- 30 March 2009 | Surfing
The solid two metre (6ft) waves of Bluffs Reef proved ideal for South African sensation Jordy Smith.(Durban) to win the O’Neill Cold Water Classic in Tasmania today.
World no.9 Smith defeated world no.5 Damien Hobgood with a total heat score of15.56 to13.17 (combined two wave total out of a possible 20) in the final of the 6 star World Qualifying Series (WQS) earning USD20000 and 2500 WQS points.
Both surfers known for their competitive prowess suffered slow starts in the 35 minute final. With ten minutes remaining Smith locked in a heat-high 8.73 to back up his earlier 6.83 for victory. Twenty-one year Smith’s free surfing approach key to his victory today with massive snaps and big aerial maneuvers all part of the young guns repertoire.
Smith a clear standout from his opening heat in the week long event overcame a class international field of 192 surfers to claim victory in the inaugural event held in the wild north-west of Tasmania.
Twenty-nine year-old Hobgood held an early lead with a 7.50 but could only lock in a 5.67 as his second scoring ride to be forced to settle for second place. Today’s result once again proving the nine-year world tour veteran is a proven ripper in solid waves despite hailing from the small wave location of Florida.
“I’ve had the greatest time here in Tasmania, it’s been just amazing with such powerful surf and fun people in this remote location” said Smith after his win.
“I always enjoy surfing waves that offer power and here in Tasmania every wave you surf is straight out of the deep southern waters and the power just makes for great surfing, I love it.”
Damien Hobgood was just as impressed with the wilds of North west Tasmania after placing second said “It’s been a special week for me here in Tasmania, so many great waves and just amazing people who have welcomed us here. It’s been an adventure for all of us and I’ve felt like a young kid all week!”
In the semi finals Smith used a lucky last wave to end the dream run of future world-beater Jadson Andre of Brazil. Twenty-one year Andre - who had earlier eliminated the tournaments top seed of world no.5 C J Hobgood – led for most of the 35-minute match-up until Smith locked in a last-minute 8.27 score to secure a finals berth. Andre eliminated by less than one point on 15.27 to Smith’s total heat tally of 16.10. Andre finished equal third overall claiming USD 5000 and 1875 WQS points.
- 30 March 2009 | Surfing
The world's best junior surfers hit the water today for the first round of competition at the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships. Unveiling the future of surfing to a full crowd on the beach, some of the most talented Under 18 and Under 16 Boys unleashed their full repertoire of maneuvers on the surf at Playa de las FAE in Salinas, Ecuador.
“We are pleased with the surf today, said ISA President Fernando Aguerre “The point was going off today, with some surfers getting at least 300 meters of open face on their waves. Even I got a few waves with a sunset session after the event.”
Running on double banks (two contest areas) event organizers were able to hold 24 heats of Under 18 Boys and 24 heats of Under 16 Boys. Past ISA Junior event champions Australia, Brazil and Hawaii were in stellar form, posting some of the highest scores of the day. Quiksilver Young Gun of Australia Garrett Parkes threw down a solid combined heat score of 16.50 points (out of 20) followed closely behind by Brazil's Ian Gouveia, son of former WCT Fabio Gouveia, who secured a 15.50.
But as the horn blew on the last heat of the day, it was clearly the French, often an underestimated threat, who showed that they are a force to be reckoned with. Starting off in the morning in less than an hour into the competition, Dimitri Ouvre came out of the gates firing with a 9.0 and an 8.73 for the highest combined score of the day. The rest of the French team fared well in the Under 18 division with all three of today's competing team members taking the top spot in their heats.
“The heat was fun, I love surfing good waves like this,” said Dimitri Ouvre. “I just focused on getting the best waves and tried to surf conservative. I think it is good to start a contest this way, I just want to focus on my own surfing and get to a final who knows maybe even win the Worlds.”
With fresh energy, new uniforms, tremendous talent and a really close team, USA dominated today, taking first place in all of their heats for both Under 18 and Under 16. USA team member Nat Young will take to the water tomorrow morning to close out Round One of Under 18 Boys.
All of the competitors showed tremendous heart and passion today giving it their all to avoid the repercharge rounds. There were some really close heats – most notably heat five's match-up between Brazilian, Ecuadorian and Chilean surfers. Brazil's Felipe Braz took an early lead with a 5.0 with Ecuador's David Villaroel answering back with a 4.77. At the end of the heat, Braz and Villaroel were tied at 8.87 with the win being given to Braz for having a higher single-wave score. Chile's Diego Maria finished third with an 8.40.
Another close race ensued between Canada and Costa Rica in heat 14, with both surfers fighting tooth and nail to avoid the repercharge rounds. In the end, Canada's Janek Peladeau took second to Medi Veminardi of France, while Costa Rican Maikol Torres finished third.
- 27 March 2009 | Surfing
It was a morning of falling stars as a host of surfing’s big names who had made their way to this remote corner of the world for the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Tasmania, had their stay surprisingly cut short.
American World Tour surfer, CJ Hobgood, big wave charger Mark Mathews, renowned talent, Cory Lopez, and Basque World Tour surfer, Aritz Aranburu were all knocked out of the round of 48 which took place in rough 4 foot seas at Nettles Bay in Marrawah.
If ever there has been a contest that has capitalised on its mobile format – this is it. The fourth day of competition following a lay day provided yet another new competition venue for the surfers on this northwest corner of Tasmania.
“I lingered at Bluff Reef this morning for a while,” said contest director Matt Wilson. “We wanted to give that wave every chance, but it just wasn’t consistent enough. It was a situation where it wasn’t big enough for the reef, but it was almost too big for the other locations.”
“We have six spots to chose from here on the Northwest coast,” said Matt. “There’s Bluff Reef, Bluff Beach, Kelpy’s, Lighthouse, Green’s and Nettle’s. I looked at them all. Nettles was the best of them.”
Although now out of the competition, Sydney surfer and the event’s ambassador, Mark Mathews has been loving his time in Tasmania. “I’ve never been to this part of the state before, so I’ve been loving exploring somewhere new,” he said. “Hopefully after this I’m going to be able to do the whole Cold Water Classic Series.”
Two surfers who managed to continue through to the round of 24 were South African surfing phenomenon Jordy Smith, as well as CJ’s brother Damien Hobgood, both winning their heats in convincing style.
“I was excited to come here,” said Damien. “I love surfing to be able to go and travel to new places. When we were up on the Goldie people started talking about how we would need a caravan down here – we started thinking what had we got ourselves into? But these people ended up moving out of their house to let us stay,” he said. “The people here are so incredibly friendly. It really makes a place.”