European Champion Rita Pires 

The Viana Pro starts today and around 100 of the worlds best riders have signed on to compete.

This event carries 1000 IBA championship points for the winner and more importantly a perfect start to the 5 event European leg know as E5’09.

One of the interesting tales in the early rounds will be the battle of the sexes when European surfing champion Rita Pires (Portugal) takes on the guys as the only female in the event.

“This is the first time for me to compete against the men on the IBA World Tour” said Pires.

“Its usual for me to compete against the Men on the National Tour. Last year I finished in 29th place on the ETB Men’s tour and in all honesty I think that I prefer to compete against the Men rather than the Women”

“ I don’t get as nervous when I surf against the Men because it’s not my normal division. I don’t worry, I just surf and have fun whereas against the women I think too much” .

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2009 Viana Pro in Portugal 

The next event on the IBA World Men’s Tour gets underway in Portugal this Thursday, kicking off a 5 event European leg known as E5’09.

The Viana Pro will launch the richest leg of the IBA Tour in 2009 with over US$150,000 up for grabs.

The check in for the event will be held between 9am – 5pm tomorrow (Wednesday 12th August) at the event site and riders are warned that a failure to notify officials or your intentions to compete will result in a loss of seeding position.

The city of Viana is a seaside holiday haven with a river running through the middle and a picturesque mountain range that meets the ocean. It’s a clean and well-planned city that is perfect for anyone wishing to come to Europe for a holiday.

The airport at Porto is state of the art and has flights that gone to most destinations world-wide.

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23rd annual South African Bodyboarding Championships 

From the 27th September to 2nd October 2009 the Boland Bodyboarding Association will be hosting the 23rd annual South African Bodyboarding Championships. This year's event will take place on the stretch of coastline between Elands Bay and Lamberts Bay.

The decision to host the event on this particular part of the West Coast stemmed from the vast amount of quality breaks and excellent weather the area can produce. The area has also been part of the Boland locality since the establishment of this province and it was felt by the committee to put these fine locations of high quality waves into use to produce an epic result for the contest. 168 of the top competitors representing their 8 provinces will go head to head for victory in what promises to be a great event.

During the event a development clinic, sponsored by Kumba Iron Ore to the value of R80 000, will be taking place enabling South Africa's top riders to spot the talent amongst the eager youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is in accordance with SABA's development policy and two clinics, one already having taken place during July, and another in August, will be run prior to the contest. The Boland Bodyboarding Association together with The Sonsurf organisation, have been coaching local youth as to the basics of bodyboarding as well as the importance of ocean safety. This will ensure that the youngsters are able to compete in a semi final and then onto their own final where a winner will be crowned.

As a direct result of Kumba Iron Ore's contribution each child involved in this years SA Champs Kumba development programme will be given a full kit of bodyboarding gear including an essential wetsuit for the icy Atlantic, board and fins. The kit is theirs to keep and use during the planned schools league, which is being formed for inter-school competitions in the area. This will ensure that the grass roots are laid for the sport to grow healthily amongst the communities in the Elands Bay area.

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