2009 ASP World Tour 

A cross-section of the ASP’s principle stakeholders convened two weeks ago on Australia’s Gold Coast for a two-day summit, dubbed “Rabbit Camp 2009” (after former ASP President Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew’s annual strategy sessions), where the group of event licensees, surfer representatives and ASP administrators collaborated in a discussion of several key issues regarding the future of the sport.

“It was fantastic to get such a diverse group of people together to push through some major initiatives that we’ve been working towards for the past 18 months,” Brodie Carr, ASP International CEO, said. “The input from the athletes and events was excellent, and while the confirmation process won’t be final until the ASP Board meeting this October, I can assure you that some exciting enhancements could be initiated as soon as next season.”

On top of the list for changes is a move towards a more unified one-world ranking tem that will combine both the ASP World Tour and ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) rankings. This will, in effect, allow for top performers on the ASP WQS to be advanced onto ASP World Tour events as the season progresses as opposed to the end of the year (as it currently does). The one-world ranking added to a review of possible changes on the ASP World Tour all geared at rendering the most exciting product possible for audiences to watch the world’s best surfers in the world’s best waves.

In addition to the progressive changes being made in the structuring of the ASP World Tour, a substantial increase in prize purse from the current US$340,000 at each ASP World Tour event as well as collective purse awarded to the year-end ASP World Champion will be instituted, further sweetening the pot for the world’s best surfers as they continue to break performance boundaries.

“The discussions held last week were positive and opened up the possibility for potential changes to be made down the track,” Kieren Perrow, current ASP surfers’ representative said. “The next step will be for Mick (Fanning) and myself to take the group’s notes back to the surfers, both ASP World Tour and ASP WQS, in the coming weeks to gauge response and work out what is in the best interest to the sport.”

ASPWorldTour.com, homepage of the ASP World Tour, will be further be utilized as the ultimate source of information regarding professional surfing, with group members decreeing that the site will be the primary hub of all ASP-sanctioned webs and that endeavors to bring the ASP’s global audience consistent, uniform productions will be intensified.

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William Cardoso

William Cardoso (BRA), 23, has won the first edition of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Azores Islands Pro pres. by Nissan today after defeating fellow finalist and ASP WQS No. 2 Jadson Andre (BRA) in a 100% Brazilian final. Cardoso, who made the best out of the clean but tricky two to three foot (0.6 to 1 meter) waves on offer, clinches 2500 ratings’ points which rocket him from No. 31 to No. 14, a seventeen-places jump to get back into the race for the ASP World Tour qualification while Andre’s runner-up consolidates his No. 2 spot reaching 14663 points.

Cardoso, who posted a good 13.57 point heat result in the final battle of the Azores Islands Pro including a 7.17 point ride, had defeated local favorite Tiago Pires en route to the final with the best scores of the day using his unstoppable powerful backhand attack, led the final from start to finish with smart tactics and wave choice reading the conditions perfectly to wait for the better waves and end-up winning his second ASP WQS title ever.

“I am over the moon right now, that win was unbelievable and I have made it all the way through to the crown,” Cardoso said. “It’s been a hard week with several close heats coming down to one wave many times and I have had big names on my way so to win this one after such an intense draw is just perfect. That board I have been surfing all week was working so well in the solid conditions and I am stoked.”

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Brett Burcher 

Twenty-year old Brett Burcher (Ulladulla, NSW) went home with the richest takings on the Pro Junior surfing circuit today, earning a massive $10 000 after defeating Tahitian born Tamaroa McComb (Burleigh Heads) during the Red Bull Junior Surf Masters Final presented by Mick Fanning at Cronulla.

In what couldn’t have been a more equally matched final, Burcher and McComb who advanced into the main event through the qualifying trials on Friday and went on to net the highest single wave scores throughout the two-day event, went toe to toe in a dramatic final that saw Burcher edge out McComb by the narrowest of margins. Burcher defeated McComb with a 15.65 heat total (out of 20.00) to McComb’s 15.25.

“I am so happy right now, this win is just huge for me,” Burcher said. “Tamaroa is an amazing surfer and he almost had me in that heat but I just kept my head and was lucky that I caught that set wave at the end.”

While Burcher took an early lead, a priority error around the halfway mark saw him slip into second place behind McComb who stormed ahead with an 8.50 (out of ten). It wasn’t until the final three minutes that Burcher stroked into one of the better looking waves of the afternoon - a long open-faced left hander - that allowed him four massive backhand snaps to earn an amazing 8.90 (out of 10.00)  to become the 2009 Red Bull Junior Surf Masters Champion.

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