Maxime Huscenot

Justine Dupont (Lacanau, FRA), 18, and Maxime Huscenot (REU), 17, claimed the ASP Grade-1 Sopelana Pro Junior today in the Basque Country, both champions taking their first title of the year in tricky two to three foot (0.5 to 1 m) waves at Sopelana. Respectively dominating the women’s and the men’s divisions, both event winners were able to finish atop an impressive 150-surfer field including some of Europe’s best Under-21 competitors to clinch valuable ratings’ points and solid confidence for the upcoming major ASP Pro Junior events.

Maxime Huscenot, the reigning ASP European Junior champion who was returning to competition in Europe after several months off tour for school obligations, showed he was back for good and in excellent form, the Reunion Island born surfer posting the event’s highest heat result with a total of 17.16 points (out of a possible 20) including a 9.33 point ride (out of a possible 10) for the best single wave score of the week.

“I am super stoked to win in this event,” Huscenot said. “The waves got back throughout the day and I am really happy to have made the best out of it. I was confident and tried a few tricks because I was feeling pretty good and the board I have been surfing for a couple of weeks now is just amazing.”

Huscenot, who defeated local favorite Jatyr Berasaluce (Sopelana, EUK) and outsiders Lewis St John (BRB) and Frederico Morais (PRT) in the final, had confidently advanced through all his previous battles in first place and remained unstoppable in the 30-minute decider, leaving runner-up Berasaluce with a second consecutive equal finish at his home event, his second in a row after San Sebastian.


Iker Acero was arrested on suspicions of cooperation with ETA

The Spanish surfing champion Iker Acero was released from prision on bail but is accused by the National Spanish Court of helping finance Segi, an unauthorized arm of the separatist armed group ETA.

His conditional freedom status also applies to Alberto Martínez Artola Arkaitz Gutiérrez, the other man arrested alongside with the spanish surfer. Iker Acero was arrested by the Civil Guard in the Basque Country (Spain) due to strong suspicions of connection with a website that was used to finance Segi.

The High Court asked for the custody of three suspects, but the judge decided to keep them on probation with the obligation to appear in court every night, arguing that there is no risk of committing new crimes.

The arrest of Iker Acero occurred on the same day that ETA had exploded a bomb outside the Civil Guard barracks, in Burgos, and days before a another bomb killef two policemen in the spanish island of Majorca.

2009 ISA World Surfing Games 

A giant Parade of the Surfing Nations began the opening ceremonies of the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games at Jaco Beach this morning. In full “Olympic” style, over 34 nations in bright uniforms and flags flying, followed a colorful Costa Rican marching band down the main street of town, to the exited cheers of thousands posted along the parade route.

The parade finished in the Park of Jaco. There, ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, along with the Chief of the Costa Rican Tourism Department, Carlos Ricardo Benavidez, the Mayor of Garabito, Marvin Eliondo, the Manager of the ICE Group, Pedro Pablo Quiroz and the President of the Surfing Federation of Costa Rica, Jose Ureña, spoke in front of an enormous crowd of competitors and public. Billabong´s Marketing Vice-President Graham Stapelberg joined them. With over 180 competitors the event is one of the largest and most vivacious events in the surfing world, starting tomorrow, Saturday, August 1st at Playa Hermosa.

The colors of Australia, the United States, Brazil, France, Costa Rica, South Africa, Tahiti, New Zealand, Peru, Japan, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Italy, Switzerland, Venezuela, Canada, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Ecuador, Hawaii, Aruba, Chile, Panama, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Austria, Bahamas, Nicaragua, Colombia and Great Britain –a total of 34-, finished the parade at the central park in Jaco.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said: “Surfing is a sport for everybody. It doesn't matter who you are, where do you come from, or how much money you have. It´s a very democratic sport with no social classes in the water!
The Billabong ISA World Surfing Games are not just another Surfing Tournament, they are the most beautiful chance that you will have in your life for meeting the whole world in one place.”