Blake Ainsworth 

An amazing day of big wave surfing at the inaugural Fantastic Noodles Intense Wave Challenge 09 held in perfect surf up around the serious 15 feet range (4m plus!) in South Australia.

What a day for Gold Coast surfer Blake Ainsworth who won his biggest ever event and pocketed $11 000 for the win, tube riding his way to a well deserved win over local South Australian charger Josiah Schmucker.

“The best day of my surfing career by far” commented an exhausted and elated Ainsworth after his final.

“The waves were incredibly big at times but also perfect and barrelling and to win today means a lot to me, especially with everyone charging so hard and scoring big through just about every heat – it’s been awesome.”

There were numerous stand-out performances throughout the day which was designed to expose the next breed of Australian’s heading for the world tour to the serious side of facing your fears and charging really serious waves – and there’s no doubt today’s experience went a long way to hardening these young chargers.

Read more...

Wiggoly Dantas 

The second day of action of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star event saw twenty heats run in smaller but still consistent four to five foot (1.2 to 1.5 meter) waves, Round 1 being completed before event top seeds could paddle out to get their campaign started. While Gold Coast resident Brent Dorrington (AUS) was dominating the last battles of first round, event favorites could get ready for their opening encounters.

After a morning of tricky heats where competitors had difficulties to get over the 13.00 point result mark except for Dorrington’s solid 16.00-point performance, Round 2 brought another standard of surfing with top seeds stepping-up to score big. Brazil’s Wiggoly Dantas (BRA), 19, was unquestionably the day’s standout posting a near perfect 9.83 point ride en route to winning Heat 6 with the best result of the event thus far, 18.33 points (out of a possible 20) to start off his event run.

“It was a good heat for me and to start an event with a high-scoring result is definitely good,” Dantas said. “That wave walled up pretty well and I went for classic and powerful turns and it paid off so I am really happy with my run. I broke my board this morning and had to get a new one for that heat. Apparently it is working pretty well!”

Read more...

2009 Azores Islands Pro in Portugal 

Professional surfing history was made today when the first ever ASP sanctioned event got underway on the North Shore of Sao Miguel Island, the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Azores Islands Pro being treated to solid five to six foot (1.5 to 2 meter) waves. Twelve heats were held in the testing surf on offer, the expected north swell hitting the island with power and speed to allow the first twelve heats of Round 1 to run and deliver a promising show before event top seeds get their start tomorrow.

Raoni Monteiro (Saquarema, BRA), 27, a former ASP World Tour surfer, put the show upside down in the final minute of Heat 11, the second-to-last of the day, after posting a near perfect 9.77 point ride on a solid six-foot wave to jump back in the lead and end up winning his encounter ahead of Granger Larsen (HAW). Monteiro, who was stuck in second position for almost the whole heat, was able to get a long righthander and show the ASP judges he had the skills to impress his peers with fantastic surfing.

“I feel I was a bit lucky actually because the peak was shifty and that wave came to me,” Monteiro said. “I got that six-pointer early in the heat and I knew I needed a second ride to finish confidently but I was lost out there. I just sat out there hoping for a good one and it came so I am really happy.”

Read more...