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South Africa’s Grant Baker Wins Arnette Punta Galea Challenge In Massive Surf

December 23rd, 2013 No comments
Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) rides one of his event winning waves at the Arnette Punta Galea Challenge in Basque Country, Spain on Sunday  Credit: Steve Robertson

Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) rides one of his event winning waves at the Arnette Punta Galea Challenge in Basque Country, Spain on Sunday Credit: Steve Robertson

Punta Galea, Spain (Sunday, December 22, 2013) – A spectacular day of surfing on the Xpreshon Big Wave World Tour saw South Africa’s Grant “Twiggy” Baker take the win at the Arnette Punta Galea Challenge in Basque Country, Spain on Sunday.

The large Atlantic Ocean swell pumped consistent big waves into the Punta Galea Harbour point with surfers agreeing that wave faces were in the 30 feet range all day.

Baker, 40 years of age and from Durban in South Africa, controlled the 45 minute final from start to finish utilising perfect positioning and taking the biggest and best waves to finish with a near perfect score of 29.01 out of a possible 30.

“What a day for me, it just got better each heat and in the final I felt like I actually peaked and it just worked out perfectly” said Baker. “This wave surprised us. It is a legitimate big wave in the world of big wave surfing and we all really enjoyed the challenge.”

Today’s win sees Baker leading the Xpreshon Big Wave World Tour rankings for this season and well positioned to win this year’s Big Wave World Tour Title.

“It’s the aim to try and win the Xpreshon Big Wave World Tour Title and today’s win certainly has me well placed, but there are three event to go and I really have to focus on each event and be ready for when they might run.”

Baker (centre) celebrates  with runner-up Nic Lamb (left) and Ken Collins, both from Santa Cruz California  Photo: Steve Robertson

Baker (centre) celebrates with runner-up Nic Lamb (left) and Ken Collins, both from Santa Cruz California Photo: Steve Robertson

Finishing second and third and not far behind Baker were USA/Santa Cruz pair Nic Lamb, 2nd place on a final tally of 28.21, and Ken Collins on 24.87 in 3rd.

“I would have love to have won today and I think it got down to Baker’s last wave where he was in a slightly better position than myself to catch that wave” said 25-year-old Lamb.

“I’m still happy with second. Ken (Collins) and myself are here representing Santa Cruz and to place 2nd and 3rd sees us both well in touch on the world rankings and I’m looking forward to the next three events, two of which are on our home coastline in North America – Mavericks and Oregon.”

Punta Galea offered an amazing spectacle for the large crowds, estimated above 10 000, who lined the picturesque 400 meter cliff face that overlooks the break in an amazing natural auditorium setting.

Local Basque surfer Adur Letamendia from nearby Zarautz was the highest placed European making the final and placing 4th ahead of Ramon Navarro from Chile and David Bustamante (Basque/Spain).

Australian waterman Jamie Mitchell placed 7th overall, narrowly missing the final when he was edged out in his Semi-final by Navarro.

The water safety team were kept extremely busy all day with numerous snapped leashes and a particularly dangerous inside rocky section to the break where many surfers had to be towed from. One such incident saw rider and ski come to grief on the rocky point.
Apart from that, the day was managed superbly by competitors and organisers.

Three event locations remain on the Xpreshon Big Wave World Tour, Mavericks in California, Nelscott Reef in Oregon and Todos Santos (Mexico) with a waiting period through to March 31st.

The events only run if and when a large swell and good surface conditions coincide with surfers given a few days notice to get to the location and surf.

Results: Arnette Punta Galea Challenge
1st Grant Baker (South Africa/Durban) 29.01
2nd Nic Lamb (USA/Santa Cruz) 28.21
3rd Ken Collins (USA/Santa Cruz) 24.87
4th Adur Latamendia (Spain/Zarautz) 23.57
5th Ramon Navarro (Chile) 14.34
6th David Bustamante (Spain) 0.00

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

About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the recognized world governing body of professional surfing and has been crowning surfing’s undisputed World Champions since 1976. The ASP sanctions and crowns World Champions for the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, ASP World Junior Tour, ASP World Longboard 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 and other media platforms. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

Fanning crowned ASP World Champion :: Slater wins Pipe Masters :: Florence takes Triple Crown

December 15th, 2013 No comments
Mick Fanning (AUS), 32, with his third ASP World Championship Title trophy  Credit: ASP / Kirstin

Mick Fanning (AUS), 32, with his third ASP World Championship Title trophy Credit: ASP / Kirstin

Spectacular three to four metre waves at Pipeline in Hawaii provided the platform for an historic final day to the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) season as Mick Fanning (AUS) was crowned the ASP World Surfing Champion for the third time, Kelly Slater (USA) won his seventh Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons title and John John Florence (HAW) clinched his second Vans Triple Crown of Surfing award earlier today.

Needing to reach the semi-finals of the yearend event to secure the World Title or risk having Slater, 41, overtake him by winning the event, Fanning, 32, produced two nail-biting, last minute, come-from-behind heat victories in Round 5 and the quarter-finals to secure the crown before Slater even took to the surf on the final day.

Fanning joins surfing legends Tom Curren (USA) and Andy Irons (HAW) as a three-time world champion, a record surpassed only by Australian Mark Richards (4) and Slater with 11 titles.

“I’ve never put myself in the same circles as Tom Curren and Andy Irons,” Fanning said. “Tom is such an enigma and was so instrumental in injecting style into our sport. Andy … what hasn’t been said about Andy? He was such a legend and he was such a good friend. I’m honoured to be a part of this group. I was happy with one title and I was overwhelmed with two. With three? I don’t have words for that.”

Slater did everything expected of his charge for an unprecedented 12th World Title today, leaving 2012 Triple Crown Champion, Sebastian Zietz (HAW), and 2012 World Champion and defending Pipe Masters champion, Joel Parkinson (AUS), needing to replace both their counting scores in his quarter- and semi-final match-ups respectively.

Slater went on to defeat Florence, 21, in a hard-fought, 35-minute Final that ended with less than half-a-point separating the two.

“It was a strange final,” Slater said. “John John (Florence) and I both waited for a while and neither of us really got a score until late in the match. I knew it was going to be a sprint and it was probably a little advantageous not to have priority in the final as I was able to go for a lot of waves instead of wait for those that took a while to eventuate.”
With the biggest crowds ever witnessed packing the beach at Pipeline, and the gravitas of Slater’s 56th elite tour victory apparent, the greatest athlete the sport has ever produced was emotional on the final day of 2013.

“Last year, someone asked me what excited me in the end years of my career and I said I would like to surf a final at Pipe against John John (Florence) so that’s pretty special today,” Slater said. “To win is even better. I want to surf against the best surfers at the best waves – that’s why I’m on tour. I was obviously emotional today, especially after Mick (Fanning) clinched the title in the quarters. I don’t know what happens for me in 2014 but I think that has pissed me off just enough to come back.”

Speculation surrounding Slater’s eventual departure from the ‘Sport of Hawaiian Kings’ has been present at the season-ending event for the past several years, often supported by questions regarding motivation, legacy and physicality. The iconic American addressed these rumours unprompted today while on stage collecting his seventh Billabong Pipe Masters trophy.

“Today was one of the most special days in my life,” Slater continued. “It’s a day I have dreamed about since I was a little kid – big, perfect, West-angled Pipeline and a showdown at the Pipe Masters. If I had stepped away from the sport five years ago, I wouldn’t have had today. I want more days like this so I’m definitely back next year.”

Today marked John John Florence’s second Vans Triple Crown Title in three years, but his runner-up finish in the final event forces him to hang on to his life-long dream of one day hoisting the Pipe Masters trophy. The youngster, who lives right at Pipe, battled Slater with a series of exciting exchanges during the final 10 minutes, coming painfully close.

“This is my second Triple Crown but it feels pretty special,” Florence said. “The first year, I wasn’t really thinking about it. I was young and just having fun. This year, I came into the Triple Crown wanting to win it, but I honestly didn’t think I had a chance until we got to the final day at Pipe. This result has me motivated for next year. It’s eating my inside how close I was, but I’m still stoked.”

South Africa’s Jordy Smith, who missed the final event of the year due to an injury to his big-toe suffered at the penultimate event in Portugal in October, finished 2013 ranked No 4 on the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) rankings, up eight places from his 2012 ranking.

Compatriot Travis Logie, who placed 25th at Pipeline, ended the year ranked No. 25 and will join the world’s top 34 ranked surfers on the 2014 ASP WCT thanks to his top 10 finish in the ASP Qualifying Series rankings. The top 32 on the rankings plus two ASP wildcards for next year will be announced tomorrow.

Highlights from the Billabong Pipe Masters are available via www.vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com

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

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 16.37
2 – John John Florence (HAW) 15.90

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 18.30 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 5.00
SF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.63 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.84

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.03 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 16.90
QF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 16.77 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.00
QF 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.80 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 7.80
QF 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.83 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 6.00

BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.00 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.50
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.67 def. Nat Young (USA) 7.26
Heat 3: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.60 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 4.33
Heat 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.27 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.76

2013 ASP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR (WCT) RANKINGS – FINAL
1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 54 400 points
2. Kelly Slater (USA) 54 150
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 48 450
4. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 43 150
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 42 900
6. Julian Wilson (AUS) 40 950
7. Kai Otton (AUS) 39 600
8. Nat Young (USA) 38 000
9. Josh Kerr (AUS) 36 100
10. John John Florence (HAW) 35 150

25. Travis Logie (ZAF) 14 700

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

About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the recognized world governing body of professional surfing and has been crowning surfing’s undisputed World Champions since 1976. The ASP sanctions and crowns World Champions for the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, ASP World Junior Tour, ASP World Longboard 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 and other media platforms. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

 

Beyrick de Vries posts sensational performances at Sunset Beach in Hawaii

December 1st, 2013 No comments
Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga) slots into a giant tube at Sunset Beach, Hawaii, that earned him a perfect 10 point score in the Vans World Cup of Surfing yesterday  Credit: ASP / Cestari

Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga) slots into a giant tube at Sunset Beach, Hawaii, that earned him a perfect 10 point score in the Vans World Cup of Surfing yesterday Credit: ASP / Cestari

South Africa’s Beyrick de Vries, who yesterday stunned the surfing world when he posted a perfect 10 point ride on what has been described as the ‘biggest and best biggest barrel in the storied 50 year history of surfing competition at Sunset Beach’ in Hawaii, followed that up earlier today by winning his Round of 64 heat in the Vans World Cup of Surfing and moving into the last 32 in the final ASP Prime rated event of the 2013 season.

What makes these feats truly remarkable is that De Vries, who turns 21 in a fortnight, is competing in his first event at Sunset Beach, notorious for its huge ‘playing field’ which makes wave selection difficult even for those that live there and ride the spot every time it breaks.

Competing in waves that reached 20 foot (six metres) on the face, de Vries showed supreme skills in manoeuvring his way into, and out of, a massive tube yesterday. Today, in just his third heat at the break, he caught and rode the best waves in his 30 minute encounter to defeat local standout Olamana Eleogram (HAW) as the pair eliminated 2000 ASP World Champion and former Sunset Beach winner CJ Hobgood (USA) along with current No. 18 on the World Rankings, Jadsen Andre (BRA).

“It’s pretty much a 55 hour travel here on a plane and costs you pretty much half your budget,” said De Vries after his 10 point ride yesterday. “Living here is expensive and you kind of doubt it all, but then you get one wave like that and everything’s worth it. It’s all worth it, I’m stoked.”

Interviewed after today’s heat victory the Umhlanga resident humbly professed that he didn’t know how he was doing so well and that he was just having fun before going on to say that he was proud to be representing South Africa and thanking his board caddy Jake Patterson (AUS), all his friends back in SA and the water-patrol who were a great confidence booster, particularly in the giant surf yesterday.

When competition resumes De Vries will be up against CJ Hobgood’s twin brother (USA), New Zealand’s Ricardo Christie and current ASP WCT No. 5 Taj Burrow (AUS) with the top two progressing to the last 16, which would match the Umhlanga resident’s best result in a Prime rated event.

Coming into this event ranked No. 50 on the ASP World Tour rankings, De Vries needs to progress through three more heats to reach the final here to give himself a chance of qualifying for the 2014 ASP World Championship Tour which features the world’s top 34 ranked surfers.

See video footage of De Vries’ historic 10 point ride and post heat interview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tNTmvsxuPT8

Dale Staples (St Francis Bay), who was one of the top performers during last week’s Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa where he finished equal 17th overall, was eliminated in the Round of 96 at Sunset yesterday. Current ASP WCT No. 23 Travis Logie (Durban), the only other South African in the event, was ousted when he placed fourth in his tightly contested, low scoring Round of 64 heat today.

The Vans World Cup of Surfing is likely to be completed later today in smaller one to 1.5 metre waves at Sunset Point. All the action can be followed live at http://www.vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com/vansworldcupofsurfing2013/live starting at approximately 8.30pm South African time.

Vans World Cup of Surfing
Results

Round of 64 (1st & 2nd advance; 3rd=33rd; 4th=49th)
H1: Jay Thompson (AUS) 12.37pts ; Ian Walsh (HAW) 11.84pts ; Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.17pts ; Granger Larsen (HAW) 5.67pts
H2: Adam Melling (AUS) 11.30pts Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 10.54pts ; Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.07pts ; Hodei Collazo (EUK) 7.26pts
H3: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.77pts ; Ian Gentil (HAW) 14.27pts ; Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.10pts ; Ryan Callinan (AUS) 9.75pts
H4: Carlos Munoz (CRI) 13.17pts ; Hank Gaskell (HAW) 12.73.pts ; Nat Young (USA) 11.16pts ; Mitch Crews (AUS) 3.24pts
H5: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 15.00pts ; Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.03pts ; Adriano De Souza (BRA) 13.14pts ; Joshua Moniz (HAW) 12.63pts
H6: Frederico Morais (PRT) 14.73pts ; John John Florence (HAW) 14.67pts ; Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 11.10pts ; Kieren Perrow (AUS) 9.06pts
H7: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.60pts ; Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.50pts ; Brian Toth (PRI) 11.33pts ; Brett Simpson (USA) 9.20pts
H8: Gavin Gilette (HAW) 11.40pts ; Kalani Chapman (HAW) 9.50pts ; Mick Fanning (AUS) 7.74pts ; Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 4.00pts
H9: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.37pts ; Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.00pts ; Heitor Alves (BRA) 11.64pts ; Joan Duru (FRA) 7.50pts
H10: Torrey Meister (HAW)10.54pts ; Krystian Kymerson (BRA)9.90pts ; Matt Wilkinson (AUS)9.80pts ; Travis Logie (ZAF)7.83pts
H11: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 14.73pts ; Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 14.00pts ; Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.57pts ; Dusty Payne (HAW) 4.17pts
H12: Kiron Jabour (HAW) 13.56pts ; Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.40pts ; Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.16pts ; William Cardoso (BRA) 11.60pts
H13: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 14.00pts ; Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 13.46pts ; CJ Hobgood (USA) 13.07pts ; Jadson Andre (BRA) 7.10pts
H14: Damien Hobgood (USA) 15.20pts ; Tim Reyes (USA) 14.67pts ; Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.67pts ; Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 12.50pts
H15: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 16.46pts ; Ricardo Christie (NZL) 14.70pts ; Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.40pts ; Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 14.04pts
H16: Joel Centeio (HAW) 16.37pts ; Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.37pts ; Nathan Yeomans (USA) 11.77pts ; Mason Ho (HAW) 11.00pts

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

About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the recognized world governing body of professional surfing and has been crowning surfing’s undisputed World Champions since 1976. The ASP sanctions and crowns World Champions for the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, ASP World Junior Tour, ASP World Longboard 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 and other media platforms. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.