Ryan Payne conquers the inaugural Xcel Supertubes Showdown 

In what can only be described as perfect 4'-6' J-Bay, Ryan Payne outpointed Warren Dean in a dramatic and incredibly close final of the inaugural Xcel Supertubes Showdown.

Joining Payne and runner-up Dean in the 4-man final were consummate barrel rider Deon Lategan and stylemaster Stan Badger. The long, smooth tuberiding style of Badger helped him advance into the final, but left him short in the last 45 minutes. Lategan started off strong and fast, with some big hooks and long barrels, but the last 20 minutes belonged to Payne and Dean going wave-for-wave.

Towards the end it seemed impossible to separate the two, but a perfect 10-point ride saw Payne edge out the experienced Dean, taking the Supertubes crown and the wildcard into the Von Zipper trials.

"It's the best contest I have ever competed in," said a stoked Payne. "To have Supers as good as it was with just your mates in the water - we were all winners! I just got lucky and ended up with the contest win as well."

"It was an amazing event," said Mike Ginsberg when the dust had settled after the final. "Warren Dean surfed well, but after Ryan's tube on his last wave he was the clear-cut winner."

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Michael February and Sabrina Scott claim the 2009 Rip Curl GromSearch in Cape Town 

Michael February (Kommetjie) and Sabrina Scott (Glencairn) claimed the U16 Boys and U16 Girls titles respectively at the 2009 Rip Curl GromSearch, held in perfect 3-4 foot waves and offshore winds at Long Beach, Kommetjie on Saturday and Sunday (June 27 & 28).

The Under 16 Boys Final featured all four members of the South African Junior team that competed in the ISA World Junior championships in Ecuador earlier this year and lived up to its billing as the premier division of the contest.

Fittingly, the result of the U16 Boys final was in the balance going into the final seconds of the heat but in the end  it was a determined Mikey February who claimed victory over fellow Kommetjie surfer Davey Brand with the last wave of the event.

Robin de Kock, General Manager  of Surfing South Africa said that “the conditions were perfect for all of the surfers”. Luckily, the storms that had been smashing the Cape the previous week had disappeared and with the swell dropping to a contestable 3 - 4 feet combined with  light offshores de Kock said that “we saw some really high heat scores throughout the event”.
 
The Rip Curl GromSearch is an national event, with the winner of the Boys Under 16 division winning an all-expenses paid trip to the Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival at Bells Beach next April. February, the South African representative, will be competing in the Rip Curl GromSearch International Finals against the best young surfers from countries such as Argentina, Australia, France, the United States, Brazil, Indonesia, and New Zealand.

In the U16 Girls final Sabrina Scott posted her best ever victory since winning the SSA Academy Cup a few years ago beating Cara Mac Donald another up and coming young surfer from East London.

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Kelly Slater beats Bernardo Miranda in the 2009 Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro 

The elimination Round 2 of the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro was completed today, with the world’s best surfers tearing into the four-to-six foot (2 metre) waves on offer at Praia Vila.

Event No. 4 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro enjoyed sunnier weather and marginally better manageable ocean conditions for Round 2, allowing for some electrifying performances.

Jordy Smith (ZAF), 21, former ASP World Junior Champion (2006) and current ASP World No. 6, was devastating this morning during his Round 2 bout against Ben Bourgeois (USA), 30. Building momentum throughout the heat, Smith exploded with the day’s highest single-wave score of a 9.00 out of a possible 10 for a barrage of fully committed power turns on his forehand.

“It’s still pretty tough out there and it’s difficult to find a spot to line up,” Smith said. “There are some pretty good waves coming through the bowl though and if you can get on them, you can open up a bit. I just got lucky with my wave ion and was able to put up a couple of scores.”

Long-touted as one of the most progressive surfers on the planet, Smith struggled during his rookie season on the ASP Dream Tour, finishing 26th in 2008. Since then, the South African has re-ignited through the opening events this year, collecting two ninths and a third en route to his current ASP World No. 6 rating.

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