Mick Fanning

After six, consecutive lay days, the Billabong Pro Mundaka sprang back to life this morning, running the remaining eight Round 1 heats at the backup venue of Sopelana before completing the whole of Round 2 at the primary site of Mundaka.

Event No. 8 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Mundaka had no shortage of action today, opting to run the dual-heat format for Round 2, resulting in some incendiary performances and major shakeups on the ASP World Tour ratings.

Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, former ASP World Champion (2007), has usurped former frontrunner Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, in the race for the 2009 ASP World Title. Surfing in overlapping heats, Parkinson was eliminated with an Equal 17th place finish (his third consecutive) before Fanning took down David Weare (ZAF), 29, to advance through to the third round. The advancement moves Fanning 44 points ahead of Parkinson on the ASP World Tour ratings.

“I’m not thinking about it (ASP World Title) at all,” Fanning said. “It’s just one heat. If you want to win the World Title, you have to win heats and that’s all I’m working on. I’ve got a long way to go. It’s unfortunate for Joel (Parkinson) that he got another bad result, but he’s still right there and it’s going to come down to the wire.”

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Ben Dunn

The Billabong Pro Mundaka is back ON in two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf at the backup site of Sopelana.

Event No. 8 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Mundaka will open up this morning with Heat 9 of Round 1, continuing with the elimination man-on-man format utilized on Day 1 of competition.

“The swell has increased since yesterday and we’ll be getting underway at 9:15am with Heat p of Round 1,” Mike Parsons, Billabong Pro Mundaka Contest Director, said. “We’ll be monitoring conditions throughout the day, but plan on running as many heats as possible.”

Up first this morning is ASP Dream Tour veteran Dean Morrison (AUS), 28, up against event wildcard Dean Bowen (AUS) in Heat 9 of Round 1.

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Association of Surfing Professionals

The October 2009 ASP Board of Directors meeting has completed, with all surfers, events and administration uniting to activate landmark improvements that make the ASP World Tour bigger and better for 2010 and beyond.

“On behalf of the Association of Surfing Professionals, I am pleased to reaffirm the commitment from both our surfers and events in progressing the sport in a unified and collaborative effort,” Brodie Carr, ASP International CEO, said. “We have just completed a period of intense discussion with the world’s best surfers and the world’s best events which culminated in the unanimous support of the ASP and the commitment to the continuation of crowning undisputed world champions, as we have done so for 30 years, for generations to come.”

First and foremost amongst the historic changes is the transformation to a one-world rating tem and the trimming back of the ASP World Tour field. Beginning in 2010, the ASP will move from the current two-tier tem to an all-inclusive one-world rating tem where both ASP World Tour and ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) events will be used to determine a surfer’s rating.

Halfway through the 2010 season, the ASP World Tour field will be reduced from the current 45-man plus three wildcards tem to a 32-man plus four wildcards field. The timing of this reduction in field is to allow everyone qualifying for next season’s Dream Tour ample opportunity to establish themselves in the Top 32.

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