Bruce Irons dominate the Air Tahiti Nui Von Zipper Trials at Teahupoo 

With one wildcard spot up for grabs for next weeks Billabong Pro Tahiti, 32 international surfers have matched up against 32 Tahitians on day one of the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials at Teahupoo.

In clean 1.5-2m waves, it was the overseas challengers who dominated opening day proceedings as competition moved from round one, through to heat four of round three. 

Former world tour competitor Bruce Irons (HAW) showed why he is regarded as one of the most dangerous surfers at Teahupoo by winning through two trials heats and booking a spot in the third round.  (the final four heats of round three are yet to be surfed)

Having not surfed a competitive heat since 2008, Irons grabbed a last ditch tube ride in his second round heat to scrape through behind proven Teahupoo specialist Damien Wills (AUS).  Eliminated from the heat were Tahitian duo David Dandois and Heifara Tahutini.

“I haven’t surfed a heat for seven months, the first time since high school I ‘ve had that sort of break, but watching Bells and Snapper over the internet made me want to pull a rash vest on again,” said Irons.  “Every time I came here to surf the main event the trials were pumping, so I figured I’d quit the tour and come do the trials, hasn’t really worked out that way yet though.”

“It was really slow out there, but Tahiti’s always nice to get away to, so I’m not complaining.”

He will now face Nick Vasicek (AUS) Niuhi Marere (PYF) and Heremoana Luciani (PYF) in round three.  Should he win the trials, he will surf alongside Brother Andy, who has been given a direct wildcard into the main event.

Fellow Hawaiian Mark Healey was another standout performer on the opening day, winning through three rounds to progress into the final 16 surfers.  A perfect display of small wave tube riding in his round three heat saw him take an impressive victory over live-wire goofy footer Clay Marzo (HAW), eliminating Tahitian surfers Steven Pierson and Germain Tuataa.

Hawaiian surfers excelled on day one of the VonZipper Trials, with six surfers still in contention for the wildcard slot into the Billabong Pro.  Joining Irons, Marzo and Healey to progress were Kamalei Alexander, Reef McIntosh and Kalani Chapman. 

Australian surfers also fared well on the opening day with the Sunshine Coast duo of Wade Goodall and Mark Visser both winning their round three match-ups.

The 2008 trials at Teahupoo left Goodall with 8 staples in his head after a nasty encounter with the reef, but his opening day in 2009 proved friendlier, winning through three heats in fine style.

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Adam Melling conquers the O'Neill Cold Water Classic in Scotland 

Adam Melling (Queensland, AUS) clinched the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Prime O’Neill Cold Water Classic Scotland by Swatch today finishing on top of another 23-heat marathon-day after defeating fellow Queenslander and finalist Luke Munro (AUS) in solid five to six foot (1.5 to 2 meter) waves at the world class venue of Thurso East.


Melling, 24, who was surfing his second consecutive final at Thurso, grabs valuable 3500 ratings’ points to keep his ASP World Tour qualification campaign going leaving the Highlands ranked No. 1 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS). Melling also rises as a serious contender towards the first ever O’Neill Cold Water Classic Series Champion title.

Melling, who bested Munro in a last 35-minute encounter after getting through four rounds and delivering an ultimate assault, eventually made it to the highest rank of the event dominating proceedings on the final day with several impressive results including a 16.50 point tally in Round 4 before netting the event’s highest score of 17.50 points (both out of a possible 20) in the Quarterfinals.

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Kelly Slater exploring the Kirra skills 

Following in the success of the Australia Day Paddle Out, the Kirra Surfriders club (KSC), the Kirra Surf Club (SLSC) and the Surfrider Foundation will join forces again to host the 2009 Kirra SurfStock.


A three day Surfing Festival from November 6th, 7th, & 8th featuring multiple surf events such as the Mick Fanning/Michael Peterson Rising Star Junior Challenge and a range of surfcraft comps from club teams, Longboards, SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boards), Surfboats, Surf schools and even Touch Footy on the beach.

Live music with at least one Internationally famous band on the beach plus loads of activities including Surf Woody’s and Kombi’s, skateboards, movies, photos’s and art embracing the surf culture of Kirra, helping to raise funds for non profit ocean environmental groups like the Surfrider Foundation.

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