The 5 week / 5 event European Leg is all locked in for August / September and is shaping up as the most lucrative leg of the Tour with over US$150,000 up for grabs!!

Make sure that you book your Chile / Europe tickets for the evening of the 9th August as the change over to Viana will be super tight.

Viana is celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the IBA World Tour event (Back then it was GOB) when Stewart and Tamega were fighting for the title and not much has changed with both guys sitting 1 & 2 on the current IBA ratings.

The crew at Viana have an awesome program lined up so make sure that you start off your "Euro leg" at this amazing event (only for Men only at this stage*).

Gonzaga has the support of BBK Bank and Moviestar and Solepana will once again be hosting a Mens & Women's event. This event is always super fun and well run so make sure that you make the trip to Sopelana.

From Sopelana its back to Sintra for the Grand Slam. This is the biggest and most professional event in the World and with double points up for grabs this is one event that you don't want to miss!! The carnival atmosphere and super structure is something that every bodyboarder deserves to experience at least once in their career.

The girls will then head off for the Miss Sumol Cup (Regional WWT) and the Men will take off to Ferrol (Men's WMT) before the Tour wraps up with a brand new event at Supertubos in Peniche'.

An insane 5 week Tour that bounces between Spain and Portugal so don\'t miss a minute of this action packed leg.

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The 2009 IBA Grand Slam heads to Arica in Chile\

The second of four IBA Grand Slam events gets underway in Chile, in late July, at the Arica Chilean Challenge.

Since 2004, Arica Chilean Challenge is part of the World Qualify Tour, demostrating that it has to be a part of the World Super Tour.

Then in 2006 was the first time when the best of the bodyboarders of the world came to Arica and they confirmed that El Gringo is one of the best spots for bodyboarding.

This spot is located in the Alacran Island (Isla del Alacrán) in front of El Morro. One of the best news is the weather has been very nice this year, until now is warm, sunny and good wind.

Arica Chilean Challenge winners

2004 - Ryan Hardy
2005 - Jeff Hubbard
2006 - Jeff Hubbard
2007 - Ben Player
2008 - Guilherme Tamega

It is recommendable to start exploring the country, in Arica, which is 2.062 km far from the north of Santiago and it is known as the northern entrance door of Chile, near to Peru and Bolivia, destinations and connected with the rest of the country and abroad through a maritime port, an airport and highways together with adequate transportation. Known as the “City of the never ending spring”, it offers attractive beaches with agreeable warm waters.

It is the starting point to visit the altiplano and the nearby cities that are kept alive by their archeological values which features vestiges of the geoglyphs of El Lluta Valley and the Chinchorro mummies of Azapa Valley. The Chinchorro Culture amazes with the mummification techniques for their dead people, the oldest of the world: three thousand years before the Egyptian.

The altiplano is at more than 4.500 m above sea level. It is characterized by the presence of salt deposits (salt mines), lakes, lagoons and snow-capped volcanoes which have peaks that are over 6.000 m above sea level., with a diversity of flora and fauna.

There are 3 of the existing 6 flamenco species in the world. A visit to this destination passes through Putre, a place used as a service, rest and departure center to unique national parks, such as El Lauca and as a meeting point with pre-Hispanic cultures and a magnificent landscape that mixes the desert with snowy peaks. It is the habitat of picturesque Aimarean villages that live with llamas and alpacas.

In general, this destination offers all necessary facilities to go swimming, to do nautical sports, mountaineering, bird-watching activities, to enjoy nature and it is an ideal place for those who enjoy photography, mountain bike, trekking, hiking, horseback riding and agro-tourism, as well as to participate in photographic raids or in archeological circuits with geoglyphs, petroglyphs and pictographies.

Alex Halsey

After some pretty serious weather in the metro area leading into the event, conditions that greeted competitors on day one weren’t exactly pleasant.

A solid swell and fresh southerly winds made the going tricky, with most Perth beaches maxing out or with huge rips running through them. Event officials were forced to move the event from Scarborough to City Beach, where the groynes provided some protection from the breeze as well as some great barrelling right and left hand bowls in the 3-4 foot range.

“We looked right along the coast this morning from as far south as Fremantle right to Scarborough to try and find the best location. Given the size of the swell and wind direction most spots were pretty crazy, we have to consider competitor safety as well as the weather forecast when choosing the best event site.” Said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks, who was suitably impressed with the waves that were on offer.

“There were some really good ones, nice barrel sections as well as plenty of ramps for boosting.”

After a record number of entries at the first event for 2009, the second round was no different with over 80 competitors looking qualify of the WA State Bodyboard Team. With the 2009 Bodyboard National Titles scheduled to be held at Duranbah in Queensland, there was a lot of motivation to do well.

The preliminary heats of the Open Men’s division were highlighted by the performances of Alex Whitehead (North Beach), Rob Fergusson (Woodlands), Brendan Gabel (Mandurah), Ben Veitch (Margaret River), and Johno Russell (Madora Bay). But it was the new up and comers that were turning heads as well. Alex Halsey (Woodvale), Lewy Finnegan (Ocean Reef) Aiden Stampalia (Joondalup) and Charlie Carter (Dianella) all surfed above their age divisions and put some of their older rivals on notice with some solid scoring waves. None more so than Halsey, who was by far the most consistent competitor of the weekend, and looked to be the man to beat in both the Open and Junior Men’s.

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