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Million Dollar finale to ASP World Tours kicks off in Hawaii

November 12th, 2009 No comments

Pipeline - Hansens 2004

Thursday 12 November 2009 – The waiting period for surfing’s first US $1 million series of events kicks off in Hawaii later today as 144 men take to the waves in the 6-Star Prime rated Reef Hawaiian Pro, the first of three men’s and three women’s events in the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing that will crown the 2009 ASP World Champions, decide the men’s ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) and the qualifiers for the 2010 ASP World Tours.

The first event will get underway at 8pm SA time after Triple Crown Executive Director Randy Rarick made the decision to send the first round of heats out in 1 – 1.5 metre waves at Haleiwa.

Anticipation is at an all-time high after Vans’ announced that they will add $175 000 in Triple-Threat bonuses to the $825 000 in prize-money at stake in the events. $50,000 will be awarded to the men’s Triple Crown series champion, an extra $50,000 for the Billabong Pipeline Masters winner, a $50,000 bonus goes to the ASP World Champion, and a $25,000 bonus to the women’s Triple Crown champion.

The three events in the men’s Triple Crown are the Reef event (Nov 12-23), the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach (Nov24-6 Dec), the final event on the WQS, and the Billabong Pipeline Masters at Pipeline (Dec 8-20) that will crown the 2009 ASP World Champion.

The women also start out at Haleiwa with the Vans Hawaiian Pro (Nov 17-23), a specialty event featuring the ASP top 16 plus four rising stars, followed by the inaugural Gidget Pro Sunset Beach, the penultimate event on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, and culminating at the Billabong Pro Maui where the Women’s World Champion will be decided.

Nine South Africans will be involved in the pressure-cooker competitive atmosphere for the finale to the 2009 ASP season, all of them with career changing scenarios at stake as the world’s best surfers take on what are considered the worlds most challenging waves.

Jordy Smith is the best placed of the Saffas, comfortably ensconced at No. 10 on the ASP World Tour rankings. Smith significantly raised his competition game plan in his second year on the Dream Tour after finishing 2008 rated No. 26, just inside the re-qualification cutoff point of No. 27. The 21 year-old Durbanite collected the Triple Crown Rookie of the Year award back in 2006 when he finished runner-up to Andy Irons (HAW) at the Sunset Beach event and he also reached the final there last year, sustaining a knee injury that prevented him from competing at Pipeline.

Smith has elected to recharge his competitive juices rather than compete in the Haleiwa event this year, but will be going all-out to win at Sunset Beach and become the first Saffa to capture an event title in Hawaii since the introduction of the two-tier ranking system in 1992. Then its on to his first event at Pipeline where his initial goal will be to improve his yearend ranking to No. 8 and preferential seeding on the 2010 ASP World Tour, before pushing on to try and finish amongst the Top 5 and earn substantial performance related bonuses from his sponsors.

Fellow World Tour campaigners Greg Emslie (East London) and David Weare (Durban) have opted to miss both the Haleiwa and Sunset Beach events and will be jetting out of SA on 30 November so they can spend a full week practicing at Pipeline rather than competing elsewhere in the lead up to the crucial showdown in the season ending event.

Emslie, who turns 33 the day before he leaves, is right on the re-qualification bubble at No. 31 in rankings. SA’s most successful pro surfer with career prize-money earnings of $607 525 is only 137 points behind the No. 27 spot and while a 17th place finish will be enough to make that up, the East Londoner probably needs 9th place to ensure he secures an unprecedented 10th year at surfing’s highest level of competition.

Weare, 29, faces a bigger hurdle after a tough 2009 season that sees him ranked No. 41 and nearly 700 points shy of re-qualification. The super-fit Durbanite is upbeat about his chances, even though he needs to manoeuvre his way past the world’s best competitors and the top Hawaiian pros with their intimate knowledge of the break and into the final at Pipeline to have a mathematical chance of a top 27 finish.

On the WQS, Travis Logie justified his decision to fly from Canada to the Canaries by picking up 1 575 points at the Santa Pro last week and consolidating his No. 10 ranking going into the last two events in Hawaii. The 30 year-old Durbanite, who spent four years at ASP’s top table before dropping out at the end of last year, has waged a tenacious campaign on The Grind this year and is well inside the top 15 who will qualify for the 2010 Dream Tour.

Logie has not competed at Haleiwa or Sunset Beach since 2005 but is seeded into the Round 64 in both events this year and, as he only needs to advance through one round of competition to improve his ratings tally, he looks a good bet for a return to the top flight in 2010.

Brandon Jackson, 22, leap-frogged into the No. 15 ratings slot after his outstanding 3rd place in Canada two weeks back, but slipped up when he was ousted in his first heat in Santa Cruz last week and dropped back to No. 20 going into the Hawaiian leg. The talented Durbanite starts in the Round of 96 at Haleiwa and Sunset and needs a semi-final berth in one of the events, or two quarterfinal finishes, to claim a career defining step up onto the World Tour.

Capetonian Royden Bryson, a former two-year campaigner on the ASP World Tour, gave himself a mathematical chance of re-qualifying by emulating Logie with a 17th place finish in the Canaries. The 27 year-old now occupies the No. 29 position and needs a minimum of pair of semifinal results to press for a Top 15 ranking.

Former Capetonian Damien Fahrenfort matched his career best 6-Star Prime event result of 5th place at Santa Cruz last week and he and Rudy Palmboom Jnr. from the Bluff are now just 50 points apart ranked No. 67 and No. 66 respectively. They start their campaigns in the Round of 128 in both events and will be psyched to take full advantage of the bonus 40% increase in ratings points available in the Prime rated events and pushing hard to improve their rakings going into 2010 when the ASP will implement the much vaunted ‘one world ranking’ system that combines WQS and World Tour points.

Last but by no means least, Rosanne Hodge stormed into the top 10 on the ASP Women’s World Tour rankings last week when she followed up her career best 3rd place result in Portugal with a 5th place finish in Peru. The 22 year-old from East London is now No. 9 going into Hawaii and will be looking to consolidate her position in the top 10 to ensure she re-qualifies for a fourth successive season in the highest echelon of women’s surfing.

Hodge will warm-up in the specialty event at Haleiwa before charging at the penultimate event of the year at Sunset Beach and then looking to repeat or better her excellent results in the season ending event in the epic barrels at Honolua Bay on Maui, the only Triple Crown event not run on the North Shore of Oahu.

The race for the ASP Women’s World Title is a four-way battle between reigning and two-time champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), who leads the ratings; Brazilian Silvana Lima, who is the only two-time event winner this year; former World champ Sofia Mulanovich, who won the last event in her home country of Peru to move into the No. 3 spot, and 18-year-old Hawaiian, Coco Ho.

The 2009 men’s crown is a straight shootout between Australian buddies Mick Fanning, the 2007 ASP World Champion, and Joel Parkinson, the defending Triple Crown champion, each of whom have won three events this season. Parkinson needs to finish two positions higher than Fanning in the Billabong Pro Pipeline to overtake his compatriot and clinch his first World title.

All the action throughout the six events can be watched via live webcasts at www.aspworldtour.com or www.triplecrownofsurfing.com

The events of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing
Reef Hawaiian Pro (WQS men) – Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park, Nov, 12-23
Vans Hawaiian Pro (Specialty women) – Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park, Nov, 17-23

Gidget Pro Sunset Beach (Women’s World Tour) – Sunset Beach, Nov. 24-Dec. 6
ONeill World Cup of Surfing (WQS men) – Sunset Beach, Nov. 24-Dec. 6

Billabong Pro Maui (Women’s World Tour) – Honolua Bay, Maui, Dec. 8-20
Billabong Pipeline Masters (Men’s World Tour) – Banzai Pipeline, Dec. 8-20

For more information on the ASP Africa members, including profiles and rankings, visit www.aspafrica.com

Ends

The 2009 ASP Men’s World Champion will be decided in the epic waves at Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii

Issued on behalf of:

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

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax: +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

About ASP:

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the governing body of professional surfing. Crowning surfing’s undisputed world champions since 1976, the ASP sanctions the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, the World Qualifying Series (WQS) and the World Longboarding, Junior and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

Sofia Mulanovich Claims Movistar Peru Classic pres. By Rip Curl

November 9th, 2009 No comments

Pictured: Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, former ASP Women’s World Champion (2004) and current ASP Women’s World No. 3, has won the Movistar Peru Classic pres. by Rip Curl in front of a capacity crowd at Lobitos. Credit: © ASP/ CI/ ROWLAND via GETTY IMAGES

LOBITOS, Piura/Peru (Sunday, November 8, 2009) – Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, has taken out the Movistar Peru Classic presented by Rip Curl over reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and two-time defending event winner in Peru, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21.

Event No. 5 of 7 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Movistar Peru Classic culminated in offshore three-to-four foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves at Lobitos today, and delivered all the drama and action the fans had been waiting for.

Mulanovich, who suffered a horrific wipeout yesterday, was a standout in the hard-fought Final, muscling through one section after another on her backhand, to post an impressive 15.00 out of a possible 20. While the lead would seesaw back and forth between the Peruvian and the Australian, it was ultimately Mulanovich who would come away with the win in front of a raucous crowd on the sand.

“It doesn’t even feel real that this is happening right now,” Mulanovich said. “I have wanted to win this event for so long, and have always been disappointed. To do it here, in front of my friends and family and in good waves at Lobitos is a dream come true. Viva Peru!”

The win boosts the former ASP Women’s World Champion (2004) from fourth to third on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour ratings and puts her within striking distance of the crown heading into the business end of the season.

“I haven’t had the best season and I was really waiting for a breakout result,” Mulanovich said. “To finally get it at home is really special. I am just so stoked.”

Gilmore’s Runner-Up finish today marks her third of the season, and while missing out on making it three-in-a-row in Peru, the Australian is still pleased with her performance.

“Definitely been pretty consistent with making Finals,” Gilmore said. “Obviously I was looking for another win. But in a way, it is pretty special to see Sofia (Mulanovich) win, like, it is crazy. There are thousands of people on the beach here in the middle of nowhere, it is just phenomenal. To make another Final felt good. I had a lot of fun. It was good to see Sofia up there and not Silvana (Lima) or Coco (Ho), it is going to make the ratings really interesting and it’s keeping things really tight and close between everyone. It is going to be an exciting finish in Hawaii.”

Gilmore retains a slender lead over challengers as she contests for a third, consecutive ASP Women’s World Title, but retains collected frame of mind heading into Hawaii.

“The world title is in your head sometimes,” Gilmore said. “It is just event by event. This event was a good one as everyone was surfing so good and so after a fifth in Portugal, I wanted to come here and perform really well and I put my mind to it and I did it, the title race is hot.”

Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 18, 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie, matched her best result of the year with an equal 3rd at the Movistar Peru Classic. Arguably one of the most in-tune performers at Lobitos, Fitzgibbons lost a nail-biter Semifinal to eventual winner Mulanovich.

“I’m definitely happy with my performance,” Fitzgibbons said. “I have felt good this whole event and it came down really close there at the end. I knew that set was on the horizon and I couldn’t hold on in the end. It would be amazing to make it through to a Final. I will take the third place but it is always nice to be there on the podium and in the Final. I will just keep trying and doing what I am doing and hopefully crack it pretty soon.”

Coco Ho (HAW), 18, 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour rookie and winner of the previous event in Portugal, was a major standout at the Movistar Peru Classic. Ho took down fellow Hawaiian rookie Alana Blanchard (HAW), 19, and stylish natural-footer Rosanne Hodge (ZAF), 22, before falling agonizingly close to Gilmore in the Semifinals.

“It’s always hard having a 9 and waiting for your second score but that’s what surfing with the Champ is all about,” Ho said. “It was frustrating seeing the waves I needed coming in after the heat, but that’s okay. Competing against Steph definitely pushes my surfing and I’m happy with an Equal 3rd.”

Despite missing out on a Final’s berth in Peru, Ho is looking forward to finishing the year at home in Hawaii and the finale of the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour Rookie of the Year race.

“I’m definitely looking forward to heading home and finishing the season in Hawaii,” Ho said. “Rookie of the Year and a Top 5 finish has always been my goal, but Sally (Fitzgibbons) is right there and it will come down to the wire.”

Highlights from the Movistar Peru Classic are available via www.aspworldtour.com

The next stop on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour is the Gidget Pro at Sunset Beach, Hawaii from November 24 through December 6, 2009.

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

High-res image available for complimentary download at: (Copy/Paste URL)

http://64.78.18.131/aspnewsphotos/peru09/smperuchair09(rowland).jpg

MOVISTAR PERU CLASSIC FINAL RESULTS:

1 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 15.00
2 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.74

MOVISTAR PERU CLASSIC SEMIFINAL RESULTS:

SF 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.60 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 15.17
SF 2: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 16.27 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.20

MOVISTAR PERU CLASSIC QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:

QF 1: Coco Ho (HAW) 14.74 def. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 10.16
QF 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 9.27 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 6.60
QF 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.16 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 6.83
QF 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 10.67 def. Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 10.17

ASP WOMEN’S WORLD TOUR TOP 5 (After Movistar Peru Classic):

1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 4765 pts
2 – Silvana Lima (BRA) 4188 pts
3 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 3891 pts
4 – Coco Ho (HAW) 3679 pts
5 – Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 3043 pts

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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

Digital Photographs:
High-resolution digital images for newspapers and Internet sites are available through ASP’s photography distributution partner Getty Images. To register for access, log onto http://corporate.gettyimages.com/marketing/editorial_frontdoor/ASP/index.html

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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, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

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Brandon Jackson 3rd in O’Neill Cold Water Classic Canada : Jumps to No. 15 on WQS

November 2nd, 2009 No comments

Pictured: Brandon Jackson in action on the final day of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic in Canada where he finished third overall Photo: Sergio Villalba

Durbanite Brandon Jackson finished third in the 6-Star rated Oakley Cold Water Classic Canada at Tofino on Vancouver Island on Saturday to jump from No. 20 to No. 15 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) rankings.

Jackson, 22, from Durban North, started the final day by marching past Mark Matthews (AUS) in their quarterfinal encounter but came up short against Jay Thompson (AUS), the first alternate for the 2009 ASP World Tour, in a semifinal match-up held in stormy 1-1.5 metre waves.

“I’m really stoked on the aspect that I got 1800 points out of this result,” Jackson said. “I was hoping to get 1600, it’s a super bonus. To surf all week and not get the win is tough, but I’m really stoked on the outcome.”

The result earned Jackson US $5 000 (approx. R37 000) and 1 875 precious ratings points which replaced the 875 points he was carrying as his seventh best score of the year. The net gain of 1 000 points elevated him into contention for a spot amongst the world’s Top 45 ranked surfers on the 2010 ASP World Tour.

The event produced a fairy-tale finish when local Tofino surfer Peter Devries trounced the world-class lineup of international stars to become the first Canadian to win a WQS event, in the first WQS event to be staged in Canada. Devries started in Round 1 and won every heat bar his Round of 48 match-up, leaving runner-up Jay Thompson in comboland from the 10 minute mark in the final, to collect the US$20 000 winner’s paycheque.

Four 6-Star Prime rated WQS events remain on the 2009 WQS schedule, two of them overlapping this week as events take place simultaneously in the Canary Islands and in Santa Cruz, California, and the final two at Haleiwa and Sunset Beach in Hawaii.

Jackson has opted to compete in the Santa Cruz event at Steamer Lane, the fifth and final leg of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series, and will be hoping to continue his rich vein of form in the second half of 2009 to wrap up qualification before the notoriously difficult Hawaiian contests.

Meanwhile fellow Durbanite Travis Logie did not manage to improve his ratings total in Canada, finishing equal 37th and slipping from No.10 to No. 11 when he was overtaken by Dusty Payne (HAW) in the rankings. Logie has chosen to jet back across Canada and the North Atlantic to compete in the Santa Pro on Lanzarote Island in the Canaries where he hopes the world-class left of San Juan will give him better opportunities to improve his ranking before the Hawaiian leg.

Logie will be joined in the Canaries by Durbanites Warwick Wright and Antonio Bortoletto along with Capetonian Royden Bryson, who at No. 31 can still force his way into contention for a top 15 finish if he can reach the final and benefit from the 40% increase in ratings points awarded in 6-Star Prime rated events.

Capetonians Dave Richards and Sean Holmes and Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga) will start from Round 1 in the Californian event while Rudy Palmboom (Bluff), Damien Fahrenfort (California) and Jordy Smith (Durban) will join Jackson in starting in Round 2. Smith is the No. 2 seed for the event which he won in 2007.

For more information on the ASP Africa members, including profiles and rankings, visit www.aspafrica.com

Ends

Issued on behalf of:

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

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

About ASP: 
The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the governing body of professional surfing. Crowning surfing’s undisputed world champions since 1976, the ASP sanctions the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, the World Qualifying Series (WQS) and the World Longboarding, Junior and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

Northern Peru Hosts ASP Top 17 for Movistar Peru Classic pres. by Rip Curl

November 2nd, 2009 No comments

sgperu09(cestari)small

LOBITOS, Piura/Peru (Monday, November 2, 2009) – The world’s best female surfers are heating up the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour as Event No. 5 of 7, the Movistar Peru Classic presented by Rip Curl, commences its waiting period tomorrow.

Hot off the heels of two impressive events in Sydney and Portugal, the ASP Top 17 have traversed the Atlantic and are preparing to do battle in Northern Peru’s long lefthanders. Into its third year as an ASP Women’s World Tour event, this year’s Movistar Peru Classic will endeavor to bring the world’s best women’s surfers to the fabled lefthander of Lobitos for the first time ever.

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP Women’s World No. 1, will look to claim her third consecutive event win in Peru this season, the stylish natural-footer having been dominant in 2007 and 2008.

“I definitely feel its achievable (winning three years in a row),” Gilmore said. “It’s such a cool event to win, I can’t wait to get started.”

Last year’s Peru victory saw Gilmore vault ahead of former ASP Women’s World Champion (2004) Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, in the hunt for the 2008 ASP Women’s World Title, a lead she would not relinquish. While the Australian sits in the No. 1 spot on this year’s ASP Women’s World Tour ratings, she knows how crucial a result this season will be to stay ahead of current ASP Women’s World No. 2, Silvana Lima (BRA), 25.

“Obviously a win at this event would come with some very valuable ratings points,” Gilmore said. “I’ll take as many as I can get right now.”

Coco Ho (HAW), 18, 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie and current ASP Women’s World No. 3, scored her breakout result last week, claiming the Rip Curl Pro Search in Portugal over former ASP Women’s World Champion (2005) Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 26. Sitting at third on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour ratings, Ho is a real contender in challenging Gilmore and Lima for the top spot, but remains focused on achieving ASP Rookie of the Year and the Top 5 rating.

“I am kind of focusing more on the close battle for the Rookie of the Year,” Ho said. I’m just trying to stay on top of my game and not let this victory blow up my head and then I start losing. I just want to stay focused – there is still a long road ahead. I would really like to be Rookie of the Year and to stay Top 5, that would be the year of my life. Sally (Fitzgibbons) and Paige (Hareb) have both been really consistent, but I would have to say Sal is my biggest competition. We are both regular footers and she always pushes me. I always want to go out and surf as well as she did and she does a good job of pumping me up.”

The Movistar Peru Classic presented by Rip Curl will host the ASP Top 17 from November 3 – 8, 2009.

The event will be webcast LIVE via www.aspworldtour.com

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

High-res image available for complimentary download at: (Copy/Paste URL)

http://64.78.18.131/aspnewsphotos/peru09/sgperu09(cestari).jpg

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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

Digital Photographs:
High-resolution digital images for newspapers and Internet sites are available through ASP’s photography distributution partner Getty Images. To register for access, log onto http://corporate.gettyimages.com/marketing/editorial_frontdoor/ASP/index.html

——————————————————————————–

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, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America. 

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Association of Surfing Professionals
72-80 Marine Parade
Coolangatta, QLD 4225
Australia

Rosy Hodge matches career best result with 3rd in Rip Curl Search Portugal + ASP News

October 30th, 2009 No comments

 

Pictured: Rosanne Hodge (East London) on her way to matching her career best result of 3rd in the pristine conditions at Belgas in Portugal on the final day of the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search yesterday Photo: ASP/ CI/ SCHOLTZ via GETTY IMAGES

South Africa’s Rosanne Hodge matched her career best result on the ASP Women’s World Tour by clinching third place in the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search event in Portugal yesterday.

Despite finishing third behind rookies Coco Ho (HAW) and Paige Hareb (NZL) in bumpy one metre waves at Belgas in Round 1 on Wednesday, the 22 year-old East Londoner revelled in the cleaner conditions at the same venue yesterday. Hodge started the final day of Stop No. 4 of 7 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour by winning her Round 2 encounter over Megan Abubo (HAW) and Rebecca Woods (AUS).

She then gained some revenge by ousting Hareb in Round 3 and followed that by squeaking past current ASP No. 5 Melanie Bartels (HAW) in the quarters before bowing out to former World champ and eventual event runner-up Chelsea Hedges (AUS) in the semis.

“I’m really very happy with my performance in Portugal,” Hodge said. “It’s been a very important competition for me with the WQS having already finished. I need some good results in the last four events and this event has given me a good start.”

The event was won by Ho, 18, who recorded her maiden World Tour victory by comboing  Hedges in the final to move from No. 5 to No. 3 on the ratings and into contention to clinch what would be an historic World Title in her home surf in December.

Hodge, in her third year as a full time campaigner at the highest level of women’s surfing, matched her previous best result achieved at the yearend event at Honolua Bay in Hawaii in 2007. This result moves her up one place in the rankings to No. 11 and a scant 7 points behind Jacqueline Silva (BRA) with three events to go before the top 10 ranked surfers automatically qualify for the World Tour the following year.

Hodge’s run in the event must have been watched with mixed feelings by close friend and fellow East Londoner Nikita Robb. Robb, 20, finished No. 9 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Qualifying Series (WQS) and will qualify for her maiden season on the World Tour provided Ho, Hareb and Wood retain their places in the top 10 in the 2009 rankings.

RIP CURL WOMEN’S PRO SEARCH FINAL RESULTS:

1 – Coco Ho (HAW) 15.83
2 – Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 9.37

RIP CURL WOMEN’S PRO SEARCH SEMIFINALS RESULTS:

SF 1: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 11.17 def. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 5.10
SF 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 14.84 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 8.66

RIP CURL WOMEN’S PRO SEARCH QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:

QF 1: Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 8.30 def. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 7.13
QF 2: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 12.16 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.73
QF 3: Silvana Lima (BRA) 11.67 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.34
QF 4: Coco Ho (HAW) 15.06 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 9.16

RIP CURL WOMEN’S PRO SEARCH ROUND 3 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 13.50 def. Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 7.90
Heat 2: Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 9.74 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 7.67
Heat 3: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 17.70 def. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 12.40
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.83 def. Megan Abubo (HAW) 9.00
Heat 5: Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.40 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 13.13
Heat 6: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 17.67 def. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 13.07
Heat 7: Coco Ho (HAW) 12.40 def. Amee Donohoe (AUS) 11.23
Heat 8: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.00 def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 10.30

RIP CURL WOMEN’S PRO SEARCH ROUND 2 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 17.00, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 10.17, Pauline Ado (FRA) 8.23
Heat 2: Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 10.66, Megan Abubo (HAW) 9.33, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 5.57

CURRENT ASP WOMEN’S WORLD TOUR TOP 5 (After RC Pro Women’s Search):

1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 3793 points
2 – Silvana Lima (BRA) 3636 points
3 – Coco Ho (HAW) 2923 points
4 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 2691 points
5 – Melanie Bartels (HAW) 2535 points
11- Rosanne Hodge (East London) 1872 points

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Jordy Smith takes 5th in Portugal; jumps to No. 10 on World Tour

Jordy Smith posted the second best result of his 2009 ASP World Tour campaign when he reached the quarterfinals to place fifth overall in the Rip Curl Pro Search, the penultimate event of the year, in gaping two to three metre barrelling waves at Supertubos in Perniche, Portugal, on Tuesday.

Smith, 21, in his second year on the ASP Dream Tour, had a semifinal spot wrenched from his grasp when current world No. 4 and eventual event runner-up Bede Durbidge, needing a near perfect 9.67 point ride with two minutes remaining, successfully negotiated his way through a 30 metre curtain of water to be awarded a perfect 10 points by the judges.

Nevertheless, Smith’s haul of US $9 000 (approx. R66 000) and 732 precious ratings points sees the Durbanite handily placed in No. 10 on the rankings going into the last event in Hawaii in December, where he will be competing at Pipeline for the first time.

East London’s Greg Emslie advanced past Aritz Aranburu (EUK) to Round 2 where he was ousted by current ASP No. 9 Damien Hobgood (USA) in a low scoring match-up. His 17th place finish in Portugal sees Emslie sitting right on the re-qualification ‘bubble’ for the 2010 ASP World Tour going into Hawaii. The 31 year-old needs to repeat his 17th place at Pipeline to have a chance of forcing his way into the top 27 who re-qualify.

David Weare (Durban) was ousted in Round 1 to post his fifth 33rd place finish of the year and needs to finish first or second at Pipe to climb from his current rating of No. 41 into a re-qualifying position.

CURRENT ASP WORLD TOUR TOP 10 (Following Rip Curl Pro Search):

1 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 7140 points
2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 6772 points
3 – Adriano de Souza (BRA) 6148 points
4 – Bede Durbidge (AUS) 6146 points
5 – C.J. Hobgood (USA) 5748 points
6 – Taj Burrow (AUS) 5524 points
7 – Kelly Slater (USA) 5514 points
8 – Bobby Martinez (USA) 5421 points
9 – Damien Hobgood (USA) 5116 points
10 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 4828 points

South Africans

31 – Greg Emslie (ZAF) 3095 points
41 – David Weare (ZAF) 2540 points

+++++++++++++++++++++

First round exits for Saffas as Ingelby clinches ASP World Longboard crown

Matthew Moir, (Tokai), Justin Bing (Noordhoek) and Dylan McLeod (Port Elizabeth), the trio of South Africans who competed in the second leg of the 2009 Oxbow World Longboard Tour at Pasta Point in the Maldives, were all eliminated in Round 1 of the 32-man event.

Two-time ISA World champion Moir was ousted by wildcard Remi Arauzo (FRA); Bing, the 2009 SA Open champ was no match for newly crowned ASP World Longboard champion Harley Ingelby (AUS) and 2008 SA champ McLeod tasted defeat at the hands of former multiple ASP World Longboard champ Colin McPhillips (USA).

The event enjoyed excellent 1 – 1.5 metre waves throughout, starting on Monday and culminating yesterday with Kai Sallas (HAW) taking victory over Ingleby in the final. The World Title was decided over two legs with Ingelby winning the first event in Japan earlier this year.

OXBOW WORLD LONGBOARD TOUR MALDIVES RESULTS

FINAL

1 – Kai Sallas (HAW) 15.65
2 – Harley Ingelby (AUS) 14.00

OXBOW ASP WORLD LONGBOARD TOUR MALDIVES SEMIFINALS

SF 1: Kai Sallas (HAW) 14.50 D Ned Snow (HAW) 13.45
SF 2: Harley Ingelby (AUS) 14.80 D Antoine Delpero (FRA) 14.35

ASP Final World Longboard 2009 Ratings

1 – Harley Ingelby (AUS)
2 – Kai Sallas (HAW)
3 – Antoine Delpero (FRA)
4 – Phil Rajzman (BRA)
5 – Bonga Perkins (HAW)

South Africans

15 – Matthew Moir (Tokai)
25 – Dylan McLeod (Port Elizabeth)
35 – Justin Bing (Noordhoek) – one event only.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Brandon Jackson last Saffa left in O‘Neill Coldwater Classic Canada

Brandon Jackson is the last South African in the 19 surfers still in contention for the 6-Star rated Oakley Cold Water Classic Canada currently being staged at Tofino on Vancouver Island.

Jackson, 22, from Durban North, came into the event No. 20 on the WQS and needing to finish higher than 25th to improve his ranking and have the chance to qualify for the 2010 ASP World Tour amongst the Top 15 in the yearend WQS standings. He is already guaranteed of a minimum of 17th place and will be fully focused on advancing further when he takes on Charley Martin (GLP) and Killian Garland (USA) with the top two in the heat progressing.

Rudy Palmboom (Bluff), 16 year-old Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga) and current WQS No. 10 Travis Logie (Durban) all reached the last 48 in the event which is billed as the ‘coldest surfing contest in the world’. Canada is Stop No. 4 of five on the O’Neill Cold Water Classic series that has seen events in Tasmania, Scotland and Cape Town and concludes in Santa Cruz, California next month.

Capetonians Sean Holmes, Dave Richards and Damien Fahrenfort were all eliminated in the Round of 96.

See www.oneill.com/cwc/canada for more information and live scoring

+++++++++++++++++++++

For more information on the ASP Africa members, including profiles and rankings, visit www.aspafrica.com

Ends

Issued on behalf of:

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

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

About ASP:
The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the governing body of professional surfing. Crowning surfing’s undisputed world champions since 1976, the ASP sanctions the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, the World Qualifying Series (WQS) and the World Longboarding, Junior and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

Coco Ho Claims First ASP Dream Tour Victory at Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search

October 29th, 2009 No comments

Pictured: Coco Ho (HAW), 18, claimed her inaugural ASP Women’s World Tour victory today, defeating Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 26, to take the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search.Pictured: Coco Ho (HAW), 18, claimed her inaugural ASP Women’s World Tour victory today, defeating Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 26, to take the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search.

BELGAS, Peniche/Portugal (Thursday, October 29, 2009) – Coco Ho (HAW), 18, 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie, collected her inaugural victory on the ASP Women’s World Tour today, taking out the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search over former ASP Women’s World Champion (2005) Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 26, in punchy two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf at Belgas.

Event No. 4 of 7 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search saw some of the best conditions of the year at the backup venue of Belgas, and throughout the two days of competition, it was the youngster Ho who proved most adept at navigating the hollow beachbreak peaks.

Ho exercised excellent judgment in the Final, patiently waiting while her elder opponent kept herself busy. With conditions deteriorating, the young Hawaiian let loose with a barrage of backhand hits on the dumpy lefthanders, collecting a 7.50 and an 8.33 to combo Hedges and take the win.

“I knew Chelsea (Hedges) would be dangerous on the left after seeing her this morning getting those barrels,” Ho said. “This afternoon it turned into a more rippable wave and it was hard on the forehand, but I was lucky to get the waves I did.”

With this win, Ho moves from 5th to 3rd on the ASP Women’s World Tour rankings and announces herself as a major force heading into the final three events of the year.

“It feels so good to be on top,” Ho said. “I’m trying not to think about too much. I love my trophy. When I started the year, I set a goal to make Quarterfinals or better at every event in order finish Top 5 by the end of the year, and I’m doing my best to accomplish that.”

For Hedges, today’s return to form marks the first time the inspiring goofy-footer has seen a Finals’ berth since 2007, and moves her from 8th to 6th on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour ratings. Her dominance in the earlier rounds of the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search cannot be overlooked as she consistently dominated the playful pits of Belgas, even eliminating reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP Women’s World No. 1, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, in the Quarterfinals.

“It was close but no cigar,” Hedges said. “It feels good to be back on the podium. It’s my best result this year. I came into the event forgetting about world titles and just wanted to improve on my results. Coco (Ho) was ripping and she got the better waves out there this afternoon. I am happy with my 2nd and I will work on that from here.”

The former ASP Women’s World Champion took a sabbatical from competition in 2008 to give birth to a daughter, Meika, and was given the ASP Women’s World Tour wildcard to compete this season. Today’s Runner-Up finish is Hedges’s best of the season, and she’ll be a major threat in the final three events of the season.

“This year, I was kind of questioning my ability a bit at the first event with these young girls like Coco (Ho) and Sally (Fitzgibbons),” Hedges said. “They are surfing so good and it really pushes my surfing and makes me look at what I am doing. It felt really good to take out Steph (Gilmore). She is the best out there in my opinion, her surfing still has that little edge. I still feel that, come the end of the year, she is going to be the one to beat.”

Rosanne Hodge (ZAF), 22, was the surprise juggernaut of the event, claiming three heats today before falling to eventual Runner-Up Hedges in the Semifinals. Despite missing out on a Final’s berth, Hodge took some major scalps in the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search and moved from 12th to 11th on 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour.

“I’m really very happy with my performance in Portugal,” Hodge said. “It’s been a very important competition for me with the WQS having already finished. I need some good results in the last four events and this event has given me a good start.”

Silvana Lima (BRA), 25, current ASP Women’s World No. 2, was in impressive form throughout the final day of competition, edging past Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 23, before dispatching of Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 18, in the Quarterfinals. Although failing to advance past eventual winner Ho, Lima’s Semifinal finish moved her even closer to Gilmore in the race for the 2009 ASP Women’s World Title.

“For sure I am happy with making the Semis here,” Lima said. “The conditions got pretty tough towards the end, but I’m happy with my result and looking forward to the next event. I saw Steph (Gilmore) lose to Chelsea (Hedges) but it doesn’t change the way I surf. I just surf my heat. Steph is an amazing surfer and competing against her this year is great. She is so powerful and it’s so good for surfing. This year I’m a lot more focused and I think that’s why I am doing better.”

The next stop on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour will be the Movistar Peru Classic presented by Rip Curl from November 3 through 8, 2009 at Lobitos in Northern Peru.

The ASP Top 17 will be traversing the Atlantic en route to South America in the next couple of days to contest the long, lefthand points of Peru.

Highlights from the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search will be available via http://live.ripcurl.com

Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search online media center is available at http://www.box.net/shared/o3avphdb6z
High-res image available for complimentary download at: (Copy/Paste URL)
http://64.78.18.131/aspnewsphotos/rcsearch09/chrcsearchvic09(cestari).jpg

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

RIP CURL WOMEN’S PRO SEARCH FINAL RESULTS:

1 – Coco Ho (HAW) 15.83
2 – Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 9.37

RIP CURL WOMEN’S PRO SEARCH SEMIFINALS RESULTS:

SF 1: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 11.17 def. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 5.10
SF 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 14.84 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 8.66

RIP CURL WOMEN’S PRO SEARCH QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:

QF 1: Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 8.30 def. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 7.13
QF 2: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 12.16 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.73
QF 3: Silvana Lima (BRA) 11.67 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.34
QF 4: Coco Ho (HAW) 15.06 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 9.16

RIP CURL WOMEN’S PRO SEARCH ROUND 3 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 13.50 def. Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 7.90
Heat 2: Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 9.74 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 7.67
Heat 3: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 17.70 def. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 12.40
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.83 def. Megan Abubo (HAW) 9.00
Heat 5: Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.40 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 13.13
Heat 6: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 17.67 def. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 13.07
Heat 7: Coco Ho (HAW) 12.40 def. Amee Donohoe (AUS) 11.23
Heat 8: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.00 def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 10.30

RIP CURL WOMEN’S PRO SEARCH ROUND 2 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 17.00, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 10.17, Pauline Ado (FRA) 8.23
Heat 2: Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 10.66, Megan Abubo (HAW) 9.33, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 5.57

CURRENT ASP WOMEN’S WORLD TOUR TOP 5 (After RC Pro Women’s Search):

1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 3793 points
2 – Silvana Lima (BRA) 3636 points
3 – Coco Ho (HAW) 2923 points
4 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 2691 points
5 – Melanie Bartels (HAW) 2535 points

——————————————————————————–

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

Rip Curl International Media Manager
Dane Sharp
AUS mobile: +61 439 300 391
email: dsharp@ripcurl.com.au

Rip Curl Europe
Men’s Event Media Manager
Marie Pascale Delanne
EUR mobile: +33 (0) 6 99 65 04 59
email: mdelanne@ripcurl-europe.com

Women’s Event Media Manager
Julie Pollet
EUR mobile: +33 (0) 6 99 92 24 21
email: jpollet@ripcurl-europe.com

Digital Photographs:
High-resolution digital images for newspapers and Internet sites are available through ASP’s photography distributution partner Getty Images. To register for access, log onto http://corporate.gettyimages.com/marketing/editorial_frontdoor/ASP/index.html

——————————————————————————–

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, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

Mick Fanning Claims 2009 Rip Curl Pro Search, Solidifies Lead in ASP Title Race

October 28th, 2009 No comments

Pictured: Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, former ASP World Champion (2007) and current ASP World No. 1, has taken out the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Search, cementing his lead in the hunt for the 2009 ASP World Title. Credit: © ASP/ CI/ SCHOLTZ via GETTY IMAGES

SUPERTUBOS, Peniche/Portugal (Wednesday, October 28, 2009) – Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, former ASP World Champion (2007) and current ASP World No. 1, has claimed the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Search at Supertubos in Portugal, defeating fellow finalist Bede Durbidge (AUS), 26, and cementing his lead in the now two-horse race for the 2009 ASP World Title.

Event No. 9 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Search ran a gamut of conditions and venues ranging from two-foot righthand wedges at Molhe Leste, four-foot offshore lefthanders at Lagido, punchy four-foot peaks at Belgas and death-defying six-to-eight foot barrels at Supertubos yesterday before culminating in a dramatic end to competition.

Jordy Smith (Durban), 21, fared best of the three South Africans in the event, placing fifth overall and climbing to No.10 on the rankings after narrowly losing out to eventual runner-up Bede Durbidge (AUS) in their quarterfinal match-up. Greg Emslie (East London) was eliminated by Damien Hobgood (USA) in Round 2 for a 17th place finish that sees him stay ranked No. 31, while David Weare (Durban) suffered a Round 1 defeat that has him going into the last event of the year at Pipeline in Hawaii in December ranked No. 41

Fanning, who won the inaugural Rip Curl Pro Search at Reunion Island (2005) and was a standout in yesterday’s massive barrels, readjusted to today’s smaller conditions and was dominant in his Final against Durbidge. With conditions deteriorating, Fanning lacerated the punchy wedges on his forehand to net a solid 6.67 and a 6.00 that would prove unbeatable for his opponent.

“Yesterday was one of the best days of competition I’ve ever seen and we all showed up today and had to adjust our frame of mind to deal with the drop in size and quality,” Fanning said. “I’ve been surfing conditions like this all summer at home so I knew what I had to do out there. I was able to pick off a couple of good scores at the start and then I basically had to sit on Bede (Durbidge) so he didn’t get any back on me.”

The Rip Curl Pro Search narrowed down the field of potential contenders for the 2009 ASP World Title from 10 to two throughout the course of the event, with the final event of the year at the Banzai Pipeline playing the decider.

“That’s what you always dream of as a kid (competing for an ASP World Title at Pipeline),” Fanning said. “I’m super pumped. I’m going to go home and relax for a couple of weeks and get ready for Pipe. Hopefully we get some big barrels like we did here and we have a real showdown.”

Durbidge, who now moves to ASP World No. 4 heading into the final event of the season, was a standout throughout the Rip Curl Pro Search, likening the conditions to his home break of North Stradbroke Island on Australia’s Gold Coast. The well-built natural-footer secured an impressive come-from-behind win in his Semifinal today before being stopped by Fanning in the Final.

“Definitely the top guys of the event were in the top four,” Durbidge said. “It was unfortunate that Owen (Wright) couldn’t be in his Semifinal. Mick (Fanning) has been in incredible form the past eight weeks and he’s on fire. The 10 that Joel (Parkinson) got yesterday was phenomenal, and in our heat this morning, he had me on the ropes until the end.”

The Runner-Up finish marks Durbidge’s second of the season (collecting his first in France), and is a welcome change in momentum from a tough start to 2009. A former winner at the Billabong Pipeline Masters (2007) as well as a former Vans Triple Crown Champion (2007), Durbidge will look to finish the year strong in Hawaii.

Owen Wright (AUS), 19, wildcard into the Rip Curl Pro Search and current No. 3 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), was a standout in Portugal, eliminating 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), 24, nine-time ASP World Champion, Kelly Slater (USA), 37, Californian new school leader Dane Reynolds (USA), 24, and current ASP World No. 9 Damien Hobgood (USA), 30, en route to his Semifinals berth against Fanning.

However, tragedy struck during his Quarterfinal win over Hobgood yesterday as the phenomenal goofy-footer suffered a horrific wipeout, rupturing his eardrum and injuring his neck. Although prepared to don a helmet this morning and take on the current ASP World No. 1, event physicians instructed the young Australian against competing.

”I had the injury checked out last night – there’s no real bone or structural damage,” Wright said. “I just feel it through the neck, shoulder, knee and my ear is a bit messed up. We did some tests this morning and we all decided it was better off me not competing as I don’t really have much range in my neck movement. But, it’s all good – it is all fixable. I will be getting worked on twice a day and I will take a bit of time to relax. I will still go to Hawaii and hopefully get some barrels. I love it there so hopefully we get a good season.”

Parkinson, who experienced what many considered to be an unbeatable start to the 2009 ASP Dream Tour season, witnessed his stranglehold on the ratings chipped away at following three, consecutive equal 17ths sustained in California, France and Spain. Despite missing out on a Final’s berth, Parkinson’s equal 3rd place finish is a welcome return to form.

“I am a little bit disappointed but overall I am pretty happy,” Parkinson said. “Third still keeps me up there and in contention for the title. I’m a little bit disappointed in myself, I made one error that changed the whole heat and they are the little things that you find hard sleeping on.”

The 2009 ASP World Title has now become a two-horse race between Fanning and Parkinson and will conclude at the final event of the season, the Billabong Pipeline Masters. The scenarios for the 2009 ASP World Title are as follows:

– Fanning finishes 33rd through a 9th at Pipeline, Parkinson needs a 3rd or better to overtake.
– Fanning finishes 5th at Pipeline, Parkinson needs a 2nd or better to overtake.
– Fanning finishes 3rd at Pipeline, Parkinson needs win the event to overtake.
– Fanning finishes 2nd or better at Pipeline, he will clinch the 2009 ASP World Title.

Although the men’s event has concluded, the ASP Top 17 women will have their crack at the many waves of Portugal for the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search, event No. 4 of 7 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, which will commence this afternoon.

Surfline, official forecasters for the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Search, are calling for the current surf to drop slightly over the next 24 hours before another swell is expected to hit the region.

Highlights from the Rip Curl Pro Search are available via http://live.ripcurl.com

Rip Curl Pro Search online media center is available at http://www.box.net/shared/o3avphdb6z

The Rip Curl Pro Search is partnered regionally by RTP, Eurosport, Fuel TV and ESPN Brazil, who will all be broadcasting live from Peniche throughout the event. For more information on these live television broadcasts, please visit http://live.ripcurl.com.

The next and final stop on the 2009 ASP World Tour will be the Billabong Pipeline Masters running on the North Shore of Hawaii from December 8 – 20, 2009.

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

RIP CURL PRO SEARCH FINAL RESULTS:

1 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.67
2 – Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.87

RIP CURL PRO SEARCH SEMIFINAL RESULTS:

SF 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.60 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.27
SF 2: Wright Withdraws Due to Injury, Fanning Advances

CURRENT ASP WORLD TOUR TOP 10 (Following Rip Curl Pro Search):

1 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 7140 points
2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 6772 points
3 – Adriano de Souza (BRA) 6148 points
4 – Bede Durbidge (AUS) 6146 points
5 – C.J. Hobgood (USA) 5748 points
6 – Taj Burrow (AUS) 5524 points
7 – Kelly Slater (USA) 5514 points
8 – Bobby Martinez (USA) 5421 points
9 – Damien Hobgood (USA) 5116 points
10 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 4828 points

Ends

Issued on behalf of: 

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

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

Jordy Smith into last 16 at penultimate ASP World Tour event in Portugal;

October 26th, 2009 No comments

Pictured: Jordy Smith (ZAF), 21, current ASP World No. 12, will take on former ASP World Champion (2001), C.J. Hobgood (USA), 30, in the opening heat when competition resumes.

Jordy Smith into last 16 at penultimate ASP World Tour event in Portugal; Sean Holmes & Dave Richards advance to Round 2 in Canada; Trio of Saffas to battle for ASP World Longboard title in Maldives

Sunday 25 October 2009 – Jordy Smith advanced to Round 3 at the Rip Curl Pro Search event in Portugal, Stop No. 9 of 10 on the ASP World Tour, while the battle for the 2009 World Title will only be decided at the last event at Pipeline in Hawaii in December as current ASP No. 2 Joel Parkinson (AUS) also progressed.

Smith, 21, reached the last 16 for the sixth time in nine Dream Tour events this year with a comprehensive victory over Roy Powers on Saturday. Smith left the Hawaiian combo’ed and needing to improve on both his counting rides after posting scores of 7.67 and 8.17 out of 10 in the punchy 1 – 1.5 metre waves at the backup site of Belgas.

Rated No.12 going into Portugal, the Durbanite has now cemented his place in the top 16 on the yearend ratings in his second year on the ASP World Tour. This guarantees him preferential seeding for the opening events of 2010 when the new ASP one-world rating will be implemented and the number of surfers competing in World Tour contests will be cut from 48 to 36 at the halfway mark of the year.

Huge surf and tides washed away the contest infrastructure at the primary contest venue of Supertubos in Perniche before the first heat had been contested last week. Eventually starting at the third backup site of Molhe Leste on Thursday, Durbanite David Weare recorded his fifth 33rd place finish when he was ousted by Heitor Alves (BRA) in a low scoring Round 1 encounter.

Current No.31 Greg Emslie (East London) kept alive his hopes of ending the year amongst the top 27 on the rankings and re-qualifying for a 10th year at the highest level of competition surfing by defeating Basque campaigner Aritz Aranburu on Friday. But Emslie was eliminated by ASP No. 10 Damien Hobgood (USA) in Round 2 to post his seventh 17th place result this year and remains right on the re-qualification bubble going into the last event in Hawaii.

Meanwhile, in a major upset, nine-time and reigning ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) was eliminated from the 2009 title race when he was defeated by wildcard Owen Wright (AUS) for the second time this year.

Current No. 2 Joel Parkinson (AUS), who won three of the first five events of the year to establish a runaway ratings lead, snapped a run of three successive 17ths by overcoming wildcard Bruno Santos (BRA) to reach the last 16 which ensured that the title will only be decided at Pipeline even if ratings leader and compatriot Mick Fanning wins this event.

Fanning delivered a workmanlike performance to dispatch replacement surfer Pat Gudauskas (USA) and keep his challenge for a second title on track. World title contenders CJ Hobgood (USA), who takes on Jordy Smith in the first heat of Round 3, Adriano de Souza (BRA), Bede Durbidge and Taj Burrow (both Australia) will be hoping that Fanning finishes third or lower in this event to give them a mathematical chance of snatching the world title at Pipeline.

The waiting period for the Rip Curl Pro Search men’s event runs until Wednesday 28 October and live webcasts can be found at www.live.ripcurl.com

RIP CURL PRO SEARCH ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Heat 2: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Drew Courtney (AUS)
Heat 4: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 5: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Dane Reynolds (USA)
Heat 6: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Tim Reyes (USA)

The waiting period for women’s Rip Curl Pro Search, Stop No. 4 of 7 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, starts today (Monday) and runs until Friday 30 October.

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Sean Holmes & Dave Richards advance to Round 2 in Canada

Capetonians Sean Holmes and Dave Richards won their opening encounters to advance to Round 2 as organisers ran the first 19 heats in the 6-Star rated O’Neill Cold Water Classic on Vancouver Island, Canada, on Sunday.

Touted as the world’s coldest surfing contest, Stop No. 4 of 5 on the O’Neill Cold Water series started in one metre waves at Cox Bay and features seven SA contenders on the 2009 ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), including Durbanites Travis Logie, currently ranked No. 10, and Brandon Jackson (No. 20).

Umhlanga teenager Beyrick de Vries will start his campaign in Heat 21 of Round 1 when the event resumes while Rudy Palmboom (Bluff) and former Capetonian Damien Fahrenfort (California) are seeded into Round 2 along with Logie and Jackson.

The event runs until Saturday 31 October and live scoring and further details can be found at www.coldwaterclassic.net

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Trio of Saffas to battle for ASP World Longboard title in Maldives

Three of South Africa’s top longboard surfers are in the Maldives for the second leg of the Oxbow World Longboard Tour which will decide the 2009 ASP World Longboard Champion at the famous left-breaking wave of Pasta Point.

Two-time ISA world champion Matthew Moir, fellow Capetonian and reigning SA Open champion Justin Bing and former SA champ Dylan McLeod (Port Elizabeth) are amongst the 32 competitors in the world title decider which has a waiting period that runs from today (Monday) to Saturday 31 October.

The event can be followed live in the internet at www.oxbowpro.com/us/maldives

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For more information on the ASP Africa members, including profiles and rankings, visit www.aspafrica.com

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Issued on behalf of:
ASP Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: aspafrica@mweb.co.za

Compiled & Distributed by:
Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax: +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

About ASP:
The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the governing body of professional surfing. Crowning surfing’s undisputed world champions since 1976, the ASP sanctions the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, the World Qualifying Series (WQS) and the World Longboarding, Junior and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

Mossel Bay hosts South Africa’s legends of surfing in the 2009 Reef Wetsuits SA Masters Championships

October 14th, 2009 No comments

Pictured: Multiple SA Grandmasters champion David Malherbe (Border) in action. Photo courtesy Surfing South Africa

The fifth edition of the Reef Wetsuits South African Masters Championships will take place at Mossel Bay in the Southern Cape from Thursday October 15 to Sunday October 18.

This is the second time that local province Southern Cape have hosted the tournament which was held in Victoria Bay in 2007. The holding of this event in Mossel Bay marks a special occasion for Surfing South Africa as it  will be the first time in history that a national interprovincial surfing tournament will be held at this superb surf spot.

Over 100 surfers representing seven provinces will compete for individual honours in the six age divisions and all of them will be going all out to win the Interprovincial Team trophy which is determined by a combination of all the team member’s scores.

All but one of the 2008 individual champions will be back to defend the titles they won at Nahoon Reef in East London. There will be a new champion in the Over 30’s division which features Paul Procter and Philip Malherbe of Border, Craig Els of Southern KZN Graeme Field of WP, Llewellyn Whittaker of Southern Cape and Michael Moore of Boland.

Over 35 Champion Wayne Monk of Border will be hoping to make it three in a row but he will have his work cut out for him. Gary van Wieringen and Andrew Banks of Southern KZN, Carl Roux and Mike Frew of KZN, Robert Pollock of Southern Cape and WP’s Andrew Preen look to be his toughest opponents

2007 and 2008 Grandmasters champion David Malherbe and his brother, fellow SA Masters Team member Andre, as well as Border teammate Gareth Sepp look a formidable trio in the Over 40 age group.

Southern Cape surfer Steven Hair, who won the Over 45 Kahunas title in 2008, will need all his local knowledge if he hopes to retain his title against the likes of WP surfers David Stubbs and Glen Row, Border surfer and 2009 SA Team member Mike Brent, big wave legend Mickey Duffus of Boland and David Hansen of KZN in this tough division.

For Over 50 World and SA Champion Chris Knutsen of KZN this year’s tournament will mean another opportunity to add another title to his magnificent record. Knutsen won four SA Open Championship titles, the World Title in Peru in 2008 and has represented South Africa seven times. He is in a class of his own in this division although Brian Heathcote of Border and Grantly Read of KZN could surprise.

In the Veterans division the Over 55 2008 champion Dave Fish of Border also looks a good bet for a back to back title but Southern Cape legend Leonard Giles is in the division and eager to add another national title to the two he won in the 1980’s.

The Reef Wetsuits SA Masters Championships comprises six divisions, namely Senior Men (Over 30), Masters (Over 35), Grandmasters (Over 40), Kahunas (Over 45), Grand Kahunas (Over 50) and Veterans (Over 55).

The event crowns six individual champions and determines the top Provincial team. Each team members points will count towards the Provincial title, which was won by Southern KZN in 2005 and 2006 and by Border in 2007 and 2008.

Teams will gather at Mossel Bay yacht club for the Opening Function at 7pm today and the event will run from Thursday to Sunday October 18.

Each day’s results will be posted on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za from Thursday.
/ends

Compiled by
Robin de Kock
General Manager
Surfing South Africa
surfingsouthafrica@gmail.com

Please contact Surfing South Africa on 0824541149 for all Media information

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

ASP Surfers, Events and Management Announce Plans for 2010 and Beyond

October 10th, 2009 No comments

ASP Board

Pictured: Today ASP announced the future of the sport of surfing. Credit: © ASP/ CI/ SCHOLTZ via GETTY IMAGES

MUNDAKA, Euskadi/Spain (Saturday, October 10, 2009) – The October 2009 ASP Board of Directors meeting has completed, with all surfers, events and administration uniting to activate landmark improvements that make the ASP World Tour bigger and better for 2010 and beyond.

“On behalf of the Association of Surfing Professionals, I am pleased to reaffirm the commitment from both our surfers and events in progressing the sport in a unified and collaborative effort,” Brodie Carr, ASP International CEO, said. “We have just completed a period of intense discussion with the world’s best surfers and the world’s best events which culminated in the unanimous support of the ASP and the commitment to the continuation of crowning undisputed world champions, as we have done so for 30 years, for generations to come.”

First and foremost amongst the historic changes is the transformation to a one-world rating system and the trimming back of the ASP World Tour field. Beginning in 2010, the ASP will move from the current two-tier system to an all-inclusive one-world rating system where both ASP World Tour and ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) events will be used to determine a surfer’s rating.

Halfway through the 2010 season, the ASP World Tour field will be reduced from the current 45-man plus three wildcards system to a 32-man plus four wildcards field. The timing of this reduction in field is to allow everyone qualifying for next season’s Dream Tour ample opportunity to establish themselves in the Top 32.

“By trimming back the current Top 45 field as well as instituting the one-world rating system we ensure the ASP World Tour continues to be the most progressive and dynamic professional surfing tour on Earth,” Mick Fanning, ASP World Champion (2007) and Surfers’ Representative, said. “The ASP has been the home of the best surfers and the best waves for over 30 years and our commitment to instituting these changes is illustrative of our position at the forefront of surfing.”

Prize money at the ASP World Tour and ASP Women’s World Tour level is set for a substantial increase in 2010. Base prize money for the ASP World Tour events will increase from the current US$340,000 to US$400,000 in 2010, taking the total prize pool on 10 events from $3,400,000 to $4,000,000 per annum. On the ASP Women’s World Tour, total prize pool will increase from US$630,000 to $800,000 in 2010.

Along with the increase in event prize purse, an additional US$100,000 bonus will be awarded to the year-end ASP World Champion, as well as an additional US$30,000 bonus to the year-end ASP Women’s World Champion.

“The surfers and events continue to work together with ASP Management to create a world class sport,” Rip Curl’s Neil Ridgway, ASP Events’ Council Chairman, said. “There are over one thousand ranked surfers from juniors to pros chasing an ASP World Title, and tens of thousands behind them dreaming of winning one themselves. Our tours provide sporting, economic, social and environmental benefits to almost every continent on the planet. We uphold the career pathway and continue to nurture the millions of fans who follow their heroes on the ASP World Tours.”

In addition to the increase in prize money, the ASP will institute an increase in surfer benefits that include full insurance coverage as well as a pension plan.

The third major change to be activated in 2010 is the evolution of the ASP Board structure. Transitioning from the current 5-person (1 chairman, 2 event and 2 surfer) model, the new ASP Board Structure will consist of three independents, two events and two surfers – including a women’s representative.

“It’s fantastic that the women will become voting members of the ASP Board of Directors,” Jessi Miley-Dyer, ASP Women Surfers’ Representative, said. “The current board has done an incredible job in directing the tour and has been instrumental in providing career pathways and tours for both male and female surfers. Having a female representative on the board dovetails perfectly into the positive, global response we’re receiving on the ASP Women’s World Tour right now, and I look forward to seeing the benefits of such a shift in focus.”

“We remain open to enhancements to our tours that reflect our core principles,” Carr said. “Our primary focus is in doing what is best for professional surfing.”

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

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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

Digital Photographs:
High-resolution digital images for newspapers and Internet sites are available through ASP’s photography distributution partner Getty Images. To register for access, log onto http://corporate.gettyimages.com/marketing/editorial_frontdoor/ASP/index.html

High-res image available for complimentary download at: (Copy/Paste URL)
http://64.78.18.131/aspnewsphotos/ed09/ASPBoard2009(scholtz).jpg

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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, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

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