Colin McPhillips 

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) saw three-time ASP World Longboard Champion Colin McPhillips (San Clemente, CA), 33, claim the ASP LQS 1-Star Costa Del Mar Pro this afternoon in peaky three-to-four foot (1 metre) surf at Ninth Street in Huntington Beach over Hawaiian talent Kai Sallas (Honolulu, HI), 27.

The ASP LQS North American regional series allows the nation’s top two performers to qualify for the prestigious ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT) the following year where each surfer strives to earn the title of ASP World Longboard Champion.

McPhillips claimed the event by smashing the Final’s highest single wave score of an 8.33 out of a possible 10 with three massive backside carves on a steep Huntington Beach lefthander. The former champ followed up with a second solid score, which proved to be enough to take out the win over Sallas.

“That one wave was the best wave I caught all day,” McPhillips said. “I caught one wave and got a low score and decided I was going to wait until I got a good one and luckily that set came through, it was the only good wave in the heat.”

Although bumpy afternoon conditions were not ideal for longboarding, McPhillips was able to capitalize on the best waves over his tough competitor.

“I haven’t surfed that many heats in a long time,” McPhillips said. “It was really bumpy and tough and there was tons of current, so I’m beat, but I’m happy with the win and it’s a great start to the year.”

Sallas smashed some of the day’s highest scores in earlier heats, but was unable to find a rhythm in the Final and could not uncover the scores needed to overtake McPhillips.

“I didn’t have to wait more than two-minutes to catch a wave all day and in the Final I just felt like it shut off,” Sallas said. “I just could not get into rhythm out there.”

Sallas is now looking to utilize the joint ratings between ASP North America and ASP Hawaii in the longboarding division to keep a top Hawaiian seed.

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Estoril Quiksilver Pro

The Estoril Quiksilver Pro, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star event, announced the increase of the event's overall prizepurse from US$ 145 000 to US$ 150 000 with an extra US$ 5000 going for to the 2009 winner who will pocket an unprecedent US$ 25 000, the biggest prizemoney ever awarded on an ASP WQS event in Europe.

The event, which will be the second of this year's ASP WQS European Tour, will be crucial for both ASP WQS international and regional ratings with 2500 ratings' points going to the winner, a significant reward towards a possible end-of-the-year ASP World Tour qualification.

"The comitment and efforts of the organisers to put up such a big event and add a bonus for the winner is great for the sport and its athletes," ASP Europe Manager Julie Audibert said. "After almost a decade of support to the sport of surfing, event organisers at Alfarroba have once again stepped up and the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Europe is grateful for all the work, even more grateful knowing the current global financial context."

The Estoril Quiksilver Pro, which will hold its third edition from April 21 to 26 at Carcavelos renowned beachbreaks, is expected to deliver world class action when the 144 men attending the crucial event paddle out next month. After running the event in late october the last couple of years, event organisers decided to change dates in 2009 to increase the chances of better wave and wind conditions, usualyy favorable at this time of the year.

“The idea behind it was to concentrate a series of international events at the beginning of the season," Estoril Quiksilver Pro contest director Antonio Pdro said. "Moreover, April can also be a better time for waves and wind at Carcavelos, where we will put together the main structure."

The Estoril Quiksilver Pro main venue will be at Carcavelos with a back-up location set-up at Guincho. With several options along Estoril's beautiful surf coast, the 2009 edition promises t live up to its reputation and world class surfing from the Estorl Quiksilver Pro will be webcast live.

Putra Hermawan 

Light winds and pitching 2 foot waves greeted the frothing grommets at Pererenan Beach today for the second stop of the three-stage Rusty Gromfest Series 2009.

Almost 100 kids from all over Bali (and beyond) came out in force to fine-tune their skills, win sick prizes, and bro out with Rusty’s local team of pro surfers. With a stacked heat draw and a long list of alternates, organizers blew the horn at 7:30am to get the first heat underway.

Round 1 kicked off at the ‘Sandbar’ peak rather than the adjacent ‘Canggu Right’ due to the medium tide but this didn’t curb the under 14’s enthusiasm- they were pumped and zipped around the lineup catching waves left, right, and centre! The testing 6-man heats separated the boys from the children as only two surfers would progress into the second round.

On the beach kids were buzzing with excitement and wasted no time making connections with other shredder’s from all over the archipelago. “I’ve made a few new friends already” beamed Mansyur, a 13-year-old surf rat from Sumbawa, “They said when I surf their local breaks they’ll give me waves, but only if I take them to Lakey Peak first!”

In the under 16 division the incoming tide and pulsing swell produced some rippable 3 foot sets that reeled along Canggu’s lava rock shelf. The spotlight was on the Lembongan duo of Agus Frimanto and Putra Hermawan who battled it out last month at the Rusty Gromfest Keramas. Both let loose with a full arsenal of tricks and progressed through heats with consistent, solid performances.

As the midday sun cooked Canggu’s black sand, guest judge and Rusty GM Kane Faint confessed, “The conditions are less than ideal but the groms bought their ‘A’ game and are tearing it to pieces… The weather forecast predicted rain but it seems like the hot surfing scared the clouds away!”

When the under 14 finals took to the water the standard had well and truly heated up, with Komang Angga, Ediana Putra, local favorite Jeron, and the polished Koko Mitsua Antara absolutely going mental! Jeron had won a string of heats leading into the final while Ediana had also impressed the judges in the earlier rounds. These little human’s were throwing buckets upon buckets of spray and in the end Ediana took the title with lightning-fast frontside snaps and superior wave selection. Stoked!

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