Tim O'Connor: beautiful snap, mate

Tim O'Connor and Leon Santorik (Ngati Toa) went wave for wave at the Auahi Kore Aotearoa Maori Titles today with O'Connor getting the nod scoring 17.00 out of a possible 20 points for a well deserved win.

The final day of the event was played out in clean 1.0m waves at Manu Bay, Raglan under blazing sun that saw the natural amphitheatre packed full of spectators come finals time.

The pinnacle Billabong Open Men's Division was the climax of the event and the surfing displayed by the four finalists warranted rapturous cheers from the crowd lining the bay.

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Gil Keren: yes, Israelis surf

If you don’t think Israel, Sweden, Venezuela, Great Britain, Tahiti, Chile, Switzerland, Uruguay, Germany, Puerto Rico or Canada are surfing nations, think again. On day four of the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games Presented by Amarok of Volkswagen, each of these countries still had surfers advancing in Punta Hermosa Peru’s big, shifting 6 to 10 foot faces, sometimes besting the top surfing nations in the process.

At the start of the day 16 nations were tied in a statistical dead heat, vying for the top slot. With 31 international teams competing at the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in Peru, a bevy of historical surfing powerhouses fall into their usual form. The Americans, Australians, South Africans and Brazilians have flexed their muscles with standout performances by Drew Courtney (AUS) Ben Bourgeois (USA) Peterson Crisanto (BRZ) and Casey Grant (RSA).

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Hodei Collazo: a Spanish navigator

Hodei Collazo (Zarautz, EUK) 26, won the ASP 6-Star Quiksilver Pro Portugal over good friend, Gony Zubizarreta (Vigo, ESP) 25, in a high scoring, tight final to claim his maiden Star-Series victory at the main event site of Ribeira D’Ilhas.

Opening his account with an 8.50 out of ten and then backing it up with an 8.17, Collazo had his opponent in a combination situation early in the battle and looked to be on his way to a comfortable win. Zubizarreta had other ideas and answered back with an 8.90, to get back in the fight with five minutes remaining.

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