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Jadson Andre Wins in Brazil, Slater Takes ASP Rankings’ Lead, Jordy now No. 2

April 30th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Jordy Smith placed equal fifth in the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina on Thursday and moved to No. 2 on the ASP World Title Rankings behind new leader Kelly Slater (USA) Photo: ASP / Kirstin

PRAIA DA VILA, Santa Catarina/Brazil (Thursday, April 29, 2010) – Jadson Andre (BRA), 20, 2010 ASP World Tour rookie, has defeated former nine-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 1 Kelly Slater (USA), 38, to claim the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina.

The third stop on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina culminated in dramatic fashion today with the rookie claiming his inaugural victory in front of a capacity crowd at Praia da Vila.

“What do I say?” Andre said. “This is my dream. This is everything I have worked for in my life. To be on the beach and hear that I was the winner, something special came over me. I don’t know how to put into words. It’s a miracle. I have had some bad things happen in my life, but this is amazing. I am so thankful to everyone for this.”

The young Brazilian was a standout in every round of competition, blending full-rail carves with effortless air reverses, and dominated the challenging Final conditions to best Slater. The win vaults Andre from 13th to 4th on the elite ASP World Tour rankings and puts him in excellent position heading into the close of the first half of the season.

“It’s very important in terms of my ranking,” Andre said. “Not only to help make the Top 32 cut-off, but also to help my seeding at J-Bay and Teahupoo. I know Kelly (Slater) can get a score whenever he wants so I tried my best to get scores early and keep the pressure on.”

Andre becomes the first rookie to win an ASP World Tour event since Bobby Martinez (USA), 27, in 2006, and the first South American since compatriot Adriano de Souza (BRA), 23, last year in Spain.

“Adriano (de Souza) has been my hero for a long time,” Andre said. “All the pressure has been on him these past years and I have learned from him. He is an inspiration and has helped me so much this year. It feels amazing to represent my home country and win here for Brazil.”

While Slater never quite found his high-scoring form in Brazil, the Floridian adapted to the conditions each and every round, exhibiting his dominant nature throughout the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina. The Runner-Up Finish sees Slater ascend to the top of the ASP World Tour rankings – a dangerous place considering the upcoming events.

“It definitely puts me in a good spot this season heading into Jeffreys (Bay) and Tahiti,” Slater said. “I think it’s been almost two years since I’ve led the rankings and yeah, it feels good. Obviously, you want to win every heat, but that said, I didn’t lose to a Mick (Fanning) or a Joel (Parkinson) or a Jordy (Smith) who are probably bigger threats in terms of the title. Jadson (Andre) winning here today is special and it’s probably something that he’ll remember for the rest of his life.”

The current ASP World No. 1 showed little, if any, weaknesses throughout the event, only falling to Andre’s hyper-kinetic forehand in the Final.

“In these conditions it was always going to be tough to beat him (Andre),” Slater said. “I would have had to gotten the set waves and had sections to pull some airs off. He was pretty unbeatable in these conditions and he took down everyone. We’ll see if he can match the performances at places like Teahupoo and Pipeline.”

Owen Wright (AUS), 20, 2010 ASP World Tour rookie, secured his career best result today, finishing Equal 3rd at the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina. The young goofy-footer soars from 23rd to 11th on the ASP World Tour rankings, putting himself in excellent position to make the Top 32 cut-off at this season’s midway point.

“I’m rapt with my result here in Brazil,” Wright said. “The tide really filled in and it became challenging to find them out there. Kelly (Slater) can pretty much do anything and he was able to stay busy during that Semi. I’m stoked with 3rd and it definitely helps with the seeding heading into these next two events. I’ve never been to J-Bay before but I’m frothing to get there.”

Dane Reynolds (USA), 24, lived up to his reputation at the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina, logging in one phenomenal performance after another that culminated in the day’s highest single-wave score, a 9.77 out of a possible 10 for a monster 360 Method Air on his backhand in the Quarterfinals. Unfortunately, Reynolds was unable to halt an early blitz from Andre in the Semifinals.

“Jadson (Andre) really found a rhythm early and I wasn’t able to get anything going until the end there,” Reynolds said. “I felt like I was pushing through the waves a bit too much. It’s okay though. Equal 3rd is a good result and it puts me in a comfortable position moving forward. I had a good time here in Brazil. I had some fun heats and I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, fell to eventual Runner-Up Slater in the Quarterfinals but remained a standout in Brazil. The powerful South African’s Equal 5th place finish sees him move to the ASP World No. 2 spot, an excellent position to be in heading into the next stop in South Africa.

“Any time you get the chance to surf against Kelly (Slater) is a privilege,” Smith said. “I stuck to my game plan of hunting the lefts, and he stuck to the rights which hadn’t really been breaking all day. But he’s Kelly and he can summon waves like that. I’m disappointed, but still happy with the way I surfed. It’s another good result for me and I’m looking forward to getting good waves at J-Bay.”

Highlights from the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina will be available via http://www.aspworldtour.com/santacatarina

The next stop on the 2010 ASP World Tour will be the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay from July 15 – 25, 2010.

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

BILLABONG SANTA CATARINA PRO FINAL RESULTS:

1 – Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.40
2 – Kelly Slater (USA) 14.00

BILLABONG SANTA CATARINA PRO SEMIFINAL RESULTS:

SF 1: Jadson Andre (BRA) 17.70 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.67
SF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.50 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 10.56

BILLABONG SANTA CATARINA PRO QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:

QF 1: Jadson Andre (BRA) 15.50 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.27
QF 2: Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.27 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.17
QF 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.34 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 12.43  
QF 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.43 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.87

BILLABONG SANTA CATARINA PRO REMAINING ROUND 4 RESULTS:

Heat 5: Taylor Knox (USA) 15.93 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.83
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.60 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 8.90
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.27 def. Chris Davidson (AUS) 12.00
Heat 8: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.00 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 8.50

CURRENT ASP WORLD TOUR TOP 5 (After Brazil):

1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 21750 pts
2 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 18500 pts
3 – Taj Burrow (AUS) 18250 pts
4 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 15500 pts
4 – Jadson Andre (BRA) 15500 pts

Ends

Issued on behalf of:

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

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.

Travis ousts ASP World No. 1 and Jordy top scores in Round 3 of Billabong Pro Santa Catarina

April 29th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Jordy Smith’s high-flying aerial manoeuvres earned the Durbanite the highest scores of the day at the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina on Wednesday. Photo: ASP / Kirstin

PRAIA DA VILA, Santa Catarina/Brazil (Thursday, April 29, 2010) – South Africans Travis Logie and Jordy Smith provided the fireworks in Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina in Brazil yesterday with Logie ousting current ASP World Title rankings leader from the event and Smith posting both the highest heat and single ride scores.

Competing in inconsistent 1 to 1.3 metre waves and light onshore winds, Logie caused the upset of the day, the event and arguably the year to date when he handed the in-form to Taj Burrow (AUS), his first defeat before the semifinals in any event since The Search in Portugal in October last year.

Burrow has reached the final in four of his last five events, winning three of them to go with a semifinal in his last outing. The two-time champion in Brazil seemingly held all the aces after establishing a solid lead in the final minutes of the yesterday’s encounter which left Logie needing 7.28 points to grab victory.

But the Durbanite was undaunted despite having to requalify via a gruelling campaign on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) last year and being ranked No. 39 going into this event after successive 33rd place finishes in first two events of the year. Desperate for points to avoid being cut from the World Title race when the field is reduced from 45 to 32 plus two wildcards after the fifth event in September, he produced a fairytale finish to the heat.

Paddling into a left-breaking set wave with four minutes remaining, the lightening fast goofy-foot delivered two massive lip-bashes on the outside before effortlessly transitioning into a dynamic 180 degree cutback in the top quarter of the wave, followed by a sweeping roundhouse cutback and ended the ride with a solid close-out re-entry that he rode out of cleanly.

Fulfilling the judging criteria of power, flow, commitment and control along with variety of manoeuvres, Logie was awarded 7.83 points and progressed to Round 4 with Burrow’s 17th place elimination opening up the 2010 World Title race for his rivals.

However, Logie’s run in the event ended less than six hours later, in the last heat of the day, when he could not reproduce a similar performance against 2001 ASP World Champion CJ Hobgood (USA) in an all goofy-foot clash in Round 4. Logie placed equal 9th overall, earning US $8 000 (approx. R60 000) and 3 750 invaluable ranking points, nearly four times the total he had accumulated from the previous two events combined (1 000).

Meanwhile fellow Durbanite Jordy Smith, ranked ASP No. 3 after runner-up and fifth place results in the opening two events on the Dream Tour, continued to justify his elevation to a genuine ASP World Champion contender by providing a phenomenal display of high-performance contest surfing in his Round 3 demolition of Ben Dunn (AUS).

Universally acknowledged as one of the foremost exponents of progressive surfing, the 22 year-old has displayed a new-found maturity to his contest strategy in his third term at the highest level. Yesterday he waited patiently for 14 of the 30 minutes for a wave with scoring potential before unleashing his repertoire of futuristic manoeuvres.

With a 6.50 and the heat lead, Smith immediately upped the pressure on his opponent by jumping off the jetski that ferried him back into the line-up and caught a small wave that extended his dominance and left Dunn needing 6.60. While the Ozzie answered back with a 4.78 and a 5.0 that briefly saw him take the lead with seven minutes remaining, Smith was on the very next wave and a ride punctuated with vertical top-to-bottom turns and slashing cutbacks netted an excellent 8.17.

And two minutes later Smith sent Dunn into combo-land and out of reach of claiming the heat with a single ride when he posted the top score of the day’s proceedings. Starting out with a cutback to foam rebound combination that would have dislodged any but the most sure-footed of surfers, Smith gathered speed and executed a high-flying close out air-reverse, with the tail of his surfboard rotating higher than his head, that he exited in control and the judges rewarded with an 8.83.

Smith will be up against team mate and travelling companion Roy Powers (HAW) in Round 4 for the second successive event and, given a repeat of his victory at Winkipop last time out, is seeded to meet Kelly Slater, who he defeated for the first time at Snapper Rocks in the opening event of the year, in the quarters.

The ASP’s new guard roared back into contention in Brazil yesterday after the established top seeds had decimated their ranks in Round 2 on Sunday. Rookie Jadson Andre (BRA), 20, overcame both Damien Hobgood (USA) and Luke Munro (AUS) to set up a quarterfinal encounter against second year campaigner Michel Bourez (PYF), 24, who himself upset perennial campaigners Kieren Perrow and Joel Parkinson, both Australians.

Dane Reynolds will take on Logie’s conqueror CJ Hobgood in an all-American second quarter while highly-touted rookie Owen Wright dispatched ASP top-5 fixture and fellow Australian Bede Durbidge to reach Round 4 for the first time, where he meets Jeremy Flores (FRA), the victor over Fred Pattachia (HAW) in Round 3.

Burrow’s 17th place finish opens the door for Slater, the defending event champion and current ASP No. 2, to make up some ground in his bid for an unprecedented 10th ASP World Title. And reigning ASP World Champion, Mick Fanning (AUS), who is in the same half of the draw as Slater, will also be eyeing a big haul of points to elevate his ranking higher than his current No. 5 berth.

All the action at the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina can be watched Live via webcast at http://www.aspworldtour.com/santacatarina where a breakthough development now enables viewers to watch individual rides from previous rounds in the ‘Video On Demand’ section.

The event has a waiting period that runs until Sunday May 2 in which to select the premier conditions in which crown the 2010 champion.

The balance of the Round 4 heats have just got underway at Praia Vila beach and Jordy Smith’s heat with Roy Powers will start at approximately 2pm today (SA time).

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

BILLABONG SANTA CATARINA PRO ROUND 3 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Luke Munro (AUS) 13.04 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 10.84
Heat 2: Jadson Andre (BRA) 15.26 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 9.23
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.50 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 10.17
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.77 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.17
Heat 5: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.73 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 5.20
Heat 6: Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.66 def. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 10.00
Heat 7: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.83 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 11.33
Heat 8: Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.60 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.00
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.50 def. Neco Padaratz (BRA) 11.04
Heat 10: Taylor Knox (USA) 13.00 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.73
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.77 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.27
Heat 12: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.50 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 7.83
Heat 13: Kelly Slater (USA) 12.60 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 6.83
Heat 14: Chris Davidson (AUS) 12.37 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 12.17
Heat 15: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.00 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 9.83
Heat 16: Roy Powers (HAW) 14.17 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 9.66

BILLABONG SANTA CATARINA PRO ROUND 4 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Jadson Andre (BRA) 16.83 def. Luke Munro (AUS) 10.83
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.50. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.43
Heat 3: Dane Reynolds (USA) 15.16 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.67
Heat 4: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.84 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.80

BILLABONG SANTA CATARINA PRO REMAINING ROUND 4 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)
Heat 8: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Roy Powers (HAW)

Ends

Issued on behalf of:

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

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.

Travis Logie & Jordy Smith in action at Billabong Pro Santa Catarina this afternoon

April 28th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Travis Logie (Durban) in action during his Round 2 win over Kai Otton (AUS) at the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina on Sunday. Photo: ASP / Kirstin

PRAIA DA VILA, Santa Catarina/Brazil (Wednesday, April 28, 2010) – With clean three-to-four foot (1 metre) waves on offer at the primary site of Praia da Vila Brazil, the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina has been called on today with the opening heat of Round 3 hitting the water at 7:15am (12h15 South African time).

Event No. 3 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina expects a massive day of competition, preparing to run the 16 heats of Round 3 as well as the first four heats of Round 4.

“The surf has increased today and it’s the cleanest we’ve seen it so we’re planning an early start of 7:15am,” Richie Porta, ASP International Head Judge, said. “We’ll be monitoring conditions, but if it remains like this we’re planning to run all of Round 3 and the first half of Round 4.”

South Africans Travis Logie and Jordy Smith, both from Durban, will be in action during Round 3 which will be webcast live via http://www.aspworldtour.com/santacatarina

Logie, who won his first heat on the ASP World Title Tour this year when he defeated Kai Otton (AUS) in Round 2 on Sunday, will be up against current ASP World No. 1, Taj Burrow (AUS) in Heat No. 8, which is scheduled to start at approximately 4.15pm SA time.

Smith, currently No. 3 on the ASP World Title rankings, advanced directly to Round 3 by winning his opening three-man encounter. Smith takes on Ben Dunn (AUS) in Heat 15 today at approximately 7.45pm SA time.

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

BILLABONG SANTA CATARINA PRO ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 1: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 3: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 5: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 6: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)
Heat 7: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Tom Whitaker (AUS)
Heat 8: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 10: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 11: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
Heat 12: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 13: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 14: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 15: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)
Heat 16: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Roy Powers (HAW)

Ends

Issued on behalf of:

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

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.

Dale Staples clinches Billabong Pro Junior title in countback on Dolphin Coast

April 27th, 2010 No comments

BJS101 - D3 - Dale Staples - Floater - Patto - lr - IMG_5786

Dale Staples won the narrowest of victories in the Billabong Pro Junior men’s event at Westbrook today, tying with Australian Ryan Callinan in the final of the ASP Grade-1 rated contest before being awarded the victory on a countback to each surfer’s best ride, with Staples’ top score of 8.5 better than Callinan’s 7.0.

The organisers took the first Billabong Junior Series event to use a mobile event format back to Westbrook for the third and final day where 1-1.3 metre glassy waves produced the ideal scenario for high performance surfing by the country’s top 20-and-under competitors.

The final of the US $5 000 (approx R37 000) Pro Junior men’s event was a thrilling finale to a great event with Staples establishing his superiority right on the opening siren. Taking off on a set wave, the 17 year-old from St Francis Bay seamlessly combined a full repertoire of manoeuvres with powerful bottom turns punctuated by a fins-free tail-slide and a roundhouse cutback before successfully completing a vertical close-out re-entry.

With Staples awarded 8.5 out of 10 by the judges, which ultimately became the title-winning ride, Callinan had to play catch-up for the rest of the heat. The Australian’ netted a 6.0 at the 10 minute mark before Staples secured a 4.5 and leaving his opponent needing 7.01 for victory. With 10 seconds remaining Callinan took off on a wave and, as the siren sounded to end the heat, he produced a series of backhand bashes to earn 7.0 and tie the heat at 13.0 points each.

Staples was chaired from the water’s edge and earned US $2 000 (approx. R15 000) along with a Nixon 42-20 PU Watch valued at over R3000 and a case of Monster Energy drink for his victory while Callinan pocketed $900 and a pair of Von Zipper sunglasses for the runner-up spot.

Equal third after losing out in their respective semifinals were Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay), who was competing in both the Pro Junior and U16 boys divisions and contested five heats on the day, including back to back finals, and David van Zyl, the lone Durbanite in any of the four finals.

The first final contested was the U12 boys where reigning Billabong Junior Series champion Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay) stamped his authority on proceedings from the start by posting an excellent 8.0 point score on his first ride. Maree added a 3.5 later and his total of 11.50 out of 20 was sufficient to give him victory over talented newcomer Jake Elkington (Llandudno), Adin Masencamp (Somerset West) and Donovan Wichmann in an all Cape Town final. 

Clearly exhausted from his earlier efforts, Maree could only manage fourth place in the U14 boys final. Matt McGillivray (Port Elizabeth) whose fearless charging in the larger surf yesterday was impressive, had to settle for third as Kommetjie friend and rivals Max Armstrong and Benji Brand went head-to-head. When the spray settled it was Armstrong with his fully committed forehand attack that recorded the highest heat total of all four finals on the day – 15.50 out of 20 – who triumphed over Brand’s vertical backhand manoeuvres.

Not to be outdone, Brand stayed in the water after also qualifying for the U16 boy’s final. Steven Sawyer led for the first 18 minutes despite snapping the nose off his surfboard early in the heat and having to collect a replacement from the beach. However, a flurry of rides in the closing minutes saw Sawyer overtaken by fellow JBay ripper Dylan Lightfoot and then Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand).

But saving the best for last, Brand came up trumps with rides of 5.0 and 5.5 in the last five minutes to snatch the U16 title from Lightfoot, Zakarian and Sawyer, who finished in that order.

As the results were totaled and the cheques written, a dozen of the country’s best junior exponents of aerial manoeuvres paddled out for the 30 minute Von Zipper Air Show. The winner-takes-all R2 000 prize-purse was decided in the opening minute as former Kommetjie resident, Thomas Woods, now living in Australia, boosted himself more than a metre above the lip of the wave, effortlessly completed a full 360 degree turn in the air and landed successfully. While Umhlanga local Beyrick de Vries came closest to matching Woods’ aerial, the Aussie was the clear victor and pocketed the cash.

The Billabong Junior Series Dolphin Coast was the first of two events and the Series champions will be crowned for the 14th successive year at stop No. 2 at Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape from 1-4 September.

Images, results and news from the event will be available at www.billabong.com and a TV documentary, produced by Silver Bullet Productions, will be broadcast post event on Vuzu – DSTV Channel 123.

The Pro Surf Tour (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 men’s event is sanctioned by ASP Africa, the regional office for ASP International.

The series is proudly supported by Von Zipper, Kustom and Nixon and fueled by Monster Energy.

Billabong Junior Series
Westbrook, KwaZulu-Natal Dolphin Coast

Results
Pro Junior boys

1. Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) $2 000 + Nixon watch + Case of Monster Energy
2. Ryan Callinan (Australia) $ 900 + Von Zipper eyewear
=3. David van Zyl (Glenashley) $ 550
=3. Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) $ 550
=5. Matt Bromley (Kommetjie) $ 250
=5. Devin Lane (Umhlanga) $ 250
=5. Mikey February (Kommetjie) $ 250
=5. Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh) $ 250

U16 boys

1. Benji Brand (Kommetjie) R2 000 + Nixon watch
2. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) R1 200 + Von Zipper eyewear
3. Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) R 800 + Nixon watch
4. Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) R 500 + Kustom footwear

U14 boys

1. Max Armstrong (Kommetjie) R1 500 + Nixon watch
2. Benji Brand (Kommetjie) R1 000 + Von Zipper eyewear
3. Matthew McGillivray (Port Elizabeth) R 600 + Nixon watch
4. Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay) R 400 + Kustom footwear

U12 boys

1. Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay) R1 000 + Nixon watch
2. Jake Elkington (Llandudno) R 750 + Von Zipper eyewear
3. Adin Masencamp (Somerset West) R 500 + Nixon watch
4. Donovan Wichmann (Marina da Gama) R 250 + Kustom footwear

Von Zipper Air Show

1. Thomas Woods (Australia) R2 000

\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
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

NEWSFLASH – Westbrook the venue for final day of Billabong Junior Series Dolphin Coast

April 27th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Benji Brand (Kommetjie) was one of the standout performers in the epic conditions at Westbrook on Day 2 of the Billabong Junior Series Dolphin Coast on Monday. Photo: Billabong / Patterson

The final day of the Billabong Junior Series event on the Dolphin Coast of KwaZulu-Natal will be staged at Westbrook where clean 1 – 1.5 metre hollow waves are on offer and clear skies and windless conditions are expected throughout the day.

The event gets underway at 8am and will conclude with the event champions crowned in the ASP Grade-1 rated Pro Junior men’s event, the U16, U14 and U12 boys divisions and the spectacular Von Zipper Air Show.

Bianca Buitendag (George) won the Billabong Pro Junior women’s event on Monday, defeating Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbosstrand) in the final.

Images, results and news can be viewed at www.billabong.com and a TV documentary, produced by Silver Bullet Productions, will be broadcast post event on Vuzu – DSTV Channel 123.

The Pro Surf Tour (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 men’s event is sanctioned by ASP Africa, the regional office for ASP International.

The series is proudly supported by Von Zipper, Kustom and Nixon and fueled by Monster Energy.

The 2010 Billabong Junior Series starts on the Dolphin Coast of KwaZulu-Natal from 25-27 April and concludes at Victoria Bay (1-4 September) where the series champions will be crowned for the 14th 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
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Bianca Buitendag wins Billabong Pro Junior women’s title in epic conditions on Dolphin Coast

April 26th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Bianca Buitendag (George), left, celebrates her victory in the Pro Junior women’s division of the Billabong Junior Series event at Westbrook on Monday, along with runner-up Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbosstrand) Photo: Billabong / Patterson

Bianca Buitendag showed the benefit of her international experience by selecting the best waves and riding with speed, flow and control to record a comfortable win over Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbosstrand) in the Pro Junior women’s final at the Billabong Junior Series event on the Dolphin Coast on Monday.

The well traveled 16 year-old from George, who won the Gromsearch International Final at Bells Beach in Australia at Easter, was in a class of her own throughout the event as epic 1.5 to two metre waves peeled through the lineup at Westbrook.

“I’m stoked to win and the waves were epic, so well done to the organisers for completing the girl’s event today even though it was starting to get dark,” Buitendag said after being awarded the R2 000 winner’s cheque and raft of prizes that included a case of Monster Energy drink, a Nixon watch and a pair of Kustom footwear.

Heather Klug (Durban) and Alice McGregor (East London) placed equal third, losing to Buitendag and Rautenbach in their respective one-on-one semifinals as they struggled to find waves with good scoring potential. The upset of the day came when event favorite Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie) let an early lead slip away as first Rautenbach and then McGregor overtook her in the Round of 8.

The competitors in the premier ASP Grade-1 rated Pro Junior men’s event reveled in the pristine early morning conditions. Matt Bromley (Kommetjie) and Devin Lane (Umhlanga) advanced to the man-on-man quarterfinals from Heat 1 with full commitment late drops and deep tube rides while Australian Ryan Callinan led throughout his encounter to progress along with heat runner-up Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay).

Mikey February (Kommetjie) waited for 11 minutes before catching his first wave in Heat 3 but then bagged pair of sixes to run out the winner with 13 year-old Slade Prestwich grabbing the runner-up spot from fellow Scottburgh surfer Haydn MacNicol, 19.

Heat 4 produced the encounter of the day as the lead changed hand on virtually every wave before Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) took off inside the barrel, tucked in and then emerged from under the lip which the judges rewarded with an excellent 8.5 out of 10. From then the battle was on for second place and when the siren went to end the clash it was David van Zyl (Glenashley) who was ahead of Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay) and Shawn Dennis (Durban).

The scene is set for an exciting conclusion to the Pro Junior event with R37 000 at stake, of which R15 000 plus a Nixon 42-20 PU Watch valued at over R3000 goes to the winner, along with priceless ratings points towards the Billabong and ASP Africa Pro Junior series titles and invitations to the inaugural ASP Junior World Championship Series later this year.

The U16 boys had the benefit of taking to the surf first and the six of the top eight seeds – Jarred Veldhuis (Kommetjie), Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh), Steven Sawyer (JBay), Mikey Venter (Warner Beach), Benji Brand (Kommetjie) and No. 8 Dylan Lightfoot – won their heats to progress to the last 16.

Joshua Smit (Athlone Park), the No. 6 seed, placed second behind Wade Simkiss (Durban) to also advance while No. 7 Simo Mkise (Umzumbe) was the only casualty, placing third behind on-fire U14 standout Matt McGillivray (Port Elisabeth), who charged into some of the gnarliest waves of the day, and Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) who snagged the runner-up spot despite incurring an interference penalty by dropping in on Max Armstrong (Scarborough) on the first wave of the heat.

The U14 boys division was dominated by a performance from Benji Brand that was simply mind blowing. After slipping out of the Pro Junior event and quietly winning his U16 heat, the stockily built 14 year-old from Kommetjie posted rides of 9.0 and 7.5 in the first five minutes of his U14 heat. He followed that up with an 8.75 and an 8.15 in the next five minutes before tailing off with a 7.0 and a couple of short rides towards the end.

Yet even with a heat tally of 17.75 out of 20, Brand was less than two points ahead of runner-up Matt McGillivray as the youngster from PE posted excellent scores of 8.5 and 7.5 of his own to stay in contention for higher honours. Others to move into tomorrow’s semis included heat winners Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay), Max Armstrong and Steffen Burrows (Somerset West).

Competitors in the youngest division – the U12 boys – also charged in the classic conditions with Cape Town surfers Jordan Maree, Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie) and Donovan Wichmann (Marina da Gama) taking the heat victories. They will be joined in the semis by David Burrows and Aiden Masencamp (both Somerset West) and newcomers Jake and Max Elkington from Cape Town and sole Durbanite Bevan Willis.

The swell is forecast to drop further for the final day and the organisers will be checking all the breaks for the best waves between Umhlanga and Ballito on KZN’s Dolphin Coast before making the call on where to stage the finale of the mobile event.

The location for each day of competition can be accessed throughout the contest via the Event Hotline at 071 179 9813.

The finals in all divisions will be followed by the Von Zipper Air Show where the surfer completing the most futuristic aerial manoeuvre will pocket the R2 000 winner-take-all prize-purse.

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 post event on Vuzu – DSTV Channel 123.

The Pro Surf Tour (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 men’s event is sanctioned by ASP Africa, the regional office for ASP International.

The series is proudly supported by Von Zipper, Kustom and Nixon and fueled by Monster Energy.

The 2010 Billabong Junior Series starts on the Dolphin Coast of KwaZulu-Natal from 25-27 April and concludes at Victoria Bay (1-4 September) where the series champions will be crowned for the 14th 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
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

2010 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards Results are in:

April 25th, 2010 No comments

 

XXL1004 - BillabongXXL10WinnerBigSteudtnerSM - Framed mr

South African Grant “Twiggy” Baker Claims Ride of the Year, German Surfer Sebastian Steudtner Wins XXL Biggest Wave,

California’s Shawn Dollar Breaks Biggest Paddle-in Wave Record, Aussie Brooke Phillips wins Wipeout of the Year

ANAHEIM, CA — (April 24, 2010) — Grant “Twiggy” Baker from Durban, South Africa took top Ride of the Year honors in the premier category of the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy, at a glittering function in Anaheim, California last night.

Baker, 36, pocketed US $50,000 for his incredible ride on an enormous wave which he paddled into during the Maverick’s Surf Contest at Half Moon Bay in Northern California on February 13, 2010.

“This is for my country, South Africa! We have the FIFA (soccer) World Cup later this year and we’re a proud nation,” Baker said in his victory speech after thanking the El Nino weather conditions for producing an amazing year of big waves around the planet, his fellow nominees for their incredible performances and confessing that he did not have a speech prepared as he did not expect to win.

“Thanks to all the guys back at Dungeons (in Cape Town) and everyone here tonight. Drinks are on me!” Baker added as he celebrated on stage with the giant check.

Regarded as the Oscars of big wave surfing, the Tenth Annual XXL Awards recognize the biggest and heaviest waves ridden and documented over the past twelve months anywhere in the world.

2,300 surf-stoked fans packed the Grove Theater in Anaheim to witness mind-blowing rides from Chile, South Africa, Australia, Hawaii, Mexico, California and French Polynesia.  In what proved to be one of the best years in big wave surfing history, over 1000 images and videos were submitted for judging.  The awards are decided by a panel of 400 surfers, selected surf media and big wave aficionados.

Sebastian Steudtner (Nuremberg, Germany) finished first in the Billabong XXL Biggest Wave division for a giant tow-in ride at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on a monster wave that took everyone by surprise for its size and speed.  It was the first time a German surfer had appeared on the XXL stage.

“It feels good; it’s what I live for,” said Steudtner. “I moved to Hawaii when I was 16; a Hawaiian family took me in and taught me how to surf. I am honored to win this thing.”

Shawn Dollar officially surfed into the record books for riding a paddle-in wave judged to be 55 feet on the face to win the Monster Paddle Award.  The previous Guinness Book best was held by Californian Taylor Knox for a 52-foot wave ridden at Todos Santos, Mexico in 1998.

“It’s like winning a Gold Medal or winning the World Series,” said Dollar.  “It’s been the most important thing in my life for many years and I’ve accomplished it – phenomenal!”

The 2010 Billabong XXL Awards were webcast in over a dozen countries with a worldwide audience that broke records for a surfing awards event.  The awards ceremony was webcast live on BillabongXXL.com and simulcast on EXPN.com.  The event will be broadcast on the ESPN networks starting May 18.

In all, over $130,000 in cash and prizes were awarded to the world’s greatest big wave surfers in this edition of the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy.  Verizon Wireless is the official communications provider and Honda is the official watercraft of the event.  Surfline.com is the exclusive surf forecast of the XXL. The event is sponsored by Surfing Magazine, Air Tahiti Nui and High Surf Accessories.

FINAL RESULTS:

BILLABONG XXL RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD

1st: Grant Baker  (Durban, South Africa) at Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010.     (Video by Noel Robinson)

     (Surfer prize $50,000  –  Video prize $5,000)

2nd: Ramon Navarro  (Pichilemu, Chile) at Waimea Bay, Hawaii on December 8, 2009.  

      (Surfer prize $5,000)

3rd: Shane Dorian (Kona, Kauai, Hawaii) Maverick’s, California on February 13, 2010. 

     (Surfer prize $1,500)

4th: Raimana Van Bastolaer (Tahiti, French Polynesia) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on March 17, 2010.

     (Surfer prize $1,500) 

5th: Mark Healey/Shane Dorian (Sunset Beach & Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Waimea Bay, Hawaii on December 7, 2009. 

     (Surfer prize $1,500)

WINNER BILLABONG XXL BIGGEST WAVE AWARD

Sebastian Steudtner (Nuremburg, Germany) at Jaws, Maui on December 7th, 2009.    (Photo by Batel Shimi)

     (Surfer prize $15,000 and a Honda Aquatrax watercraft with HSA sled – Photo/video prize $4,000)

WINNER MONSTER PADDLE AWARD

Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, California, USA) at Mavericks, California on February 13th, 2010   (Photo by Fred Pompermayer)

     (Surfer prize $15,000  –  Photo/video prize $4,000)

WINNER MONSTER TUBE PHOTO AWARD

Raimana Van Bastolaer (Tahiti, French Polynesia) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on March 17th, 2010.  (Photo by Ben Thouard)

     (Surfer prize $5,000 – Photography prize $2,000)

WINNER BEST MALE OVERALL PERFORMANCE AWARD

Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii)

     (Surfer prize $5,000)

WINNER BILLABONG GIRLS BEST PERFORMANCE AWARD

Maya Gabeira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

     (Surfer prize $5,000)

WINNER VERIZON WIRELESS WIPEOUT AWARD

Brook Phillips Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania, Australia on October 19th, 2009.

For more details see the event website at www.BillabongXXL.com

*************************************

MEDIA CONTACT:  BILL SHARP

SurfNewsEd@aol.com    949-548-6740

************************************* 

 MEDIA RESOURCES (do not publish)

 HIGH RES PHOTOS FOR MEDIA DOWNLOAD (ACTION AND AWARDS):                                                                          

 http://billabongxxl.com/xxl_media/                                        

 News video:

https://www.box.net/shared/shl9stoaca

Highlight webclip on Youtube for embedding on your website:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcbhFDA-jDw

Webclip File:

https://www.box.net/shared/nvtfgvs65c

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

NEWSFLASH – Billabong’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker wins Ride of the Year at Oscars of Big Wave surfing

April 24th, 2010 No comments

Grant 'Twiggy' Baker

NEWSFLASH – Billabong’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker wins Ride of the Year at Oscars of Big Wave surfing

Billabong team rider Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker from Durban, South Africa, won the Ride of the Year, the premier category in the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy, at a glittering function attended by 2 250 people in Anaheim, California last night.

Baker, 36, pocketed US $50 000 (approx. R375 000) for his incredible ride on an enormous wave that he paddled into during the Mavericks Surf Contest at Half Moon Bay in California on 13 February 2010.

“This is for my country, South Africa! We have the FIFA World Cup later this year and we’re a proud nation,” Baker said in his victory speech after thanking the El Nino weather conditions for producing the most amazing year of big waves around the planet, his fellow nominees for their incredible performances and confessing that he did not have a speech prepared as he did not expect to win.

“I’d like to thank all my sponsors, particularly Billabong and my aunt Cheron (Kraak) back in Jeffreys Bay. Thanks to all the guys back at Dungeons (in Cape Town) and everyone here tonight. Drinks are on me!” Baker added as he celebrated on stage with the giant cheque.

A full release with details of all the awards follows shortly

Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Results

1. Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker (Durban, South Africa)
2. Ramon Navarro (Pichilemu, Chile)
3. Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA)
4. Raimana Van Bastolaer (Tahiti, French Polynesia)  
5. Mark Healey & Shane Dorian (Sunset Beach & Kona, Hawaii, USA)

Ends

Pictured: Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker on the ride at Mavericks that won him us $50 000 for the Ride of the Year in the 2010 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards Photo: Frank Quirarte / BillabongXXL.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

BILLABONG XXL BIG WAVE AWARDS SURGE TOWARD FRIDAY NIGHT’S CLIMAX IN ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA;TENTH ANNUAL EVENT FEATURES GREATEST RIDES OF YEAR, $130,000 IN PRIZES AND LIVE WEBCAST

April 23rd, 2010 No comments

Manoa Drollet of French Polynesia in barrel at Teahupoo 

 NEWPORT BEACH, CA — (April 22, 2010) — The countdown is underway as the elite of the big wave surfing world converge on Southern California for Friday night’s Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy.  The Oscars-style ceremony at the Grove Theatre in Anaheim will pay tribute to the greatest achievements in high surf during the last year with a red carpet gala and a star-studded array of nominees and presenters.  Over 2,200 surf industry VIPs will attend the invitation-only event which will be carried via a live webcast on BillabongXXL.com

The tenth annual XXL Awards have shaped up as the most spectacular in the event’s history, thanks to an extraordinary year of El Nino-fueled swells spanning the Seven Seas.  Over $130,000 in prizes will be distributed to the champions in an array of categories including the Ride of the Year, Billabong XXL Biggest Wave, Monster Paddle, Monster Tube and Surfline Overall Performance Awards.  The top female surfers of the year will contend for the Billabong Girls Performance crown and the greatest mishaps of 2009/10 will be celebrated with the crowd-pleasing Verizon Wireless Wipeout of the Year Award.

Nominees are flying in from all over the world, including Ride of the Year finalists Grant “Twiggy” Baker of South Africa, Shane Dorian and Mark Healey of Hawaii, Ramon Navarro of Chile and Raimana Van Bastolaer of French Polynesia.  Contending for biggest wave of the year caught by any means are Ian Walsh and Makua Rothman of Hawaii, Ross Clarke-Jones of Australia, Danilo Couto of Brazil and Sebastian Steudtner of Germany.

The year-long competition covers every day of high surf at every surf break around the world, and is based on the photographic evidence.  Drawing from over a thousand entries, a panel of expert judges has analyzed the photos and video of the biggest waves and best moments to determine which were the greatest of all.

The webcast begins at 7:30 P.M. Pacific Time, this Friday, April 23rd.  Times in other zones are shown below.

The Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards are fuelled by Monster Energy.  Verizon Wireless is the official communications provider and Honda is the official watercraft of the event.  Surfline.com is the exclusive surf forecast of the XXL. The event is sponsored by Surfing Magazine, Air Tahiti Nui and High Surf Accessories.

For all details about the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, please see the website at www.BillabongXXL.com.

A high resolution version of the image below may be downloaded from:

https://secure.filesanywhere.com/fs/v.aspx?v=8971668e5b6376b4a369

Nominee video available to news outlets for immediate download on request.  A news feed and release will be issued immediately upon completion of Friday night’s awards ceremony.

BILLABONG XXL GLOBAL BIG WAVE AWARDS WEBCAST INTERNATIONAL START TIMES:

Honolulu   4:30 PM   Fri
Los Angeles   7:30 PM   Fri
New York   10:30 PM   Fri
Rio de Janeiro  11:30 PM Fr
London   Sat  3:30 AM
Paris   Sat 4:30 AM

Cape Town   Sat   4:30 AM

Perth    Sat 10:30 AM
Sydney   Sat 12:30 PM

**************************

MEDIA CONTACT:

Bill Sharp  surfnewsed@aol.com

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

Top Australian junior surfers join SA surf stars in Billabong Junior Series on Dolphin Coast

April 22nd, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Billabong’s Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay) is one of the top contenders for the Pro Junior men’s title in the Billabong Junior Series Photo courtesy Billabong

Top Australian junior surfers Ryan Callinan and Thomas Woods have arrived in South Africa to take on the cream of SA’s U20 surf stars in the Billabong Junior Series event that will be run on the Dolphin Coast of KwaZulu-Natal from Sunday to Tuesday, 25-27 April.

Callinan, who won the trials and went on to finish 17th in the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in Sydney in January, and Woods, the former Capetonian who won the opening leg of the Open Men’s division in the Queensland State Titles last weekend, will add an international interest to the ASP Grade 1 rated Billabong Pro Junior event.

The Ozzie pair, both 17, will be up against the likes of top seeds Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay), Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga), Matt Bromley and fellow Kommetjie resident Brendon Gibbens who placed 1st through 5th respectively in the opening ASP Africa Pro Junior event in Durban over Easter.

The local quartet have all just returned from competing in Scotland and were fortunate to get back in time due to the travel chaos in Europe caused by the volcano in Iceland that has grounded all air traffic since last weekend.

They will be joined by the likes of reigning ASP Africa Pro Junior champion Chad du Toit (Durban), Eastern Cape standouts Dale & Dane Staples (St Francis Bay), Bertie Stuurman (Jeffreys Bay), Kommetjie’s Davey Brand and a host of others in chasing the US $5 000 (approx. R37 000) prize-purse plus Billabong and ASP Africa Pro Junior series ratings points and now international pride in the premier division in the event.

International campaigner and Billabong team rider Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie) heads a strong field that includes reigning ASP Africa and Billabong Junior Series champions, Sarah Baum (Athlone Park) and Bianca Buitendag (George) in the PST sanctioned Pro Junior girl’s event with the champion crowned on Monday afternoon.

A huge entry of the country’s top Under 16, U14 and U12 boys will also be in action over the three days with the contest being staged at the beach between Umhlanga and Ballito providing the best waves on each day.

All competitors will receive an SMS with the venue and start time for each day of the contest while the location and daily event updates can be accessed throughout the event via the Event Hotline at 071 179 9813.

The VonZipper Air Show where the surfer successfully completing the most innovative aerial manoeuvre earns the winner-takes-all R2 000 prize-purse, will be run after the boys finals on Tuesday.

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 post event on Vuzu – DSTV Channel 123.

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 men’s event is sanctioned by ASP Africa, the regional office for ASP International.

The series is proudly supported by Von Zipper, Kustom and Nixon and fueled by Monster Energy.

The 2010 Billabong Junior Series starts on the Dolphin Coast of KwaZulu-Natal from 25-27 April and concludes at Victoria Bay (1-4 September) where the series champions will be crowned for the 14th 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
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za