2009 ASP Dream Tour 

Notable changes to the ASP’s premier tour – the ASP World Tour – include date changes for the Brazilian leg of the tour and the absence of Fiji from the calendar. In 2009, the world’s Top 45 male surfers will count eight results from 10 events.

The Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro will now be held from June 27 to July 5 when conditions in Imbituba, Brazil are historically superior to those on offer in November. From Brazil, the ASP World Tour will head due east to Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

“Moving the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro to mid-year was a logical transition,” ASP President Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew said. “Having the two most far-flung venues, Imbituba and JBay, back-to-back is not only an economically sound measure, but it tweaks the geographic synchronicity of the ASP World Tour in the right direction. The other plus is that shifting Brazil into the prime-wave window is in keeping with Dream Tour philosophy.”

The 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour will again boast eight events, with the Top 17 counting six of eight results toward their year-end totals. The only change to date for the world’s best female surfers comes in the form of a combined men’s and women’s Rip Curl Search contest replacing the stand-alone Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle.

The men’s ASP WQS heralds the most exciting additions on the ASP landscape for ’09. The most notable of several new and upgraded events is O’Neill’s expansion of their Coldwater Classic series. O’Neill has added events in Tasmania, Australia Cape Town, South Africa and Canada to their existing Scotland and Santa Cruz contests. All five events carry a 6-Star or 6-Star Prime rating. The 6.0 Lowers Pro at Lower Trestles, California has also been upgraded from a 4-Star to a 6-Star Prime event.

“2009 sees the final phase in of the ASP WQS plan that began in 2005,” Bartholomew said. “With the establishment of a solid raft of 6-Star Primes, and the bonus points that accompany them, the qualifying process will be ratcheted up as the top Dream Tour aspirants surf it our at quality locations for meaningful points.”

The final dates for the 2009 ASP World Championship Tour:

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Triple Crown of Surfing 

The 26th annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is poised to kick-off first thing tomorrow morning at Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach Park, with an incoming WNW swell building for the start of the Reef Hawaiian Pro. The $170,000 Reef Hawaiian Pro is a men’s and women’s 6-star rated ASP World Qualifying Series event and will feature over 200 of the world’s top-ranked surfers.

Official Series surf forecaster Wetsand.com predict early forerunners of the swell to materialize Wednesdsay morning, building to a Thursday peak. Waves are anticipated to reach the high surf advisory level of 15 feet (wave face heights in excess of 20 feet). Winds may be the only obstacle for Thursday/Friday, with trade winds giving way to variables.

Hot on the heels of this initial swell, early data shows the potential for the first category XL swell of the North Shore season: waves in the 18-20 foot range (wave face heights in excess of 30 feet). This swell, though still in the crystal ball stage, is slated for Sunday arrival, persisting into Monday. Again, winds could pose potential challenges.

The Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa has been a feature of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in recent years, boasting some of the largest waves contested during the Series.

Above 10 feet, it transforms into one of the most challenging waves on the North Shore with its neck-breaking rip-current, inside dredging “toilet bowl” section, and pitching take-off. It’s the kind of wave that suits power-house surfers like Hawaii trio Pancho Sullivan, Sunny Garcia and defending event champion Roy Powers, as well as defending Vans Triple Crown champion Bede Durbidge (Australia).

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Matthew McConaughey

Two surfers have pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor battery charges for allegedly throwing a photographer into the water as he tried to shoot pictures of Matthew McConaughey on the waves.

The surfers — Skylar Peak and Philip Hildebrand — are accused of confronting several paparazzi who showed up June 21 on a Malibu beach to take pictures and film the "Fool's Gold" and "Failure to Launch" star.

One of the photographers, Richid Altmbareckouhammou, told authorities he was attacked and his camera was thrown in the ocean by the surfers after they demanded he put his camera away.

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