Kohl Christensen: huge win

Kohl Christensen has won the 2010 Nelscott Reef Big Wave Surfing Contest in the biggest conditions ever surfed. Chris Bertish took second and third went to Jamie Sterling.

The day started out with pretty raw conditions producing waves of 40'+. After a slight holding period in the morning, organizers decided to start the contest at ten o'clock. Faced with a gigantic beach break with no channel, it took almost an hour for the first heat to make it into the water. By the time they did make it out, they were greeted with perfect conditions.

"I am surfed out. Conditions were spectacular all day long. Waves were doubling off the reef, a lot of them, just a great day of surfing", said Rusty Long said.

John Forse, event organizer and Nelscott pioneer noted that he saw the biggest wave ever on the reef in the morning. There was some talk in the days leading up to the event that this swell might actually be too large to paddle into. Organizers were confident that the reef could hold that large of a swell and they were right.

The swell peaked during the semi finals. Big Wave World Tour Director, Gary Linden, was out in the water all day "It was an extremely high level of intensity. The semi final heats were really mayhem".

After an amazing day of surfing on the reef, six men made it to the finals. Kohl Christensen, Chris Bertish, Kealii Mamala, Rusty Long, Peter Mel, and Jamie Sterling battled it out for the hour finals. This is great news for their rankings in the Jim Beam Bourbon Big Wave World Tour. Jamie Sterling, the current points leader on the tour, will solidify his position. Peter Mel will move into second.

The Women's event will be run first thing in the morning, while the swell is still pounding the Oregon Coast. Conditions look to be holding nicely for one more morning of surf.

The Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic has now successfully run six consecutive years. This was the first year as a paddle in only event, and the first to include Women.

Top Surfers of the 2010 Nelscott Reef Big Wave Surfing Contest

1. Christensen
2. Bertish
3. Sterling
4. Mamala
5. Long
6. Mel

Australian surfers: hey, tell us how you surf

Australian surfers are invited to participate in the most comprehensive survey ever undertaken in the country on sports injuries.

Sports enthusiasts of all ages and all levels of experience will be asked to topics like how much time and money they spend surfing/bodyboarding and their habits in sports.

The project is conducted by the Southern Cross University’s School of Health and Human Sciences with full support of Surfing Australia and will be funded by the New South Wales Sporting Injuries Committee.

Your help is very much welcome to boost surfing sports in Australia. The survey is available online and only takes 15-20 minutes to complete.

All results will be published for everyone to take action.

Andy Irons: a very good surfer

Andy Irons, three-time world surfing champion, has died in a hotel room, in Dallas, USA, at the age of 32.

Reports say Andy Irons withdrew from the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico because he was battling with dengue fever and had to leave the island for proper treatment. He failed the first round of competition and was not in physical conditions to get back on water for the second round of the surfing contest.

In order to fight the viral infection, he spent two days in an intravenous drip, in Miami. As he was trying to reach his own Hawaiian doctor, he lost the flight connection to his homeland, from Dallas. He was feeling strong fever and vomiting made him check in the Grand Hyatt Hotel DFW Airport.

"The world of surfing mourns an incredibly sad loss today with the news that Hawaii's Andy Irons has died", said his sponsor Billabong. Andy would be a father, for the first time, in the next month. He will be survived by his wife Lyndie Dupuis.

Irons was crowned king of the ASP World Tour, during three consecutive years, from 2002 to 2004. Also, he had won two Rip Curl Pro Search: Mexico (2006) and Chile (2007).

Andy will always be remembered as one of the greatest surfers of the world and a funny, genuine, competitive, vibrant and direct human being. His latest title was the famous 2010 Billabong Pro Tahiti, held in the Teahupoo wave peak.

"Andy has made me a better, more focused and stronger competitor. Whether I've been in situations in the past where I've wanted to admit it or not, he's always been one of my favorite surfers", said Kelly Slater of his fellow and rival surfer.

In his last event of the ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Portugal, Andy Irons said he was feeling very happy and that he was living great times.

"At this time the family thanks his friends and fans for their support, and asks that the community respect its privacy. The family also asks to not be contacted so their focus can remain on one another during this time of profound loss", says Andy Irons' family in a statement.

The 2010 Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico has been suspended. The Association of Surfing Professionals and the pro surfers will decide if/when to resume the event.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lyndie, Bruce, his family and friends in Kauai. Pay your tribute to Andy Irons.

There's a tribute photo gallery dedicated to Andy Irons. Read the most famous Andy Irons' quotes.

Andy Irons: the curriculum of a surfing icon

ASP World Tour titles: 3
Dream Tour victories: 20
Triple Crown of Surfing titles: 4
Rip Curl Pro Search titles: 2