2009 ISA World Surfing Games 

The International Surfing Association welcomed more than 34 nations to the World Surfing games today in Costa Rica at a press conference hosted by a panel of participants and organizers.

Australia’s Mick Campbell, an ASP professional surfer ranked 13th in the world and ISA Gold Medalist in 1998, California’s Courtney Conlogue, a Silver Medalist and winner of last week’s US Open, Costa Rica prodigy Carlos Muñoz who recently won the Open, Junior and Under 16 division in the National Surfing Tour and Sofia Mulanovich, 2004 ISA and ASP World Champion, were among the famous stars leading the press conference. They all spoke of the country´s beauty, and the excitement they felt competing in ISA events in the past. Seated along side them was the President of the ISA, Fernando Aguerre, the President of the Costa Rican Surfing Federation and Billabong´s Latin America representative Chris Evans.

“All the members of the panel very happy to be part of an event in the warm water and perfect Costa Rican waves,’ said Fernando Aguerre, the ISA President, "This is the first time a World Surfing Games has been held in Central America, we have been all over the globe, but never here. Being in Costa Rica is amazing.”

"I am really very glad to be here in Costa Rica,” commented Sofia Mulanovich, the 2004 ISA and ASP World Champion. “The truth is that generally I choose the countries I like when I compete in an ISA contest. It is always a joy to be in Latin countries. I love Costa Rica, the people are beautiful and Pura vida!”


Harley Ingleby wins the 2009 Oxbow WLT in Japan 

Harley Ingleby (AUS), 25, won the Yumeya presents Oxbow ASP WLT at Tahara, over Duane de Soto (HAW), 32, in peaky two-to-three foot surf (1 metre) after a marathon day of competition at Long Beach in Tahara Aichi, Japan.

The Yumeya presents Oxbow ASP WLT at Tahara marks the first of two events on the ASP WLT calendar, which crowns the undisputed ASP World Longboard Champion at year’s end. The next contest slated on the 2009 season will be the Oxbow ASP WLT in the Maldives which will be held in October.

After battling through five heats today, Ingleby found the leftover endurance to finish up strong, jumping out to an early lead over de Soto and carrying the lead throughout the 35-minute final to take out the Yumeya presents Oxbow ASP WLT at Tahara.

“It’s just the best feeling in the world,” Ingleby said. “It was pretty hard out there and Duane is such a good surfer. I’m just so stoked I don’t even know what to say, I’m lost for words.”

Ingleby was in an identical situation last year after the ASP WLT in France and is hoping to put together a second solid result to take out this year’s ASP World Longboard Title.

“You couldn’t dream of a better start to the year,” Ingleby said. “Hopefully I can put together a stronger second event this year”.


Iker Acero 

The Spanish Surfing champion Iker Acero has been arrested by the Civil Guard in the Basque Country (Spain) following suspicions of cooperation with the armed group ETA.

In the centre of the problem is the website "Gaztesarea", run by Alberto Martínez Gutiérrez. Iker Acero and Gutiérrez are being interrogated by the Spanish authorities.

The Spanish surfer was arrested in the Vizcaya region and later moved to Martin de Ugalde, Guipúzcoa, the place from where the website is run.

The arrests occurred on the same day that ETA had exploded a bomb outside the Civil Guard barracks, in Burgos.