Jonathan Gonzalez

Jonathan Gonzalez (Tenerife, CNY), 29, has won the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 2-Star Movistar Ocean & Earth Pro after defeating fellow finalist Ruben Gonzalez (Cascais, PRT), 31, in clean three-to-four foot (1 to 1.2 meter) waves at the world famous right-hand pointbreak of El Confital.

Second-to-last event of this year’s ASP European WQS tour, the Movistar Ocean & Earth Pro lived-up to its reputation of exceptional waves and world class surf witnessing an excellent three-day swell that turned the event into a tube and vertical-maneuver festival.

Gonzalez, who was considered a favorite for the crown, made his way through five rounds before dominating the playful conditions of the final encounter, the Canarian athlete posting four of the event’s top ten scores throughout the competition.

With a series of detonating forehand top turns and utilizing his experience for an impeccable wave selection, Jonathan Gonzalez was unstoppable towards the 2009 edition victory posting a 9.00 point score for his opening ride before backing it up with a 7.17.

“I am so happy right now, it’s been so long since my last win in an ASP WQS event,” Gonzalez said. “I was aiming at a final here and to take the win is really nice, especially in front of the Canarian crowd who has been so supportive for years now. It wasn’t an easy finish with fewer good waves but I really waited patiently for the better ones and got them.”

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Owen Wright

The first 13 heats of Round 2 of the Rip Curl Pro Search were completed today in punchy three-to-four foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves at the second backup site of Belgas. Despite the remoteness of the location, an estimated 20,000 fans showed up to compliment the hundreds of thousands online who watched the world’s best surfers do battle.

Event No. 9 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, today’s Rip Curl Pro Search played host to some of the most dramatic action of the season including the ascension of a young superstar, the defeat of an icon and a major shake-up in the 2009 ASP World Title race.

Owen Wright (AUS), 19, wildcard into the Rip Curl Pro Search, caused the upset of the event in eliminating reigning nine-time ASP World Champion, Kelly Slater (USA), 37, in Round 2 of the Rip Curl Pro Search a repeat of his incredible feat from last April when Wright trumped the Floridian at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.

The heat was an extremely tight affair with Slater opening up with solid scores on both his forehand and backhand while his younger opponent waited patiently. Wright’s progressive forehand arsenal was put to use in the punchy lefthanders, threading barrels and stomping air reverses to come within striking distance of the champ. Needing a solid score with time winding down, Wright pulled into a lengthy left barrel to score a 7.73 out of a possible 10 to take the lead and the heat win.

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Gavin Beschen

The Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational was put on hold in the Philippines today with diminishing conditions on offer for the unique, specialty tube riding event.

After two days of big, flawless barrels, contest organisers opted to call a lay day with epic conditions expected to hit the region into next week.

Typhoon Lupit, which generated 2.0-2.5m hollow, barrelling waves for the opening two days of the event before tracking WNW towards the northern region of the Philippines, has turned ENE and is now likely to produce epic conditions towards the back end of the seven day waiting period.

The opening three rounds of competition has already turned out multiple 10 point rides with some of the most insane conditions seen for an event this year.

12 heats remain until the 2009 Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational champion is crowned.

Remaining round four heats include – Ht4 Sam Page (Aus) vs Makua Rothman (Haw), Ht5 Shinpei Horiguchi (JPN) vs Carlito Nagolo (Phl), Ht6 Gavin Beschen (Haw) vs Dionisio Espejon (Phl), Ht 7 Joel Nantes (Aus) vs Agus Frimento (Phl), Ht8 Rodolfo Alcala (Phl) and Garrett Parkes (Aus).

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