Orca: the spot is yours | Photo: Michael Cunningham

It seems we're not alone in the lineup. New Zealand photographer Michael Cunningham has captured the extraordinary still of an orca enjoying a surfing session in Sandy Bay.

While it is common to watch her closest relatives hitting the waves, we had never saw an orca riding waves like this one. Cunningham was actually bodysurfing when the mammal dropped in on him.

The photographer of the Northern Advocate got out of the water and grabbed his camera to try to register the special moment. In less than one minute, the animal finished his surf training and swam off.

Orcas are mammals also known as killer whales and can be seen in all world oceans. They are highly social and still feature in the U.S. Endangered Species list.

Sunny Garcia: he clashed one legend

Sunny Garcia has conquered the Clash of the Legends, an event held during the 2010 Reef Hawaiian Pro. The homeboy defeated fellow surfers Mark Occhilupo (Australia), Tom Curren (Santa Barbara, CA. USA) and Tom Carroll (Australia).

"It was inconsistent and I knew I got lucky because I got three set waves and those guys didn't get any," said Garcia, of his 30-minute final. "After I got the first one I figured I didn't have anything to lose and I paddled them deep.

Garcia, 40, has already won six Triple Crown of Surfing events. He stormed it in 2004, 2000, 1999, 1994, 1993 and 1992. During this special contest, there was a real clash between surfers. An interference incident almost ended the party atmosphere.

"I thought it was going to be a mellow thing, and that first heat woke me up to the fact that those guys were hungry and they still want to win so it was anything goes. But it was an honor to surf against those guys."

Reef Clash of the Legends - Final results:

1. Sunny Garcia (HAW) 40.05
2. Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 36.46
3. Tom Curren (USA) 35.49
4. Tom Carroll (AUS) 28.11

Joel Parkinson: from injured to crowned

Joel Parkinson has returned in great shape to pro surfing contests by winning the Reef Hawaiian Pro, in Haleiwa. The Australian surfer, 29, recovered from a six-month injury and defeated Joel Centeio (HAW), Julian Wilson (AUS) and Heath Joske (AUS) to claim the first jewel of the Hawaii.

Parkinson was the only athlete to score a perfect 10, during the entire event.

"It has been a pretty up and down year emotionally," said Parkinson. "I cut my foot and I was out of action for six months, I didn't surf for three months and I didn't compete for six months. Then I had a baby son so we had some joy, and then Andy (Irons) passed. It's been one of those years with one good thing then one bad thing. The year is almost over, we'll get through it and I'm trying to make amends with all good things that can happen from here to December.

"Riding a wave is always one of those things that, no matter what happens in or around your life, you can still ride a wave and forget everything.

Joel Centeio, the defending champion, got the second place while Wilson took third and Joske fourth in the final heat.

Only 11 head-high waves were surfed but the first competition is done. Surfers now head to Sunset Beach, just seven miles from Haleiwa, for the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing.

Final of the Reef Hawaiian Pro:

1ST - Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.00; $20,000
2ND - Joel Centeio (HAW) 7.04; $10,000
3RD - Julian Wilson (AUS) 6.86; $5,100
4TH - Heath Joske (AUS) 3.14, $4,900