemala – 3696 points
27 – Switzerland – 3440 points
28 – Jamaica – 2912 points
29 – Canada – 2784 points
30 – Nicaragua – 2656 points
31 – Colombia 2544 points
32 – Trinidad & Tobago – 2240 points
33 – Bahamas 2240 points
34 – Rep. Dominican – 1680 points
35 – Aruba- 384 points

About Surfing South Africa (SSA)

Surfing South Africa is recognised by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) and the International Surfing Association (ISA) as the governing body for surfriding in South Africa.

 Six provincial organisations and three national associations are affiliated to Surfing South Africa which coordinates and manages all aspects of surfriding from grass roots level through to the selection of National teams.

About the International Surfing Association (ISA)
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for surfing, bodyboarding and surfriding.  It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running World Championships since 1964 and the Junior World Championships since 1980.

 /ends

Issued on behalf of:

Surfing South Africa
Contact:  Robin de Kock
Email: surfingsouthafrica@gmail.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:        +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:          lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Team SA back into medal contention after Day 6 of Billabong ISA World Surfing Games

August 7th, 2009 No comments

Billabong ISA World Surfing Games
August 1-8, 2009
Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

Michael Hill in action

Pictured: Michael Hill in action Photo: Watts / ISA

The South African surfing team moved back into contention for a medal in the team event after Day 6 of the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in Costa Rica thanks to strong performances by Longboard surfers Justin Bing and Michael Hill along with Open surfer Brandon Jackson.

Team SA, which is supported by a grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF), moved up to fourth place in the team standings behind current runaway leaders USA, second placed Hawaii and Australia in third. The elimination of team members from France, Brazil and host nation Costa Rica in the Longboard and Open repecharge heats saw those teams slip back to occupy fifth to seventh positions respectively.

Bing (Noordhoek) and Hill (St Francis Bay) started their campaigns in spectacular style on Wednesday, both posting easy Round 1 victories before the pair were relegated to the repecharge rounds when they placed third in their respective Round 2 heats.

Facing seven grueling rounds without finishing lower than second in their heats to reach the final, the pair have already successfully negotiated their way through three rounds and are now amongst the last 16 Longboarders left in the event. They face another strenuous day in the rising swell at Playa Hermosa on Friday when Repecharge Rounds 5 to 7 are on the schedule.

Jackson (Durban North), SA’s sole remaining competitor in the Open men’s division, lost out in the last minute of his Round 4 Qualifying stream heat on Thursday, slipping to third place behind former ASP World Tour Campaigner Ben Bourgeois (USA), the convincing winner, and Gabriel Villaran (PER) who slotted into a neat tube-ride with 30 seconds remaining to grab second spot.

However, Jackson immediately redeemed himself with a creditable second place showing behind Miguel Pupo (BRA) in Round 6 of the Repecharges to reach the last 16 in the men’s division.

The women have not competed for the past two days and when they resume action later today Rosanne Hodge and Nikita Robb, both from East London, will be up against USA standout Courtney Conlogue and former ASP and ISA World champion Sofia Mulanovich (PER) in Qualifying Round 4. The SA girls are already guaranteed top 12 finishes in the event but will be aiming for higher honours with Hodge hoping to better the bronze medal earned at the corresponding event in the USA in 2006.

All the action can be followed live via webcasts on www.billabongpro.com/isa09 which also provides news, full results, videos, photos and more. Costa Rica is eight hours behind South Africa with heats expected to start around 4pm CAT.

Ends

About Surfing South Africa (SSA)

Surfing South Africa is recognised by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) and the International Surfing Association (ISA) as the governing body for surfriding in South Africa.

Six provincial organisations and three national associations are affiliated to Surfing South Africa which coordinates and manages all aspects of surfriding from grass roots level through to the selection of National teams.

About the International Surfing Association (ISA)
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for surfing, bodyboarding and surfriding.  It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running World Championships since 1964 and the Junior World Championships since 1980.

Issued on behalf of:

Surfing South Africa

Contact:            Robin de Kock
Email:               surfingsouthafrica@gmail.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za