- 06 July 2009 | Surfing
Hot off the heals of the ASP Dream Tour South American leg, the world’s best surfers are readying themselves for the upcoming Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay, held at the iconic South African pointbreak from July 9 – 19, 2009.
Event No. 5 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay will host the ASP Top 45 as the battle for pride, points and the freshly intensified ASP World Title race.
Kelly Slater (USA), 37, reigning nine-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 9, opened his 2009 season with three, uncharacteristic 17th place finishes before smashing his way to a 41st career victory in Brazil last week. Formerly lacking the trademark intensity and drive that the Floridian is renowned for, Slater admits to a heightened focus after his Brazilian triumph, adding a dynamic new angle to this year’s ASP World Title race.
“Last week’s win just highlighted the importance of making more of a plan when I hit the water instead of leaving it to chance,” Slater said. “I had a plan in Brazil for the first time this year and it worked. A lot of people put in a lot of effort to help me get my stuff together and it’s about time I had a plan in heats so I don’t take any of that for granted. Sometimes things don’t go your way. I probably wouldn’t be very interested if I had started out super strong anyhow, and now it’s just a more difficult challenge to get things going. It kind of wakes you up.”
If any event on tour has the potential to offer Slater a positive follow-up to last week’s win, it’s the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay. Throughout the event’s storied history, Slater has secured a record four victories (1996, 2003, 2005, 2008) and boasts some staggeringly high heat averages in recent years.
- 05 July 2009 | Surfing
As the curtain closed on the 2009 NSW Open Surfmasters Titles, five more prestigious state titles were awarded today as scores soared high at Werri Beach.
Having seen the best 200 age surfers congregating upon the Kiama region over the last four days, memorable performances and epic conditions headlined the entire event – none more so than Open Women's champion Brittany Nichol (Cabarita, NSW).
“I’m so stoked,” she said after defeating Jess Hickson (Boomerang Beach, NSW), Melissa Sherringham (Wamberal, NSW)
and Paige Houden (Balgowlah, NSW), who finished second, third and fourth respectively.
“Today’s victory is definitely one of the biggest of my career.”
Claiming her first NSW Open Surfmasters Title, Nichol will always remember this day – dropping her first ever perfect 10-point ride.
“I’ve been surfing for seven years and after all this time I finally claimed a perfect 10.”
- 05 July 2009 | Surfing
Just hours after celebrating both his 21st birthday and American Independence Day (both on 4 July), Tanner Gudauskas (California, USA) celebrated the biggest victory of his professional surfing career, taking out the ASP WQS 6-Star Mr Price Pro Ballito today.
Gudauskas defeated Australian James "Taipan" Wood (Aus), rocketing to World No. 6 on the ASP World Qualifying Series and pocketing R159 000 (US$20 000) as well as 2500 ASP WQS ratings points.
“I just can’t believe it, this is a personal best for me!” said Gudauskas. “Every night this week I’ve been going to bed dreaming about winning this contest and putting myself up there where Pat (Tanner’s brother and ASP WQS No. 10 Patrick Gudauskas) was at, and it came through today so I’m fired up!”
Attacking the 30-minute Final with unprecedented determination, Gudauskas rode every lump of swell, snatching an early heat lead with a 6.83 (out of 10.00) for some clean backhand turns, riding out in an explosion of whitewater off his final maneuver.