Jason Ribbink 

The 2008 edition of the South Coast Surf Carnival, presented by Jeep Apparel and the Independent on Saturday, was blessed with perfect conditions over both days this past weekend, with Durban’s Jason Ribbink taking full advantage to snatch the SALSA (South African Longboard Surfing Association) sanctioned Premier open division.

In the race to capture the first ever stand up paddleboard (SUP) title in South Africa, Dylan McCleod (Eastern Cape) was clearly the most consistent performer and rightly claimed the prestigious title and the main prize of a BILT SUP valued at R12 500.

In addition to the longboard and SUP divisions, the crowd at Scottburgh’s main beach witnessed some radical maneuvers in the longest running kitesurfing event in the country, thanks in part to the strong south-westerly wind that blew all Sunday. Here, Craig Chrystal (Durban) and Lyle Bottcher (Durban North) took 1st and 2nd place respectively in the men’s open event, whilst Nicole Annells (Warner Beach) triumphed in the ladies division defeating pre-event favourite Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod (Amanzimtoti). Bryce Rawlins (Umhlanga) cemented his position as one of the country’s leading up and coming kitesurfers when he successfully defended his junior title.

In the longboarding event, a ladies division, as well as a grandmasters (age 35+) and over 50 division were contested. Competition was strong due to the large field, and it was Zanie Cawood (Durban) who clinched victory in the ladies event. Brandon Ribbink (Morningside) came out firing in the final of the grandmasters division, and managed to outscore Craig Daniel (Bluff) in a closely fought heat. In the over 50 division, Mike Patterson (Umdloti) showed that age is no obstacle as he powered his way to the title.

Contest director Hugh Thompson was right in saying that “all the elements came together - wind, waves, and spectators - which made the event an amazing spectacle”. Thompson regarded the competitive introduction of SUP as “a roaring success”, setting a precedent for future South African SUP events. As the day progressed, “the wind came through for the kiteboarding guys, and the surf got bigger which added to an already exciting final”.

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The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau

Quiksilver is pleased to announce the 2008/2009 Invitees and Alternates for The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau and the official launch of the event website.

Scheduled to take place at the hallowed grounds of Waimea Bay, on the North Shore of Oahu, between December 1, 2008, and February 28, 2009, the event, otherwise known as "The Eddie", requires one day with a minimum of 20-foot surf (Hawaiian scale) in order to run.

It is the world's most prestigious big-wave surfing event and is the only big-wave surf contest sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), the governing body of professional surfing.

Held in honor of the legendary Hawaiian waterman, Eddie Aikau, The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau gathers 28 of the most skillful and dynamic big-wave surfers from around the world as polled by a comprehensive panel consisting of influential watermen, members of the surf industry, and internationally recognized surfing Associations.

The first memorial event for Aikau was held in 1984 at Sunset Beach, two miles north of Waimea Bay. It was won by local standout Denton Miyamura. Following the inaugural event, The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau moved to Waimea Bay, where it has remained ever since. 2008 marks the event's 24th anniversary; in only seven of those years have the waves been big enough and the conditions right to hold the contest.

In the realm of big-wave riding, the name Eddie Aikau commands as much respect as Waimea Bay itself. Aikau was the North Shore of Oahu's first lifeguard, watching over the Bay when he wasn't charging the biggest waves of the winter.

Tragically, he lost his life in 1978, at the age of 33, during a re-creation of the Polynesian voyage between Hawaii and Tahiti. In huge seas, the voyaging canoe Hokule'a was capsized. Eddie paddled off in an attempt to reach help for his fellow crewmen. He was never seen again but his spirit and legacy live on.

The complete list of Invitees and Alternates for this year's event are listed below. The website also includes photos and video from previous year's events, Invitee profiles and swell updates. Visitors can sign up to receive text updates for the "Official Contest Call" and watch online when the Bay calls the day.

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Stephanie Gilmore

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, reigning ASP Women’s World Champion and defending event champion, collected her second consecutive win in Peru today, defeating Silvana Lima (BRA), 24, to claim the Movistar Classic Mancora Peru presented by Rip Curl as well as the ratings lead on the ASP Women’s World Tour.

Event No. 6 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Movistar Classic Mancora Peru pres. by Rip Curl relocated from the primary venue in Mancora this morning to Piscina, an hour and a half south, where swell was running in the three-to-four foot (1.5 metre) range.

After building momentum throughout the day, Gilmore peaked in the Final, posting the highest heat total of the event, a 16.10 out of a possible 20, with brilliant flair and power on her backhand, to claim her second consecutive event title in Peru.

“I am so stoked right now,” Gilmore said. “I love coming to Peru. The waves are always really fun and the people are so passionate about their surfing. I came here confident that I could get a result and to come out on top is just fantastic.”

After stumbling with an equal 9th at the last ASP Women’s World Tour event in Sydney, Gilmore’s win today sees the young natural-footer back on top of the ASP Women’s World Tour ratings and on course to defend her ASP Women’s World Title.

“I think Sydney was good for me in that it motivated me to refocus on my primary goal which is to win another ASP Women’s World Tour,” Gilmore said. “Now that I’m ahead, I feel great, but I know there are still two more events and a lot can happen. I excited for Hawaii and am looking forward to a great end of the year.”

Lima, current No. 4 on the ASP Women’s World Tour, was in brilliant form all day, even netting an 7.70 out of a possible 10 in the Final, but it wasn’t enough to stop a rampaging Gilmore.

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