Glen Pringle: an Australian with a garanteed medal

Ten medalists of the Panama ISA World Masters Surfing Championship were defined today in clean and perfect 5 to 7 foot waves. Tomorrow, Australia, South Africa and Brazil will fight neck to neck for the Masters Title as they enter the last day of the event with a tight points distance.

With one day to go the, the fight for the World Title is really tight in the top three spots:

1: Australia – 12550
2: South Africa – 11840
3: Brazil – 11304

Each division has six surfers remaining, two of them already in the big final and the other four in the repercharge decisive heat. Out of the 107 surfers that started the competition, five of the remaining 30 will be crowned World Champion and a nation will win the gold in the overall team standings.

The Main Event of the Masters division saw Andrew Banks (RSA) and Juan Ashton (PUR) as the only surfers who were able to get a spot in the podium without losing a heat in the entire event. Banks scored 17.16 (7.83 + 9.33) to move in first place.

“I am extremely relieved because I did not want to get relegated to repercharge,” said Banks. “In 2008, in Peru I made it all the way to the final of the repercharge and unfortunately got knocked out in that heat. I am happy to be in the finals in Panama.”

On the Masters repercharge rounds, Dean Hall (AUS), Carlos Santos (BRA), Victor Ribas (BRA) and Brett Bannister (AUS) will fight for the two available spots left in the podium.

Among the Grand Masters, Glen Pringle (AUS) and Juan Ashton (PUR) placed first and second respectively in the winners bracket final. With this result (making two finals in the same event), Ahston wrote his name into the history books of surfing by assuring himself four medals in three editions of the event. Two of those are golden and tomorrow we will know what the other two are.

Ashton said, “The victory in the Masters and Grand Masters divisions are both equally important. I want to defend my title, but also it is very interesting to win another division. I will try to win both surfing the best I can, since I would love to go back home with two gold medals.”

Chris Brooks (AUS), Ricardo Villanueva (PUR), Fabio Gouveia (BRA) and Andre Malherbe (RSA) are the remaining surfers in the repercharge of the division, two of them will make the podium.

David Malherbe (RSA) and Sergio Penna (BRA) made it to the final of the Kahunas division. Penna scored 16.77 (9.10 + 7.67) to win the main event final heat, he said, “I am so happy to be in the final. This wave is amazing, is way different from the ones in Brazil. I think I was smart in my wave selection, its been a while since I do not get a score like that, hope to keep it like this during the final.”

In a last attempt to win a medal in the Kahunas division, defending world champion Marc Wright (RSA), Martín Jerí (PER), Rod Baldwin (AUS) and Craig Scheiber (CRC), will compete tomorrow in the repercharge final.

The Women Masters division saw defending world champion Heather Clark (RSA) doing the best performance of the event so far. Using her strong backside to score the highest single wave (9.77) and combined score (19.10) of the entire tournament. She will share the podium with Patricia Rossi (TAH), who placed second in the main event final heat.

“My coach told me that I needed to go out there and just have fun, so that is what I did and it worked well,” said Clark. “There was a bit of hassling out there, I guess that everybody wants to win really bad and the competition gets exciting.”

Andrea Lopes (BRA), Rocío Larrañaga (PER), Sandra English (AUS) and Sonia García (PAN) will battle in the final of the repercharge for the remaining two spots in the podium.

Local star and Santa Catalina pioneer, Kenny Myers won his main event heat and is now in the final with defending world champion, Chris Knutsen from South Africa. Javier Huarcaya (PER), Thierry Samsoube (FRA), Neil Cameron (AUS) and Javier Gorbea (PUR) will be competing for the last two spots in the division’s grand final.

Tomorrow, Saturday, September 4, history will be written again. Santa Catalina will see the new World Masters Surfing Championship. 

The countries standings after six days of competition, is the following:

Andy Irons: massive result!

A very focused and quiet surfing gave Andy Irons the 2010 Billabong Pro Tahiti title against CJ Hobgood, in 2-3 foot windy and shy Teahupoo, despite two early wipe outs for both competitors. Irons has completed his goal of winning, at least, a contest until he leaves professional surfing.

The fifth event of the 2010 ASP World Tour is a key stop for the world surfing championship. Watch the final highlights.

“I feel like I’m back,” Irons said. “I have to thank ASP for giving me the wildcard back here. My whole dream was to come back and just win one contest, and I’ve done that now. I want more. And to win at Teahupoo, it’s my favourite wave in the world. It’s a very special win.”

Jordy Smith was forced to an early exit and Kelly Slater clinched absolute relevant points in order to get his long waited 10th crown. He is now in the 2nd place of the rankings.

In the "Clash of the Modern Icons", Kelly Slater and Andy Irons fought a classic battle. It was a tense and intense 12th encounter of the two Americans and Irons was pretty happy to get through to the final. He's back to the top surfing performances.

The 12-day waiting period of the 2010 Billabong Pro Tahiti was full of emotions.

The next decisions will be made in Trestles, at the Hurley Pro.

Final of the 2010 Billabong Pro Tahiti:

Andy Irons 14.67
CJ Hobgood  8.33

Hurricane Earl: the direction of the beast for the next hours

Surfers are checking out the wave conditions throughout the East Coast of USA, as the Hurricane Earl approaches the shore line.

High wave and pounding surf will be expected in many Florida beaches. In Cocoa Beach, for example, surfers are trying to match the tide with the swell. Winds may reach 170 km/h.

Lifeguards had already a lot work. Swimmers and surfers have been rescued.

Also, in Jacksonville Beach, the waves are pretty consistent and the pier is packed with populars and watermen.

The Hurricane Earl is offering long rides and power sets. Please, do not go hit the surf alone or if you have not enough experience.

Check the wave height forecast for the East Coast of USA.