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Archive for November, 2016

Corona Becomes Title Partner of World Surf League’s Corona Open JBay

November 14th, 2016 No comments

 

corona-beer-surfers-500

Cape Town, South Africa (Monday, November 14, 2016) – The World Surf League (WSL) is pleased to announce that one of the world’s most iconic brands — Corona — is becoming the first title sponsor of the WSL Championship Tour event in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa. The event will be called the Corona Open JBay.

“We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with Corona at one of surfing’s most iconic venues” said Mark Noonan, Global Chief Commercial Officer for the World Surf League. “WSL fans in South Africa and around the world will continue to benefit from Corona’s amazing support of the sport they love.”

Corona and the WSL announced a multi-year partnership in March, 2016, making the brand the Official Beer of the World Surf League globally.

“We’re very happy with our partnership with the WSL so far and believe there is still a lot more to be done,” said Thiago Zanettini, Global VP of Corona. “The feedback we’ve received from our on-site activations, athlete partnerships and content collaborations have encouraged us to take our relationship with the WSL to the next level at the iconic South African event. We are excited to become part of JBay’s legendary history and the local lifestyle that complements our ‘This Is Living’ world view. At the Corona Open JBay, we look forward to providing an incredible event experience for both consumers and WSL surfers, while delivering unique content and access to surf fans globally.”

A perennial contender for the world’s best wave, Jeffreys Bay is known for Supertubes, a right-hand point break that pumps with unparalleled consistency with waves breaking as long as 300 meters down the line. Combining incredible surf with a laid back lifestyle, Jeffreys Bay is the perfect location for Corona’s signature event.

About Corona
Born in Mexico and brought up on the beach, Corona is the leading beer brand in Mexico, the 6th most valuable beer brand in the world*, and the most popular Mexican beer worldwide, with sales in more than 120 countries. Corona Extra was first brewed in 1925 at the Cervecería Modelo in Mexico City. Corona is the perfect complement to life’s simple pleasures. The golden color, light refreshing flavor and iconic hand painted bottle, topped off with a freshly squeezed lime.

About The World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

WSL Contact:
Amy Denman
adenman@worldsurfleague.com

Anheuser-Busch Inbev Contact:
Karen Couck
Karen.Couck@AB-InBev.com

#labcomm

Grant Baker Places Third in Pe’ahi Challenge : Retains No. 1 Spot on Big Wave Tour Rankings

November 12th, 2016 No comments
Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker in action during the final of the Pe’ahi Challenge at Jaws in Hawaii. The Durbanite finished third in the event and retained his No. 1 spot on the 2016/17 WSL Big Wave Tour rankings - Photo: WSL / Heff

Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker in action during the final of the Pe’ahi Challenge at Jaws in Hawaii. The Durbanite finished third in the event and retained his No. 1 spot on the 2016/17 WSL Big Wave Tour rankings – Photo: WSL / Heff

– Maui Locals Dominate with Billy Kemper and Paige Alms Claiming Pe’ahi Challenge titles
– Alms Records Historic First Ever WSL Women’s BWT Champion
– Kemper Finds Perfection and Wins Back-to-Back Victories
– More at WorldSurfLeague.com

PE’AHI, Maui/Hawaii (Friday, November 11, 2016) – Legendary South African big wave charger Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker powered his way through three heats of 10 metre plus surf to finish third in the Pe’ahi Challenge in Hawaii and retain his No. 1 spot on the 2016/17 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) rankings

Baker, the 2013 BWT champion and winner of the Puerto Escondido Challenge in Mexico in June, stayed busy in the inconsistent rising swell in his Round 1 heat where he finished second to advance to the semi-finals. There the Durbanite again caught the first ride of the 50 minute encounter, but had to wait until just four minutes from the end before finding a backup ride that saw him grab third place and a berth in the one hour final.

Maui local and defending Pe’ahi Challenge champion Billy Kemper (HAW) and Baker shared a wave to open up the final, with Baker getting the best of the exchange. Reigning and two-time BWT Champion Greg Long (USA) followed quickly on the second wave of the set and posted an excellent 8.83, which he backed up on one of the bigger waves of the day with another excellent ride for 8.93.

Kemper pulled into a barrel at the halfway mark to earn the only perfect 10 point ride of the event, taking the lead from Long and pushing Baker into third place, despite an excellent 8-point ride from the South African for a late drop. A final attempt from Nic Lamb (USA) moved him up into fourth place over Pedro Calado (BRA) and Will Skudin (USA) who finished in fifth and sixth places respectively.

Kemper held the lead through the remainder of the final and closed with a 9.07 for pulling into a deep pit which sealed his second consecutive win at Pe’ahi. The result sees Kemper move up nine places to No. 4 on the BWT rankings while Baker retains the ratings lead with only two possible events remaining on the 2016/17 season.

“I’ve trained so hard for the last eight weeks,” Kemper said. “I’m over the moon and I just surfed with a few of my heroes and pioneers of this sport – Greg (Long) and Twiggy (Baker). I didn’t know I was winning so I just went for it on that last wave. This is what I live for right here. I’ve put a lot of work and effort into this and thank you to everyone that’s ever supported me. Thanks again for putting on such a wonderful event.”

Pe’ahi local Paige Alms (HAW) has become the first ever WSL Women’s Big Wave Tour Champion after taking a commanding victory in the final of the Pe’ahi Challenge.

The world’s best female big wave surfers, including South Africa’s Tammy-Lee Smith (Salt Rock), made history as 12 individuals took to the water to compete in a WSL Big Wave Tour event for the first time ever and contest for the maiden women’s title in heavy conditions at the break aptly known as Jaws.

The final saw Alms, Justine Dupont (FRA) and Felicity Palmateer (AUS) take to the water for a 60 minute match-up. Keala Kennelly (HAW), Emily Erickson (HAW) and Laura Enever (AUS) had also qualified for the final after placing in the top three in their respective Round 1 heats, but were unable to compete after sustaining injuries in the powerful surf.

Dupont led the charge, opening her account with a 3.17 but Alms found an incredible wave and took off with perfect positioning to be rewarded with 6.00 and then added another impressive ride for a 7.83, one of the day’s top scores. Dupont tried to fight back but ended runner-up with Palmateer taking third place.

“What a blessing to be out there with just a couple of girls, that was very special,” said Alms. “The support feels so good and it’s so cool to have all my friends here and do this at home. This has been a dream to have an event for the women here. To have an empty lineup is a real blessing, win or lose. A few of the girls got hurt and I’m bummed that they weren’t out there with us but they’ll be back for more. I hope we get more opportunities so thank you WSL, this was really big.”

Smith, who received a late call up as a wildcard for the event and was surfing on Maui for the first time, caught one wave as the wind affected waves made her Round 1 heat extremely challenging. But it wasn’t enough to advance to the final and she was eliminated from the competition.

“That was definitely extremely challenging with so much wind,” said Alms after winning her Round 1 heat. “I surf here all the time and the wind today is very difficult. It throws huge chops at you and puts so much air under the nose of your board, so you really have to push hard.”

Results, images and video footage of every ride in the Pe’ahi Challenge can be found at WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL app.

Pe’ahi Challenge Men’s Final Results:
1 – Billy Kemper (HAW) 29.07
2 – Greg Long (USA) 26.69
3 – Grant Baker (ZAF) 22.47
4 – Nic Lamb (USA) 18.89
5 – Pedro Calado (BRA) 18.04
6 – Will Skudin (USA) 14.41

Pe’ahi Challenge Women’s Final Results:
1 – Paige Alms (HAW) 21.66
2 – Justine Dupont (FRA) 10.77
3 – Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 1.63

Pe’ahi Challenge Men’s Semifinal Results (top three finishers advance to Final):
SF 1: Greg Long (USA) 16.66, Billy Kemper (HAW) 13.97, Grant Baker (ZAF) 13.51, Cristian Merello (CHL) 13.26, Kai Lenny (HAW) 10.36, Josh Kerr (AUS) 8.97
SF 2: Nic Lamb (USA) 16.41, Pedro Calado (BRA) 12.67, Will Skudin (USA) 10.53, Aaron Gold (HAW) 10.14, Yuri Soledade (HAW) 6.73, Shaun Walsh (HAW) 1.74

Pe’ahi Challenge Women’s Round 1 Results (top three finishers advance to Final):
Heat 1: Keala Kennelly (HAW) 13.66, Justine Dupont (FRA) 7.59, Emily Erickson (HAW) 2.34, Polly Ralda (GTM) 2.00, Andrea Moller (BRA) 1.40, Silvia Nabuco (BRA) 0.00
Heat 2: Paige Alms (HAW) 12.34, Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 11.00, Laura Enever (AUS) 2.67, Bianca Valenti (USA) 2.29, Jamilah Star (USA) 1.46, Tammy-Lee Smith (ZAF) 1.06

Pe’ahi Challenge Men’s Round 1 Results (top three finishers advance to Semifinals):
Heat 1: Greg Long (USA) 11.66, Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.56, Cristian Merello (CHL) 11.33, Tyler Larronde (HAW) 9.33, Jamie Mitchell (AUS) 6.00, Gabriel Villaran (PER) 1.00
Heat 2: Billy Kemper (HAW) 18.20, Grant Baker (ZAF) 16.67, Kai Lenny (HAW) 11.60, Ian Walsh (HAW) 9.36, Carlos Burle (BRA) 8.03, Dege O’Connell (HAW) 7.07
Heat 3: Aaron Gold (HAW) 18.97, Yuri Soledade (HAW) 18.29, Will Skudin (USA) 15.77, Mark Healey (HAW) 12.56, Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 11.53, Albee Layer (HAW) 9.14
Heat 4: Nic Lamb (USA) 16.96, Shaun Walsh (HAW) 16.83, Pedro Calado (BRA) 14.66, Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.57, Shane Dorian (HAW) 12.27, Francisco Porcella (HAW) 9.73

WSL BWT Rankings Top Five (following Pe’ahi Challenge):
1 – Grant Baker (ZAF) – 21,180 points
2 – Greg Long (USA) – 20,832 points
3 – Pedro Calado (BRA) – 14,709 points
4 – Billy Kemper (HAW) – 13,589 points
5 – Will Skudin (USA) – 11,053 points

ENDS

NOTE: Complimentary high resolution images and broadcast quality video footage available on request for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

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

#labcomm

 

Grant Baker and Tammy-Lee Smith in Pe’ahi Challenge Big Wave Event in Hawaii Today

November 11th, 2016 No comments
Pictured: Reigning BWT champion Greg Long in action at the inaugural Pe’ahi Challenge in December 2015where he finished third behind Maui locals Billy Kemper and Albee Layer - Photo: WSL / Kirstin

Pictured: Reigning BWT champion Greg Long in action at the inaugural Pe’ahi Challenge in December 2015where he finished third behind Maui locals Billy Kemper and Albee Layer – Photo: WSL / Kirstin

– Baker leads the WSL BWT rankings heading into Jaws
– Smith a debutant in the first WSL Women’s BWT event
– More at Worldsurfleague.Com

Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker, the current rankings leader on the World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT), and Women’s BWT debutant Tammy-Lee Smith, both from KZN, will be flying the South African flag in the Pe’ahi Challenge in Hawaii, which has been given the green-light to run later today.

The call on when to get the first event in the Northern Hemisphere leg of the 2016 / 2017 BWT season underway will be made at 7pm South African time. Organisers are expected a powerful 5-7 metre (15-20 foot) swell with wave faces between 10 and 15 metres for the field of 24 men and 12 women the first ever Women’s BWT event.

Baker missed the inaugural Pe’ahi Challenge in December last year, which has been called the best big wave event in history, due to an injured back and is looking forward to competing at the revered break colloquially known as ‘Jaws’ which produces some of the biggest rideable waves on the planet.

“It’s going to be a great contest in the 15-20ft range with the swell out of the North and clean conditions which should make it a high performance big wave event with late drops, deep barrels and swooping turns,” said Baker on his arrival in Hawaii on Thursday after testing his equipment in the giant waves at Mavericks in California earlier in the week.

Although he won the Puerto Escondido Challenge in Mexico in June, the only event on the Southern Hemisphere leg of the BWT season that has produced the wave size and conditions that matched the tour’s criteria so far this year, the proud South African is modest about his chances at Jaws

“I am the current ratings leader but the field for Jaws is strong and to win in Hawaii is difficult, so I’m just here to enjoy myself, get some waves and do my best for South Africa,” Baker explained.

The decision to include a women’s event at either the Pe’ahi or Todos Santos events this year resulted in Tammy-Lee Smith from Salt Rock being included on the alternate invitee list. However, the nature of how the calls are made for big wave events, where competitors are notified just 96 hours before the event start, led to a slew of withdrawals among the invitees and Smith has now been included in the field of 12 women as a wildcard.

Smith is an experienced five year veteran of the WSL Women’s Qualifying Series campaigner who has previously reached the final of the women’s event at Pipeline in Hawaii. Having always enjoyed surfing in waves of consequence, she already has the right equipment for Jaws and had been in training for a trip to Hawaii in December after testing her skills in the massive waves at Sunset Reef in Cape Town. The call-up for the Pe’ahi challenge has seen Smith drop everything and fly halfway around the world, arriving in Hawaii yesterday.

She is relishing the challenge of taking on Jaws and coming up against the world’s foremost female big wave riders, including the top seed Keala Kennelly (HAW), who became the first woman to win the open-gender the Pure Scot Barrel of the Year award at the WSL Big Wave Awards in April,

“My goal for Hawaii is just to get some solid waves,” said Smith. “The other girls have all been working at this a lot longer than me, so I feel grateful just to be a wildcard and work my way up. Being on the actual invitees list is my goal.”

All the action from the Pe’ahi Challenge will be webcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.Com starting at 7pm South African time tonight.

Pe’ahi Challenge Men’s Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Greg Long (USA), Josh Kerr (AUS), Cristian Merello (CHL), Jamie Mitchell (AUS), Gabriel Villaran (PER), Tyler Larronde (HAW)
Heat 2: Billy Kemper (HAW), Carlos Burle (BRA), Grant Baker (ZAF), Kai Lenny (HAW), Ian Walsh (HAW), Dege O’Connell (HAW)
Heat 3: Makuakai Rothman (HAW), Albee Layer (HAW), Mark Healey (HAW), Aaron Gold (HAW), Will Skudin (USA), Yuri Soledade (HAW)
Heat 4: Nic Lamb (USA), Damien Hobgood (USA), Shane Dorian (HAW), Pedro Calado (BRA), Shaun Walsh (HAW), Francisco Porcella (HAW)

Pe’ahi Challenge Women’s Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Keala Kennelly (HAW), Andrea Moller (BRA), Emily Erickson (HAW), Justine Dupont (FRA), Silvia Nabuco (BRA), Polly Ralda (GTM)
Heat 2: Paige Alms (HAW), Bianca Valenti (USA), Jamilah Star (USA), Laura Enever (AUS), Felicity Palmateer (AUS), Tammy-Lee Smith (ZAF)

ENDS

NOTE: Complimentary high resolution images and broadcast quality video footage available on request for media outlets
About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

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

#labcomm