Jesus Surf Classic: god bless this competition

The 18th running of the ‘Jesus Surf Classic’, was held over the weekend of 11th and 12th September in some great early autumn sunshine with onshore but fun waves. Croyde bay once again was the venue for this long running and very successful event organised by Christian Surfers UK. Despite there being three others key surf events taking place this weekend, the organisers of the ‘Jesus’ were really pleased with over 100 competitors.

The ‘Jesus’ Surf Series due to its increasing popularity was split again this year between the traditional event at Croyde, and the Jesus Longboard Classic to be held at Polzeath over the weekend of October 16th and 17thth. For the first time this year, a new Groms division ( U12 ) was launched, to encourage the development of this key age range.

Conditions for the eight categories started off on Saturday morning with a stiff onshore wind and sets of around 2ft – 3ft, with bright sunshine, after a pretty stormy night. By the end of day 1 the 24 heats run, had dwindled the competitors down to the semi final stage in all categories.

As well as a very busy schedule in the water on Saturday, activity around the contest site and marquee were equally as busy with a ‘big move’ skate contest taking place on Christian Surfers mobile skatepark, big screen movies, and numerous refreshment options, to keep everyone happy.

Sunday dawned with lighter winds from the North West and still a descent swell, despite the huge spring tides dropping out throughout the morning. The semi finals and finals saw some outstanding surfing in all the age categories, as Croyde offered up some low tide bashable waves.

In the new Groms division a special mention should go to Garin Clay and Storm Wall who were only aged 9 and 10 respectively. The final was hotly contested with Newquay’s Angus Scotney taking the winners cash and trophy. North Devon’s Will Bailey and Alex Gibson came 2nd and 3rd, with George Hudson doing well in only his 2nd contest. Ed Smith ( Liskeard ) took his first JSC winner’s trophy in the Youth event ( Under 14 ) in a tight final, defeating Dale Foster ( Newquay ) and Georgehams Taz Knight.

In the Junior Women’s division ( Under 18 ) there was a new name on the trophy with Looe’s Gabi Rowe celebrating a winners double in both this category and the ladies open event. Laura Crane from Braunton once again surfed well to take 2nd ahead of Lucy Campbell and 12 year old Flora Lawton.

In the Cadets division sadly Jobe Harris ( Bude ) who had surfed so well on Saturday had to withdraw from the final due to sickness, which meant Patrick Daniel was able to take the title ahead of Swansea’s David Williams, and Dale Foster.

In the hotly contested Men’s Junior (U18 ) category final, Josh Piper surfed really well to hold off Toby Donachie in 2nd, Alex Baker in 3rd and Patrick Daniel in 4th.

The women’s final saw an excellent contest with a Gabi Rowe triumph over a great performance from Sarah Beardmore, who just could not get a decent second good scoring wave. North Devon’s Laura crane managed to hold off St Agnes surfer Hannah-Beth Luke.

The Masters ( Over 35’s ) event this year was probably the most hotly contest since its inclusion eight years ago, with two quality semi-finals and a very entertaining final. South African born Bongo Hall took his first trophy ahead of last year’s winner Michael Plackett. Charley Charlesworth surfed well throughout, but just needed one more good scoring wave to push him into one of the two top places.

The final event of the day saw a great final in low tide Croyde conditions between four top class surfers in the Open Final. Stuart Campbell swopped 1st place with Toby Donachie a number of times before claiming the large trophy and cheque for £300, retaining his 2009 trophy. Josh Piper who had surfed so well throughout both the Open and Juniors took third place a head of Calstocks Sam Scoble in his first Jesus Surf Classic final. As well as the trophies and cheques all the winners were presented with the new version ‘Surfers Bibles’.

In the big move skate competition, the winners took away some great prizes and entertained the watching crowds. A big thanks to Christian Skaters for hosting this.

With over 100 Christian Surfers volunteers supporting the event from throughout the country there was always lots going on, and the skate park area was the venue for the presentation on late Sunday afternoon. Phil Williams ( Contest Director ) thanked God for an amazing weekend of waves, sunshine and a great atmosphere between all the competitors and helpers.

The Jesus Surf Series now moves to Polzeath beach over the weekend of October 16th and 17th.

Blessing of the Waves: surfboards will attend the event

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange will, in solidarity with other faith traditions, host the second annual "Blessing of the Waves" at the iconic Huntington Beach Pier (400 Pacific Coast Highway) October 3, 2010, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

The goal of this Diocesan sponsored prayer service and blessing is to bring together surfers and ocean-minded people, regardless of their faith tradition, to show spiritual appreciation for the ocean and all that it gives the planet and its population.

This gathering demonstrates concern for a cherished environment already compromised by the effects of climate change, toxic emissions, and other pollution.

"In Orange County our beaches are more than simple geography; they are a cultural and spiritual center of our community. It is important that we recognize this common element in all our lives, regardless of faith tradition. Pope Benedict XVI and other spiritual leaders have called on all people to commit to the protection of the gifts of nature and preserve them for future generations. As we give thanks for this natural gift we must recognize that climate change disproportionately affects the economically disadvantaged. Environmental protection and curbing climate change is a matter of social justice that demands immediate action," said Most Rev. Tod D. Brown, Bishop of Orange.

Pope Benedict commented during his 2009 Easter message; "Before it is too late, it is necessary to make courageous decisions that can recreate a strong alliance between humankind and the earth. A decisive 'yes' is needed to protect creation and also a strong commitment to invert those trends which risk leading to irreversibly degrading situations."

Southern California is home to many world-class surf breaks and the majority of these are in Orange County. Many people, including Catholics, spend much of their time surfing and enjoying the natural beauty of our coast line and recognize the spiritual importance of this natural asset.

California's coastal region is under significant threat due to pollution and global climate change. California will lose an estimated 41 square miles of coastline due to erosion by 2100, according to the California Climate Change Center.

Wave height and wave shape - requisites for surfing are adversely affected by sea floor conditions influenced by silt and other detritus entering the ocean. Our beach water quality is already dangerous to the health of swimmers and others - between April 2009 and March 2010, more than 100 beaches in California were closed because of the presence of toxic waste and other hazards.

The Diocese of Orange organized this first of its kind interreligious event in 2008 drawing more than 400 participants to the Huntington Beach pier to take part in this community activity lead by Catholic clergy, Diocesan youth groups, and participants of various faith traditions.

The second annual event held in 2009 drew more than 1,000 participants to the iconic pier for this spiritual observance. Participants called attention to the immeasurable importance of our oceans and beaches, and took a deeper look at their spiritual significance.

The third annual interfaith event will feature an opening prayer service, pledge to protect of our oceans and beaches, blessing of waves and attendees, acknowledgment of marine safety representatives, and close with surfing priests and other religious leaders. Tongan and Samoan choirs will perform traditional ocean songs, giving thanks to God for our ocean environment.

"It is fitting that this blessing will be held on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology. Our coast line and its diverse ecosystem are under constant strain and increased environmental pressures. This event seeks to remind our community that protecting the environment is central to believers in a loving Creator. I am excited to join with members of our diverse faith community here in Huntington Beach to bless waves, those who ride on them, and the lifeguards who protect ocean goers," said Rev. Christian Mondor, OFM, PhD, Vicar Emeritus Sts. Simon and Jude.

Heitor Alves: flight from Figueira da Foz is ready for departure

The Lusiaves Figueira Pro went mobile today and found some clean 3-4ft (1m) peaks at the back-up site of Praia do Murtinheira for the running of Round One and eight stunning heats of Round Two of this Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) sanctioned event.

Competitors revelled in the fun conditions, some of the best seen during the entire European Summer Leg of ASP Star-Series events. Event officials made an early call to go mobile after finding the swell direction on offer was not entering the main event site and offered the option of a punchy beach break a mere 20 minutes drive North. With little or no winds and temperatures soaring, it was a long hot day on the beach as the top-seeds got their chance to hit the peak during the sweltering afternoon heat.

Current ASP European Junior Champion Charles Martin (GLP) 20, summed up the conditions on offer after his early morning heat win.

“I made it through that heat so I am super stoked. I have been here in Portugal a couple of times already and I really like the country and the people. It’s good here because it almost looks a bit like France at this beach so I love it. It is really good out there today, a typical beach break with lefts and rights and some push so it is really nice.”

An inform Heitor Alves (BRA) 27, kicked proceeding off and continued his recent good form by storming through his two performances to lead the charge into Round Three of the Lusiaves Figueira Pro. After his win a fortnight ago in the ASP 6-Star in Zarautz, Alves has trained even harder during the break and is pumped to make it back-to-back titles.

“I felt so good out there especially since I won the contest last week in Zarautz. Now here in Figueira da Foz the weather is perfect with really good waves so I am very happy about this.”

Currently sitting in a strong position on the ASP World Rankings, Alves is more motivated than ever to keep his momentum going and finish the season with a solid performance.

“I have trained a lot after the last contest and here in Portugal the waves are very good and I am happy to stay here. I am definitely looking for the best result possible again. (laughs)

Andre Silva (BRA) 27, scored the highest single score of the event with a long, deep backhand barrel to claim a 9.67 out of 10. Riding his favourite board which is in a state of repairs at the moment with a loose fin and a heavy double crease through the tail section, Silva scored the bomb of the day and was ecstatic with the wave, the score and the result.

“I arrived here this morning from France and I haven’t surfed in two days and I have some problems with my board because it has a fin that might fall out and a crease on the bottom but I just made the most of it and won the heat.”

“That set came in and the wave was big and looked like it was going to close-out,” began Silva when describing the wave. “In the last minute I went and the wave was so good and the barrel really deep. I had the sun in my eyes so I couldn’t see that much and then I saw a little bit of space for me to exit and I went for it and it was great. I am so happy to make that wave and the heat.”

Tanner Gadauskas (USA) 22, arriving straight from Tahiti to Portugal enjoyed himself this morning scoring a combined heat total of 16.50 out of 20. Starting off with a solid 7.83, Gudauskas then built on his tally to finally nail an 8.67 for two excellent backhand smashes.

“It was sick that heat, just out there in my own little world really. I am stoked to be here and I can’t wait to get into the next round. I’ve just come back from Tahiti so I am fresh to Europe and excited, I love it here.”

A first-call will be made at the backup site of Praia do Murtinheira at 09:30am tomorrow for a restart to Round Two shortly afterwards. Up first in heat nº 9 will be Jayke Sharp (AUS), Joao Guedes (PRT) up against Madison Williams (AUS) and Jeronimo Vargas (BRA).

Remaining Lusiaves Figueira Pro Round Two Match-Ups
Heat 9: Jayke Sharp (AUS), Joao Guedes (PRT), Madison Williams (AUS), Jeronimo Vargas (BRA)
Heat 10: Hodei Collazo (EUK), Mitch Coleborn (AUS), Ruben Gonzalez (PRT), Francisco Bellorin (VEN)
Heat 11: Jay Quinn (NZL), Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), Norman Landa (EUK), Marcos San Segundo (EUK)
Heat 12: Jay Thompson (AUS), Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), Frederic Robin (REU), Messias Felix (BRA)
Heat 13: Joan Duru (FRA), Abdel El Harim (MAR), Romain Laulhe (FRA), Tanner Gadauskas (USA)
Heat 14: Billy Stairmand (NZL), Brian Toth (PRI), Ricardo Lange (DEU), Eric Castaldo (USA)
Heat 15: Nathan Hedge (AUS), Shaun Joubert (ZAF), Francisco Alves (PRT), Nuno Florencio (PRT)
Heat 16: Tim Boal (FRA), Brad Ettinger (USA), Jay Davies (AUS), David do Carmo (BRA)
Heat 17: Royden Bryson (ZAF), Dede Suryana (IDN), Adrien Toyon (REU), Joao Antunes (PRT)
Heat 18: Romain Cloitre (FRA), Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Miguel Ximenez (PRT), Paulo Almeida (PRT)
Heat 19: Gustavo Fernandes (BRA), Jano Belo (BRA), Justin Mujica (PRT), Ivo Cacao (PRT)
Heat 20: Pablo Paulino (BRA), Alan Stokes (GBR), Jose Maria Cabrera (CNY), Tonino Benson (HAW)
Heat 21: Leonardo Neves (BRA), Brendon Gibbens (ZAF), Omer Bar (ISR), Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK)
Heat 22: Glen Hall (IRL), Ricardo Santos (BRA), Freddie Meadows (SWE), Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 23: Yuri Sodre (BRA), Bernardo Miranda (BRA), Andre Oziol (BRB), Yannick de Jager (NDL)
Heat 24: Raoni Monteiro (BRA), Vincent Duvignac (FRA), Bruno Rodrigues (BRA), Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA)

Lusiaves Figueira Pro Round Two Results
Heat 1: Heitor Alves (BRA) 15.94, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 12.33, Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) 9.63, Alexander El Naib (DEU) 1.33
Heat 2: Alain Riou (PYF) 11.34, Eneko Acero (EUK) 10.40, Jason Torres (CRC) 9.47
Heat 3: Richard Christie (NZL) 12.93, Blake Jones (USA) 10.33, Marlon Lipke (DEU) 8.50, Casey Brown (HAW) 5.43
Heat 4: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 10.67, Austin Ware (USA) 8.24, Alexandre Ferreira (PRT) 7.00
Heat 5: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.50, Txaber Trojaola (EUK) 11.40, Klee Strachan (ZAF) 10.06, Indar Unanue (EUK) 5.67
Heat 6: Andre Silva (BRA) 13.94, Miguel Mouzinho (PRT) 9.67, Cheyne Willis (HAW) 3.84
Heat 7: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 9.83, Manfred Adrio (ZAF) 5.43, Ricardo Calabaca 3.26
Heat 8: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 11.16, Charles Martin (GLP) 10.56, Ryah Arthur (USA) 8.30, Hugo Savalli (REU) 8.10

Lusiaves Figueira Pro Round One Results
Heat 1: Heitor Alves (BRA) 13.33, Alexandre Ferreira (PRT) 9.27, David Raimundo (PRT) 7.27
Heat 2: Casey Brown (HAW) 9.17 , Indar Unanue (EUK) 4.40
Heat 3: Charles Martin (GLP) 14.27, Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 8.16, Nuno Silva (PRT) 4.70
Heat 4: Francisco Bellorin (VEN) 13.07, Messias Felix (BRA) 9.17, Robertson Goncalves (PRT) 5.23
Heat 5: Tanner Gadauskas (USA) 16.50, Nuno Florencio (PRT) 2.96
Heat 6: David do Carmo (BRA) 14.86, Joao Antunes (PRT) 8.17
Heat 7: Tonino Benson (HAW) 10.83, Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) 8.10, Goncalo Paula (PRT) 3.13
Heat 8: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 14.10, Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA) 8.27