Sean Holmes

Round 1 and the opening two heats of Round 2 of the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay were completed today in clean three-to-five foot (1.5 metre) waves at the legendary South African pointbreak, with the world’s best surfers reveling in the opening day of competition.

Event No. 5 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay opted to make the most of the conditions on offer today, opting to run the new competition format of man-on-man elimination matches from the outset, completing 18 heats of competition, highlighted with some incendiary performances.

Sean Holmes (ZAF), 31, wildcard at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay, has a storied history at the event, competing seven times prior, finishing as high as 5th (2002) and as low as 33rd (2005). Although Holmes, once considered the Jeffreys Bay nemesis of former-three-time ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW), 30, hasn’t competed for the past two years, the powerful natural-footer posted an emphatic win this morning in front of an ecstatic hometown crowd.

“I was so nervous out there for the first ten minutes of my heat that I felt like I had stones for legs,” Holmes said. “About halfway through the heat, I loosened up and was able to collect some pretty good scores. For a natural-footer, the wave here at J-Bay is such a pleasure to ride. Although I haven’t competed in this event for a couple of years, I feel comfortable out here and I’ll look to get through a few more rounds before I’m done here.”

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2009 Jamaican Junior Surfing Championship Series 

Garren Pryce of Bull Bay in Saint Andrew and eighteen year old Shane Simmonds of Boston Bay in Portland were respective winners in the under 16 and under 18 divisions at the first event of the of the Jamaica Surfing Association’s 2009 National Junior Surfing Championship Series.

Twenty young surfers registered for the event which was contested in light onshore winds in 3’ waves at the Copa Cabana surfing beach in Bull Bay, St. Andrew on Saturday 11th July. There were 16 entrants competing in the under-16 division. Four first round heats were held from which the top eight would compete for the four available positions in the final.

Semi-final one saw Ivah Wilmot up against Ackeem Talor, Garren Pryce and Alex Williams. The surfers rode 27 waves between them. Garren picked off the best wave of the heat which earned a 7.5 from the judges and was the highest scoring wave of the event. Garren and Ivah advanced to the final.

In semi-final two, the face off was between Shama Beckford, Armani Green, Ricardo Crossman and Jamoy Hall. The surfers rode 27 waves, with Shama Beckford capturing the top spot after riding the highest scoring wave of the heat; earning him a 6.5. Shama Beckford and Armani Green both advanced to the final.

The Final was exciting and saw Ivah, Garren, Armani and Shama paddling out to challenge for under 16 national glory. The wind had picked up which made wave selection a vital tactic in each surfer’s battle plan. The horn sounded and the 20 minute final was on. Thirty six waves were ridden with a number of excellent rides being demonstrated by the young athletes. It was close but when the scores were tallied Garren held on to first by a thread from Shama in second, Ivah in third and Armani in fourth.

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Dayyan Neve 

The Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay will commence this morning at 7:30am in clean three-to-five (1.5 metre) surf at South Africa’s iconic pointbreak.

Stop No. 5 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay has seen the ASP Top 45 survive through four consecutive lay days, but today’s improved conditions will have the world’s best surfers in the water.

“We’ve got the ning of what could turn into a really good day of waves out there this morning and we’ll be getting underway at 7:30am,” Mike Parsons, Billabong Pro Contest Director, said. “Recent swell projections have prompted us to activate the new competition format so we can make the most of the conditions on offer, but we will not be running the dual-heat tem today.”

The new ASP competition format will see man-on-man, elimination heats from the outset of competition this morning, resulting in a day of dramatic match-ups.

First up this morning with be 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie Tim Boal (FRA), 26, up against compatriot Michael Picon (FRA), 30.

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