Ned Snow conquers the 2009 Yakult HP Pro in the ASP Longboard Qualifying Series 

Ned Snow (Waialua, HI), 23, won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) 1-Star Yakult HB Pro today over former ASP World Longboard Champion Colin McPhillips (San Clemente, CA), 34, in two-to-three foot surf at South Huntington Beach Pier. Cori Schumacher (Cardiff, CA), 32, took out her fellow finalists to claim the ASP LQS 2-Star Gidget PLA Pro, which ran in conjunction with the men's event.

Surfers competing on the ASP LQS are eligible to earn a spot on to the prestigious ASP World Longboard Tour by finishing within the top two on their regional tour by year's end. Once qualified, all surfers compete for the chance to be crowned ASP world Longboard Champion.

Snow proved to be unstoppable throughout the event's entirety and successfully tackled the tough afternoon conditions on offer at South Huntington Beach Pier to top McPhillips by a score of 13.67 to 10.66.

"Being able to surf in the man-on-man format really helped my mindset," Snow said. "Surfing against guys like McPhillips, I can just go out there and I feel like it's me against the ocean instead of battling a bunch of other guys. I'm really happy that I was able to come over here and get the win at Huntington since there is no U.S. Open for Longboarding this year."

McPhillips dominated his early round heats, but was unable to find a rhythm in the hard Final against Snow. The San Clemente local's second place finish at the Yakult HB Pro keeps him on top of the ASP North America LQS ratings.


2009 O'Neill Cold Water Classic in South Africa 

With an epic storm fast approaching, the surfers indulged in the clean, fast, heavy waves of this second day of competition at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic South Africa.

Back at Misty Cliffs, with a cleaner but similar size swell to yesterday, it was the 16 year old Hawaiian surfer John John Florence who had the crowds gathered on the cliffs above cheering loudly as he got a barrel on almost every wave he took off on.

His final ride, as he tucked into his last barrel of the day, earned him the highest wave score of the competition so far – a 9.6.

“It was good out there today,” said John John. “I was battling against Hedgy and saw this big wave come in at the end and just went for it.”

It was the final two waves of John John that nudged former World Tour surfer Nathan Hedge out of this third leg of the O’Neill Cold Water Series as the event moved into the round of 64.

“I don’t usually like when it is that close,” said John John on his battle with Nathan. “I usually get really nervous, but today it worked out ok.”

Nathan’s surprise exit as he battles through a back injury opens up the CWC Series ranking list and the chance of the $50,000 prize money that little bit more, as the Australian surfer had been sitting in fourth position following Tasmania and Scotland.

Another surprise from today’s competition was the departure of South African surf champion, Sean Holmes, who was knocked out by the local talent of Josh Salie.


O'Neill Cold Water Classic South Africa 

The quality of the first day of surfing reinforced this. The ride of the day came from Japanese surfer Yujiro Tsuji, who pulled into a 4 second tube ride that had looked to be impossible. The line of spectators gathered on the cliffs above, were cheering him on as he came up from the beach with the top score of the day of a 9.5.

The South African stars shone on this first day of their hometown event – and among them was O’Neill’s South African marketing manager and former WCT surfer Paul Canning.

“It was great to be in the water and look at the event and the cliffs from there,” said Paul. There’s definitely a lot less pressure when you are surfing your own event. I usually would get really stressed out before my heat but now it was just good to get in the water.”

Also among the South African talent was Grant Arendse. The 18 year old from False Bay here on the Cape Peninsula was one of eight surfers from the Surfing South Africa’s transformation and development program, who were granted wildcards by O’Neill into this 4-Star ASP WQS competition.

Although narrowly missing out on a spot in the round of 96, Grant was stoked to be part of the event. “Surfing is about having fun,” he said. Grant, who started surfing at the age of 10, has been involved in the program for the past six years. “It helps with coaching as well as all the equipment and travel which I wouldn’t be able to afford myself,” he said. “My level of surfing has improved so much. Even today it was just great to get in the water with some really good surfers and make them work a bit for their waves.”