Blake Thornton wins the 2009 Cold Water Classic in South Africa 

Blake Thornton, the 24 year old from Maroubra, Sydney, surfed the perfect final in epic Cape Town conditions to knock out local favourite Royden Bryson, and take victory at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic South Africa.

“I am so excited to win this,” said Blake. “Royden fell on his wave at the end. I think maybe the cold was getting to us,” he said shivering in his wetsuit. “I am sorry for him, but so glad I won.” 

In victory, Blake lifted the CWC South Africa trophy – a replica shark’s jaw – high above his head on the shoreline at Kalk Bay.

“Thankfully this is a fake jaw,” said Blake. “Hopefully I won’t see any real ones. There was actually a seal swimming around out there with us in the final,” he said. “Everyone knows that sharks love seals, but actually in a heat you’re only worried about what’s going on in the heat.”

After a lay day yesterday which saw everyone hiding away from the storms, conditions came together perfectly on the eastern side of the Cape with offshore winds and a solid six-foot swell.

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Supertubos in Peniche confirmed by ASP for the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Search

Rip Curl International has today officially announced that the coastal town of Peniche, Portugal, will host this year’s Rip Curl Pro Search, Stop No. 9 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour - to be held October 19 to 30.

The location has been a mystery to most all season, but today’s official press launch in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon unveiled the secret to media and the surfing industry.

"We’re excited about today’s announcement and even more excited to see the industry’s reaction to our decision to hold this year’s Rip Curl Pro Search in the beautiful country of Portugal," said Scott Hargreaves, Rip Curl Event Manager. "The country has a lot of great waves and we’ve decided to lock in Peniche’s ’Supertubos’ as our event spot. It’s a five-star wave and one of the best beachbreak tubes in the world!"

Supertubos is a powerful A-frame barrel that feeds off deep Atlantic Ocean swells and handles waves up to the 12-15ft (4-5m). Many surfers have nicknamed it the "European Pipeline" due to its similarities to Hawaii’s infamous Banzai Pipeline.

"The wave breaks all year, but the North Atlantic Ocean swells peak in the later part of Europe’s summer," continued Mr. Hargreaves. "This is why we’ve created the event window in October, instead of the June-July period we’ve had for the past four years."

The change of schedule will also make this year’s Rip Curl Pro Search the second-to-last event on the ASP Men’s World Tour calendar, meaning for the first time it could be the event where this year’s ASP World Champion is crowned.

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Indigenous children had a surfing experience 

A group of indigenous children, from the state’s north-west, today had a day they’ll never forget, learning to surf and meeting their heroes.

Beginning with a session with the NRL’s One Community, entitled “Eat Well, Play Well, Stay Well”, presented by Rugby League legend Mario Fenech, the kids were afforded the opportunity to attend South Sydney First Grade Training Session – a dream for many of the disadvantaged youths.

Culminating with a surfing lesson, in which Fenech took the main stage, the day was focussed upon promoting healthy lifestyles and educating positive lifestyle choices.

“It was a magical day all around,” Fenech said after his first ever-surfing lesson.

Hailing from Brewarrina, a small town 800 kilometres north-west of Sydney, the group of approximately 20 children made the long trip down to Sydney to meet their rugby league heroes and try their hand at surfing for the first time.

“Sending out the message of “Eat Well, Play Well, Stay Well” is very important for these children,” Fenech continued.

“If we can make a difference in just one persons life days like today are definitely worthwhile.”

Selected on their school attendance and good conduct around town today was a break from their sometimes troublesome life as most of the children had never before seen the ocean, let alone stand on a board.

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