Mark Mathews

There are waves on the fringe of existence that defy both logic and imagination. They break where the land is uninhabitable, where the elements are threatening, beautiful, raw and brutal.

Where deep sea swells rear on underwater cliffs then fold in mighty explosions that shake the earth for miles, these are the very waves that Mark Mathews lives to surf.

It gives O’Neill great pleasure to announce Mark as the latest addition to the global team. For years Mathews has been one of Australia’s premiere monster slab (i.e.: a huge barreling cavernous tubing wave) riding lunatics.

When weather maps turn purple, odds are he’s already booked flights to the centre of the storm, be it off the bitter Southern Coast of Tasmania or a chunk of reef 30 kilometers out to sea off Western Australia. Hs courage knows no boundaries. To surf the waves he loves is to risk life itself and requires the best possible equipment.

Says O’Neill Ambassador and Asia Pacific Marketing Manager, Rob Bain, “I feel proud to have Mark on the team because I believe he epitomizes the core essence of the real surfer. His quest to surf big gnarly barrels, has him drop everything at any time regardless of the consequences, and to me that is what surfing is really about.”

For his part, Mathews believes the relationship was inevitable. “I’m stoked to be part of the O’Neill family,” he said. “Their basic philosophy towards surfing is to be the first people in the water and last out of it on any given day. For me to be representing a brand whose primary focus has always been to give people maximum time in the water, it makes perfect sense. That’s basically what I live for, to be out there all the time so that I never miss the biggest and best waves that come through.”

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World Surfing Games 

Despite a smaller swell the action was frenetic and emotions ran high on the third day of the ISA World Surfing Games with the repercharge heats along with the Open Men’s qualifiers hitting the water. It was also the turn of the Women to show what they’re capable of in the Main Event round one and two.

It was a sunny day that started with a really low tide, which negatively affected the shape of the waves. As the tide came in, conditions improved and reached the four foot mark.

There was plenty of action in the 45 heats that were held and history was written again in Portugal. The new generation conquered the old as the surfer of the day and current ISA World Junior Champion Tamaroa McComb 16 (TAH) was the standout. The shining star among the women was Australian Sally Fitzgibbons, 17, who is a former ISA World Junior Champion. Costa Rican surfers were once again the talk of the beach and, with the first round of the repercharge completed, some surfers said goodbye to the contest in the “all or nothing” round. 

With 16, scoring more than 18
Tamaroa McComb was crowned ISA World Junior Champion in the Under 16 division five months ago on the French coast, and his great talent saw him included in the frontline of the Tahitian Surfing Team at the ISA World Surfing Games, this time as an Open surfer. The gamble of selecting the 16 year old has paid off, after he posted an 18.17 heat score in the third round.

The characteristic power and flow of the young Polynesian is evident with his top to bottom radical and varied moves. In his best two rides, he scored 9.17 and 9.00 to beat ASP World Tour surfer, Ben Bourgeois from United States into second place. ~

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World Surfing Games 

The ISA World Surfing Games day two was held today in consistent 3 to 5 foot waves at Marcelino and CDS beaches, in sunny Costa de Caparica. The best Open Men's made their way into the third round of the main event, sending the rest to the "do or die" repercharge.

Since this is the highest point-rewarding division for each team, all the nations applauded every single wave that was surfed. The flags of the world moved from one podium to another; bringing the Olympic spirit to the Portuguese coast once again.

The surfer of the day
USA team member, Ben Bourgeois, WCT surfer and 1996 World Junior Champ, was the surfer of the day, scoring 17.83 and 18.17 in his first and second round heats respectively achieving an amazing 90% points average.

The great wave selection, smooth-style surfing and powerful moves gave Bourgeois the first place in both heats. "This is a lucky day!" Bourgeois said, "I'm feeling good, I'm having fun, the waves are coming to me! Its always good to be part of the US Team, luckily we have a break between the WCT events right now, so I can be here in this great contest".

He will now join countrymen Nat Young, Dillon Perillo and CJ Hobgood, who also surfed well, in the third round.

The Mexican dark horse causes the upset of the day
Australian Dayyan Neve, one four WCT surfers in this event, faced a highly motivated Diego Cadena of Mexico in the second round of the Main Event.

Neve started the contest well, scoring the highest combined score of the Open division so far (18.67), comprising a perfect 10 and an excellent 8.67. He was really confident, until he faced Mexican star, Diego Cadena and Simon Merchand of France.

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