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Medina claims ASP World Surfing Title :: Wilson wins Billabong Pipe Masters and Triple Crown of Surfing 

December 20th, 2014 No comments
Gabriel Medina (BRA) pulls into another deep tube on his way to the 2014 Samsung ASP World Surfing Title at the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii yesterday (Friday)  Image: ASP / Cestari

Gabriel Medina (BRA) pulls into another deep tube on his way to the 2014 Samsung ASP World Surfing Title at the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii yesterday (Friday)  Image: ASP / Cestari

BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Friday, December 19, 2014) – In one of the most dramatic days in the history of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), 20-year-old Gabriel Medina brought joy to millions of his Brazilian compatriots by claiming his and the country’s first ASP men’s world surfing title in Hawaii yesterday (Friday).

Medina was in superb form throughout the five heats he contested in the powerful 2.5 metre waves, progressing from Round 3 to the Final of the Billabong Pipe Masters in memory of Andy Irons, where he posted the only perfect 10 point ride of the event.

He clinched the World Title after his nearest rivals, 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater, 42, (USA) and defending three-time World Champion Mick Fanning, 34, (AUS) were eliminated from the season ending event in the third and fifth rounds respectively

“Winning the World Title was my dream and now it’s reality – I’m seriously shocked,” Medina said. “Brazil is partying right now I think. I’m so thankful to be part of this, a lot of guys have tried to do this and I feel honored to be the one. I don’t know why it’s me but I’m really happy it is and I’m so proud to be Brazilian.”

“I always look up to Kelly and Mick,” Medina added. “Kelly won his first world title when I was born maybe, I don’t know. Mick is an inspiration for me, I always look up to him. How he is so focused, just how he is. Kelly is a great guy as well. I don’t know man, I don’t know what to say, it’s my best day ever!”

Medina was pipped for the Pipe Masters event title by Julian Wilson (AUS) who marked his first event victory on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) and the second CT win of his career after a six-heat marathon session on the final day.

It all came down to pure, deep, committed tube riding in the closest Pipe Final on record as Medina and Wilson opened their accounts by going different directions on the same wave for tube rides and ended it with a brilliant exchange. Final score-lines showed 19.63 (9.93 and 9.70) for Wilson, to Medina’s 19.20 (10, 9.20).

“It was an incredible day and I’m honestly speechless,” said Wilson. “Words can’t describe. I don’t even know how to feel yet. To win the Pipe Masters in good waves and having been out in the water for three heats in a row is amazing. I just found a groove and me and Gabriel got to duel it out — that’s what it’s all about.

Wilson was further rewarded for his tenacity when his last minute victory in the Pipe Masters saw the Australian clinch the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the second most prestigious award in surfing after the ASP World Title, overtaking rankings leader Dusty Payne (HAW), who had been ousted by Medina in Round 3. Wilson pocketed $100,000 for the event win and a bonus $50,000 for the Triple Crown series.

Brazilian Alejo Muniz played a pivotal role in Medina’s World Title success, eliminating both rival contenders Mick Fanning (AUS) and Kelly Slater (USA) from the competition. Muniz was eventually defeated in the Quarterfinals by Adrian Buchan (AUS), who took equal third place alongside compatriot Josh Kerr.

Fanning’s Round 5 loss ended his hopes of claiming a fourth World Title and saw him leave with a 9th place finish and end the year in second place on the WCT rankings.

The Billabong Pipe Masters marks the final Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) event in history, as the governing body of professional surfing has been named since 1983. The ASP will become the World Surf League (WSL) in 2015, delivering the athleticism, adventure and competitive drama of the world’s best surfing to fans from around the world.

For more information, log onto aspworldtour.com.

Billabong Pipe Masters Final Results:
1 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 19.63
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.20

Billabong Pipe Masters Semi final Results (1st to Final, 2nd = 3rd):
Semifinal 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.60 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.43
Semifinal 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.16 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 3.17

Billabong Pipe Masters Quarterfinal Results (1st to SF, 2nd = 5th):
Quarterfinal 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 4.30 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 3.27
Quarterfinal 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 6.00 def. John John Florence (HAW) 4.04
Quarterfinal 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.17 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 3.77
Quarterfinal 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.83 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 2.77

2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Tour Rankings (Final – after Pipe Masters)
1. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 62800 points
2. Mick Fanning (AUS) 55350
3. John John Florence (HAW) 51400
4. Kelly Slater (USA) 50050
5. Michel Bourez (PYF) 46000
6. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 43100
7. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 42900
8. Adriano De Souza (BRA) 42250
9. Taj Burrow (AUS) 41700
9. Josh Kerr (AUS) 41700

32. Travis Logie (ZAF) 10500 (Retired)

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

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

Nic Lamb Wins Punta Galea Challenge on ASP Big Wave World Tour

December 12th, 2014 No comments
Nic Lamb (USA) drops down the face of massive wave on his way to victory in the Punta Galea Challenge in the Basque region of Spain on Thursday  Image: ASP / Poullenot

Nic Lamb (USA) drops down the face of massive wave on his way to victory in the Punta Galea Challenge in the Basque region of Spain on Thursday  Image: ASP / Poullenot

Nic Lamb (USA) won the Punta Galea Challenge, the second stop on the 2014 / 2015 ASP Big Wave World Tour (BWWT), in huge 30 to 40 foot (9 to 13 metre) waves at Getxo in the Basque region of Spain on Thursday.

Lamb finished ahead of Makuakai Rothman (HAW) and Nathan Fletcher (USA) in the giant shifting walls of water as the lead change hands numerous times in the 60 minute Final before the Californian clinched his first event win.

South Africa’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker, the reigning BWWT champion and 2013 Punta Galea winner, was ousted in Round 1 of this year’s event when he struggled to find any rideable waves in the morning high-tide, onshore conditions.

Lamb opened his wave account in the Final with an incredible ride all the way from the outside on a 40-foot set wave that earned him a score of 9.77 out of 10. He took control of the heat by dropping into a lefthander that took him dangerously close to the rock-lined shore but added 7.0 points to his total.

Halfway through the encounter Rothman posted back-to-back 9 point rides to grab the lead, but Lamb selected another huge lefthander and survived a jaw-dropping late take-off to score the only perfect 10 point ride of the final and take the win.

“I’m stoked, over the moon, right now,” Lamb said. “I was in the lead in the beginning then Makua fought back with his two nines. I knew I needed a high-nine and tried to remain cold as ice and wait for the wave and it came through and paid off.”

“We had enough time, so it was just a matter of positioning myself right and wait for the wave to come,” Lamb continued. “Punta Galea is a sick wave, I love this place. There’s multiple take-off spots so it’s a little tricky. The playing field is pretty large. We still got two more events to go, my goal is to win the title and I’ll try my best to do so.”

Rothman waited for another wave but the winner of the first event in Peru earlier this year had to settle for second place in Spain. He has solidified his rankings lead heading into the final two events of the BWWT season.

“It was great, we had a good battle,” Rothman said. “I had two nines and he had one and the 10. I just want to say thanks to all the people here today that cheered us on.”

“Nic is the man for today but I’m still leading the tour and I increased my total so that’s good,” Rothman continued. “That’s my goal – to win the World Title this year. My whole life I’ve dedicated myself to big waves and I’m looking forward to hopefully compete on home soil in Hawaii.”

Nathan Fletcher waited for the final moments of the final to drop into a big left of his own, belting an 8.90 to jump on the podium in third place.

Local favorite Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) confirmed he’s the strongest big-wave surfer hailing from the Basque Country by taking fifth place overall. Gonzalez only managed one ride in the final, an eight pointer, after recording a near perfect total of 29.33 out of 30 in his semi-final, which included the only other perfect 10 point ride of the event.

“It was pretty hard today with mushy conditions in the morning and it’s a really meaty wave,” Gonzalez commented. “You had to be a little lucky to get the right waves. In the semis I got two sick ones and I’m stoked with my result today.”

Gabriel Villaran (PER) and Patrick Gudauskas (USA) completed the final, placing 4th and 6th respectively.

The Punta Galea Challenge was webcast LIVE via www.aspworldtour.com

PUNTA GALEA CHALLENGE FINAL RESULTS:
1- Nic Lamb (USA) 29.77
2- Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 28.60
3- Nathan Fletcher (USA) 25.67
4- Gabriel Villaran (PER) 23.69
5- Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 16.00
6- Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 8.00

PUNTA GALEA CHALLENGE SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 19.33, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 26.37, Gabriel Villaran (PER) 16.19, Kohl Christensen (HAW) 14.53, Greg Long (USA) 11.34, Ken Collins (USA) 3.66
SF 2: Nathan Fletcher (USA) 24.99, Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 22.27, Nic Lamb (USA) 21.21, Shawn Dollar (USA) 19.17, Will Skudin (USA) 12.00, Adur Letamendia (EUK) 0.00

PUNTA GALEA CHALLENGE ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Ken Collins (USA) 16.50, Gabriel Villaran (PER) 16.36, Greg Long (USA) 13.84, Tyler Fox (USA) 9.34, David Bustamente (EUK) 1.66, Jaime Fernandez (EUK) 0.00
Heat 2: Kohl Christensen (HAW) 22.50, Pat Gudauskas (USA) 21.51, Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 13.00, Aritza Saratxaga (EUK) 12.66, Jamie Mitchell (AUS) 7.86, Grant Baker (ZAF) 0.00
Heat 3: Nic Lamb (USA) 26.69, Nathan Fletcher (USA) 19.37, Adur Letamendia (EUK) 18.27, Anthony Tashnick (USA) 13.49, Jon Garay (EUK) 11.34, Joao De Macedo (PRT) 4.14
Heat 4: Shawn Dollar (USA) 22.83, Makua Rothman (HAW) 16.80, Will Skudin (USA) 14.26, Grant Washburn (USA) 12.61, Indar Unanue (EUK) 10.84, Ramon Navarro (CHL) 6.66

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

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

Matthew Moir heads ASP Africa challenge at GoPro World Longboard Surfing Championships in China

December 4th, 2014 No comments
Matthew Moir will be competing in the GoPro World Longboard Championships at Hainan Island in China from 5 to 12 December  Image: © Butler

Matthew Moir will be competing in the GoPro World Longboard Championships at Hainan Island in China from 5 to 12 December  Image: © Butler

Matthew Moir heads a quartet of South Africa’s top longboard surfers who will compete against the world’s best riders of traditional nine foot plus surfboards in the GoPro World Longboard Surfing Championships presented by Wanning that gets underway at Riyue Bay on Hainan Island in China tomorrow (Friday).

The event will crown the 2014 ASP Men’s and Women’s Longboard Champions and runs from 5 to 12 December featuring 36 surfers from a total of 12 countries in each event. There is a total of US $100 000 in prize-money on offer.

Moir, a former two-time ISA World Champion who has also won the Rabbit Kekai Classic in Costa Rica and eight South African Open Men’s titles, will revel in the long left breaking waves at Riyue Bay which are similar to his favourite home break of Elands Bay on the West Coast of South Africa.

The 37 year-old Capetonian is looking forward to meeting up with friends and former opponents in China after competed extensively on the ASP World Longboard Tour in the mid 2000’s, regularly placing in the top 10 at events. He suffering a stroke in 2009 and has cut back on his international travel since then.

Moir will be joined in the Men’s event by Grant Beck (Cape St Francis) who will be making his debut in the World Title event after reaching the finals of the SA Longboard Championships earlier this year.

The ASP Africa representatives in the Women’s event are reigning SA champion Hannah Bing from Cape Town and Margreet Wibbelink, the 2014 SA Women’s runner-up, from Jeffreys Bay. It will be Bing’s first World Championship event while Wibbelink competed in China last year when she reached Round 2 before being eliminated.

This year will see the fourth edition of the ASP World Longboard Championships on Hainan Island, and the event has been confirmed for the next three years. The defending champions are Piccolo Clemente (PER) in the Men and two-time winner Kelia Moniz (HAW) who has reached the final in the Women’s event for the past three years, all of them against Chelsea Williams (AUS).

The GoPro World Longboard Championships China hosted by Wanning will run from Dec 5 to 12. News, live scores, results, images and video highlights available via http://bit.ly/1I3Ntlc

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

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