Kelly Slater: he enjoys big wave riding

Kelly Slater might join the Big Wave World Tour (BWWT), as soon as he secures his 10th world surfing title. Spreading rumors over the internet indicate he has already confirmed he will be attending the event's initial ceremony.

The surfer from Cocoa Beach, Florida, is said to be interested in competing at the Mavericks Surf Contest, the third of five stops of the BWWT.

The waiting period of Mavericks is between November 1 and March 15. Well, Kelly might be crowned champion in between these dates.

The 2010/2011 Big Wave World Tour will run, at least five events: Punta de Lobos, Pico Alto, Nelscott Reef, Mavericks and Todos Santos.

Last time Kelly Slater competed at Mavericks was in the 90's. Nevertheless, he has a lot of experience in big wave riding - in 2002, he won the Quiksilver Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational.

Josh Kerr: he is everywhere

The Quiksilver Pro Portugal and Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) sanctioned Men’s Star Series event kicked off on day one of the official waiting period with 14 heats of Round One completed at the point break of Ribeira D’Ilhas is clean long peeling rights.

The swell was in the 2-3ft (1m) range with the occasional bigger set pushing down the point. With large tides at the moment a halt was called to proceedings and another afternoon session saw the level of performance surfing increase.

Josh Kerr (Gold Coast, AUS) 26, fresh from his victory last week in Canada arrived this morning at Ericeira and after a quick nap, ignited during his heat to score a massive two wave heat total of 18.53. On borrowed boards and feeling good to be back in the water, his opening 9.00 ride shook off any jetlag he may have been feeling and left him in a situation to relax and look for his back up scores.

“I flew over here from Canada and didn’t get a wink of sleep. During the break we had at high tide I had a sleep and then straight into it. I am still a bit dazed and confused but it was good to get into the water and feel water on my hands and feet instead of having boots on.”

With another excellent score and finishing off with a near perfect 9.53 out of 10 Kerr is on a roll and with the long right-hand point break so similar to his home on the Gold Coast will be hard to beat.

“It would definitely be good if I am there at the end with the other top seeds and we can have some really good heats going into the semis and final. That’s what I am here for is to try and make the final so see how it goes.”

“I’m stoked right now actually,” continued Kerr. “I was lucky the waves came to me in that heat and pretty much just had a free surf. I went out thinking of getting an early score and there were plenty of sets and no hassling because it was 4 wave sets and everyone was getting a piece of it.”

Hodei Collazo (Zarautz, EUK) 26, was one of the many standout surfers with a heat total of 16.84 out of 20 one of the highest of the day. With many years experience surfing the area under his belt Collazo got off the mark with a series of forehand snaps and carves to claim an 8.67 out of 10 then with another excellent scoring ride on his very next wave, his pass into the second round was assured.

“I got lucky out there today. Right at the beginning of my heat a big set came through on the outside and I got my 8.6 and then as I was paddling back out to the peak the other guys were too deep and I got a good one on the inside that was pretty strong. There are not many sets so I am very happy to make the heat.”

“I love it here because the waves are great and I have been coming here since I was a kid and competed here many times too. I enjoy it a lot surfing here.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the event Collazo knows that to do well here demands a surfer to be in top form and choose wisely his waves. On more than one occasion today the inclination to move further and further up the point proved fatal.

“It is going to be a hard event because there are so many good surfers here and this wave is so rippable and sometimes there are not many set waves so you can’t afford to make any mistakes and if you want to win here you have to surf the best of your ability and have some luck as well to get the best waves.”

Brandon Jackson (Durban, ZAF) 23, was another natural footer who had a dream start to his campaign scoring three excellent rides by laying down a combined series of power forehand smashes. Having only arrived late last night to Portugal Jackson used his water time to adjust to the conditions and in the process show a clean pair of heels to his opponents.

“That was my first surf here in Portugal and this morning I didn’t get in a free surf and just watched the other guys in the line-up but it felt good out there for me today. I am still getting used to the water after having just come back from Brazil but it is good to get through that first heat with a win.”

“The conditions are kind of amazing at the moment,” continued Jackson about the waves. “There is a light off-shore and a very good set up with really long waves when they come through. It is a bit inconsistent but if you pick the right ones you can get the scores.”

When getting off to such a strong start in an event Jackson knows that there is still a lot of work to be done and is surprised to find such a stacked field at the Quiksilver Pro Portugal.

“It is all about building momentum at a contest so it is nice to start off like that and hopefully just keep the ball rolling. I came here thinking there wouldn’t be too many competitors but it is a really strong field here so it is going to be a good event and really hard.”

All eyes were on current No. 15 on the ASP World Title rankings, Jeremy Flores (Capbreton/New Caledonia, FRA) 22, as he made his debut appearance in the opening heat of the Quiksilver Pro Portugal. In a relaxed battle Flores cruised through to the next round with a couple of solid scoring rides on the glassy early morning rights. Having had a break from surfing since his recent excellent third placing in Peniche, the 25-minutes spent getting back into rhythm were invaluable.

“It feels great to get through this first round especially after I haven’t surfed since my last heat in Peniche last week. I was feeling really bad out there and the wave was a little soft and with the off-shore winds made it hard. I should have had a least a few free surfs the last few days. It would have made me a lot more confident. (laughs)”

A major part of his heat win came down to his knowledge of the Ribeira D’Ilhas set up. Positioning and wave selection were the secrets to an easy advancement into the following round.

“The sets are good if you can take off from the inside but from the outside you cannot really make it so the medium and small ones can go along the reef. I’ve known this since I was about twelve years old and I have been screwed out there so many times waiting for the big one and never working out so my memory of the spot has helped out.”

Alan Stokes (Newquay, GBR) 29, came out on top of a stacked heat which sure the elimination of promising young Australian Davey Cathels in a tight finish that saw Stokes take the lead and Demitri Ouvre (FRA) take second place on the final siren.

“I knew Davey (Cathels) could surf good and he looked like he surfs points as well,” stated Stokes. “So I was just trying to ignore him and just stick to my own game plan. We didn’t have that many waves and I fell on my first one so I was kicking myself and that set me up for my next wave and I got a good score.”

Explaining his winning ride Stokes made the point that it is not as easy as it looks and that physical fitness plays an important role at Ribeira D’Ilhas.

“It probably looked quite good from the beach but when you are on them they really burn your legs. The first part of the wave you have to work hard and then the thing speeds up on the inside and you can actually do some good turns. Your legs start killing you so you are just holding on to do that last turn.”

Surfers competing in the Quiksilver Pro Portugal are out to claim valuable ASP World Ranking points in their endeavour to qualify for next year’s elite ASP World Tour. European surfers are on stop nº 10 of 12 in their bid to claim this year’s European Men’s Title which is currently being lead by Marc Lacomare (FRA).

Quiksilver Pro Portugal Round One Results
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.03, Chris Salisbury (AUS) 12.93, Thiago Guimaraes (BRA) 9.63, Aecio Flavio 7.73
Heat 2: Dede Suryana (IDN) 13.83, Francisco Alves (PRT) 8.33, Igor Munian (EUK) 0.00, Francisco Cruz 0.00
Heat 3: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 12.90, Romain Cloitre (FRA) 12.26, Chance Lawson (USA) 9.44, Robertson Goncalves (PRT) 6.34
Heat 4: Hodei Collazo (EUK) 16.84, Nic von Rupp (DEU) 13.96, Tyler Newton (USA) 13.83, Luis Eyre (GBR) 6.86
Heat 5: Justin Mujica (PRT) 12.50, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 9.20, Ryah Arthur (USA) 2.60, Ruben Gonzalez (PRT) ns
Heat 6: Adrien Toyon (REU) 14.17, Alexandre Ferreira (PRT) 11.50, Paulo Almeida (PRT) 6.86, Ruda Carvalho (BRA) ns
Heat 7: Abdel El Harim (MAR) 12.27, Charlie Brown (BRA) 9.40, Marcos San Segundo (EUK) 8.40, Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 7.46
Heat 8: Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 16.50, Frederic Robin (REU) 13.50, Gregory Weatherall (NZL) 6.86, Basile Belime (PRT) 5.10
Heat 9: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 14.17, Romain Laulhe (FRA) 12.34, Adrien Valero (FRA) 10.43, Joao Pinheiro 8.23
Heat 10: Eneko Acero (EUK) 14.67, Beto Mariano (BRA) 10.50, Alexander El Naib (DEU) 2.33, Goncalo Paula 2.00
Heat 11: Alan Stokes (GBR) 12.43, Demitri Ouvre (FRA) 11.17, Davey Cathels (AUS) 9.04, Jules Thomet 9.03
Heat 12: Pablo Paulino (BRA) 14.50, Joao Antunes (PRT) 12.90, Nuno Silva (PRT) 9.40, Omer Bar (ISR) 7.13
Heat 13: Josh Kerr (AUS) 18.53, Noboyuki Osawa (JPN) 11.83, Medi Veminardi (REU) 11.00, Joackim Petersen Guichard (NOR) 10.14
Heat 14: Klee Strachan (ZAF) 13.37, Marlon Lipke (DEU) 12.76, Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA) 12.57, Simon Marchand (FRA) 12.50

Gordon Fontaine: he will be the king of his college

Glorious sunshine bathed the 2010 BUCS Surf Championships at Fistral Beach, Newquay, which were once again a resounding success. The competition is now thought to be the biggest surfing competition in the world with over 350 student surfers from institutions all over the UK taking part over three days.

Great waves were on offer on the first day of the competition, with all surfers taking to the water for the first round of heats. Defending Champion and favourite, Gordon Fontaine of Bournemouth University wowed the thousands watching with some spectacular skills, including a frontside carving 360 manoeuvre.

Saturday saw blue skies and an estimated crowd of over two thousand spectators watched the second round of heats as the competition started to get serious, with skilful displays from a range of competitors in the men’s and women’s competition.

Sunday morning saw the men’s and women’s semi-finals. Challenging conditions ensued with small waves on offer, meaning competitors had to bide their time and make it count when a decent set of waves came in.

Bournemouth Universities’ Gordon Fontaine once again took home the men’s title after beating off a fierce challenge from Falmouth’s Billy Norways in the final, whilst in the women’s competition Swansea Universities Gwen Spurlock held off Holly Donnelly from Plymouth to win the women’s trophy.

In the team events, Falmouth reigned supreme in the men’s contest, with Exeter taking the Women’s team championship.

The BUCS Championships, in their third year under the current format, were supported by Red Bull, Kukri Sportswear and Ticket to Ride worldwide Surfing Adventures.

BUCS Surfing Sports Manager Ed Curran said “The 2010 BUCS Surf Championships were outstanding once again, with some inspirational displays of skill from the finalists, and all surfers who took part thoroughly enjoying the event. Thanks to our partners; the British Surf Association, Ticket to Ride, Kukri, Red Bull and Outgoing for coming together to help deliver what is now the biggest surf competition in the world. We intend to grow the event further in 2011, as it is a truly special weekend of University Sport.”

Joanne Hillman from the British Surfing Association told us “this event is one of the highlights of the British Competition calendar. It gives surfers of varying abilities, the opportunity to compete against some of the best surfers in the country. The crowds that came from all over the country, to support their team mates brought an amazing atmosphere to Fistral this weekend, and next year could be even bigger and better!”

Results:

Men’s Individual

1st place – Gordon Fontaine – Bournemouth University
2nd place – Billy Norways – Falmouth University
3rd place - Rob Webster-Blythe – Cardiff University
4th place - Jonathon Waugh – Plymouth University

Women’s Individual

1st place – Gwen Spurlock – Swansea University
2nd place – Holly Donnelly – Plymouth University
3rd place – Ester Lempriere – Exeter University
4th place – Jaydene Kerton – Bangor University

Men’s Teams

1st place – Falmouth University
2nd place – Cardiff University
3rd place – Plymouth University

Women’s Teams

1st place – Exeter University
2nd place – Plymouth University
3rd place – Swansea University

Source: BritSurf