Drew Courtney

The Rip Curl Pro Search, stop No. 9 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, completed the remaining eight heats of Round 1 today in clean four-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves at the backup site of Lagido.

On the fifth day of the waiting period, the Rip Curl Pro Search has experienced a gamut of action in the Peniche region of Portugal, ranging from massive seas, destroyed event structures, running at the third backup venue of Molhe Leste yesterday to today’s clean lefthanders at Lagido.

As the second-to-last event on the ASP Dream Tour, and opting to run the man-on-man elimination format from the outset, the Rip Curl Pro Search has played host to some of the more dramatic bouts of the season throughout the opening round of competition.

Drew Courtney (AUS), 30, 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie and current ASP World No. 32, punctuated the day’s action with the most exciting heat of the event, defeating fellow rookie Dustin Barca (HAW), 27. Needing solid results in the final two events of the season to ensure his place amongst the world’s best for 2010, Courtney is focused on continuing his momentum from the last event in Spain.

“It is probably the biggest comp all year for me,” Courtney said. “I have come off a good result last week (in Spain), so I just want to keep improving and hopefully get another 5th at this competition, that would be great.”

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Jamie O'Brien

Typhoon Lupit continued to deliver the goods in the Philippines today, with big, perfect barrels on call for day two of the Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational.

Cloud 9 provided the ideal forum for a world-class field of surfers with multiple 10 point rides going down in rising 2-2.5 metre (6-8ft) waves.

After rising to similar conditions to that of the opening day of completion, contest organisers decided to run rounds two and three, before completing the opening three heats of round four.

Reigning champion Edito ‘Peso’ Alcala (Philippines) rose to the occasion netting a perfect 10 in his man-on-man round four heat against Australia’s Tai Graham.

Peso, who defeated 2007 event champion Wade Goodall (Caloundra, Qld, Aus) in last year’s final, used his local knowledge to get an edge over his international competitor, scoring a 10 and a 6.90 to defeat Graham’s 13.83 combined total.

But it was the Jamie “O” show once more with the former pipeline master collecting his second perfect 10 for the event in his round four showdown against Australia’s Dru Adler (Palm Beach).

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Heather Clark

South African Surfing Champion, 2008 ISA World Masters Women’s Champion and former World Championship Tour surfer, Heather Clark, is in hospital today after being seriously injured in a car accident near her home in Port Shepstone Thursday (October 22).

According to reports an alleged drunk driver lost control of his vehicle and smashed into the Ford Escort that Heather was driving splitting it in two.

She suffered a serious head injury that required 22 stitches and is being assessed for other injuries at the Hibiscus Coast Hospital today.

The alleged drunk driver, who was uninjured, was arrested after the accident and spent the night in jail.

Heather has no medical aid and apart from a small surf and swimming school, is not employed. Her injuries will not only cost her a fortune in medical expenses but will prevent her from earning an income while she recovers.

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