Australia: good things come to those who wait | Photo: Sheffield/CoastalWatch

Mark Mathews, Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow and and the Gudauskas brothers have enjoyed one of the best surfing days in Australia, in the last years. The swell hit the New South Wales region and pumped world class rides for everyone.

The Sydney surf breaks were on fire and this was called the best swell since the outstanding moments registered in June 2007. Surfers enjoyed overhead waves combined with light offshore winds and sunshine.

The year 2011 has been frustrating for the surfing community. Quality waves were rare and surfers were getting anxious to hit the surf in decent conditions, but good things come to those who wait.

In Australia, everyone is talking about it. The swell brought impressive barrels to point, reef and beach breaks. The further south you went the bigger it was.

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Hideaki Akaiwa: our hero

A Japanese surfer has saved his wife's life in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan.

Hideaki Akaiwa, a 43-year-old wave rider, put on his wetsuit and scuba equipment and tried to find the place where his love of 20 years was, in the middle of chaos, destruction and debris.

The water was cold, but Akaiwa managed to swim to her and rescued his wife. "The water felt very cold, dark and scary," he told the Los Angeles Times. "I had to swim about 200 yards to her, which was quite difficult with all the floating wreckage."

Hideaki met his girl in the 90's when he was surfing a local spot. But there's more. After locating his wife, Akaiwa rescued his mother trapped in her flooded house.

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Josh Kerr: krazy

Josh Kerr is shining light at the 2011 Vans Pier Classic, in the beautiful waves of Huntington Beach Pier, California.

The 26-year-old Australian surfer improved his performance and scored an impressive 16.93 out of 20 heat total. Why? The answer is an outstanding backside barrel and combination of lightning-fast turns to continue his form as the top surfer of the event.

"I was just stoked to get a barrel but I wanted to get a real good one out there," Kerr said. "I had to resort to some turns, but I got the scores and got through and I might have to take the rashie off and head down the beach I think. It’s pumping here in Huntington. I think this is by far the best I’ve ever seen Huntington, we’ve scored. It’s a good contest to have entered late in for sure."

Local hero Micah Byrne, 29, former Vans Pier Classic Champion (2007) proved why he knows the lineup to drop a 7-point ride on his opening wave with several electric backhand blasts on a left-hander breaking into the Pier. The native talent quickly followed up with an 8.33 on his second wave with powerful forehand railwork to take a commanding heat victory.

"I was stoked, essentially that’s what you want to do and that time it actually happened for me out there," Byrne said. "I’m stoked to take the pressure off, especially since it was the first heat, I was really nervous. I’m so happy for all of the competitors though, this is our winter time side of the pier and all of the competitors are stoked. The conditions are insane, we score every year at this event."

Timmy Curran, 33, is also on fire. "This is the best I’ve ever seen Huntington and the best I’ve ever surfed it," Curran said. "You just see big old peaks out there and everyone’s getting barreled, I’m just thankful to be here. I actually fell on a few barrels, so I’m frazzled, I’m just thankful that I made the heat."

Curran, who has launched a successful music career since his retirement from full time competition, is focusing on surfing heats once again and is out to build his seed on the ASP World Ranking via the ASP Star rated events on offer in America this year.

Vans Pier Classic Round of 96 Results:

Heat 1: Josh Kerr (AUS) 16.93, Michael Dunphy (USA) 10.76, Chris Foster (HAW) 7.60, Hiroto Arai (JPN) 7.10
Heat 2: Keanu Asing (HAW) 9.76, Kalani David (HAW) 8.40, Mike McCabe (USA) 6.17, Shaw Kobayashi (USA) 4.87
Heat 3: Gabe Kling (USA) 12.17, Evan Thompson (USA) 11.03, Keala Naihe (HAW) 10.03, Liam McNamara (HAW) 1.70
Heat 4: Conner Coffin (USA) 11.60, Ian Gentil (USA) 10.13, Cristobal de Col (PER) 9.00, Edrick Baldwin (HAW) 7.16
Heat 5: Tim Curran (USA) 13.74, Jair Perez (CRI) 11.93, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 9.06, Mark Dawson (USA) 4.77
Heat 6: Kyle Knox (USA) 11.67, Nils Schweizer (USA) 9.83, J.D. Lewis (USA) 6.50, Chris Rodrigues (HAW) 4.43
Heat 7: Ted Navarro (USA) 10.67, Levi Gonzales (HAW) 6.67, Arashi Kato (JPN) 6.16, Matt Johnson (USA) 5.50
Heat 8: Bobby Morris (USA) 13.00, Keto Burns (USA) 8.36, Shaun Burrell (USA) 7.63, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 6.27
Heat 9: Balaram Stack (USA) 10.90, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 9.37, Richie Collins (USA) 8.66, David Gonsalves (HAW) 5.66
Heat 10: Ian Crane (USA) 9.40, Makai McNamara (HAW) 9.40, Willie Safreed (USA) 9.34, David Giddings (USA) 8.70
Heat 11: Micah Byrne (USA) 15.33, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 11.26, Travis Beckmann (USA) 7.50, Britton Galland (USA) 5.30
Heat 12: Bud Freitas (USA) 11.07, Dane Zaun (USA) 9.70, Jimmy Herrick (USA) 9.30, Nic Hdez (USA) 7.73
Heat 13: Jason Shibata (HAW) 10.54, Colin Moran (USA) 7.90, Phillip Goold (USA) 6.50, Landon McNamara (HAW) 5.37
Heat 14: Robert Patterson (USA) 14.23, Dylan Kowalski (USA) 7.44, Keetin Devine (USA) 6.43, Ivan Florence (HAW) 4.74
Heat 15: Carlos Munoz (CRI) 11.17, Christian Saenz (USA) 9.80, Jason Harris (USA) 8.10, Eddie Guilbeau (USA) 6.83
Heat 16: Chase Wilson (USA) 11.20, Asher Nolan (USA) 10.40, Keli Everett (HAW) 5.26, Eli Olson (HAW) 4.86

Vans Pro Junior Round of 64 Results:

Heat 1: Chris Tucker (USA) 12.60, Arashi Kato (JPN) 10.70, Tommy Wehsener (USA) 8.10, Nic Hdez (USA) 6.24
Heat 2: Koa Smith (HAW) 14.10, Colton Sarlo (USA) 6.07, Keala Naihe (HAW) 5.96, Theo Lewitt (USA) 5.60
Heat 3: Nick Fowler (USA) 15.13, Colin Moran (USA) 11.56, Ryan Croteau (USA) 5.80, Max Colvin (USA) 4.53
Heat 4: Cole Richards (USA) 11.53, Derrick Disney (USA) 10.97, Derek Peters (USA) 9.44, Jair Perez (CRI) 5.70

Vans Pro Junior Round of 72 Results:

Heat 1: Arashi Kato (JPN) 11.67, Theo Lewitt (USA) 6.20, Jeremy Carter (USA) 5.67, Britton Galland (USA) 4.00
Heat 2: Carlos Munoz (CRI) 11.00, Jair Perez (CRI) 10.17, Trevor Thornton (USA) 9.77, Chance Lawson (USA) 4.43
Heat 3: Nick Fowler (USA) 7.40, Christian Ramirez (USA) 5.36, Antoine Allain (USA) 5.13, Adam Goldstone (USA) 4.14
Heat 4: Cole Moody (USA) 11.16, JD MacFadden (USA) 6.17, Eli Viszolay (USA) 4.97, Ford Timberlake (USA) 4.33