UK Pro Surf Tour 

The 2009 UK Pro Surf Tour is back, the first event scheduled over the Whitsun Bank holiday weekend, the Saltrock Open comes to Croyde Beach, and if the past events are anything to go by, we could be in for a treat.

The long Whitsun weekend of the 23rd / 24th / 25th May is later in the year for the event and therefore open to more surfers as they return from their winter training.

We will see surfers of all ages and abilities travel to Devon’s most celebrated break, possibly one of the best Beach Breaks in the country, to take part in what has traditionally become one of the most important stops on the tour.  This first tour pit-stop has grown in stature over the years thanks to epic conditions and some heroic performances from the best surfers in the country. 

Saltrock remain proud sponsors of this prominent leg of the tour, which will feature 4 main categories: Men’s Open, Pro-Juniors, Women’s Open and the Groms Tour. The Groms Tour includes 3 categories of its own; an Under-12s Open, an Under-16 Boys and Under-16 Girls.  Saltrock are keen to maintain their support of young surfers and invest in the future of British surfing.

Saltrock has been a prominent part of the North Devon surfing community for over 20 years, and is again proud to be hosting a showcase event in their spiritual home of Croyde.  This event will be the first of a nine event tour which spans the UK and Northern Ireland.
 
Last year there were many highlights and fantastic displays of contemporary surfing. With surf conditions varying from to two to four feet, the eventual winner of the Open was Mark Harris who narrowly defeated Matt Capel on a count-back. In the Women’s division it was Nicole Morgan who set the standard for the rest of the year, by taking out this event and then going on to win the tour title, only losing one heat in the process.

Relentless Energy drink will also be supporting the event giving £250 for the best Aerial of the contest and providing plenty of refreshment to keep the surfers going.

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Philippa Anderson 

Merewether local Phillippa Anderson has become the first ever local surfer to win a final at Newcastle’s 24th annual Surfest competition.
 
The 17-year-old smashed a 23-year hoodoo that has never seen a local surfer win a main event at Newcastle when she edged out Sunshine Coast surfer Dimity Stoyle (Maroochydore) by less than one-and-a-half points.
 
In clean, one-metre waves at Merewether beach, the St Phillips Waratah High School student racked up a heat score of 15.10 to Stoyle’s 13.85 to have her name etched on the Maitland Toyota Open trophy.
 
Anderson, who came through the junior ranks of the Hunter Water Stars of the Future program at the Newcastle contest, will soon use her $US2500 prize money to buy a car.
 
And while she is yet to earn her P plates that will allow her to drive unaccompanied, she proved to the massive crowd of more than 5000 that she is no learner in the water.
 
The former Port Elizabeth, South African resident moved to Newcastle five years ago and has been a regular in the Merewether line-up ever since her arrival.
 
Today her knowledge of the Merewether break gave her confidence and assured her win.
 
“I was just sitting out the back going ‘please God don’t let her get a wave’ and she got one,” said Anderson.
 
“I saw her first big turn and I was like ‘no!’ but she didn’t get the score and I was just so stoked.”
 
“This is the biggest win for me ever and to top it off here at Merewether in front of my family is just so good.
 
“It’s such a great honour to have my name on the winner’s board - it’s just so good,” said Anderson.
 
And in the tightest men’s final at Newcastle for many years, former ASP Dream Tour surfer Travis Logie (17.50) defeated current ASP Dream Tour surfer Drew Courtney (16.45) from Umina on the New South Wales Central Coast.

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Chelsea Williams 

With perfect 1.25m surf pouring through the idyllic point breaks at Noosa Heads today,  USA surfer Taylor Jensen (San Diego) and Australia’s Chelsea Williams (Tweed Heads/NSW) have won high scoring finals of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) events, the Golden Breed Pro and Banana Boat Women’s Pro.

It was Taylor Jensen’s first final at Noosa despite travelling to this event for the past five years and the former three time USA Longboard Champion won the final in convincing fashion posting three outstanding 9 point plus rides , finishing on a final score tally on his top two rides of 18.70  to Australia’s Josh Constable on 17.15 (out of a possible 20).

“ The waves out there today were unbelievable, just about as good as it possibly gets for surfing longboards and I pretty much knew before the final started that the winner would need to score a pair of 9 point plus rides – With waves like these that peel so perfect the scope to score big is just endless and it worked out perfectly for me today” said Jensen after his 30 minute final.

“I’ve had plenty of great battles with Constable over the years  and he beat me in the semi finals of the 2006 ASP World Titles which he went on and won so I feel I have just got one back on him today.”

Constable did all he could to chase down Jensen’s lead in the final and at the half way stage was in contention when he scored an excellent 8.5 ride but shortly after Jensen delivered a 9.6 ride and the chase was as good as over with all three opponents chasing a combination of two scoring rides to catch Jensen’s 18.70 tally.

“ Taylor has been the form surfer all week and he deserved today’s win” said Constable.

“I’m stoked to have made the final and placed second – The last six weeks I’ve spent recovering from pneumonia so I am pleased with my result, it’s early in the year and getting a good result here sets me up for a good year ahead.”

Today’s Banana Boat final was just as exciting with Chelsea Williams displaying enormous competitive spirit requiring a 9.3 ride late in the final and posting a 9.5 ride to take the lead with five minutes remaining.

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