Tom Curren 

Tom Curren (USA) claimed victory in the first round of the highly anticipated Clash of the Icons against fellow surfing legend Mark Occhilupo (AUS) at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay this morning.

Sent out into clean one metre waves at Supertubes at 7.15 am, Curren started with two short rides before Occhilupo posted the first meaningful ride of the encounter – 6.50 out of 10 – for a series of trademark backhand carves. Curren waited patiently for the best waves and was rewarded with one that peeled the entire length of the point  enabling the renowned stylist to rack up a 7.0.

Occy continued to be the busier of the two as they moved down the point to the cleaner faces at the Carpark section and the Australian held the lead going into the last five minutes. Curren’s patience paid off in the dying minutes as, needing just 4.51 points, he found the best wave of the heat and extracted everything from it, riding almost onto the rocks at Impossibles, to be awarded 7.50 by the judges and first blood in the clash.

There will be a second round between two of surfing’s best known ambassadors between the semifinals and the final of the Billabong Pro when Occhilupo will have the chance to restore parity to their 26 year rivalry that now stands at 9 wins to 8 wins in Curren’s favour.

The Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay moved straight into Round 2 action with Heat 3 producing a nail-biting finale as Dean Morrison, the point break maestro from Australia, pipped current World No. 15 Jeremy Flores (FRA) with his last ride. Morrison will meet Nathaniel Curran (USA) in Round 3 after ASP World Tour rookie caused an upset by defeating current World No.2 and the No. 4 seed at J-bay, Adriano de Souza (BRA), in Round 2.


Sean Holmes

Round 1 and the opening two heats of Round 2 of the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay were completed today in clean three-to-five foot (1.5 metre) waves at the legendary South African pointbreak, with the world’s best surfers reveling in the opening day of competition.

Event No. 5 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay opted to make the most of the conditions on offer today, opting to run the new competition format of man-on-man elimination matches from the outset, completing 18 heats of competition, highlighted with some incendiary performances.

Sean Holmes (ZAF), 31, wildcard at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay, has a storied history at the event, competing seven times prior, finishing as high as 5th (2002) and as low as 33rd (2005). Although Holmes, once considered the Jeffreys Bay nemesis of former-three-time ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW), 30, hasn’t competed for the past two years, the powerful natural-footer posted an emphatic win this morning in front of an ecstatic hometown crowd.

“I was so nervous out there for the first ten minutes of my heat that I felt like I had stones for legs,” Holmes said. “About halfway through the heat, I loosened up and was able to collect some pretty good scores. For a natural-footer, the wave here at J-Bay is such a pleasure to ride. Although I haven’t competed in this event for a couple of years, I feel comfortable out here and I’ll look to get through a few more rounds before I’m done here.”


2009 Jamaican Junior Surfing Championship Series 

Garren Pryce of Bull Bay in Saint Andrew and eighteen year old Shane Simmonds of Boston Bay in Portland were respective winners in the under 16 and under 18 divisions at the first event of the of the Jamaica Surfing Association’s 2009 National Junior Surfing Championship Series.

Twenty young surfers registered for the event which was contested in light onshore winds in 3’ waves at the Copa Cabana surfing beach in Bull Bay, St. Andrew on Saturday 11th July. There were 16 entrants competing in the under-16 division. Four first round heats were held from which the top eight would compete for the four available positions in the final.

Semi-final one saw Ivah Wilmot up against Ackeem Talor, Garren Pryce and Alex Williams. The surfers rode 27 waves between them. Garren picked off the best wave of the heat which earned a 7.5 from the judges and was the highest scoring wave of the event. Garren and Ivah advanced to the final.

In semi-final two, the face off was between Shama Beckford, Armani Green, Ricardo Crossman and Jamoy Hall. The surfers rode 27 waves, with Shama Beckford capturing the top spot after riding the highest scoring wave of the heat; earning him a 6.5. Shama Beckford and Armani Green both advanced to the final.

The Final was exciting and saw Ivah, Garren, Armani and Shama paddling out to challenge for under 16 national glory. The wind had picked up which made wave selection a vital tactic in each surfer’s battle plan. The horn sounded and the 20 minute final was on. Thirty six waves were ridden with a number of excellent rides being demonstrated by the young athletes. It was close but when the scores were tallied Garren held on to first by a thread from Shama in second, Ivah in third and Armani in fourth.