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Gabriel Medina Triumphs Over Kelly Slater in Monstrous Surf at Billabong Pro Tahiti

August 26th, 2014 No comments
ASP World No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA), 20, storms to victory at the Billabong Pro Tahiti after defeating the 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) in a thrilling final.  Image: ASP / Kirstin Scholtz

ASP World No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA), 20, storms to victory at the Billabong Pro Tahiti after defeating the 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) in a thrilling final.  Image: ASP / Kirstin Scholtz

TEAHUPO’O, Tahiti (Monday, August 25, 2014): The world’s best surfers put everything on the line as they battled the world’s most dangerous wave in an historic Finals day at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, stop No. 7 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT).

The 12-man field still in contention on the Final Day took on perilous conditions and monster 12-to-15 foot barreling waves, the biggest of the season, in pursuit of victory. It was Gabriel Medina (BRA) who clinched the victory and claimed the coveted title of Billabong Pro Tahiti Champion after an unbelievable day of competition and what is being dubbed the best WCT contest in history.

The win over 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) is Medina’s third WCT victory of the year, after triumphing at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and Billabong Rio Pro, and sees him extend his lead in the 2014 ASP World Title race.

The pair were neck and neck throughout the Final, with each posting a series of excellent nine-point scores. Medina held the lead with the tiniest of margins, 0.03, and the heat came down to the last wave from Slater and a nail-biting wait for the score. The American needed a 9.33 but came in just shy at 9.30 and Medina took the win to solidify his place as ASP World No. 1 going in to the final four events of the season. The Brazilian previously dispatched Kolohe Andino (USA) and Bede Durbidge (AUS) on route to the thrilling finale.

“I don’t really know what to say,” said Gabriel Medina. “I’m so blessed to have these conditions at ‘Chopes and surf against all these guys. This is such a special event and I’m just so happy right now. Kelly (Slater) is a legend of surfing and it’s the best feeling ever to win. The waves were big and perfect and this feeling is amazing. I love surfing and to get these waves is incredible. I want to thank ASP for the event and I’m so happy to be part of this.”

Today marked Slater’s first WCT final of the year and his best result of the 2014 season. The result moves the four-time Billabong Pro Tahiti winner up from sixth to second place on the ASP WCT rankings, putting him in serious World Title contention. Slater left the competition with two Perfect 10s and 14 excellent nine-point rides after overcoming John John Florence (HAW) and Owen Wright (AUS) before facing Medina in the Final.

“What can you say? The ocean delivered for us today… this week,” said Kelly Slater. “It was incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it and today will go down as one of the best days of surfing in my career, no question. Congratulations to Gabriel (Medina). He was in rhythm all event and specifically in the Final, and he’s on fire this year. We switch gears big time for Trestles next and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. There’s a lot of work ahead.”

Fearless charger Bede Durbige (AUS) secured his best ever result at the Billabong Pro Tahiti after making it to the Semifinals where he was knocked out by eventual event winner Medina. Despite a number of brilliant performances through the competition, and a Perfect 10 in the Quarterfinals, he was unable to match the scores of the Brazilian and finshed in equal 3rd. The result sees him move up one place to World No. 13.

“Gabriel (Medina) is such a tactician in his approach and it worked perfectly,” said Bede Durbidge. “It’s such a bummer but I’m so glad to be part of this day. It was so special to surf against one of my best mates (Adrian Buchan) in the heat before and we’ve been surfing together since we were 13. This is such a great day for ASP and I’m stoked to be a part of it.”

Hawaiian prodigy John John Florence faced eventual runner-up Slater in the second Semifinal which was one of the most exciting heats ever seen at Teahupo’o. Florence delivered an epic performance and posted four nine-point rides, including a near-perfect 9.90. The heat ended in a tied, with each surfing holding a 19.70 heat total, but Slater edged the win with the highest single-wave score, a Perfect 10. The equal third place finish puts Florence in 12th place on the WCT rankings.

“I don’t really know how I feel but that whole heat and everything that happened was crazy,” said John John Florence. “I’m so so stoked. My first ride was so good; it was insane. It was so glassy and nice out there.”

The Andy Irons Most Committed Performance Award is given out every year to the standout surfer of the Billabong Pro Tahiti. Previous winners include John John Florence (2013), Ricardo dos Santos (2012) and Jeremy Flores (2011). This year’s award goes to Owen Wright (AUS) for his commitment, passion and courage during the event. Wright was knocked out of the competition by Slater in the Quarterfinals, but not before he posted a Perfect 10 in Heat 4.

“This feels amazing and I’m so honored to get this award,” said Owen Wright. “During this event so many guys have gone hard. I’ve watched Andy (Irons) for so long and I can’t imagine what he’d be doing if he was here. To get fifth place here feels so special and this award just tops it off.”

South Africa’s Jordy Smith was eliminated in Round 2 and ended the event in equal 25th place. Travis Logie, a Semifinalist in Tahiti in 2011, injured his foot on the reef in Round 1 and was forced to withdraw from the event.

The next stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour will be the Hurley Pro at Trestles from September 9 – 20, 2014. The event will be webcast LIVE on ASPWorldTour.com

Billabong Pro Tahiti Final Result:
1- Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.96
2- Kelly Slater (USA)18.93

Billabong Pro Tahiti Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.67 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 4.17
SF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.77 def. John John Florence (HAW) 19.77

Billabong Pro Tahiti Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 19.87 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 18.43
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.27 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.27
QF 3: John John Florence (HAW) 19.67 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 17.76
QF 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.80 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 16.10

Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.40 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.66
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.53 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 6.16
Heat 3: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 19.33 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 14.77
Heat 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 19.87 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 12.83

Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.66, Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.73, Tiago Pires (PRT) 6.84
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.37, Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.57, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.00
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 18.16, Kai Otton (AUS) 12.10, Brett Simpson (USA) 8.67
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.44, Owen Wright (AUS) 16.74, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.50

ASP World Championship Tour Rankings (after event #7 – Tahiti)
1. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 46150 points
2. Kelly Slater (USA) 38350
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 36150
4. Michel Bourez (PYF) 34500
5. Mick Fanning (AUS) 34400
6. Taj Burrow (AUS) 33700

14. Jordy Smith (Durban, ZAF) 18900
31. Travis Logie (Durban, ZAF) 8250

Watch all the highlights from the Billabong Pro Tahiti at www.aspworldtour.com.

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

SA’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker 5th As Makua Rothman Wins Billabong Pico Alto Big Wave Event in 40-Foot Surf

July 4th, 2014 No comments
Grant 'Twiggy' Baker (Durban, ZAF), reigning ASP Big Wave World Champion, drops down the face of a giant wave on his way to 5th place in the Billabong Pico Alto, the first event of the 2014/2015 ASP Big Wave World Tour which was won by Hawaii's Makua Rothman  Image: ASP / BWWT / Rommel Gonzales

Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker (Durban, ZAF), reigning ASP Big Wave World Champion, drops down the face of a giant wave on his way to 5th place in the Billabong Pico Alto, the first event of the 2014/2015 ASP Big Wave World Tour which was won by Hawaii’s Makua Rothman  Image: ASP / BWWT / Rommel Gonzales

South Africa’s Grant ‘Twiggy’, the reigning ASP Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) champion, finished fifth as Hawaiian Makua Rothman claimed victory at the Billabong Pico Alto event in Peru, battling 40-foot seas and a field of 24 of the world’s best watermen in the first event of the 2014/2015 ASP BWWT season yesterday (Thursday)

Baker displayed the consistency that saw him reach the final in all the BWWT events last season, winning two of them, by again advancing through Round 1 and the semi-finals held in heaving 25 to 40 foot (8 to 13 metres) surf to reach the last six in the final at Peru’s renowned big wave venue of Pico Alto, 60 kms South of Lima.

Rothman’s “go-for-broke” approach throughout the contest paid off and the young Hawaiian showcased his commitment, strength and confidence as the surf grew in size during the day by netting the highest scores of the entire event in the final.

“I didn’t even know what was going on during that wave (his 9.40 out of a possible 10 in the final),” Rothman said. “I thought I was going over the falls, but I figured I’d just try and hang on. I’m just stoked to be here and stoked to win. This is my first event ever on the Big Wave World Tour and I can’t put into words what this means.”

The six-man final boasted a “who’s who” of the global big wave community with reigning world champion Grant “Twiggy” Baker (ZAF) leading Greg Long (USA), Gabriel Villaran (PER) Shawn Dollar (USA) and Anthony Tashnick (HAW) into the brink, but it was newcomer Rothman that came out on top, announcing himself as a major threat on the BWWT.

Baker was fortunate to get through his opening encounter when the heat was extended by 30 minutes after only one ride, by Baker, was recorded in the initial 45 minutes. A flurry of sets during the extension saw him overtaken by Rafael Velarde (PER) and Jamie Sterling (HAW) but the Saffa held onto third place

He also finished third in his semi-final, behind Rothman and Long, progressing to the final where he waited patiently and caught arguably the biggest wave of the entire event. However Baker could not find a second score and placed fifth overall.

“This was so great to have waves here in Peru,” Rothman said. “I went on the ‘QS for years and just struggled, but this is where I belong. I am so honoured to surf with Greg Long and Twiggy (Grant Baker) and Dollar (Shawn Dollar) and everyone who steps up and takes off on big waves. You are all the reason I’m here today.”

A new father, Rothman left straight from the hospital to hop on a plane and travel to Peru – a risk that would pay off in a career-changing win for the new family man as well as an ignited fervour in challenging for the big wave crown.

“I just want to say I love you to my daughter who was born two days ago,” Rothman said. “I wore her hospital bracelet the whole time and now I can’t take it off. I don’t even know what to say, I’m happy.”

Highlights from the Billabong Pico Alto are available via www.ASPWorldTour.com

Billabong Pico Alto Final Results:
1. Makua Rothman (HAW) 27.33
2. Anthony Tashnick (USA) 22.00
3. Shawn Dollar (USA) 20.26
4. Gabriel Villaran (PER) 16.80
5. Grant Baker (ZAF) 16.00
6. Greg Long (USA) 7.00

Billabong Pico Alto Semi-final Results:
SF 1: Makua Rothman (HAW) 18.99, Greg Long (USA) 13.00, Grant Baker (ZAF) 12.84, Miguel Tudela (PER) 9.13, Jamie Sterling (HAW) 6.73, Rafael Velarde (PER) 5.86
SF 2: Gabriel Villaran (PER) 23.76, Shawn Dollar (USA) 21.87, Anthony Tashnick (USA) 21.44, Carlos Burle (BRA) 19.57, Ben Wilkinson (AUS) 19.21, Nick Lamb (USA) 17.03

Billabong Pico Alto Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Miguel Tudela (PER) 21.99, Makua Rothman (HAW) 17.54, Greg Long (USA) 16.51, Ken Collins (USA) 13.66, Jamie Mitchell (AUS) 11.66, A. Loret de Mola (PER) N/S
Heat 2: Rafael Velarde (PER) 21.73, Jamie Sterling (HAW) 18.51, Grant Baker (ZAF) 16.49, Sebastian de Romana (PER) 11.66, Ramon Navarro (CHL) 8.34, Kohl Christenson (HAW) 6.34
Heat 3: Gabriel Villaran (PER) 20.67, Nic Lamb (USA) 14.33, Ben Wilkinson (AUS) 10.00, Tyler Fox (USA) 9.16, Ryan Augestein (USA) N/S, Tamil Martino (PER) N/S
Heat 4: Carlos Burle (BRA) 19.56, Anthony Tashnick (USA) 17.46, Shawn Dollar (USA) 16.87, Grant Washburn (USA), Kodiak Semsch (EUK) 12.33, Adur Letamendia (EUK) 11.34

The 2014/2015 BWWT season is divided into Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere components hosting three possible events within each. The Southern Hemisphere window runs from April 15 to August 31, 2014 with event options in Chile, Peru and South Africa. The Northern Hemisphere window runs from October 15, 2014 to February 28, 2015 with event options in Mexico, the Basque Region of Spain and Maui.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

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

Compiled & Distributed by:

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

It’s Official – Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker is the 2014 ASP World Big Wave Surfing Champion!

April 2nd, 2014 No comments
Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker drops into a towering wall of water on his way to victory at Mavericks in California in January, one of two event wins that saw him clinch the 2014 Mystic Lubricant Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) title  Photo: Brian Overfelt

Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker drops into a towering wall of water on his way to victory at Mavericks in California in January, one of two event wins that saw him clinch the 2014 Mystic Lubricant Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) title Photo: Brian Overfelt

South Africa’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker has been crowned the Mystic Lubricants Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) World Champion after racking up more than double the points of any of his competitors during the 2013/2014 Xpreshon BWWT season.

“I gave it my all this year, basically put my personal life on hold and went for it,’ said Baker after being confirmed as the champion. “I only surfed big wave boards for almost 9 months, I looked for the most testing, biggest conditions on every swell even if I knew a perfect point around the corner was going off and I worked on my mental and physical well being so I was in the best possible condition to compete.”

The 40 year-old from Durban won the opening two events on the tour at Punta Galea in Spain in December and Mavericks in California in January before placing third at Nelscott Reef in Oregon last month to take a virtually unassailable lead on the rankings.

With just one event remaining at Todos Santos in Mexico and his closest opponent, Ken Collins (USA), mathematically able to overtake him if Collins won that event and Baker did not compete, Baker had to wait until the season closed on 31 March without the event running before being officially recognised as the world champion.

“It means quite a bit to have put the time into something and be rewarded for it. And to bring the world title back to South Africa is the best part,” said the proud South African. “With Bianca (Buitendag) doing so well at the moment and Jordy (Smith) ready to pounce I believe South African surfing is in a strong place and we can build the next generation from this base.

Baker, who is also the only big wave surfer to be nominated for two awards in the 2013/2014 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards that will be announced next month, went into the season after losing his sponsor and knowing that he would have to raise his game in order to be able to continue competing internationally.

“In the past I was never really into the competitive side of surfing and preferred the more soulful aspect of the sport. But with losing my sponsor in July 2013, I realized I would have to compete and win in order to keep getting paid to surf and this was a big motivating factor,” explained Baker.

“Since winning Mavericks and upping my profile I have been fortunate enough to sign with VISSLA and Isurus wetsuits along with upping my existing sponsors with BOS Ice Tea and Future fins, so right now I’m in a great situation and I can continue to surf for another three years.”

See the full interview with Twiggy, plus video highlights of his world title winning season, at http://www.aspworldtour.com/posts/36149/grant-twiggy-baker-claims-2013-2014-asp-bwwt-title

The 2014/2015 ASP Big Wave World Tour commences on 15 April 2014 and showcases the world’s premiere big wave surfers. There are three events in the Southern Hemisphere (April through 31 August 2014) at Punta de Lobos, Chile and Pico Alto, Peru with Dungeons in Cape Town, South Africa, being added for the first time.

The Northern Hemisphere leg (1 October 2014 to 28 February 2015) includes Todos Santos, Mexico and Punta Galea, Basque Country, Spain, with Pe’ahi (aka Jaws) on the Hawaiian island of Maui also a new addition.

2013/2014 ASP BWWT
Final Rankings

1 – Grant Baker (Durban, ZAF) 2,459.00 pts
2 – Ken Collins (USA) 1,140.13 pts
3 – Nic Lamb (USA) 1,117.50 pts
4 – Shawn Dollar (USA) 938.50 pts
5 – Kohl Christensen (HAW) 864.88 pts

=31 – Frank Solomon (Cape Town, ZAF) 179.38 pts
=50 – Chris Bertish (Cape Town, ZAF) 95.0 pts

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

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

Compiled & Distributed by:

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

South Africa’s Grant Baker Dominates The Mavericks Invitational In Giant Waves

January 25th, 2014 No comments
Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) shows poise under the lip of a giant wave during his Round 1 heat win in the Body Glove Mavericks Invitational in California on Friday  Credit: Grant Ellis / Surfer Mag

Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) shows poise under the lip of a giant wave during his Round 1 heat win in the Body Glove Mavericks Invitational in California on Friday Credit: Grant Ellis / Surfer Mag

Pillar Point, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, California (Friday 24 January) – Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker (Durban) won the Body Glove Mavericks Invitational presented by GoPro in giant waves with faces that exceeded 13 metres (40 foot) at Pillar Point, Half Moon Bay in Santa Cruz, California on Friday.

Competing against 23 of the world’s best big wave chargers in the fourth stop on the Xpreshon Big Wave World Tour, Baker gave a clinic in high performance big wave surfing throughout the event, winning his Round 1 heat, finishing second in the semis and dominating the final. The 40 year-old Durbanite caught the most waves, taking off in the perfect position, manoeuvring his way around the bone-crushing white-water and pulling into and emerging from a gaping tube.

He posted two perfect 10 point rides on the day, the first in Round 1 and the other in the final, where he finished with a near perfect tally of 29.33 out of 30.

“I’m feeling pretty good – amazing in fact!” said Baker on the headquarters boat after the final. “Two of my favourite surfers in the world, Shane Dorian and Greg Long, were in the final so to win Mavericks is the greatest feeling in the world!”

“The waves were pretty big – there were some 20 foot sets (40 foot on the face) in the final. The wind made it choppy and it looked like there was no way you could make it. We just put our heads down and had to go because it was the final. I just got lucky that I didn’t hit a bump halfway down and get catapulted.”

“I’d like to thank everyone in South Africa for their support. This is it, we are the best.” Baker said after being chaired around the boat by Capetonians Frank Solomon (an alternate competitor for the event) and Chris Bertish, the 2010 Mavericks champion who was eliminated in Round 1 today after a 36 hour flight from his hometown, leaving on Wednesday and arriving in Santa Cruz on Thursday evening.

The victory was Baker’s second at Mavericks after his triumph in 2006 and also his second in succession on the BWWT following his win in the Arnette Punta Galea Challenge in Spain in December. He now holds a substantial lead in the 2013/14 rankings.

Shane Dorian (Hawaii) finished runner-up despite only arriving at the event venue at 5am on Friday after spending eight hours on Thursday paddling into enormous waves at Jaws on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

The huge waves and tricky wind conditions produced some spectacular wipeouts including Mark Healy’s two wave-hold down, Anthony Tashnick’s upside down over-the-falls tumble and Shawn Dollar’s death defying dive when he was catapulted off his board.

See highlights footage of the final of the 2014 Body Glove Mavericks Invitational at http://www.mavericksinvitational.com/heat-analyzer/

The Xpreshon BWWT continues with the Seatka Pro at Nelscott Reef in Oregon, USA, and the Dive & Surf @ Todos Santos in Mexico, both of which have holding periods that run until 31 March 2014 to wait for ideal conditions. See further details at http://bigwaveworldtour.com/

Body Glove Mavericks Invitational
Results

1. Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) – 29.33 pts
2. Shane Dorian (Hawaii) – 25.53
3. Ryan Augenstein (California) – 16.66
4. Tyler Fox (California) – 12.66
5. Greg Long (California) – 12.00
6. Anthony Tashnick (California) – 0.0

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

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

Compiled & Distributed by:

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

About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the recognized world governing body of professional surfing and has been crowning surfing’s undisputed World Champions since 1976. The ASP sanctions and crowns World Champions for the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, ASP World Junior Tour, ASP World Longboard and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts and other media platforms. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Xpreshon:
The biggest waves in the world deserve the biggest screen in your house. With XPRESHON you could be watching the XPRESHON Big Wave World Tour live on your TV. But whatever your style – skate, surf, snow, BMX or Moto – only XPRESHON has it all – All the news, All the latest movies and live events from all around the world. Miss Nothing with XPRESHON! Exclusively on XBOX and Windows 8.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

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

Compiled & Distributed by:

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

About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the recognized world governing body of professional surfing and has been crowning surfing’s undisputed World Champions since 1976. The ASP sanctions and crowns World Champions for the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, ASP World Junior Tour, ASP World Longboard and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts and other media platforms. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

Dorian and Dollar Dominate at Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards 2013

May 5th, 2013 No comments
Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii) won the Pacifico Tube and Ride of the Year titles.

Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii) won the Pacifico Tube and Ride of the Year titles.

Anaheim, CA, USA — (Saturday, May 4, 2013) — Hawaiian surfer Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) has walked away with one of the sport’s most-prized accolades, the 40 year old winning the Ride of the Year award at the annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards ceremony, held at The Grove theatre in Anaheim, California last night.

Dorian received USD$50,000 for the monumental wave he successfully paddled into and surfed at Jaws, Maui, last October. Dorian’s wave also included a gigantic tube ride, which earned him an additional $5,000 and the award for Pacifico Tube.

Dorian’s feat edged out other Billabong XXL Ride of the Year nominees; rides by Californian surfers Shawn Dollar at huge Cortes Bank, CA., Greg Long at Jaws, Maui, and fellow Hawaiians Dave Wassel and Reef McIntosh who both surfed memorable waves during an historic swell at Cloudbreak in Fiji, June 2012.

It was a special night that highlighted a breakthrough year for Dorian, he made XXL history by becoming the first surfer in a single year to be nominated in five categories; Ride of the Year, Pacifico Paddle, Pacifico Tube, XXL Biggest Wave and Surfline Men’s Performance.

Dorian, who is already a multiple XXL Award winner, (he is previous two-time winner of the Surfline Men’s Performance award 2011 & 2004, Ride of the Year winner 2008, Tube 2006) accepted his awards on stage in front of nearly 2,000 industry VIPs, invited guests and peers at the gala show considered the Oscars of surfing.

“I had such anxiety heading up onto the stage, all the boys were up there and all the rides were so incredible, it must have been so difficult to choose between them. It was an amazing year, to win Ride of the Year is huge for me,” said Dorian.

“For Shawn Dollar to paddle into the biggest wave, tow or paddle, all year is absolutely incredible. We’re seeing a change, we’re seeing the best big wave surfing we’ve ever seen. I’m pretty psyched still, I feel like a grom at heart,” he added.

NEW WORLD RECORD
While Dorian’s ride was exceptional, it was not considered the Biggest. Ride of the Year runner-up, Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, CA, USA), scooped that honor to win the XXL Biggest Wave Award as well as the Pacifico Paddle Award for a Cortes Bank behemoth.

XXL1305050 - XXLPaddleWinnerShawnDollarCrop - 600

Dollar’s history-making wave was estimated by experts to be 61 feet in height, a new paddle world record. Cortes Bank is the legendary seamount and mega-wave magnet located 100 miles southwest of Los Angeles.

Dollar previously set the world paddle-in record of 57 feet at Maverick’s in Northern California in 2010, only to have Dorian snatch the spot in the record books in 2011 with a 58 footer at Jaws.

This is the first time in the event’s 13-year history that any waves caught by paddle power have been nominated in the XXL Biggest Wave division, until now that division had been only accessed by surfers using tow-in assists by personal watercraft.

“Is this really happening? Are we really paddling into waves bigger than what we used to tow?” exclaimed Dollar. “It’s surreal, it’s such an honor. This is what I’m passionate about, I’m as big a fan as anyone – to be the guy that set the record? Phenomenal. Stoked. Over the moon. 61 feet? It’s hard to put numbers on those things, but it was the biggest wave I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Dollar.

“When I first saw it, I was absolutely scared to death. I thought I was toasted, I thought it was going to break on my head … 100 miles out to sea … it was worst case scenario type stuff. But the thing backed off and I turned my board around and whipped it and I went from a situation where I thought I wasn’t going to make it, to a situation where I went ‘Fu#k! I just rode the wave of my life!'” explained Dollar.

Dollar dedicated his wave to fallen big wave surfer and friend, Sion Milosky, who drowned at Mavericks in March 2011.

Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, CA) captured both the Pacifico Paddle and XXL Biggest Wave Awards.
“Death and drowning are absolutely prevalent. I’ve seen people die out there with me. It’s the real deal out there. I’ve kissed the ground when I’ve come in,” said Dollar.

San Clemente surfer, Greg Long, 29, cemented his reputation as a bona fide living legend when he was awarded the Surfline Men’s Performance Award.

XXL130505 - PerformanceWinnerGregLong - 600

Long’s season has included standout performances right round the globe. He distinguished himself during landmark sessions at Jaws, Mavericks, Pico Alto, Mexico, Fiji and Cortes Bank, where nearly lost his life.

After a three-wave hold down, Long was resuscitated at sea before being airlifted 100 miles to the mainland by US Coast Guard helicopter. Long walked the red carpet at the XXL awards with three of his rescuers – Pilot Lt. Joseph Plunkett, Rescue Swimmer Michael Linehan and Flight Mechanic Kevin Bates.

“Simply put, at Cortes, I drowned. Had I not had a water safety team near right there in that very moment I wouldn’t be here today. That’s just a reality of what we do out there. We’re dealing with forces of nature that are far greater than you. You can train and prepare and I do, intensively. But I found myself in a situation that I personally couldn’t get myself out of,” said Long.

“I’m so glad it happened. It forced me to open my eyes, to not just the surfing world, but the safety aspect and it has helped others too. We’re here to learn and grow and share that information with others. I took life lessons from that moment.”

While Long lost consciousness, his heart did not actually stop.

“There was a very surreal, spiritual moment where I wasn’t present in the physical body that I know and I was actually looking alongside it. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. It was intense while it was happening, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time mentally I was always okay with what was happening, as strange as that sounds,” Long said.

Long is one of the most regular nominees in the XXL’s 13 year history, having won numerous Awards including Ride of the Year 2009, Monster Paddle and Best Overall performer 2008 and Biggest Wave 2007.

Keala Kennelly (Kauai, Hawaii) claimed her second Billabong Girls Performance award. The unmistakable, hard charging goofy-foot has come close on numerous occasions, putting in do-or-die performances at venues she has become synonymous such as Teahupo’o in Tahiti and of course her native Hawaii.

“Big wave surfing is something I’m passionate about and I’d do it if there were no awards. But it was an incredible year and some crazy big wave surfing went down so it’s nice to be recognized,” said Kennelly.

“I think people have a preconception about what women can do in the water so I like to shatter the s#!t out of that and always try and do better and inspire. I’d also like to dedicate this award to my son,” added Kennelly.

Australian Chris Shanahan (Denmark, WA, AUS) accepted his award for XXL Wipeout of the Year over the phone, all the way from the Land Down Under.

Shanahan’s attempt to abort one of the ugliest, meanest below-sea-level slabs very nearly brought the house down. The Aussie natural footer mistimed his entry into the wave, tried to pull out and was forced to hit the eject button and ended up freefalling into the abyss without his board, making for a truly memorable and gut-wrenching XXL moment.

The wipeout eclipsed other horrifying entries from Hawaii, Portugal, California and West Australia.

In all, over $120,000 in cash and prizes was awarded to the world’s greatest big wave surfers in this the 13th edition of the Billabong XXL Awards presented by Pacifico.

A truly global event, this year’s Billabong XXL entries included hundreds of images and video clips of scores of surfers in action in dozens of countries spanning all the world’s oceans.

The competition window closed on March 20, the start of spring, with every wave ridden at every big wave break around the world in the previous 12 months in contention.

The show was webcast live via BillabongXXL.com, and will be broadcast as a one-hour program on ESPN2 on Sunday, June 9 at Noon PT.

The Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards is presented by Pacifico Beer. Pelican Products is the official provider of waterproof cases. Surfline.com is the exclusive surf forecaster of the XXL. The event is sponsored by Surfing Magazine and Air Tahiti Nui Airlines.

RESULTS:

2013 BILLABONG XXL GLOBAL BIG WAVE AWARDS
Presented by Pacifico

RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD
WINNER: Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii Oct 9, 2012 ($50,000) Video by Elliot Leboe ($5,000)
Second place: Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, CA, USA) at Cortes Bank, Dec 21st, 2012 ($5,000)
Third place: Greg Long (San Clemente, California, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii Oct 10, 2012 ($1,500)
Fourth place: Dave Wassel (Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA) at Cloudbreak, Fiji June 8, 2012 ($1,500)
Fifth place: Reef McIntosh (Kauai, Hawaii, USA) at Cloudbreak, Fiji June 8, 2012 ($1,500)

PACIFICO PADDLE AWARD
Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, CA, USA) at Cortes Bank, Dec 21st, 2012 (Wave was 61ft, new paddle world record) ($20,000)
Photographed by Frank Quirarte ($4,000)

XXL BIGGEST WAVE AWARD
Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, CA, USA) at Cortes Bank, Dec 21st, 2012 (First time a paddle surfer has won this category) ($10,000)
Photographed by Rob Keith ($4,000)

PACIFICO TUBE AWARD
Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii Oct 9, 2012 ($5,000)
Photographed by Fred Pompermayer ($2,000)

SURFLINE MEN’S PERFORMANCE AWARD
Greg Long (San Clemente, California, USA) ($5,000)

BILLABONG GIRLS BEST PERFORMANCE
Keala Kennelly (Kauai, Hawaii, USA) ($5,000)

XXL WIPEOUT AWARD
Chris Shanahan (Denmark, WA, Australia) at The Right, West Australia ($2,000)
Video by Darren McCagh ($1,000)

**********************

For more information contact
Bill Sharp
surfnewsed@aol.com
949-230-6162

Career best result for Travis Logie at Billabong Pro Tahiti – Jordy Smith retains No. 2 ranking

August 30th, 2011 No comments

Durban’s Travis Logie recorded his career best result in an ASP World Title Series event when he placed third in the Billabong Pro Tahiti which was won by reigning and 10-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) in classic two metre waves at Teahupoo in French Polynesia yesterday (Monday).

Meanwhile fellow South African Jordy Smith retained his ASP No. 2 ranking despite being eliminated by Logie in a re-run Round 3 heat after Smith suffered a dislocated rib in powerful three metre surf on Sunday.

Logie, 32, ranked No. 44 prior to the event and desperate to make the top 32 cut-off before 15 September that would enable him to compete in the World Title race for the last five events of the year, received a late call-up following the withdrawal of Bobby Martinez (USA).

Encouraged by his wife, Logie flew from Europe, where he was competing in the Star and Prime rated events, to Tahiti, arriving without surfboards and riding, and breaking, several of good friend Alan Riou’s boards as he progressed through the event .

Logie’s fairytale run to the semifinals saw him win his Round 1 heat over fourth seed Jeremy Flores (FRA) and Jadson Andre (BRA) to advance directly to Round 3. There he lost in the injury affected heat against Smith which the ASP decided to re-run and Logie, himself suffering from cuts, bruises and a strained AC shoulder joint resulting from a wipe-out during the heat, won through to Round 4.

Victory over Brett Simpson (USA) and Chris Davidson (AUS) in the three-man ‘demo’ round heat saw Logie skip Round 5 and progress directly to the quarterfinals. On the final day of the event he again defeated Simpson to reach the first semifinal of his five year career in ASP Title Race events, before meeting his match against in form Australian Owen Wright.

“It’s been an unbelievable week for me,” Logie said. “I don’t think it has all sunk in yet. I was in Europe, I barely made it here in time, I’ve been on borrowed equipment, I’ve been banged up on the reef, I had a re-surf with my good mate Jordy (Smith) and I’ve also scored the best result of my career. It’s all happened very fast. So yeah, I’m happy with how everything’s worked out, but would have liked to have made that Final.”

Logie is now ranked No. 34 and right on the cusp of re-qualifying for the elite tour when the ASP mid season rotation is implemented after the Quiksilver Pro New York, surfing’s first event to offer US $1 million in prize-money, which runs from 4-15 September. He will be hoping that the carnage suffered by the top 32 surfers in the phenomenal surf in Tahiti will enable him to get an injury-replacement spot in that event and to force his way into the top 32.

Smith entered Tahiti ranked No. 2 and briefly held the No. 1 spot in the 2011 ASP World Title rankings when the then No. 1, Joel Parkinson (AUS), was eliminated from the event in Round 2. However, the controversial re-run of his Round 3 heat against Logie robbed the 23 year-old, who now lives in Cape Town, of the opportunity to extend his rankings lead and he was ultimately overtaken when Slater won the event.

Smith is reportedly in America for diagnosis on his rib injury. Similar injuries can take four to six weeks to recover which would see him miss the next two events in New York and at Trestles in California during September

Slater, ranked No. 6 before Tahiti, benefited from the early elimination of Parkinson, Smith, Taj Burrow (AUS) and Flores to leapfrog them all into the rankings lead thanks to his haul of 10 000 precious points for the victory.

“It’s one of those weird events where you have to scramble through the early rounds,” Slater said. “Every year at this event, there are few of the top guys that lose in the early rounds and you have to scramble if you want a result here. You have to be in tune with the tides, swell direction and everything to make sure you get those waves that get you the score.”
 
Today’s win marked Slater’s 47th elite tour victory (out of 67 Finals appearances).

The Billabong Pro Tahiti experienced what is being called the best surf in the 14 year-history of the event. Pristine two metre waves set the scene for Round 1 before huge and unruly waves provided a stiff test for Round 2.

The French Government then issued a Code Red alert for Saturday, keeping all commercial craft in the harbour, which resulted in some of the biggest waves ever seen at Teahupoo being surfed by specialist tow-in teams who had jetted into the South Pacific island specifically for the occasion.

Sunday saw Rounds 3, 4 and 5 being held in what Slater called “…probably the best I’ve ever surfed it – it’s just so big and perfect.” Windless conditions bright sunshine and incredibly hollow two to three metre (6 – 10 foot) waves provided the world’s best competitive surfers with ideal conditions.

The final day was held in still perfect but slightly smaller 2.0 to 2.5 metre waves that continued to pump all day.

Flores, who became just the third surfer at elite tour level to record a perfect heat of 20 points out of a possible 20 on Sunday morning, collected the coveted Andy Irons Award for most committed performance of the event. This is the inaugural year for the award which honours the late Andy irons (HAW), the three-time ASP World Champion and last year’s Billabong Pro Tahiti Champion.

Every ride from the Billabong Pro Tahiti can be viewed at www.billabongpro.com, along with news, images and results from each day’s action, including the tow-in sessions.

BILLABONG PRO TAHITI FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 18.43
2 – Owen Wright (AUS) 17.10
 
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.50 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.60
SF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 19.50 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 14.40
 
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.94 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.83
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.50 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 6.17
QF 3: Travis Logie (ZAF) 18.07 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 17.14
QF 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.74 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 13.10
 
ASP WORLD TITLE RANKINGS TOP 5 (After Billabong Pro Tahiti)
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 26,950 pts
2. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 26,500 pts
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 26,200 pts
4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 22,750 pts
5. Owen Wright (AUS) 21,900 pts

ENDS

PLEASE NOTE: Broadcast quality and web quality footage of the Billabong Pro Tahiti is available for Media outlets. Contact Life’s a Beach Communications for download details.

Issued on behalf of:

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

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
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 recognized world governing body of professional surfing and has been crowning surfing’s undisputed World Champions since 1976. The ASP sanctions and crowns World Champions for the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, ASP World Junior Tour, ASP World Longboard and Masters Championships.
The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts and other media platforms. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

Do Great Things Trust launched and fund raising events announced

November 1st, 2010 No comments

CAN SUP 110 Poster

The Do Great Things Trust, an NPO founded by Cape Town based businessman, world renowned big-wave rider and Mavericks contest winner, Chris Bertish, has the philosophy that it is the little gestures in life that mean the most to people and every little gesture, every kind act, no matter how small, helps in making a positive difference to someone’s life.

“I have been very fortunate over the last couple of years to be able to achieve most of my goals, aspirations and life long dreams,” Bertish explained. “I just felt that it was time to give back and that’s where the idea to start the charity began.”

Bertish says it starts by just giving a little back to less fortunate people and supporting other charities like the Cancer Association, Reach for a Dream Foundation, Doctors without Borders and My Life Project.

“We feel that these charities are also ‘doing great things’ for others and making a positive difference in people’s lives,” Bertish commented. “We are also looking at launching and assisting development projects and helping various upliftment projects we can get involved with going forward.”

The first Fundraiser for the ‘Do Great Things Trust’ will be a party on Friday 26 November followed by Bertish’s CANSUP110 event on the Saturday and the Sunday, where he will be attempting to become the first person to paddle a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) from the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town along the coastline to Langebaan on the West Coast.

This mammoth undertaking, covering a total of over 110km, will raise additional funds and generate awareness for the abovementioned charities. The Water Safety for the paddle expedition will be kindly handled by Marine Scene and supported by Texies Seafoods.

The exciting charity party on Friday 26 November will held at the legendary location of Trench Town in Observatory, Cape Town, featuring an inspirational snowboarding film, three top bands, a raffle and a charity auction with unique items up for grabs.

Organised by The Do Great things Trust, in conjunction with CMB Agencies, and sponsored by Corona and Vitamin Water, the doors open at 6.00pm and R110 gets you in with a free complimentary drink and a raffle ticket for prizes sponsored by O’Neill, Fox, Ocean Minded, Hurricane, CMB Agencies and Naish.
 
The event kicks off with the premiere of the long awaited and inspirational O’Neill / James Jones snowboard film, “Deeper”, at 6.30pm, followed by reggae rockers, The Little Kings.

Surfer and comedian extraordinaire Mark Sampson will then MC the charity auction which includes one-of-a-kind memorabilia items autographed by Mavericks winner Chris Bertish, along with block-mounted posters signed by O’Neill sponsored South African Jordy Smith, the current World No. 2 ranked surfer.

The winners of the awesome prizes in the raffle will be announced before Seventh Son and Brazilian drum & rockers Napalma take us on a journey of rock and jungle drumming for the rest of the evening with local DJ’s spinning us through until after 11pm.

All proceeds generated on the evening will be presented to the Cancer Association, Reach for a Dream Foundation, Doctors without Borders and My Life Project after Seventh Son has rocked the crowd.

For more information on the party and CANSUP110 please go to www.dogreatthingstrust.com/picsvideos. Donations can be made by SMS’ing ‘CANSUP110’ to 40131 (R20/per SMS) and you can also donate funds via EFT or PayPal. Visit www.dogreatthingstrust.com for details.

So come and unite with us at Trench Town on the evening of Friday 26 November and thump the night away by doing one great thing and making a small difference in someone else’s life.

And keep an eye on the media for Bertish’s latest exploits as he left on Sunday on a whirlwind journey to Oregon, on the West coast of the USA, to compete in the Nelscott Reef paddle-in big wave contest, an event where he finished third last year and became the first to ride the wave on a SUP.

The sixth edition of the Nelscott Reef event has been given the green light to run on Tuesday 2 November in what are forecast to be the biggest waves in its history. See www.nelscottreef.com for more.

After finishing 2009 ranked third in the inaugural Big Wave World Tour standings, Bertish is also honoured to have received his first invitation as an Alternate competitor in the Eddie Aikau in Hawaii. The world’s longest running big-wave event has a waiting period that runs from the beginning of December 2010 to the end of February 2011 and the contest is only held when Waimea Bay is over 20 foot.

Ends

Issued on behalf of:

Do Great Things Trust
Contact: Chris Bertish
Mobile:  079 524 8344
Email:  info@dogreatthingstrust.com

In conjunction with CMB Agencies
www.cmbagencies.co.za
www.chrisbertish.com 
Compiled & Distributed by:

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

South Africa’s Dale Staples invited to Air Tahiti Nui Von Zipper Trials at Teahupo’o

August 4th, 2010 No comments

 

Pictured: Tahitian Manoa Drollet in action at  Teahupoo, Tahiti, where  South Africa’s Dale Staple will face Surfing’s ultimate challenge in the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials Photo: Stacey / Billabong 

 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF TEAHUPO’O

32 TRIALS INVITEES PREPARE FOR THE RIDES OF THEIR LIVES! 

in the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials

(Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010) South African surfer Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) is among an elite field of 32 internationals who have been invited to contest the prestigious Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials scheduled to take place at the notorious break of “Teahupo’o” in Tahiti over four days beginning August 16th.

The Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials is a precursor to stop 5 on the ASP Men’s World Tour, the Billabong Pro, Tahiti and only the winner is guaranteed a wildcard seed direct into the Billabong Pro’s elite main event. A second position is open to the highest placed local Tahitian surfer.

All surfers have been chosen based on previous performances at either Teahupo’o or abroad, and for their dedication to riding the world’s most intimidating surf spots.

The nature of the Teahupo’o break and the intensity of competition make the competition like no other. In surfing circles, the trials winner is lauded as a minor hero – required to put his life on the line inside the huge barrels that break across dangerously shallow, tropical reef – and the respect earned from his peers is on par with the eventual champion of the main event.

From there, further glory lies in overcoming one of the Billabong Pro’s top three seeds in Round 1 of the main event. In 2010 those seeds include current world ranked no. 1, Jordy Smith (Durban, ZAF), world ranked no. 2 Taj Burrow (WA, AUS) and world ranked no. 3 Kelly Slater (Fl, USA).

Historically, the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials champions have a habit of putting a dent in the world title campaigns of their top-seeded rivals. Most notably in 2007 when relative unknown Brazilian Bruno Santos and local wildcard Manoa Drollet went all the way to the final, finishing first and second respectively.

Drollet is a two-time trials winner at Teahupo’o and sits at the top of the wildcard heap. As a result, the 34 year-old has earned a seed direct into the main event in 2010.

Billabong Pro, Tahiti competition director and former world no. 2, Luke Egan (Gold Coast, AUS) says Drollet’s performances at the infamous break surpass anything he has witnessed during his career as a competitor and previous four years as Contest Director.

“Manoa’s surfing over the years at Teahupo’o is regularly above and beyond anything I have seen from any of the Top 45 rated men,” said Egan.

“There is not one world rated surfer in the competition, from Kelly Slater down, who will risk holding back when Manoa is in the water. He is the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons at Teahupo’o. It’s very probable that by having him in the competition he could knock out one of the top guys and it will affect the world title race.”

Along with 32 internationals, an additional field of 32 local Tahitian surfers make up the total trials field of 64.

The VonZipper Air Tahiti Nui trials begins from August 16th.

A series of pre-event webisodes will be made available over coming days and weeks for websites. Stand by for further info.

Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials

2010 Official International Invitees

HAWAII
Jon Florence
Conan Hayes
Bruce Irons
Danny Fuller
Sion Miloski
Kamalei Alexander
Reef McIntosh
Ian Walsh
Kalani Chapman
Marcus Hickman
Steven Koehene
Gavin Gillette
Jamie Sterling
Hank Gaskell
Clay Marzo

USA
Dane Ward

AUSTRALIA
Wade Goodall
Ryan Callinan
Laurie Towner
Nick Vasicek
Anthony Walsh
Koby Abberton
Mark Matthews
Damien Wills
Ryan Hipwood

PERU
Alvaro Malpartida
Gabriel Villaran

BRAZIL
Ricardo Do Santos

Puerto Rico  
Alejandro Moreda

JAPAN 
Takayuki Wakita

FRANCE
Ben Sanchez

New Zealand
Blair Stewart

South Africa 
Dale Staples

Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials 

Former Champions

2009 Heiarii Williams (PFY)
2008 Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
2007 Manoa Drollet (PFY)
2006 Heiarii Williams (PFY)
2005 Manoa Drollet (PFY)
2004 Heimata Carroll (PFY)
2003 Alain Riou (PFY)

2002 Vetea David (PFY)

2001 Bruce Irons (HAW)

 Celebrating 10 years of the Billabong Pro, Tahiti!

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACT INFO:

Trials highlights and TV newsfeed will be made available, contact:

“JJ” – Billabong Int. Event Media Manager.
Mob: +61 (0) 421 384 431
johnathan.jenkins@billabong.com.au

Rights free digital photos and full press release will also be made available via ASP Australasia contact:

Steve Robertson
+61 (0) 407 706874
steve@surfingaustralia.com 

Please Note: High resolution versions of the above images are available to South African MEDIA outlets from Life’s a Beach Communications – see contact details below.

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

O’Neill South Africa announce contenders for 2009/10 Raw Courage Big Wave Awards

May 12th, 2010 No comments

Raw Courage Awards

O’Neill South Africa is proud to announce the contenders for the 2009/10 O’Neill Raw Courage Big Wave Awards, an annual event to honour and reward the courage, passion and commitment of South African watermen who take on the country’s biggest waves using only paddling power.

Founded in 2008 by big wave legend and O’Neill ambassador, Chris Bertish, the Raw Courage Awards are presented in five categories including the Biggest Paddle Wave, Biggest Barrel, Balls to the Wall, PsychoFreak and Grom Charger with a total of over R40 000 at stake.

After evaluating all the entries submitted during the waiting period that ran from 1 May 2009 to 30 April 2010, the top contenders in each category have been determined and the winners will be announced at dual awards ceremonies at Long Beach and Rioja in Kommetjie, Cape Town on Wednesday 19 May.

Amongst those in the running for the 2009/10 Biggest Paddle Wave are Mike Baleta, James Taylor, Chris Bertish  and Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker, with the winner of this, the most prestigious of the awards, pocketing R20 000.

The hard charging Mike Baleta is also one of the favourites for the Biggest Barrel award, along with Andy Marr and Sean Holmes, while Holmes, Frank Solomon and Twiggy Baker are in contention for the PsychoFreak title that goes to the surfer producing the WOW factor on a big wave, which could be a wipe-out or any other super-radical, heavy situation.

Rising junior big wave stars Matt Bromley and Kane Bennewith are the finalists for the Grom Charger category and the Balls to the Wall award will be decided by a peer poll amongst the surfers in the event.

Photographic and video evidence of all the rides submitted for the 2009/10 O’Neill Raw Courage Awards can be found on the website www.thebombsurf.com where anyone wanting to meet and mingle with SA’s big wave surfing elite at Rioja needs to complete an online RSVP to gain entrance.

The awards ceremony will start at Long Beach at 5pm when the finalists, interested spectators and the presenters – Ross Lindsay, Jonathan Paarman and Tich Paul – will paddle out and form a circle at sea where the winners of the various categories will be announced.

Everyone then moves to the Barocca Lounge at Rioja for the Corona ‘Happy Hour’ between 6 & 7pm before the formalities commence with multiple World Kneeboard champion Gigs Celliers the MC. Along with a slideshow featuring all the top rides, there will be lucky draws and give-aways with over R10 000 in prizes, including a top of the line O’Neill Psycho 2 wetsuit.

The O’Neill Raw Courage Awards has its roots in paddle-in surfing and while all awards besides the Biggest Paddle Wave also accepted tow-in rides, the judging criteria favours paddling as the method of catching the wave. It takes more courage to paddle into and ride an 18 foot wave than it does to tow into a 25 footer.

For more information on the O’Neill Raw Courage Big Wave Awards, including the Rules and Judging Criteria, please visit http://www.thebombsurf.com/pages/258/about-the-oneill-raw-courage-awards 

O’Neill Raw Courage Awards

Biggest Paddle Wave Award – Surfer:   R20 000 + Photographer:   R2 500

Biggest Barrel Award – Surfer:    R5 000 + Photographer:     R2 000

Balls to the Wall Award – Surfer: R5 000

PsychoFreak Award – Surfer:      R5 000 + Photographer:     R2 000

Grom Charger Award – Surfer:    R2 000 + Photographer:     R1 000

Ends

Issued on behalf of;

O’Neill South Africa
Paul Canning
Tel:       031 313 1400
Email:   paul.c@oneill.co.za

Compiled & distributed by:

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