Pablo Paulino

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.

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2009 ISA World Juniors 

The Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship saw one of its most intense days at Playas de la FAE. The swell continued to hold up throughout the day, delivering solid overhead surf. This afternoon the Under 18 Boys returned to the competition after a lay day yesterday. Having a little extra rest and fresh legs, these future world champions turned out amazing performances in the five to six foot surf at la FAE in Salinas, Ecuador.

With their sights set on the gold medal and the prestigious ISA World Junior title, the competition was intense as 12 of the world’s best Under 18 surfers fought to stay in the main rounds of competition. Each of the four heats could have been a final match in any other junior division contest. Nine countries were represented, including past ISA World Juniors Champions Australia, Brazil and Hawaii and 2009 contenders France, South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Chile and Costa Rica.

Heat two was intense with 2007 Under 16 gold medalist Garrett Parkes of Australia up against South Africans Shaun Joubert and Matthew Bromley along with New Zealander Alex Dive. With less than five minutes in the heat, Parkes was sitting in third place and was not able to put together a decent score because he was riding a damaged board. He decided to trade out his equipment. One of the Aussie teammates ran Parkes’ backup board 300 meters up the beach, leaving Parkes with less than half the heat to get an 8.5 to advance. With only minutes remaining Parkes caught a wave and gave it everything he had, but came up just short, scoring an 8.0. Joubert and Dive advanced, relegating Parkes and Bromley to the repecharges.

In heat three of Boys Under 18 French surfer Maxime Huscenot, Brazilian Miguel Pupo, New Zealander Matt Hewitt and Costa Rican Carlos Munoz met for a grueling 20 minute bout. Within the opening minutes, Pupo and Huscenot took the lead. Huscenot grabbed the top spot with his second wave earning an 8.60 and then closed out the heat with an 8.73 for the win. Pupo placed second to advance and Hewitt and Munoz finished third and fourth respectively.

“You really had to be ive and choose only the good set waves today. The paddle back out is almost five minutes long. Having patience is almost as difficult as the surfing,” said Huscenot after his win. “This is my third ISA juniors event. We have a really good team this year and we are having a great time in Ecuador.”

Contest organizers ran four rounds of elimination repecharge heats with 88 surfers exiting the competition today. It was a difficult day for Germany and Ireland with both teams’ last remaining surfers losing their heats. Made up of 10 surfers, Germany had their largest team to date in an ISA competition. They will stay in Ecuador through the finals but will likely take advantage of the free time to check out the local sight, sounds and waves of the Salinas area.

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Mavericks 

Mavericks Surf Ventures, Inc. (Mavericks) announced today that the official waiting period for The 2009 Mavericks Surf Contest® Presented by Sony Ericsson is now closed. The waiting period began on January 1, 2009 and officially ended on March 31, 2009.  Showcasing 24 of the world’s finest big-wave surfers, the largest prize purse in the history of big-wave surfing, and four former Contest Champions, The Mavericks Surf Contest® will return again next season to the epic Half Moon Bay break.

Every winter season, Mother Nature offers up the ocean’s harshest conditions and the giant, unpredictable waves that characterize the Mavericks break and the annual Mavericks Surf Contest®; frigid waters, dangerous currents, jagged rocks and the ever-present threat of the great white shark. Mix these with perfect weather conditions, and 24 chosen surfers await the contest call from legendary big-wave surf pioneer and Contest Director, Jeff Clark.  They then have only 24 hours to arrive in Half Moon Bay to face the extreme conditions, thunderous waves and each other.  That much-anticipated call was never issued this year, however, as contestable conditions did not develop during the waiting period, and the giant appears to be entering its annual slumber until next season.
 
“After consulting with a large number of the Mavericks family—Contest Director Jeff Clark, longtime Mavericks competitors, agencies focused on environmental protection and public safety, surf forecasters, and our sponsor partners—we have decided to conclude the 2009 waiting period and turn our eyes towards next season,” said Mavericks CEO Keir J. Beadling.  “I want to personally thank our army of more than five-hundred special human beings and seventy-five committed organizations for their efforts in getting ready and staying on alert for Mother Nature this season.  It’s a tremendous undertaking unlike anything else, and we’re very lucky to have such a passionate support crew.”

Taking Care of Our Backyard.  Mavericks is situated in the heart of one of the most productive marine ecosystems on the planet.  The decision to conclude the contest window was made only after much deliberation and consultation with Mavericks stakeholders, and due in large part to the fragile state of the ecosystem in the Mavericks environs this month. “Mavericks is a natural phenomenon on ‘Hallowed Ground’ and the organizers, our partners, and the heroes who surf the break hold the environment in the highest esteem,” commented Beadling.  “Most of our environmental programs are focused on the beautiful natural environment surrounding the Mavericks break itself, since that’s where the company got its start and where we have the largest potential impact.  The entire Mavericks family is committed to preserving the beauty and health of our natural environment, and we take this commitment very seriously.”

Contest organizers have consulted closely with Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS), an agency dedicated to protecting the wildlife and the habitats of the part of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (Sanctuary) where the contest takes place. GFNMS enforces the rules and regulations designed to protect one of the most robust and active marine ecosystems on Earth. Since the contest takes place during a time in which seabirds and marine mammals are engaged in breeding activities or in migrating through, the Sanctuary and Mavericks work together to help minimize wildlife disturbance and provide information to attendees about minimizing their impact on the environment.

Extending the waiting period beyond March this season would pose a unique set of challenges on this front.  Said GFNMS Superintendent Maria Brown, “The sanctuary had already extended the exemption for the contest period through March.  But the presence of listed and vulnerable species, newly-born harbor seal pups, migrating whales, and nesting birds make April a particularly sensitive time for wildlife in the Sanctuary.  Any wildlife disturbance by boats, people on foot, and aircraft can result in mortality. Wildlife conservation is a concern throughout the entire year, but especially serious consequences can result if vulnerable species are not able to breed successfully at critical times during the year, including right now.”  Added Beadling, “We will continue to honor the concerns of GFNMS.  Respect for the environment has been a core part of Mavericks’ DNA since day one. And we will not overlook this commitment; it’s simply too important.”

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