- 06 April 2009 | Surfing
In a dramatic come from behind victory, Team Australia was crowned the 2009 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Champions today in Salinas, Ecuador. Australians Dean Bowen and Tyler Wright won individual gold medals for Under 18 Boys and Under 18 Girls. Keanu Asing from Hawaii won the Under 16 gold medal. Team Brazil won the Aloha Cup, an Olympic style ISA specialty tag-team event.
2005 ISA World Junior Champions, Hawaii, received the team silver medal, Brazil bronze and USA copper. France placed fifth overall, South Africa sixth, New Zealand seventh, Tahiti, Peru and Costa Rica came in eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.
The largest crowds ever seen at a junior surfing event packed the beach for eight days at la FAE and were on hand to witness a thrilling conclusion to the contest this afternoon.
Today's final was a triumph for Australia who found itself relegated to sixth place in the standings only two days ago. “It comes down to the fact that all of our kids have the real Aussie pride,” said Australian coach Mark Richardson. “At the world juniors, there are so many good surfers and there is a lot of pressure. But when the pressure comes on, our kids step up. They've got big, big hearts. They stayed positive and they didn't give up.”
Bowen was knocked into the repercharge rounds earlier this week, losing to Costa Rican Carlos Munoz, Brazilian Thiago Guimaraes in round three. In a test of endurance, Bowen battled his way through seven elimination rounds before making it to the finals, impressing the 12 member judging panel on his way to taking first in all but one of his heats. His final match opponents, Brazilian Miguel Pupo, French surfer Maxime Huscenot and Hawaiian Dylan Goodale, all came through the qualifying rounds.
In the Boys Under 18 final heat, Bowen took the lead catching the first wave, working the left point with huge frontside turns all the way to the shore. Bowen's next scoring wave solidified his first place lead. Pupo made an attempt to move into first with two back-to-back waves and a combined score of 15.06, but Bowen held the lead. With eight minutes still on the clock Bowen sealed the door shut with a huge 9.10 leaving Huscenot and Goodale way behind and needing a combination of 17.61. Huscenot's last wave featured a huge free falling floater on the outside section and pulled him up into third but with time running out, but he couldn't find the last second wave he needed to win. In the end, Pupo won silver, Huscenot bronze and Goodale copper.
“I feel on top of the world,” said an emotional Bowen after the win. “This is by far the biggest win of my life. I train for this contest all year, it is what I do. I am stoked, I cannot believe we won. I would like to dedicate this win to my late mother whom I lost when I was nine years old, and to my father who is recovering from knee surgery back at home.”
- 03 April 2009 | Surfing
”There are no waves for surfing in Singapore!” For many years that has been a true statement. An island at the tip of Malaysia, Singapore is east of the giant land mass of Sumatra, and perfectly situated to be a crossroads for surfers traveling to and from Indonesia and the Mentawai Islands. But because it is in the Singapore Strait and far from the open ocean, Singapore is shadowed from any swell exposure and until now, the only waves breaking along the shores of this Asian metropolis are the wakes from the thousands of cargo and passenger ships coming and going.
But what nature cannot bring to Singapore man has, now that Wave House Sentosa is scheduled to open in October of 2009. Singapore is a large island just off the Malaysian Peninsula and Sentosa is a smaller island just off Singapore. Less than three miles long and two miles wide, Sentosa is loaded with fun in many forms, and some call the island “The Orlando of Asia.”
Hotels, theme parks, golf courses, beaches natural and man made, Sentosa has shopping and attractions that include Tiger Sky Tower, Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom, Underwater World and Dolphin Lagoon, Songs of the Sea and many other wonders.
Wave House Singapore is the latest wonder, which will feature a FlowBarrel ® and a FlowRider ® at the center of a music, entertainment and retail complex. The main attraction at Wave House Sentosa will be a left-breaking FlowBarrel ®, similar to the Bruticus Maximus at Wave House San Diego. There will also be a double FlowRider ® and these attractions are guaranteed to be non-stop popular from the break of dawn until the witching hour, as there are thousands of wave-starved residents of Singapore who can’t always fly to the Indian Ocean, but who can make the short hop to Wave House Sentosa to get their mojo flowing.
- 03 April 2009 | Surfing
A perfect day of surfing with Margaret River serving up ideal large 3m (8 feet) surf which saw plenty of outstanding high scores, some big upsets , broken boards and legropes and some serious controversies!
Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Dream Tour surfer and defending champion of the Drug Aware Pro Tom Whitaker was dealt a cruel blow by the powerful swells today. Whitaker, who is presently rated 9th in the world and is also the number one seed at this event opened his heat with a strong 7 point ride and looked well in control of his round two heat.
Then Margaret River decided to serve up the set of the day, with a very large 10 feet plus set closing out the reef forcing Whitaker and his opponent Adam Robertson to take the set on the head. When the set cleared, Robertson and his surfboard survived intact but unfortunately for Whitaker, his legrope snapped and he was forced to swim over 100m to get his back up board, get back in the line up and resume his heat.
The ordeal cost him easily 10 minutes in the 30 minute heat and while he remained in control and leading the heat until the final minute, he never found a decent back up score and was eliminated with Leigh Sedley (AUS/Qld) taking the win and Robertson (AUS/Vic) taking second place on his final ride.
“ That’s surfing, you can be winning one event and last the next because the ocean dishes you a blow” said Whitaker.
“ We didn’t expect a set that big and were caught out of position and totally cleaned up, my leash snapped like a rubber band and after a big swim I was out of synch and any little error like that at this level and your competitors will exploit you.”
Pablo Paulino (Brazil) provided the day’s most controversial incident during his high scoring heat win over Kirk Flintoff (AUS) who also advanced in second place.