Hairil Anwar: the first always deserves a major celebration

Indonesia’s, Gold Coast/Palm Beach based Hairil “Oney” Anwar sent out a loud and clear message to the surfing world that the Indonesian’s will be a power in professional surfing by becoming the first ever Indonesian surfer to win a major Association of Surfing Professionals Pro Junior surfing event when he won the Dripping Wet Pro Junior at South Curl Curl Beach on Sydney’s northern beaches today.

An ecstatic Onwar commented on his historic performance today saying “it feels fantastic to win – this is my first time winning and im stoked – I’m going to be doing more pro junior events in the next couple of years and it’s awesome to be the first Indonesian surfer to win a Pro Junior event”

The day was highlighted by aerial performances – more successful aerial moves than ever before seen at a pro junior event in Australia according to ASP Australasia Tour Director Dane Jordan and included an amazing tally of 11 aerial moves in the four man final.

Onwar has been based on the Gold Coast studying for the past three years and second in today’s final was fellow Gold Coaster Thomas Woods.

Woods set the scene for today’s remarkable performances scoring a perfect 10 point ride in an earlier heat when he executed a full rotation 360 degree air reverse.

Third in today’s final completed the Gold Coast trio with Mitch Crews – all places posting outstanding final tallies on their top two scoring rides of above 16 points with Onwar on 17.75, Woods 16.50 and Crews on 16 while local Freshwater Beach surfer Tommy Myers came in fourth in the final with a modest final performance on 11.15.

Newport surfer Chris Salisbury made the semi-finals but saw his year-long goal of qualifying for the ASP World Junior events disappear when he placed 4th in that semi final to be eliminated.

The Dripping Wet Pro Junior final day was a spectacle, one of if not the best day in ASP Australasian Pro Junior surfing history and the performances of these fast emerging surfers again stamped the future of high performance surfing which is taking to the air and scoring big for surfing’s highest degree of difficulty aerial moves.

Today wraps up the ASP Australasian Pro Junior season 2010 with the Dripping Wet Pro Junior and the Blue Kiss Pro Junior the final events of a hugely successful season.

Winners of the ASP Men’s and Women’s series ratings for 2010 are Mitch Crews (Qld) and Airini Mason (NSW) respectively and both join a very prestigious list of former winners who have used their series win as part of a launching pad to even greater heights in ASP careers.

The ASP Australasian region qualifiers of the upcoming ASP World Championship Junior Series which begins with event one in October are:

Pro Junior Men’s: Mitch Crews, Davey Cathels, Jack Freestone, Ty Watson and Chris Friend
Pro Junior Women’s : Airini Mason and Felicity Palmeteer

Wiggolly Dantas: a Brazilian taking over Europe

Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) today claimed the Sooruz Lacanau Pro title downing fellow countryman Alejo Muniz in the 35-minute final to achieve his best result of the year and his second ASP Men’s Star-Series title in a closely fought final on a day which saw epic conditions for the grand finale to the 31st edition of the Sooruz Lacanau Pro an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) sanctioned event.

Excellent surfing conditions continued for the final day of action at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Sooruz Lacanau Pro with clean off-shore winds and peaks in the 4-5ft (1.2m) range pumping in with the incoming tide. Event officials waited for the optimum swell window for the running of today’s heats resulting in an action packed display of futuristic power surfing for the large crowds lining the shores.

Wiggolly Dantas 20, surfed a perfectly controlled final to lead from start to finish despite the efforts of Muniz to close the gap. Starting off solidly it was not until the halfway mark that Dantas hooked onto a long peeling right to lay down a series of powerful backhand turns to snatch a 7.83 and consolidate his lead and leave his opponent searching for a reply.

“It is so amazing right now to surf against one of my best friends in the final and to win the contest and I just went out there to surf my heat and do my best and it all worked out and I am really stoked now.”

“I was thinking about the waves a bit before the final and the rights were looking better and the lefts were closing out a little bit so I tried to concentrate on the rights and in the end I made a good result. You had to wait a little for the good waves and look for the set so that is what I did”

All the Brazilian surfers were on hand to watch the finals go down and support their countrymen as they did battle in the final. Definitely a plus factor for the surfers the patriotic support added to the festivities of the Sooruz Lacanau Pro.

“It is my best result this year and it was perfect because I had a lot of friends here and everybody is together and that is amazing to have all these guys supporting each other.”

Alejo Muniz (BRA) 20, was the inform surfer during the earlier heats this morning laying down some of the biggest turns of the entire event and headed into the final as a clear favourite to take the title. Holding priority for a major part of the final Muniz was unlucky in not finding any waves to wall up down the line.

Muniz tried in vain to get back into the race and required only a modest score to turn the tables however fell short leaving Dantas with a clear road to victory. Visibly upset with the result Muniz was content with his overall second place.

“It was so hard out there and the waves were not coming to me and I tried to do my best but Wiggolly won in the end and I am happy for him. I really wanted to win this contest but I couldn’t in the end but it is still ok because my friend won so it is good for me too.”

Richard Christie (NZL) 21, finished equal 3rd his best Men’s Star-Series result to date losing out to Wiggolly Dantas in a low scoring semi-final clash. Positioning himself on the southern bank in search of the left-handers Christie failed to find any scoring rides until the dying moments of the heat where he grinded out an excellent 8.27 out of a possible 10 however to no avail.

“It is a good result for me and unfortunately I only got one good scoring wave in that heat but anyway Wiggolly deserved the win as he surfed really well that heat. I was doing the same as I have been doing the entire event going out on the south side and it has been fun but now as the tide is getting higher it got a little fatter than what I thought it was going to do so a little mistake on my part but I have learnt from it for sure.”

Pedro Henrique (BRA) pulled off the barrel of the day with a deep clean front-side tube (8.5 out of 10) to oust Marc Lacomare (FRA) in the quarter-finals however he finished equal 3rd overall failing to overtake Muniz in the semi-finals. In his first major overseas event this year Henrique is out to return to the elite Dream Tour with renewed energy thanks to a new sponsor this year.

“It was a hard heat to get a wave out there in the end,” explained Henrique. “I started with a good wave and Alejo too and then I needed to wait for a better wave but it never came. Alejo was so good in the water and he was always trying to improve his scores but I am very happy.”

Returning after a year’s absence to the Sooruz Lacanau Pro Henrique comments on his aims here in Europe and for the remainder of the season.

“Last year I couldn’t come but now I have a new sponsor and they have given me the support to try and make the WCT one more time. I am happy to be in France to do this contest and my year is just starting now so this is a nice result for me and I’m looking forward to the next ones and hopefully leave Europe up high on the rankings.”

Marc Lacomare (FRA) finished equal fifth and has furthered his lead on the European Men’s Series rankings by almost 2,000 points over Glenn Hall (IRL) at the halfway stage of the 12 event series. Coming from a victory in the beginning of August in Newquay Lacomare has continued his excellent form and heads off to Galicia, Spain for next week’s event looking to do even better.

Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 14.23 Def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.70

Gabriel Medina: they do this type of things in circus, too

Gabriel Medina (BRA), 17, has won the third stop of this year’s ASP Europe Specialty 6.0 Cash for Tricks Series today, the brilliant athlete taking control of proceedings from his very first wave through to the final in excellent four-foot (1.2 meter) waves at Lacanau.

Medina, who left no chance to the high-performance field of aerial specialists, impressed the early-morning crowds with a variety of new-school tricks including an upside-down reverse air 360° combined with a Superman on one single wave. Renowned for his talent in this kind of surfing, Medina confirmed he was one of the current world’s best today.

“It was so fun to do that event this morning in such excellent waves,” Medina said. “We had all the time to get these glassy launching ramps and push our tricks to their most so to finish atop a field of guys including Josh Kerr (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA) and Mitch Coleborn (AUS) is pretty cool.”

Medina, who placed 3rd in the last ASP World Junior Championships (WJC) back in January, managed to unleash a variety of tricks to seize a good €1425 prize purse through three consecutive heats, taking the most prestigious stop of the 6.0 Cash for Tricks Series to date.

“The concept is great and I think many of us surfers like to see new formats that mix competition and fun,” Medina said. “We are lucky we got good waves and everyone tried their best to deliver a good show. Can’t wait now to get into ASP 6-Star event mode and keep that ball rolling in my heat.”

Finishing 3rd overall with some impressive progressive surfing, former ASP 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro winner Tim Curran (California, USA) managed to shine amongst the field of athletes, the experienced athlete now a famous free-surfer and musician taking €500 for his run.

Much expected for his return to Lacanau eleven years after his victory here (1999), Curran showed he was still in excellent form popping no-grab alley-oops and high air reverses to leave a strong impression before his start in the ASP 6-Star event.

“I am gratefull to the Sooruz organizers for inviting me in Lacanau,” Curran said. “Being in the ASP 6-Star event and getting the chance to compete in the 6.0 Cash for Tricks is really nice. I haven’t been in France for four or five years and I love coming here so to be part of the show is great.”

With world famous surfers Julian Wilson (AUS), Tim Boal (FRA), Marc Lacomare (FRA), Kai Barger (HAW), 6.0 Cash for Tricks Stops 1 and 2 winners Joan Duru (FRA), Reubyn Ash (GBR) all delivering a solid performance, today’s edition saw some brilliant surfing looking promising for the remainder of the ASP 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro running until Sunday, August 22, 2010.


Gabriel Medina (BRA), ASP World Junior No. 3, €1425
Mitch Coleborn (AUS), €960
Timmy Curran (USA), former ASP World Tour member, €545
Marc Lacomare (FRA), former ASP European Junior Champion, €505
Jay Davies (AUS), €505