Tim O'Connor'

In testing 1 to 1.5m waves at Piha, Tim O'Connor (Mnt) methodically worked his way through a stella field to win the open mens final in an enduring 12 hour contest on Saturday (12th December). Organisers were keen to get the contest finished in one day and while the weather looked ominous to begin with, things improved and there were plenty of waves scored in the excellent range despite the ever changing tidal conditions.

Tim O'Connor saw off his opposing finalists with his clinical backhand snaps in the pocket followed up with some east coast reverse trickery on the inside. The judges were strict on ASP criteria and O'Connor took the title by being both radical and having variety in his moves.

Fellow Mount surfer, Alex Dive impressed all day with his speed and vertical attack everytime a critical section appeared. He claimed second in the Open after previously dispensing with all comers in the junior final. For Alex, it was hopefully a prequel for how he will want to perform at the 2010 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Championship that will also be held at Piha next month.

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Fergal Smith, the 2009 Irish Surfing champion

The Irish National Surfing Championships and the Irish Junior National Surfing Championships are to be replaced with a new format in 2010.

Next year’s National Champions will be crown from Championships Tours rather than from once off events.

The Irish Championships tour will comprise of four events in Portrush, Cork, Strandhill and Easkey and will include Open Surf, Women’s Surf, Open Bodyboard, Women’s Bodyboard, Longboard, Master (over 35), Senior (over 27) and SUP categories.

The Irish Junior Championships tour will comprise of four events in Lahinch, Tramore, Bundoran and Rossnowlagh and will include U18 Boys Surf, U18 Girls Surf, U16s Surf, U14s Surf, U18 Longboard, U18 Girls Bodyboard, U18 Boys Bodyboard and U16 Bodyboard categories.

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Huge waves have hit Hawaii during Christmas

Twenty fivefoot waves have hit the Hawaiian Islands, during Christmas.

Despite the dreadful weather, thousands of surfers enjoyed the huge swell and lifeguards had not an easy 25th December.

Also, it is reported that two-thirds of the sand of Sunset Beach was brought back, after being washed away days before.

More than 30 surf rescues were made, while surfers and bathers were warned to stay out of the water.

Yokohama Bay's high surf was closed, as well as Hookipa Beach Park on Maui.

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