Kelly Slater beats Bernardo Miranda in the 2009 Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro 

The elimination Round 2 of the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro was completed today, with the world’s best surfers tearing into the four-to-six foot (2 metre) waves on offer at Praia Vila.

Event No. 4 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro enjoyed sunnier weather and marginally better manageable ocean conditions for Round 2, allowing for some electrifying performances.

Jordy Smith (ZAF), 21, former ASP World Junior Champion (2006) and current ASP World No. 6, was devastating this morning during his Round 2 bout against Ben Bourgeois (USA), 30. Building momentum throughout the heat, Smith exploded with the day’s highest single-wave score of a 9.00 out of a possible 10 for a barrage of fully committed power turns on his forehand.

“It’s still pretty tough out there and it’s difficult to find a spot to line up,” Smith said. “There are some pretty good waves coming through the bowl though and if you can get on them, you can open up a bit. I just got lucky with my wave ion and was able to put up a couple of scores.”

Long-touted as one of the most progressive surfers on the planet, Smith struggled during his rookie season on the ASP Dream Tour, finishing 26th in 2008. Since then, the South African has re-ignited through the opening events this year, collecting two ninths and a third en route to his current ASP World No. 6 rating.


Kelly Slater drops to elimination round 2 in the 2009 Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro 

Day 2 of the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro, Stop No. 4 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, has awoken to another morning of clean four-to-six foot (2 metre) waves on offer at Praia Vila, prompting event organizers to call the elimination Round 2 on starting at 8am.

“We have similar conditions to yesterday in terms of swell but the sun is shining and the conditions are projected to be a bit cleaner today,” Perry Hatchett, ASP Head Judge said. “We’ll be starting Round 2 at 8am and looking to complete the round by day’s end.”

Yesterday’s Round 1 saw current ASP World Tour ratings’ frontrunners Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, and Taj Burrow (AUS), 31, all smash their way to victories as well as upsets by Tim Reyes (USA), 27, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), 23, and Chris Davidson (AUS), 32.

Kelly Slater (USA), 37, reigning nine-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 25, was relegated to the elimination Round 2 yesterday by the Californian Reyes. After three consecutive 17th place finishes this season, Slater will look to get past wildcard Bernardo Miranda (BRA) in today’s Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro Round 2 action.

When Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro competition recommences, first up will be former ASP World Champion (2001) and current ASP World No. 4 C.J. Hobgood (USA), 29, battling wildcard Guilherme Ferreira (BRA) in Heat 1 of Round 2.


Jeff Clark

“Over the past several years, it has been obvious that my vision and priorities are not in line with those of Mavericks Surf Ventures. I have had in the past, and continue to have, strong differences of opinion with the present CEO and Board about the direction, image and priorities of the company and the contest.

“The press release issued by Mavericks Surf Ventures this week stating that I ‘stepped down’ and I am ‘passing the torch to the next generation’ is wrong. The reality is that I was ousted as Contest Director by the current CEO.

“I must also note that, while the company’s news release states that this year’s contest will be held to celebrate ‘the 35th anniversary of Jeff Clark’s first session at the now world-famous break,’ the 35th anniversary is actually next season, in 2010-11. I will not allow the company to use my accomplishment as a marketing tactic.

“Effective today, I have resigned from the Board of Directors of Mavericks Surf Ventures.

“My vision for the Mavericks Surf Contest has been unwavering: it is about the family of big wave surfers, the spirit of the ocean, and this amazing wave. I never wanted that to be compromised for the sake of money or marketing opportunities. I think that focus is obvious to anyone who knows me or who has seen my priorities over the years.

“Mavericks has been an integral part of my personal and professional life for more than 30 years, and I hope that it continues to be a part of both in the future.