Miguel Pupo 

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro got underway today at Lacanau in the South West of France, ten heats being completed throughout the day in contestable two foot (0.5 meter) waves. With an international field of 144 surfers having answered the call for the 30th anniversary of the oldest professional surfing event in Europe, the kick-off brought the first pulses of action with several surfers getting their French campaign in spectacular fashion.

Hodei Collazo (Zarautz, EUK), 25, was the first competitor of the 2009 edition to impress the ASP judging panel and post the day’s highest heat result, a two-wave combined score of 16.20 points (out of a possible 20) to advance through to Round 2 and join the event’s top seeds. Collazo, who hasn’t competed a lot this year due to an injury, came back to competition a couple of weeks ago in England and confirmed he was in good form today.

“I haven’t surfed since Newquay in England because the waves were pretty small,” Collazo said. “And I was pretty pumped to paddle out this morning for my first warm-up surf. I think I was just super motivated to compete today and I just let go to show what I could do.”

Collazo, who has had a few good results in Lacanau before, was at ease in the consistent though small waves breaking during the incoming tide and found his way through to Round 2 with an excellent 8.50 point ride, the day’s second best wave score.

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Boscombe Surf Reef 

Europe's first artificial surf reef is in the final phase of tests in Boscombe, Dorset, England. The £1.4 million project will be ready for surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and bodyboarding next month.

The reef will not create waves, but acts as a ramp which changes the way the waves break and will certainly improve the quality of the surf and produce a long right-hand ride of around 75 metres for surfers, and a shorter left-hand ride of around 35 metres most favourable for body boarders.

During clean, long period swell, the reef and the inshore banks would all be surfable. The reef at Boscombe is designed to provide a grade-5 wave on a day with good swell which is in the challenging range (Hawaii Pipeline is a grade-8).

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Jamie O'Brien conquers the Rip Curl Invitational at Padang Padang 

It was billed as a gathering of the best tuberiders in the world at the best barrel in Bali, and the Rip Curl Cup Invitational at Padang Padang delivered as advertised.

Jamie O'Brien took home the cup in what will go down as one of the most spectacular displays of high-stakes tuberiding in the history of competitive surfing. The 26-year-old surfing sensation from the North Shore of Oahu battled through a field of 16 of Indonesia's best surfers and 16 of the world's top tube riders to meet legendary Balinese surfer and two-time Rip Curl Cup champion Made “Bol” Adi Putra in the final.

“This is right up there with my Pipe Masters and Teahupoo trials wins,” O'Brien said after being escorted from the beach to the winner's podium on the shoulders of his friends and soaked with champagne. “I got so barreled today, this was the sickest event ever.”

Hundreds of spectators packed the sands of Padang Padang beach to watch the show, as Padangpumped out perfect, smoking six-foot tubes all day long.

“It was as good as it gets today,” said two-time champ Adi Putra after the final. “This is the first time I surfed Padangthis year. I wish it was always like this.”

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