2009 ASP Dream Tour 

The 2009 ASP World Tour is set to commence in just over a month, and the ASP Top 45 is looking set and shaping up to be one of the most explosive the world has ever seen.

Nine-times ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 36, will be back to hunt down ASP World Title No. 10, but standing in his way will be the best of the best.

Bede Durbidge (AUS), 25, and fellow top seeds Taj Burrow (AUS), 30, Joel Parkinson (AUS), 27, and C.J. Hobgood (USA), 29, will lead the rest of the ASP Top 45 in their respective bids to put a stop to the Slater juggernaut.

The official withdrawals of the Irons brothers and the acceptance of replacement surfers are in place, and the 2009 ASP Top 45 are finally locked in.

Roy Powers (HAW), 27, will be replacing Bruce Irons (HAW), 29, who finished No. 20 on last season’s ASP World Tour but will be retiring from full-time competition in 2009. Despite the withdrawal from the Dream Tour, Irons will pursue wildcard entries into events.

Michael Campbell (AUS), 34, former ASP World No. 2, will replace former three-time ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW), 30, on the 2009 ASP World Tour. Irons the elder will be taking 2009 to recuperate and has been awarded the ASP Wildcard for the 2010 ASP World Tour.

“Andy Irons requested and was granted an ASP Tour wildcard for 2010,” Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, ASP President, said. “Andy cited personal reasons for not participating in the full tour in 2009, however he may participate in certain pet events as an event wildcard. All stakeholders, being the surfers, the Events Council and ASP Management, were supportive of Andy’s request, and the ASP Board of Directors ratified this arrangement officially.”

“Andy will be sorely missed in 2009 and we look forward to him contending again from 2010,” Bartholomew said. “Each year, three tour wildcards are issued, they are for injury, they are sometimes granted to next in line WQS and they are also granted to former ASP World Champions or someone held in high esteem.”

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Waveriders 

'Waveriders' US Premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival at 7.30pm on Wednesday 28th January 2009 in the Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara.

'Waveriders' cinema release throughout Ireland & UK on April 3rd 2009.

'Waveriders' has been nominated for two IFTAs (Irish Film & Television Academy Awards) in Best Sound and Best Feature Documentary.

Waveriders is the previously untold story of the unlikely Irish roots of the worldwide surfing phenomenon and today’s pioneers of Irish big wave surfing.

The story unfolds through the inspirational and ultimately tragic history of Irish/Hawaiian legendary waterman, George Freeth. Freeth, son of an Irishman, was responsible for the rebirth of this sport of Hawaiian kings in the early twentieth century.

With its distinguished cast of world-renowned Irish, British and Irish/American surfers WAVERIDERS journeys full-circle from Hawaii to California and back to Irish shores following Freeth’s wave of influence.

This journey reaches a spectacular climax when the surfers conquer the biggest swell ever to have been ridden in Ireland catching monster waves of over fifty feet.

The film was financed by the European Union through the Interreg IIIA Programme managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the ICBAN Partnership, Northern Ireland Screen, The Irish Film Board / Bord Scannán na hÉireann, BBC Northern Ireland and the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.

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Nathaniel Curran 

Last Year’s Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) champion Nathaniel Curran (Oxnard, CA), 24, claimed the 2009 ASP WQS 4-Star O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro presented by Ron Jon title today over fellow finalists, Aaron Cormican (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 26, Blake Jones (Melbourne, FL), 20, and Cory Lopez (Laguna Niguel, CA), 31, in peaky two-to-four foot (1 metre) conditions. Curran’s victory at the ASP WQS season opener continues his reign atop the ASP WQS ratings.

The O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro is the first event of the 2009 ASP WQS season, with all of the series’ competitors striving to earn points towards qualification for the prestigious ASP World Tour the following year.

Curran jumped out to an early lead in the Final by issuing several beyond-vertical backhand snaps on the lefthanders down the beach at Sebastian Inlet. The quiet regular-footer’s backside performance earned him a heat total of 15.43 out of 20, which proved to be an unattainable score for his fellow competitors.

“I’m stoked,” Curran said. “I had a couple of weird heats today and the Final clicked for me. I was stoked to be in the Final. All of those guys were ripping. Cormican was doing huge airs and it was a fun heat.”

Curran picked up where he left off last year with a victory at this year’s O’Neill SI Pro. The Californian will not surf another event until his first contest on the ASP World Tour, and was happy to get a few heats under his belt on the ASP WQS before he embarks on his maiden ASP Dream Tour voyage.

“I just wanted to come out here and warm up for the beginning of the year,” Curran said. “I wanted to see how I was feeling. There has been a four month break for me and I didn’t want to go into my first event without doing anything.”

Although Curran’s primary focus will be on his ASP World Tour campaign, the talented Californian still plans on surfing some events on this year’s ASP WQS.

“I’m probably going to do some events and luckily there are a lot of contest at home this year,” Curran said. “It makes it really nice for us, being on the World Tour, so I’m going to see how the first couple events go on the World Tour and go from there.”

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