Makka Beach 

Seventeen year old Shane Simmonds walked away with the 1000 points on offer to the winner of the second event of the Jamaica Surfing Association’s 2009 National Open Surf Series. The event which was contested at the Makka surfing beach at Southaven in St Thomas on Saturday March 7, was supposed to have been run on the previous Saturday and was rescheduled due to small surf. The organizers could not have been happier with the decision as beautiful 4’ to 6’ surf rolled in at the world famous surfing beach all day.

Twenty four surfers from both the northeast and southeast divisions registered to compete. They were divided into 6 heats from which the top twelve advanced to round 2. Four heats took the field down to the top eight surfers for the two semi finals.

Semi final 1 was between Inilek Wilmot, Luke Williams, Ackeam Taylor and Jason Pusey. The 15 minute heat saw 20 waves ridden with Inilek nabbing an 8.0 from the judges for his best wave which put him out in the lead. Second place changed hands a number of times but Inilek solidified his lead with a 7.5 and booked his place in the final. The judges had their work cut out for them in selecting the second surfer to advance as all were surfing well, but when the scores were tallied Luke squeaked by Ackeam and Jason to make the final.

Semi final 2 was a unanimous decision by the judges when Shane Simmonds, Icah Wilmot, Eneson Lightbourn and Ackeam Phillips paddled out for their 15 minute heat. They rode 23 waves between them but Shane made his statement with fast crisp manoeuvres to the delight of the crowd on the beach and secured the first spot in the final. Icah was constantly nipping at his heals but when the horn sounded he had to settle for the second spot in the final ending Eneson and Ackeam’s journey.

It seemed the sea had saved the best for last. As Shane, Icah, Inilek and Luke paddled out a majestic wave rolled down the beach to the great excitement of all the surfers present. The horn sounded for the beginning of the ultimate heat of the day and it was on in earnest. The sun glistened on the turquoise waves as the offshore wind fanned their quivering crests. Shane had not lost his edge from his semi final heat and continued to dominate the waves with immaculately executed turns. Icah was there also showing why he is the most “sponsored” Jamaican surfer. His brother Inilek off his win in his semi final was also on fire drawing eye-pleasing flowing turns and throwing lots of spray. Luke was surfing strong pulling off some impressive “floaters” and “Lip bashes”.

When the final horn sounded it was up to the judges and the crowd waited as scores wee tallied. Shane had done it with Icah second, Inilek third and Luke fourth.

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The Present 

Thomas Campbell's latest surf film "The Present" U.S. premiere tour starts tomorrow at the Montalban Theatre, Los Angeles.

Dave Rastovich, Dane Reynolds, Sofia Mulanovich, Dan Malloy, Chelsea Hedges, Chris Del Moro and Rob Machado are some of the friends invited to join "The Present", an independent production very much awaited in the surf scene.

It was shot on location in West Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, California, Sumatra and Java.

The film will be distributed by Studio411.com

For more info and tour dates go to www.trimyourlifeaway.com

Click on the 'Videos' section to watch the trailer.

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Julian Wilson 

The first eight heats of Round 3 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by LG Mobile were completed today in three-foot (1 metre) waves at Snapper Rocks, and wildcard Julian Wilson (AUS), 20, caused the upset of the season in eliminating reigning nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 37, from competition.

The opening event of the 2009 ASP World Tour season, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast commenced Round 3 action this afternoon following the completion of the Roxy Pro Gold Coast this morning, won by reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21.

Wilson, who is surfing in his third Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast as a wildcard, wasted no time in taking it to Slater in the last heat of the day, racking up a 6.83 out of a possible 10 to open up before sealing the deal with an 8.50 out of a possible 10.

“I’m over the moon right now,” Wilson said. “I was so nervous before that heat just thinking about what I could do to beat Kelly [Slater]. For so long, he has been unstoppable. I started the heat on the inside and got the first wave, which is what I wanted to do. It feels so good to beat him.”

Slater, who was riding an unconventional board that was shorter and wider than his usual equipment, never found a rhythm in the tricky afternoon conditions, and despite some mind-blowing, singular maneuvers, was never able to link together a complete wave.

"The waves I got were bad,” Slater said. “I surfed alright on one wave and I am frustrated obviously, but I would have had the same result with the best board of my life so it definitely wasn’t the equipment thing. A lot people want to put it down on that, but I am excited about my boards and I have a lot more fun riding these boards."

While Wilson certainly held the most dramatic heat of the day, fellow Australians and Coolangatta kids Joel Parkinson (AUS), 27, and Mick Fanning (AUS), 27, shined at their home break, posting some of the highest scores of the season.

Parkinson, current ASP World No. 4 and former winner of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast (2002), posted the highest heat total of the day, and 18.50 out of a possible 20, for his unparalleled command of the Snapper Rocks lineup.

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