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Archive for August, 2010

Team South Africa dominate day 2 of ISA World Masters Surfing Championships in Panama

August 31st, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Heather Clark (Port Shepstone) on a perfect wave at Santa Catalina in Panama. Clark, the defending ISA Women’s Masters World Champion, posted the highest scores in the division to advance to Round 2. Photo: ISA / Gatica 
Team South Africa, back-to-back Gold Medal winners of the previous two editions of the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship dominated Day 2 of the 2010 event in Panama on Monday, winning all eight heats they contested, posting many of the highest scores and ending the day the only one of the 21 nations competing that has all eight team members in the winners round.

The waves improved for the second day of the competition, reaching 12 feet (4 metres) at times, and in light offshore wind and sunny skies, SA’s supremacy today was stunning. Stellar performances from David Malherbe with a heat tally of 15.43 out of a possible 20.00, and former Kahunas and Grand Kahunas World Champion, Chris Knutsen with a single ride score of 9.5 out of a possible 10.00, were the highest recorded in the event so far.

Malherbe, from East London, who was a copper medalist in the ISA World Masters in Puerto Rico 2007, said, “I am happy about my performance and I am not feeling the pressure. I would like to do well in this event and I’m looking forward to tomorrow, it’s is going to be a great day.”

Knutsen, from Durban, was equally happy after winning his heat. “I have been fortunate to go to the last two ISA World Masters and it just seems to get better. It’s a huge mission to pull off a contest like this and there is a great team of people doing a fantastic job.”

South Africans also had Heather Clark (Port Shepstone), the defending ISA World Champion, and Wayne Monk (East London) posting the highest combined and single wave scores in the Women Masters and Masters divisions respectively.

Team captain Marc Wright (Durban) convincingly won his opening heat to join David Malherbe in Round 2 of the Kahunas while Andrew Banks (Port Shepstone) joined Monk in Round 3 of the Masters.

According to Surfline’s official forecast, the wave size will hold steady through the day Tuesday with possibly larger sets in the afternoon. 

ISA World Masters Surfing Championships

Schedule for Tuesday 31 August (South Africans in Brackets)
Grand Masters Main Event R2 (Andre Malherbe + Robert Moore-Boyle)
Kahunas Main Event R2 (David Malherbe + Marc Wright)
Women Masters Main Event R2 (Heather Clark)
Women Masters Repecharge R1
Grand Kahuna Repecharge R1
Grand Kahuna Qualify R2 (Chris Knutsen)
Masters Repecharge R1
Kahunas Repecharge R1

All the action from the event, including live webcasts, daily videos, photos, results and contest news in both English and Spanish can be found at www.panamaisaworldmasters.com. The event is scheduled to start at 6.30am local time daily. (1.30pm SA time).

Event updates are also available through the ISA Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.

The SA Masters Team preparations and attendance at the 2010 ISA World Masters Championships is made possible thanks to a R150 000 grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).

Ends

ATTENTION MEDIA
Daily high quality pictures and TV resolution video highlights for editorial use, rights free, will be made available here:
 
Host: ftp.isasurf.org
User: isasurf_wmsc
Password: download1

About the International Surfing Association (ISA)
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. 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.  

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of over 60 countries on six continents. Its headquarters are located in San Diego, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre, first elected in 1994 in Rio, and re-elected six times since.  The ISA’s four Vice Presidents are Alan Atkins (Australia), Robin de Kock (South Africa), Mike Gerard (USA) and Karín Sierralta (Peru).

Issued on behalf of:

Surfing South Africa

Contact:            Robin de Kock, General Manager 
Cell:                  082 454 1149
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

SA’s top junior surfers head for season-ending Billabong Pro Junior at Victoria Bay

August 30th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) displays the form that took him to the victor’s dais in the Billabong Pro Junior Dolphin Coast in April. Photo: Billabong / Patterson

The country’s top pro junior surfers (20-and-under) are heading for Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape where the outcome of the crucial, season ending Billabong Pro Junior will see two surfers receive sought after invitations to compete internationally on the inaugural ASP World Junior Tour.

Scheduled for Wednesday to Saturday, 1-4 September, the Billabong Pro Junior features a R37 500, Grade-1 ASP Pro Junior men’s event alongside Pro Surf Tour (PST) events for Under 16, U14 and U12 boys and Pro Junior women and the spectacular VonZipper Air Show.

The absence of Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay), who has already wrapped up the 2010 ASP Africa Pro Junior men’s title and is overseas engaged in improving his ASP World Ranking, leaves the way open for fellow Billabong team rider, Dale Staples from St Francis Bay, the current ASP Africa No. 2 and winner of the Billabong Pro Junior Dolphin Coast event in April, to grab one of the two coveted invitations.

Staples, a former Vic Bay winner and the fourth seed here, faces a strong challenge from 2009 ASP Africa Pro Junior Champion and this week’s top seed, Chad du Toit (Berea), along with last year’s event champion Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga) and the Kommetjie pair of Brendon Gibbens and Billabong’s Matt Bromley, all of whom are capable of earning the R15 000 winner’s paycheque and the precious rankings points.

With the balance of the 40 strong field snapping at their heels, the competition amongst the five contenders will be fierce, particularly as a change in the allocation of the invitations sees just the top three in the ASP Africa rankings plus the top two Pro Juniors on the ASP World Rankings invited to challenge for the ASP Pro Junior Champion title. In previous years the top 4 from ASP Africa and one from the international rankings gained entry to what was a one-off World Pro Junior Championship.

Vic Bay local and SA’s highest ranked surfer on the ASP Women’s World Rankings, Bianca Buitendag (George), heads a very competitive Pro Junior Women’s field at Vic Bay that includes fellow international campaigner, Billabong’s Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie).

Recently crowned SA Open women’s champion Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbos), Alice McGregor (EL), Kirsty Delport (Durban), Tanika Hoffman (Kommetjie) and rising star Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) are others with strong credentials.

In the U16 boys, top seeds Jarred Veldhuis (Kommetjie) and Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh) face a titanic struggle against Billabong’s Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay), a finalist in the both the men’s and Pro Juniors in the SA Open in East London on the weekend, and Benji Brand (Kommetjie), winner of the U16’s on the Dolphin Coast.

Brand and Prestwich will also face off in the U14 boy’s against the likes of Max Armstrong (Scarborough), Matt McGillivray (Port Elizabeth), Steffen Burrows (Strand) and Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) while Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay), Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie), Adin Masencamp (Strand), Donovan Wichmann (Marina Da Gama) and brothers Jake and Max Elkington from Cape Town look the pick of the U12’s.

The visually dynamic VonZipper Air Show will again reward the surfer successfully completing the most innovative aerial manoeuvre pockets with a winner-takes-all R2 000 prize-purse

There will be daily video and picture uploads for each day of the event on www.billabong.com/za and the heat results can be followed as they happen throughout the event on twitter and Facebook (Username- BillabongSA).

Anyone who would like to be included onto the Billabong Junior Series event SMS notification database can send their name and mobile number to brendon.kegel@billabong.co.za

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.

\ends 

Issued on behalf of:

Brendon Kegel – Media and Communications

Billabong South Africa
Tel:                   042 200 2747
Fax:                  042 293 2478
Cell:                  083 799 0110
Email:               brendon.kegel@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

SA’s Andre Malherbe the top scorer on Day 1 of ISA World Masters Surfing Championships in Panama

August 30th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Wayne Monk carves off the top of a wave at Santa Catalina in Panama on Day 1 of the 2010 ISA World Masters Surfing Championships. Monk won his opening heat to advance to Round 2 of the Masters division
Andre Malherbe set up South Africa’s bid to defend team title at the ISA World Masters Surfing Championships in perfect fashion by posting the highest scores on Day 1 of the event staged in reeling two metre surf at Santa Catalina in Panama on Sunday.

Malherbe led throughout his Round 1 Grand Masters (over 40) heat, finishing with counting scores of 8.50, the highest of the day, and 6.83 (both out of 10) for a heat tally of 15.33 out of 20, also the day’s highest. The East Londoner left his opponents combo’d and needing to improve on both their scores to overtake him at the final siren.

Malherbe advanced to Round 2 of the qualifying stream in the double elimination format being used at the event, along with compatriot Robert Moore-Boyle (Durban), who comfortably won his low-scoring opening encounter.

Team SA’s strength in depth was further demonstrated when Wayne Monk (East London) and Andrew Banks (Port Shepstone) dominated their opening heats in the Masters (o/35) division. Monk tied Dean hall (AUS) in recording the highest single ride score of the division, 7.83, and also claimed the second highest heat total, 14.0, while Banks earned the fifth highest heat total.

After three days of torrential rain and onshore winds that turned the contest site in the rural Pacific coast village into a mud bath, the first day of competition enjoyed great weather and overhead surf for the 120 competitors from 20 countries participating in the world’s biggest contest for surfers aged 35-and-over.

South Africa, Australia, Brazil and Puerto Rico were the only countries to see all four of their competitors remain in the qualifying stream after the completion of Round 1 of the Masters and Grand Masters divisions.

Today’s schedule sees Round 1 action for the Women’s Masters (o/35), Kahunas (o/45) and Grand Kahunas (o/50) where SA’s Heather Clark (Port Shepstone), team captain Marc Wright and Chris Knutsen (both Durban) will start their respective campaigns to defend the ISA World titles they won at the previous edition of the event in Peru in 2008.

All the action from the event, including live webcasts, daily videos, photos and contest news in both English and Spanish can be found at www.panamaisaworldmasters.com. The event is scheduled to start at 6.30am local time daily. (1.30pm SA time).

Event updates are also available through the ISA Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.

The SA Masters Team preparations and attendance at the 2010 ISA World Masters Championships is made possible thanks to a R150 000 grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).

Ends

Photo: ISA / Gatica

ATTENTION MEDIA
Daily high quality pictures and TV resolution video highlights for editorial use, rights free, will be made available here:
 
Host: ftp.isasurf.org
User: isasurf_wmsc
Password: download1

About the International Surfing Association (ISA)
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. 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.  

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of over 60 countries on six continents. Its headquarters are located in San Diego, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre, first elected in 1994 in Rio, and re-elected six times since.  The ISA’s four Vice Presidents are Alan Atkins (Australia), Robin de Kock (South Africa), Mike Gerard (USA) and Karín Sierralta (Peru).

Issued on behalf of:

Surfing South Africa
Contact:            Robin de Kock, General Manager
Cell:                  082 454 1149
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

Emslie, Rautenbach and Prestwich crowned Mr Price SA Open champions at Nahoon Reef

August 30th, 2010 No comments

GREG EMSLIE : 2010 MR PRICE SA OPEN CHAMPION: PICTURE BY PIERRE TOSTEE
Greg Emslie is the 2010 Mr Price SA Open Champion. After two days of competition on Saturday and Sunday (August 28 & 29) in conditions that ranged from marginal 2 foot surf on Day One to perfect 5-6 foot offshore at Nahoon Reef on Day Two, the title in the eighth edition of the SA Open of Surfing went the way of the top seed.

The experienced East London surfer was joined in the winner’s circle by fellow SA Team member Chantelle Rautenbach of Melkbosstrand, who won the Women’s title, and Slade Prestwich of Scottburgh whose brilliant performance in the Pro Junior Final saw him taking home the trophy.

Emslie was a standout throughout the event, setting benchmarks in every heat he surfed in. Even when conditions were small, and at times marginal, on Day One the current SA Champion was outstanding. In his first round Emslie showed his true skill by recording a 9. 20 out of 10 wave score which underlined his status as a true champion.

It was not all plain sailing in the final however and the thirty two year old was pushed all the way by 16 year-old Jeffreys Bay star Steven Sawyer who led the heat until Emslie caught his final high scoring rides. Simon Fish who makes surfboards out of Cape St Francis but hails from East London was third and father-to-be Tyrell Johnson of East London came fourth.

Emslie has now won four of the five PST events he has competed in this year and is not only the current SA Champion, National Team captain and Cold Water Classic winner but can now add a second SA Open title to his list of achievements in 2010.

Rautenbach produced top quality surfing in the Women’s final beating Kirsty Delport of Durban, local girl Alice Mc Gregor and fellow national team member Stacey Guy into second, third and fourth respectively.

Scottburgh local Prestwich produced the highest heat score of all three finals, 16 out of a possible 20, beating Dylan Lightfoot and fellow Jeffrey’s Bay surfer Steven Sawyer into second and third respectively. Another JBay local, Bertie Stuurman, achieved his best result in a major PST event when he finished fourth.

Competitors in the 2010 Mr Price SA Open of Surfing were protected by the Surfing South Africa Shark Shield devices which were placed strategically in the line-up by the local lifeguards and other water craft on both days of the event.

The 2010 SA Open of Surfing was sponsored by Mr Price, sanctioned by Surfing South Africa and hosted by the Border Surfriders Association. It was a 3A Men’s Pro Surf Tour contest with the Women and Pro Juniors both 2A rated. R40 000 in total prize-money was on offer across the divisions.

Members of the 2010 SA Team as well as Head Coach Graham Hynes attended the event as part of their preparations for the 2010 ISA World Surfing Games in Peru in October. The team preparation, camps and fitness training as well as their attendance at the World Games is supported by a R250 000 grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.

Surfing South Africa is the recognized governing body for the sport and is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association.

Ends

Release compiled by
Robin de Kock
General Manager
Surfing South Africa
surfingsouthafrica@gmail.com
0824541149

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

SA Team set to defend titles at ISA World Masters Surfing Championships in Panama

August 27th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: The 2010 ISA World Masters Surfing Championships will take place in the perfect waves of Santa Catalina on the Pacific coast of Panama. South Africa are the defending team champions. Photo: Courtesy ISA

The South African Masters surfing team is set to defend four World titles at the ISA World Masters Surfing Championships which get underway with the Parade of Nations and Sands of the World ceremonies on the Pacific coast of Panama later today (Saturday).

After a 40-hour journey that saw the team fly to Sao Paulo, Panama City and Santiago before embarking on a 5-hour overland trip to the contest venue of Santa Catalina, the South Africans have enjoyed excellent surf in the 2-2.5 metre range for the past two days.

“We’ve settled in well at Santa Catalina, a very rustic village on the edge of the jungle with incredible rainfall – there was 200mm overnight,” said team captain Marc Wright, who will be defending the Kahunas (over 45 year-old) title he won at the last ISA Masters event in Peru in 2008.

“The spirit in the team is fantastic and it’s such an honour to be appointed captain given the amount of experience the other guys have. We’ll be going all out to bring home the gold,” the Durbanite added.

Andrew Banks (Port Shepstone), a semi-finalist and member of title winning 2008 SA team, concurred by saying, “Santa Catalina is an awesome place to compete and the wave is pretty tricky – big, powerful and perfect. We traveled for 40 hours to make it here and we intend to take the trophy home for the third consecutive year.”

The event features a veritable United Nations of surfing with more than 120 surfers, all 35-and-older, from 21 countries competing in the Masters (o/35), Grand Masters (o/40), Kahunas (o/40), Grand Kahunas (O/50) and Women’s Masters (o/35) divisions.

Team SA holds the proud tradition of having won the team gold medal at both the previous editions of the event – in Puerto Rico (2007) and Peru (2008). Along with Wright in the Kahunas, Chris Knutsen (Durban) will be defending the Grand Kahunas title (he was also crowned Kahunas champion in Puerto Rico) and Heather Clark (Port Shepstone) is the defending Women’s Masters champ.

The rest of the South African team is made up of Masters Wayne Monk (East London), Grand Masters Andre Malherbe (EL) and Robert Moore-Boyle (Durban) and David Malherbe (Coffee Bay), a two-time finalist in the Grand Masters division who has moved up to the Kahunas this year.

The team is coached for the third time by 1977 ISA World Champion Ant Brodowicz (Margate) and the manager is Dave Fish from East London.

On Saturday the international teams will march through the streets of Sona, 45 minutes from Santa Catalina, in the Parade of Nations before attending the Sands of the World and Opening ceremonies.

The first heats in the ISA World Masters Surfing Championships get underway at Santa Catalina on Sunday morning with Round 1 of both the Masters and Grand Masters scheduled for completion.

The event uses a double-elimination format that sees the top two in each four-man heat progress in the ‘qualifiers’ stream while those finishing outside the top two drop into the cutthroat ‘repecharge’ rounds where anything other than a top two placing  means elimination from the event.

All the action from the event, including live webcasts, daily videos, photos and contest news in both English and Spanish can be found at www.panamaisaworldmasters.com. The event is scheduled to start at 6.30am local time daily. (1.30pm SA time).

Event updates are also available through the ISA Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.

The SA Masters Team preparations and attendance at the 2010 ISA World Masters Championships is made possible thanks to a R150 000 grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).

Ends

ATTENTION MEDIA
Daily high quality pictures and TV resolution video highlights for editorial use, rights free, will be made available here:
 
Host: ftp.isasurf.org
User: isasurf_wmsc
Password: download1

About the International Surfing Association (ISA)
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. 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.  

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of over 60 countries on six continents. Its headquarters are located in San Diego, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre, first elected in 1994 in Rio, and re-elected six times since.  The ISA’s four Vice Presidents are Alan Atkins (Australia), Robin de Kock (South Africa), Mike Gerard (USA) and Karín Sierralta (Peru).

Issued on behalf of:

Surfing South Africa

Contact:            Robin de Kock, General Manager 
Cell:                  082 454 1149
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

Earthwave to challenge the Guinness World Record at Muizenberg next month

August 24th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: 110 surfers successfully ride the same wave at the Earthwave Beach Festival on Muizenberg Beach last year to set a new Guinness World Record. Photo: Craig Parker
The Earthwave Beach Festival will again host an attempt to challenge the Guinness World Record for the most surfers riding the same wave at Surfers Corner on Muizenberg Beach on the weekend of 25 & 26 September 2010.

The fourth edition of the popular festival that harnesses the huge interest surrounding attempts to break Guinness World Records (GWR) to promote sustainable lifestyle choices, will include a national SA Longboard Surfing (SALSA) event and Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) races featuring many of the country’s top performers, alongside plenty of fun beach activities, demonstrations and talks on climate change over the two days.

“We excited about Earthwave 2010 and after setting the Guinness World Record of 110 surfers riding the same wave at Muizenberg last year, we feel that we can raise the record even further,’ says Paul Botha from Kahuna Promotions, the organisers of the festival.

“Earthwave has become a really fun, mass participation event since 2006 with more than 440 surfers of every age and ability paddling out to break the record last year, and three times that many on the beach urging them on,” Botha added. “We’re inviting environmental organisations and companies to join us at the event to raise awareness of climate change and what can be done to reduce our impact on the planet.”

“There’ll be plenty of action in the ocean and on the beach with heaps of give-aways, raffles for worthy causes and competitions like Dig for Gold with prizes worth tens of thousands of Rands. And the whole fiesta ends off with the after-party-of-the-year at the Brass Bell.”

The attempt on the Guinness World Record will be made between 1pm and 2pm on Sunday 26 September, with registration starting at 10am, and the SALSA longboard surfing event and SUP races will start on Saturday 25, with the finals on the Sunday morning.

Earthwave Brazil, where the Guinness World Record of 100 surfers riding the same wave was set in 2008, will also be making another attempt to break the record on Sunday 12 September as part of a three day professional longboarding and SUP event at Quebra Mar near Sao Paulo.

The Earthwave Beach Festival at Muizenberg provides unlimited sponsorship opportunities for companies and organisations keen on promoting their environmental credentials or simply wanting to showcase their products and services to a receptive audience and through the saturation media coverage.

See www.kahunasurf.co.za/kp/earthwave for details of the 2009 Earthwave Beach Festival where the Guinness World Record was set.

Contact kahunasurf@mweb.co.za for further information on the Earthwave Beach Festival and sustainable lifestyles event and how to become part of this initiative.

/ends

Issued on behalf of:

Company:         Kahuna Promotions
Contact:            Paul Botha
Email:               kahunasurf@mweb.co.za

Compiled & Issued by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Jordy Smith the Top Seed as World’s Best Surfers get set for Billabong Pro Tahiti

August 22nd, 2010 No comments

Bobby Martinez (USA), 28, current ASP World No. 8 and defending Billabong Pro Tahiti Champion, will be one of the event favourites when competition commences.

Billabong Pro Tahiti pres. By Air Tahiti Nui
Stop No. 5 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour
Teahupoo, Taiarapu/Tahiti
August 23 – September 3, 2010

Jordy Smith the Top Seed as World’s Best Surfers get set for Billabong Pro Tahiti
 
TEAHUPOO, Taiarapu/Tahiti (Saturday, August 21, 2010) – The greatest assemblage of surfing talent in history is converging upon the idyllic South Pacific island of Tahiti, home of the world’s heaviest wave, Teahupoo, for Stop No. 5 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Tahiti.

Completing the halfway point of the 2010 ASP World Tour season, the Billabong Pro Tahiti plays a vital role in both the hunt for the 2010 ASP World Title and the midyear field reduction from the ASP Top 45 to the Top 34.
 
Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, current ASP World No. 1, is into his third season on the elite ASP World Tour, but enters into the Billabong Pro Tahiti as the No. 1 seed, a career first for the young South African.
 
“Most important for me is to realize that it’s not always going to be a walk in the park,” Smith said. “Being No. 1 is much like being No. 2, 3 or 4 as there is still a long way to go this season. I am working heat to heat, and that is really all that I can do. My goals are to win heats and stay in range to win battles which, in the end, win the war. A win would be great.”
 
Despite having yet to net a solid result in Tahiti (a 17th in 2008 and a 9th in 2009), Smith’s growing familiarity with the wave gives him confidence moving forward.
 
“Teahupoo is known for its power and stands alone as one of the most unique waves in the world,” Smith said. “I don’t think there is any surfer on the planet who does not respect it, even if it’s breaking at a mid-range size. As perfect as it gets, it can still crush your dreams even if you favour big waves, and I don’t think anyone gets into a comfort zone out there. You can’t get too cheeky.”
 
With the added intensity of the midyear field reduction and the minefield of Teahupoo specialists lining the wildcard ranks, Smith understands the challenge awaiting him in this island paradise.
 
“The wildcards and lower seeds will be going all out to get themselves back into the Top 32 seeds for re-qualifying so I guess we are going to see some really good performances from them – or whoever for that matter,” Smith said. “If we go back and look at the veteran standout World Tour campaigners, maybe Kelly (Slater), Andy (Irons), the Hobgoods, among a few others, also with the mix of all the specialists could be dangerous. Even the local boys could possibly come away with a surprise win.”
 
Smith’s opening heat will be a real test of his competitive skills as he takes on two of Teahupoo’s standouts in former ASP World Champion (2001) C.J. Hobgood (USA), 31, and 2008 event runner-up and wildcard Manoa Drollet (PYF) in Round 1 of competition.
 
Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, reigning ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 6, has been a consistent performer thus far in 2010, but admits that not being a top seed in Tahiti is not necessarily a bad thing.
 
“I am not the top seed heading into Tahiti which may actually be a blessing,” Fanning said. “I think you need to avoid the wildcards in Tahiti as they are so dangerous. I am just going to try and put a smart event together and hope to get a solid result.
 
However, Fanning, the No. 4 seed in Tahiti, will have a wildcard in his Round 2 heat as he takes on the runner-up in the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials, Tamaroa McComb (PYF), and in form 2010 ASP Dream Tour rookie Adam Melling (AUS), 25, who was runner-up to Jordy Smith at Jeffreys Bay in the last ASP World Tour event.
 
Bobby Martinez (USA), 28, current ASP World No. 8 and defending Billabong Pro Tahiti Champion, has historically been one of the strongest performers at Teahupoo, but the lethal goofy-footer remains cautious when considering his options for the 2010 instalment.
 
“Nothing is on my mind other than trying my best in the next event,” Martinez said. “There’s no point in thinking ahead of yourself. Every contest holds your hopes of winning a World Title so you’ve got to do the best in each contest or else there is no chance at all.”
 
Despite the certainty of hungrier performances from those looking to make the midyear field cutoff, the Californian maintains that  everyone can be a threat at this level of competition, especially in Tahiti.
 
“I do think the lower seeds will be intense in Tahiti, but I expect that from everybody on this tour in every heat in every event,” Martinez said.  “If you don’t give 100% in every event, you will not be here the following year so I think it’ll be a very interesting contest. That said, it’s like that every contest. Anyone and everyone is a contender in Tahiti. Nobody is a favourite and nobody is an underdog in my eyes. And it’s not just in this contest, but every contest. At this level, anyone can beat anyone.”
 
Martinez will face Jeremy Flores (FRA), 22, and Marco Polo (BRA), 29, in his opening round match.
 
Andy Irons (HAW), 32, former three-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 18, took a sabbatical from full-time competing in 2009 and his transition back to the competition singlet this season as yielded moments of brilliance amidst an overall building momentum.
 
“The season went the way I thought it would be – hard,” Irons said. Everyone is surfing really well and you basically can’t skip a beat or you’re off the tour. I’m feeling stronger and stronger at every comp. On my time off, I have been putting in some extra time in at the gym and I think it’s starting to pay off.”
 
A former winner at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, the Hawaiian’s performances at the treacherous lefthander have become the stuff of legend and Irons enters into this year’s event as the man to watch.
 
“Teahupoo is one of my favourite contests, that’s for sure,” Irons said. “I love the wave. I love the tropical vibe as well. It’s like being home for me. Of course, everyone is going to be charging at this year’s event regardless. The field reduction is a heavy thing and it weighs on everyone’s mind. Everyone wants to keep there job.”
 
Irons will take on former nine-time ASP World Champion and multiple Billabong Pro Tahiti winner Kelly Slater (USA), 38, and wildcard Heiarii Williams (PYF) in Round 1 of competition.
 
The major storyline threading its way through the upcoming Billabong Pro Tahiti is the mid-year field reduction of the ASP Top 45 to 34 (Top 32 finishers plus two wildcards) following the battle at Teahupoo.

Durban’s Travis Logie is one of those on the cusp of re-qualifying and is currently in a three-way tie for the No. 30 ranking. With another five potential qualifiers one spot back ranked equal 33rd, Logie needs to win at least one heat at Teahupoo to give himself a solid chance of staying on the 2010 ASP World Tour.

Logie competed four times in Tahiti while campaigning on the Dream Tour between 2005 and 2008, twice winning his Round 1 encounters and reaching Round 3 on three occasions, including recording the highest heat tally in Round 2 in his debut season. He faces veteran Taylor Knox (USA) and Luke Munro (AUS) in his Round 1 heat this year.
 
A full breakdown of ASP World Title Rankings possibilities for the Billabong Pro Tahiti are available at ASPWorldTour.com
 
The waiting period for the Billabong Pro Tahiti will begin Monday, August 23 and runs through September 3, 2010.
 
Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, are calling for a slow start to the contest waiting period with a very modest mix of southwest swells providing contestable, but small scale, surf on Monday and Tuesday.
 
The Billabong Pro Tahiti will be webcast LIVE via http://www.billabongpro.com/tahiti10/. The time difference between Tahiti and South Africa is 12 hours with the decision on when to get the event underway made at approximately 7pm SA time daily
 
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
 
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS
Heat 1: Damien Hobgood (USA), Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 2: Jadson Andre (BRA), Luke Stedman (AUS), Nate Yeomans (USA)
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Marco Polo (BRA)
Heat 4: Dane Reynolds (USA), Tom Whitaker (AUS), Blake Thornton (AUS)
Heat 5: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Roy Powers (HAW), Tim Reyes (USA)
Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS), Tamaroa McComb (PYF)
Heat 8: Jordy Smith (ZAF), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Manoa Drollet (PYF)
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT), Tuamata Puhetini (PYF)
Heat 10: Kelly Slater (USA), Andy Irons (HAW), Heiarii Williams (PYF)
Heat 11: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Dusty Payne (HAW), Drew Courtney (AUS)
Heat 12: Owen Wright (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA), Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 13: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 14: Michel Bourez (PYF), Dean Morrison (AUS), Mick Campbell (AUS)
Heat 15: Taylor Knox (USA), Luke Munro (AUS), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 16: Chris Davidson (AUS), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Ben Dunn (AUS)
 
 Ends
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
Billabong Pro Media Manager
Johnathan “JJ” Jenkins
email: johnathan.jenkins@billabong.com.au

Digital Photographs:
High-resolution digital images for newspapers and Internet sites are available via the ASP Digital Images Department – please contact kirstin@aspworldtour.com
 

Issued on behalf of:

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

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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.

Marc Wright to captain the SA Masters Team at the ISA World Masters Surfing Championships in Panama

August 20th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Two-time ISA World Masters Champion Chris Knutsen (Durban) in action in Peru in 2008 Photo: ISA / Jake White

World Champion Marc Wright of Durban North will captain the South African Masters Team at the ISA World Masters Championships in Panama. The 49 year old was named captain of the team at the recent training camp in Coffee Bay.

Team South Africa are the defending World Champions having won the team title at both previous World Masters events in Puerto Rico in 2007 and Peru in 2008.

The team will make the long journey to Panama in Central America on Monday (August 23) after a seven week wait for their visas. According to team coach Ant Brodowicz the eight surfers in the side are fit and raring to show the world why they are the champions.

The team contains three World Champions in Wright, Heather Clark of Port Shepstone and Chris Knutsen of Durban. This trio are joined by regular World Masters Championship finalists David and Andre Malherbe of East London, former SA Masters Champion Andrew Banks of Port Shepstone and new Masters caps Wayne Monk of East London and Rob Moore Boyle of Westville.

Over 160 surfers from 17 nations will be competing in the ISA World Masters Championships which begin on August 27 and end on August 4.

The SA Masters Team preparations and attendance at the 2010 ISA World Masters Championships is made possible thanks to a R150 000 grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).

2010 South African Masters Surfing Team
Over 35 (Masters) : Wayne Monk (Border), Andrew Banks (SKZN)
Over 40 (Grandmasters) : Andre Malherbe (Border), Robert Moore Boyle (CKZN)
Over 45 (Kahunas) : David Malherbe (Border), Marc Wright (CKZN)
Over 50 (Grandkahuna) : Chris Knutsen ( CKZN)
Women Over 35 : Heather Clark (SKZN)

Coach : Antoni Brodowicz (SKZN)
Manager : Dave Fish (Border)

Ends

Compiled by

Robin de Kock
General Manager
Surfing South Africa
082 454 1149

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LOCAL TUAMATA PUHETINI WINS AIR TAHITI NUI VONZIPPER TRIALS

August 18th, 2010 No comments

Tuesday, August 17th 2010 (Tahiti local time): Local surfer, Taumata Puhetini (PFY), has claimed the 2010 Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials in solid six-foot waves at Teahupo’o, overcoming an international invite-only field of 64 to guarantee himself a wildcard into the main event of stop 5 on the ASP Men’s World Tour, the Billabong Pro, Tahiti which begins next Monday, August 23.
 
Puhetini, 23, looked unstoppable in the all-Tahitian final versus fellow local, Tamaroa McComb (PFY), registering one of the highest two-wave combined heat tallies of the event, 18.17 out of a possible perfect 20, to see him claim the most important win of his career.
 
“I have had a lot of time to watch the Billabong Pro contest as a spectator and to watch Manoa reach the final (in 2008) was great. I have spent four hours in the water training every day. Now is my chance, I am ready,” said Puhetini.
 
Both Puhetini and McComb will now join seeded wildcard, Manoa Drollet (PFY) in Round 1 of the upcoming Billabong Pro, Tahiti main event. All three Tahitians are certain to draw the world’s highest rated surfers; world rated no. 1, Jordy Smith (ZAF), world-rated no. 2 Taj Burrow (AUS) and world rated no. 3 Kelly Slater (USA).
 
Drollet, a two-time trials champion and former Billabong Pro, Tahiti finalist (2008) believes McComb and Puhetini are danger-men at Teahupo’o and capable of causing a serious upset to the ASP Men’s Tour world title contenders.
 
Finishing third and fourth today was former two-time Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials winner (2009 & 2006) Heiarii Williams (PFY) and Steve Pierson (PFY), making it a clean sweep for the Tahitians in the semi-finals.
 
Australia’s Anthony Walsh (NSW, AUS) saw his run for glory cut short in the quarterfinals against local Steven Pierson (PFY). Pierson had the Aussie on the ropes early, scoring an excellent opening ride of 9.1 points for a long backhand tube ride which he backed up shortly after with another good score.
 
With just 10 minutes remaining, Walsh required a combination of scores to overtake the Tahitian and managed to answer back with a near-perfect 9.93 for an awesome double-barrel ride to put him within striking distance.
 
However, with time ticking away, Teahupo’o did not cooperate and still requiring a second good scoring wave Walsh, a former wildcard winner, was bundled out in equal 5th place.
 
Laurie Towner (NSW, AUS) had more than the wave drought to contend with in his quarterfinal. Earlier today Towner received medical attention on-site after he head butted the reef during a wipeout in Round 3. He was treated for a gash in his scalp and doctors inserted a stitch in a cut above his right eye.
 
In his quarter final versus McComb, Towner’s right ear copped it next. Towner unsuccessfully negotiated a frothy Teahupo’o tube and during the ensuring wipeout, the fin of his board struck his ear underwater.
 
He was taken to the nearby Marina by jet-ski and then driven to the nearest hospital immediately after the quarterfinal, a little shaken but otherwise okay.
 
At the time of writing, it’s expected Towner will receive a few more stitches.
 
The world’s top rated 45 surfers are expected to land in Tahiti over coming days for the Billabong Pro, Tahiti which begins August 23rd and runs to Sept 3rd. Just four full days of competition are required to crown a champion.
 
Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials
Final Results
FINAL:
Taumata Puhetini (PFY) 18.17 def Tamaroa McComb (PFY) 17.27

SEMI FINALS
SF1:
Taumata Puhetini (PFY) 16.67 def Heiarii Williams (PFY) 10.80 pts
SF2: Tamaroa McComb (PFY) 12.10 def Steve Pierson (PFY) 9.07 pts
QUARTER FINALS

QF 1: Taumata Puhetini 16.67 (PFY) def Heremoana Lucian (PFY) 6.67 pts
QF2: Heiarii Williams (PFY) 8.87 def Kamalei Alexander (HAW) 1.20 pts
QF3: Steve Pierson (PFY) 16.50 def Anthony Walsh (AUS) 13.43 pts
QF4: Tamaroa McComb (PFY) 13.17 def Laurie Towner (PFY) 7.00 pts

See full results, including scores, at http://www.surf.pf/index.php?menu=34&event=28&choix=1

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACT INFO:
General Enquiries, TV newsfeeds:
“JJ” – Billabong Int. Event Media Manager.
Tahiti Mob: +689 232 627
johnathan.jenkins@billabong.com.au
jj@premiummedia.com.au

Complimentary Digital photos (Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials & Billabong Pro):
Steve Robertson
Tahiti Mobile: +689 232 582
steve@surfingaustralia.com  

Note: High resolution images from the event are available to MEDIA OUTLETS from Life’s a Beach Communications – see contact details below

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PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
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BIG WAVES AND TEAHUPO’O TUBES ON DAY 1 OF AIR TAHITI NUI VONZIPPER TRIALS

August 17th, 2010 No comments

Pictured: Australian Anthony Walsh scored a perfect 10 point ride on Day 1 of the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials at Teahupo’o in Tahiti.
Monday, August 16th 2010: Teahupo’o, Tahiti: Mother Nature has flicked the switch at Tahiti’s famed surf break, Teahupo’o, turning on a magical day of surfing for contestants in the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials.
 
Invitees from more than 10 nations battled it out in solid eight-to-ten foot waves one Day 1, hoping for one of just two wildcard spots into the upcoming Billabong Pro, Tahiti (Aug 23rd – Sept 3rd).
 
Laurie Towner (NSW, AUS) was the day’s top scorer, his two-wave combined heat score of 16.97 seeing the natural foot advance comfortably ahead of Shimpei Hirogushi (JAP) on 9.93, and forcing the elimination of Sion Miloski (HAW) and Dale Staples (ZAF).
 
Towner took a horrifying wipeout during practice yesterday, yet despite the worst fears of onlookers, surfaced unscathed to regather himself and register today’s impressive effort.
 
Kamalei Alexander (HAW) was another standout on Day 1. The Hawaiian showed he was in perfect synch with the Teahupo’o lineup, easily winning both his Round 1 and Round 2 heats with an absolutely committed display of backhand tube riding.
 
Onlookers erupted when Alexander emerged from one of the most critical tube rides of the day, skimming past support boats and fans as they cheered him on.
 
Anthony Walsh (NSW, AUS) registered the event’s first perfect-10 point ride with just ten seconds remaining in his Round 2 clash versus Hawaii’s Hank Gaskell (HAW) and locals Tuhiti HAUMANI and David DANDOIS (PFY).
 
The score catapulted Walsh from last place to first in the dying moments and secured the Australian a place in Round 3.
 
Not all competitors were so fortunate, many suffering the wrath of Teahupo’o has they unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate the hi-speed tubes. Among those to be eliminated today were Billy Kempur (HAW), Ryan Hipwood (Gold Coast, AUS), Makua Rothman (HAW) and Nick Vasicek (AUS).
 
With the excellent surf expected to continue, organisers are confident of crowning the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials wildcards tomorrow (Tuesday Aug 17 – Tahiti time).
 
The Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trails waiting period is 16th – 19th August and decides the remaining two wildcard spots into the upcoming Billabong Pro, Tahiti, stop 5 of 10 on the 2010 ASP Men’s World Tour.
 
The Billabong Pro, Tahiti waiting period begins August 23rd and runs to Sept 3rd, with just four full days of competition required to crown a champion.
 
Local hero Manoa Drollet, a two-time Air Tahiti Nui trials winner, is the recipient of the third Billabong Pro, Tahiti wildcard and has already been allocated a main event seed.
 
Billabong’s award winning production team will again webcast every heat of the Billabong Pro, Tahiti live via: www.billabongpro.com <http://www.billabongpro.com>

ENDS>>>

MEDIA CONTACT INFO:
General Enquiries, TV newsfeeds:
“JJ” – Billabong Int. Event Media Manager.
Tahiti Mob: +689 232 627
johnathan.jenkins@billabong.com.au
jj@premiummedia.com.au

Complimentary Digital photos (Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials & Billabong Pro):
Steve Robertson
Tahiti Mobile: +689 232 582
steve@surfingaustralia.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