Nat Young

It was tough to spot Santa Cruz teenager Nat Young, 17, in the lineup at Sunset Beach today. Out in the water for round two of the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing, Young's windblown shock of white hair, white surfboard and white contest jersey blended perfectly with the white-caps and spray that ruled the day. It was a tough morning for even the most seasoned Sunset competitors as the eight- to ten-foot surf rapidly declined and competition was halted after only eight heats. But Young was full of smiles, braces gleaming, after a self-confessed clueless performance that saw him advance to round three behind local charger Kekoa Bacalso.

It's not that his surfing doesn't measure up; Young is a former NSSA champion and won the 2008 O'Neill Coldwater Classic back home at Santa Cruz. He just has zero experience at Sunset Beach, which the champions will tell you is a tough venue to master. Add the world's top-ranked surfers and the prestige of the $1,000,000 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, and it's obviously an overwhelming scene for a rookie.

"I'm so stoked, it was pretty tough out there," said Young, after his heat. "I don't know the wave at all. I just kind of caught a bunch of waves and it worked out.

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Indigenous Surfing

The Australian Sports Commission’s Indigenous Sport Program (ISP), which works to increase the number of Indigenous people participating in sport, has partnered with Surfing Australia and the University of Queensland to conduct a three-year (2009–11) research project measuring the impacts of sport on Indigenous Australian communities.

It will be funded by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, an international apolitical organisation that uses the positive influence of sport to address social challenges.

The idea for the research project came out of a need, identified by the ISP, to substantiate claims around the benefits of sport with empirical evidence, not just on the basis of anecdotal accounts. “This is the first time that research of this nature has been conducted in this field” said ISP Senior Sports Consultant Richard Kilian.

ISP has formed a useful partnership with the University of Queensland to provide expertise in the development of the research agenda. Similarly, Surfing Australia has joined ISP as the organisation primarily responsible for providing the context and sites in which the study can take place.

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Carissa Moore

Carissa Moore (HAW), 17, won the sixth of seven stops on the ASP Women’s World Tour today, the Gidget Pro Sunset Beach, over fellow finalists Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 19, freshly crowned three-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, and Vans Triple Crown ratings’ leader Alana Blanchard (HAW), 19, to claim her first ASP Women’s World Tour event victory.

Moore, who entered the Gidget Pro via a Trials’ victory, stamped her authority on ASP Women’s World Tour competition when she surfed with amazing poise and maturity throughout the event’s entirety to eventually win on her home Island of Oahu.

“It’s such an honor,” Moore said. “I’m speechless right now. I never thought that I would make the Final in this event. All of the girls were surfing so well and congratulations to Steph (Gilmore) for winning the World Title.”

Moore is no stranger to ASP Women’s World Tour competition despite her young age, and had already made the Final’s at a Roxy Pro Gold Coast event in 2007 when she earned a Runner-Up finish to Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 26. Having entered previous ASP Women’s World Tour events in the past as a wildcard, the young Hawaiian looked comfortable in the heightened level of competition.

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