Silvana Lima

Silvana Lima (BRA), 24, won the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic this afternoon over reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP Women’s World No. 1 Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, in stormy three-to-five foot (1.5 metre) conditions at Dee Why in an action packed Final, marking back-to-back wins for the hungry Brazilian after claiming the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.

Gilmore jumped out to an early lead in the sea-saw battle for the 2009 Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic title, but Lima fought back throughout the heat, collecting a 7.77 and eventually securing the win with an 8.83 for a lengthy forehand barrel to post the highest heat total of the event, an impressive 16.60 out of 20, en route to her first victory at the event after three consecutive Final appearances.

“I can’t believe it,” Lima said. “I’ve been in the Final in this event three times and I finally won. I was feeling really confident. The waves here today were like the waves in Brazil and I’m always surfing in these conditions. The final was really good. Steph (Gilmore) got some good waves too and I was able to get two good ones.”

The back-to-back ASP Women’s World Tour wins secured by the hungry Brazilian have significantly tightened the ratings for this year’s ASP Women’s World Title and although Gilmore still holds on to the ratings lead, Lima is following closely in the No. 2 position.

“I’m definitely looking at the title, but it’s too early,” Lima said “There are still four contests left this year, so there is more work for everyone, but I feel so much more confident after my first win at Bells.”

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Joel Parkinson

With the first stop of the 2009 ASP Dream Tour’s European leg behind them, the world’s best surfers are heading south into Euskadi for the Billabong Pro Mundaka where some of the best sandbars in years provide the perfect setting for potentially some of the best waves ever.

Event No. 8 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Mundaka plays a pivotal part in the surfers’ seasons, with ASP Top 45 members scrounging for requalification points and the hunt for the 2009 ASP World Title still very much alive.

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, current ASP World No. 1 and last year’s event runner-up, reiterated the fact that if the appropriate swell comes, the current sandbar at Mundaka is poised to deliver some of the best waves in years.

“The sand looks incredible and if we get some waves here it’s going to be a really special event,” Parkinson said. “I love coming to Mundaka. The town is really cruisey and I’m able to slip right into the pace of things. I’ve always felt comfortable here and I’m looking forward to a good event.”

Despite seeming to run away with the ASP World Title after blitzing the first half of the 2009 season, Parkinson has stumbled in the last two events, collecting back-to-back equal 17ths in California and France. Even with the slip in performance, the Australian still remains in the ASP World Tour ratings’ lead and will look to rebound at the famed lefthander.

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2009 Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic

Today marks the opening of the holding period for the 2009 Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic and Big Wave Paddle In.  The holding period opens today and extends through December 31, 2009.  Organizers will be monitoring the conditions and will give 48 hours notice when the decision to hold the event is made.

As is tradition with big wave contests, the Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic follows an open holding period and traffic light system.  This allows organizers to monitor surf conditions and have the flexibility to hold the event in the best possible conditions.  In Oregon, these conditions occur a couple of times a year and create a massive wave, which has been called one of the best high performance big waves in the world.

This is the fifth year for the Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic.  The event has been held an unprecedented 4 out of 4 years, and organizers are hoping to continue the trend.

“Weather is always unpredictable.  I think we have been lucky for the past few years, but then again, it just shows how consistent this wave breaks up here”, said John Forse, event founder.

Once thought to be a tow in only wave, the 2008 contest proved that people could paddle in at Nelscott.  The paddle in will continue this year with the Liquid Militia Paddle In Exhibition, as well as an additional paddle in element.  This year, the event expands with the addition of a Kingfish award, a combination of tow in and paddle in scores.

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