Paige Hareb 

Paige Hareb makes history as she secures a spot in the 2009 Women’s World Championship Tour.

The powerful 18 year old placed 7th overall on the WQS ratings and had to anxiously await final results of the Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach to confirm which WCT girls had re-qualified, and whether that meant a place for Paige on the tour.

"Yesterday I was really nervous as I knew Silvana had to place well for me to be guaranteed a spot. It's just great to finally hear it's official now and I'm on," an excited Paige said.

As the first female Kiwi ever to make the tour, Paige was unsurprisingly ecstatic after celebrating her official qualification, “The news hasn't completely sunk in yet but I am really looking forward to next year, I am proud to be the first Kiwi girl to qualify for the WCT,” Paige said.

Paige’s success on the WQS wasn’t her original focus, as she was committed to the junior series with a few WQS events thrown in to gain experience. However, after placing 5th at Phillip Island and 1st in Margaret River, Paige made the decision to keep going and the rest, as they say, is history.

"My realistic goal was to qualify for 2010. So to qualify this year was a complete surprise! I would never have thought this would happen so soon"

Paige will now compete in the Billabong Pro Maui as a wildcard, a perfect opportunity to compete against the girls that she will come up against next year with no expectations or pressure.

"I'm really excited to be a part of the Maui event. Being a wildcard I have nothing to lose and it will be a great experience to surf against those girls".

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John John Florence 

California’s Chris Ward (USA) took advantage of clean eight to 10-foot conditions at Pipeline to top score on Day 1 of the Billabong Pipeline Masters. Ward made two critical, late- barrels to amass a near perfect heat total of 19.90 out of 20.00 in Round 2.

“It isn’t the biggest day and it isn’t really that scary out there, it’s just pristine and there are pretty good ones out there,” Ward said. “You just have to luck out and get in the right position to get them. I was with both of those waves and those were two of the biggest sets in our heat. I was lucky to get under them and I was really happy.”

Currently rated 24th on the 2008 ASP World Tour, Ward needs to make heats to ensure his spot for next year’s tour. His heat win today will see him into Round 3 where the Top 16 seeded surfers on the ASP World Tour will make their 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters debuts.

Round 1 and the first half of Round 2 were completed today. The first two rounds of the event featured low to mid range seeded ASP World Tour surfers, wildcards and replacement surfers.

Sixteen-year-old John John Florence (HAW) took full advantage of his last minute berth into the event to flare at his home break and eliminate ASP World Tour surfer Jay Thompson’s (AUS) hopes of requalifying for the 2009 tour. Florence found his way into the main event this morning when replacement surfer Reef Macintosh (HAW) was unable to fill in for injured Top 45 surfer Ben Bourgeios (USA).

"I woke up this morning and they said, ’You might get in,’ and I was like, ’Really? Sick!’” Florence said. “I got in in Reef’s spot and I am so stoked."

Florence, who has been charging Pipeline since he was 8-years-old, had his first shot at competing in the Pipeline Masters in 2005. At 13, the North Shore local surfed the trials but did not make it into the main event. He will meet World No. 16 Kieren Perrow (AUS) in Heat 9 of Round 2 which will likely run tomorrow morning at 8.

"I surfed in the Pipeline Masters trials when I was very little but it wasn’t really that good because the waves were really big and weird,” Florence said. “So I am so stoked to be surfing out here when it is so perfect with four other guys out. There were some fun waves out there today."

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ISA Scholarship Program 

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is proud to announce that, in addition to cash component to every beneficiary of the ISA Scholarship, Global Surf Industries (GSI) will be donating a surfboard to each 2009 recipient.

This support and contribution from GSI to the ISA Scholarship Program is greatly appreciated, most certainly by our young surfers.

The ISA has already secured over USD20,000 in funding for the 2009 Scholarship Program.

This funding has been specifically allocated to junior surfers from around the world to offer the underprivileged, young surfers an opportunity to support and advance the success of their academic and surfing careers.

Every dollar received by the donors, is distributed to the recipients, without any administrations costs deducted by the ISA.
 
Helping them is part of our effort for a better surfing future; it would be inexcusable to deny them of this unique opportunity.

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