Joel Parkinson 

The final day of the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay has been called on with four-to-six (1 – 1.5 metre) waves coming down the point, and the atmosphere is electric this morning in anticipation of more high-performance action.

Event No. 5 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay is coming off an historic day of competition that saw cranking surf, perfect scores and some major upsets. Today’s culmination will crown a champion by day’s end and play an important role in the 2009 ASP World Title race.

“We’ve got good surf coming in again although there is a little more wind on it this morning than I would prefer,” Mike Parsons, Billabong Pro Contest Director, said. “We’ll be getting underway at 7:30am with the first heats of the day and will be running through the Final this afternoon.”

Yesterday saw the elimination of ASP World Title contenders Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, C.J. Hobgood (USA), 30, and Taj Burrow (AUS), 31, with the remaining frontrunners all advancing through to the final day of competition.

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, current ASP World No. 1, was in sensational form yesterday, netting a Perfect 10-point ride as well as several high-scoring 9s. The phenomenal natural-footer will take on current ASP World No. 6 Bobby Martinez (USA), 27, in Quarterfinal 2 this morning.

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Jennifer Smith takes the Roxy Jam in Biarritz 

Jennifer Smith (California, USA), 23, won the Roxy Jam in Biarritz today to claim the second ASP Women’s World Longboard title of her brilliant career after defeating fellow finalist and outsider Coline Menard (Reunion Island, FRA), 21, in the final exchange of the 2009 edition. Smith, who dominated the final bout from the beginning until the end, confirmed her stellar Semifinal run where she managed to score a 9.25 point ride, the highest wave score of the event, defeating Menard confidently.

“To win a second world title is just unbelievable,” Smith said. “That heat against Chelsea (Williams)… I was ready to bow out in the semis and I had no idea I was going to get that wave and this score down. I was feeling pretty confident after that and when once I made the final I was definitely looking for the second title, for sure.”

Smith, who raised her world title trophy in front of a cheering crowd at La Côtes des Basques, signed an unexpected stellar come-back on top of the international hierarchy today, after several months without a win.

“I had no expectations this year as I had not won an event in months, maybe a year,” Smith said. “I came over here to give my best and see what happens, and I made the final and won it. It’s just so good to get a second one. I am going to celebrate with all my best friends that are here tonight and fly back home tomorrow.”

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Rob Machado 

Hurley has just made the unprecedented announcement that first place in the upcoming Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach will now be US$100,000, the biggest prize purse in professional surfing’s history.

“Huntington Beach is ground zero for competitive surfing in mainland America, and on the 50th anniversary of major events at the Pier, we’re excited and honored to help bring surfing back to center stage at the U.S. Open,” Evan Slater, Hurley Digital Marketing Manager, said. “This includes attracting the world’s best surfers and making it the significant event it deserves to be.”

The event, which runs at the historic Huntington Beach Pier from July 20 – 26, 2009, has attracted a bevy of the world’s best surfers from the prestigious ASP Dream Tour as well as the top ASP WQS seeds looking to gain valuable qualification points in their respective campaigns for an ASP World Tour berth in 2010.

“Going back to the Op Pro days in the early to mid 80s, the event here at Huntington always seemed larger than life,” Slater said. “Where your heroes performed the unimaginable right in front of you. The waves weren’t the key factor it was the atmosphere. At Rob Machado’s suggestion, who remembers those days clearly as a kid, he felt a first-place incentive like this would help rekindle that electric atmosphere.”

Hurley’s unparalleled financial incentive has caught the global attention of surfers, fans, industry powerbrokers and the ASP.

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