Nelscott Reef 

Adam Replogle and Alistair Craft won the 2008 Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic for the second year in a row. The event was held on a beautiful day in perfect surf conditions. Keallii Mamala goes home with the win for the first ever paddle in contest at Nelscott Reef.

After a day of thick fog on Saturday, the field of 16 teams woke up to sunny skies and big surf for the contest on Sunday. Waves were in the 20-30’ range, wind was calm, skies were clear, and the temperature hit 64 degrees. This made for a perfect day of tow in surfing.
Although there were a few delays due to fog in the early morning hours, the contest got off to a smooth start. After two rounds of heats, 4 teams advanced to the finals.

Almost all the teams in the finals, including the winners Adam Replogle and Alistair Craft, were from Santa Cruz, but the surprise of the event, was the team for Australia.

Jeff and Josiah Schmucker are a father and son team from Australia who had never competed in a big wave competition before. Their 2nd place finish to some of the best teams in the world was impressive. Russell and Tyler Smith took 3rd place and the Wormhoudt brothers, Jake and Zach took 4th.

“We could not be more excited about the outcome of the event”, said John Forse, event organizer. “We like to think of Nelscott as a family event, and this year, the finals had a father/son team and two brother teams.”

After the qualifying heats were completed, they ran the first ever paddle in contest at Nelscott Reef. A field of nine vied for a winner takes all 45-minute heat. Twelve waves were caught during the heat, but in the end, Keallii Mamala took the prize, as well as an auto seed with his partner into the 2009 tow in event. Jamie Mitchell took 2nd place, Shane Desmond grabbed 3rd, Mike Parsons 4th, and Gary Linden came in 5th.

“The paddle in was amazing and we were surprised how many waves were actually caught. Almost everyone got a wave in what turned out to be an optimal paddle in day at the reef”, said Forse.

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More ISA scholarships 

The International Surfing Association (ISA), the World Governing Body for Surfing recognized by the International Olympic Committee, is proud to announce that it is extending the 2009 Individual Scholarship Program to 40 recipients, an increase of 20 grants from 2008. The ISA is accepting applications until December 12, 2008. 

Thanks to the generous donations from Billabong, Quiksilver Foundation and Reef Redemption, the fund for next year’s grants is in excess of $20,000. The scholarship funds will be given to Under 18 Junior surfers from every corner of the world.

The ISA Scholarship Program was created in 2007 and has exhibited astounding success since. The first year included the distribution of five scholarships to recipients from Peru, Ecuador, Jamaica, South Africa and Chile.

The program continued to grow, increasing by 400% in 2008 with the distribution of 20 scholarships.  The ISA will once again double its numbers in 2009 by awarding 40 grants.  

The Scholarship Program aims at achieving one of the ISA main goals, “A better surfing future.”  It offers junior surfers an opportunity to improve their surfing equipment while maintaining their studies. 

Winning recipients must be inspiring characters in their community; they must show a passion for surfing while maintaining good grades.  Each applicant must prove they are good students, in financial need and explain why they will be a great ISA ambassador in their community.

ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said about the 2009 Individual Scholarship Program: “The ISA Scholarship Program is a really important part of our responsibilities as an International Federation, for the building of a better world.  There are many junior surfers in the world who are good students trying to achieve their dreams as surfers.  The ones who actually receive the Scholarship are only a small portion of those who are in need of support. We know the scholarships are a great help to each one of the recipients.”

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Stephanie Gilmores conquers the 2008 ASP Women's World Tour 

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, scalped her second consecutive ASP Women’s World Title today with an emphatic win at the Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach, ripping through the three-to-five foot (1.5 metre) waves at Sunset Point to defeat fellow finalists Silvana Lima (BRA), 24, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 22, and Nicola Atherton (AUS), 22.

Event No. 7 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach proved the most decisive event of year, seeing shock eliminations on the final day before Gilmore soared to victory to claim the 2008 ASP Women’s World Title.

“I had no idea this was going to happen today when I woke up this morning,” Gilmore said. “Sofia (Mulanovich) went down and then Layne (Beachley) went down and I found myself in the Final with a chance to clinch it. It feels unbelievable.”

Lima, one of the form surfers on the final day, led from the outset in the 35-minute Final, posting two solid scores early on to net a 14.16 out of a possible 20. While waves were scarce during the Final, Gilmore found a walling righthander in the dying moments and tore it to pieces to attain an 8.50 out of a possible 10 and walk away with the victory and the 2008 ASP Women’s World Title.

“I knew I had to win the Final to claim the title here at Sunset and when Silvana (Lima) got off to such a solid start, I thought I would have to get a result in Maui,” Gilmore said. “I had a pretty solid score, but still needed a 6-something and there weren’t many waves at all. Then I saw this little lump out the back and I knew it would be good when I was stroking into it. Turned out to be the best wave of the heat and put me over the top.”

Gilmore’s clinching of her second consecutive ASP Women’s World Title makes it two-for-two for the young Australian, who has claimed the prestigious accolade in both years as a member of the ASP Women’s World Tour.

“The second one definitely feels better than the first one,” Gilmore said. “I’m going to savor this one for a while and then readjust my goals for next year. There should be big celebrations on for tonight.”

Today’s runner-up finish marks the third in a row for Lima, and the frustration of the elusive maiden Dream Tour victory was palpable as the Brazilian exited the water.

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