Mitch Baker 

As the mercury rose on day two of the Australian Surfmasters Titles so did the high scores and amazing performances as competitors blazed a trail at Lighthouse Beach.

Seeing unseasonably hot weather throughout the mid-north coast, temperatures rose beyond 30 degrees, Lighthouse Beach was the perfect backdrop for the best surfers in Australia.

With over 160 of the best amateur competitors from across the land the Open Men and Women opened up procedures with a dizzying array of surfing.

Brittani Nichol (Cabarita, NSW) was by far the standout of the morning, revelling in the one-metre conditions.

Having been in the USA for the past three weeks on the international competitive surfing merry-go-round, Nichol sent out a warning shot to her counterparts.

“I’ve just arrived home after spending three weeks in California,” she said after racking up the highest total heat score of 16.50 (out of a possible 20).

“I surfed Trestles heaps and had so much fun, but it’s time to refocus and do well here.”

Negotiating the conditions better than any other competitor on day two, Nichol found solace in the southern bank – picking off the right-handers with ease.

“I managed to pick the right waves in my heat, but it’s quite tough with the small swell,” Nichol said.

“There are so many great competitors from around the country so to do well here would be awesome.”

Read more...

Marc Lacomare conquers the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Junior at Seignosse 

Marc Lacomare (Hossegor, FRA), 18, has won the ASP Grade-3 Rip Curl Pro Junior at Seignosse in France today after defeating Hawaii’s wunderkind John John Florence (Oahu, HAW), 15, in testing five foot (1.5 meter) waves. Lacomare, who claimed his second event win this afternoon to jump back in the lead on the ASP European Junior ratings, dominated the crucial event by far with several of the competition’s best scores posted en route to victory.

Second to last event counting for the crowning of the regional Under-21 champion, the Rip Curl Pro Junior witnessed world class action with the European contingent suffering Florence’s impressive run who was to be defeated in his last attempt to clain the title by Lacomare.

“That result is just great, especially because it’s at home and I have my friends and family supporting me at the beach,” Lacomare said. “I stuck to my game plan during the final which was to be patient and get the better waves to score well enough and win the thing. John John (Florence is a great surfer and I knew he could get any required score to catch-up with me so I stayed focused until the end.”

At 18-years-old, Lacomare has gone to number one on the ratings and will head to the final event in the Canary Islands confidently having the opportunity to grab his maiden regional crown if he counters his followers’ assaults.

“There is only one event left before the end of the season and I am leading so it is a good position to have,” Lacomare said. “I have a bit of a margen with the rest of the front runners and I will be looking to consolidate my position and win the title this year.”

Read more...

Joan Duru 

Joan Duru (Ondres, FRA), 20, won the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro today in France after defeating fellow finalist Travis Logie (Durban, ZAF), 30, in consistent clean four foot (1.2 meter) waves in front of a massive cheering crowd. Duru, who had impressed his peers throughout what will be remembered as one of the best editions ever, was unstoppable en route to claiming the prestigious thirtieth edition of the event nicknamed the French Pro. Grabbing 2500 ratings’ points and US$20.000 for his performance this week, Duru’s result rockets the Ondres native from No. 10 to No. 7 on the ASP World Qualifying (WQS) ratings. Duru became the second French surfer since Thierry Fernandez in 1982 to win the event at Lacanau today, the first French surfer to win an ASP WQS major event in France at the same time.

Duru, who paddled out under pressure knowing a win would significantly ease his ASP Top 45 inception campaign, showed he had the skills to tame the excellent conditions on offer and kept his opponent away from the winner’s place posting a 16.47 point heat score (out of a possible 20) to seal the deal in front of a cheering crowd. At 20 years of age, Duru made history today besting former ASP World Tour elite surfer Travis Logie who had posted the event’s highest heat score earlier in the day.

“I am just so happy right now, I wanted to win so bad I am really over the moon and can’t really realize the result yet,” Duru said. “I felt quite uner pressure throughout the event and until the Semifinal I was just very focused and anxious but I managed to get over it for the final and I really let go to surf at my best. Travis (Logie) never let go off me and he is an impressive competitor so I really played my game and used priority and it finishes perfectly.”

Read more...