Tiago Pires

The Billabong Pro Mundaka, Event No. 8 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, completed the opening eight heats of Round 1 today in clean three-to-four foot (1 metre) waves at the primary venue.

Opting to run the man-on-man elimination Round 1 format, the Billabong Pro Mundaka played witness to some incredible drama today, with surfers fighting for both requalification and solid footing on the ASP World Tour ratings.

Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), 24, former ASP World Junior Champion (2005) and 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie, was the standout on Day 1 of competition, netting the high heat total of a 15.80 out of a possible 20 for a barrage of backhand turns, eliminating wildcard Hodei Collazo (EUK).

“Hodei (Collazo) is really dangerous,” Bacalso said. “I know the mindset of the wildcard, and when I used to be one, all I wanted to do was shatter dreams. This is his home spot and to be honest, I was really scared going into this heat. Hodei got the one at the start, then I got one, then I had to wait until the end to pick up my second score. Stoked I did though and avoided the go-home elimination Round 1.”

Currently ranked No. 19 on the ASP World Tour ratings, Bacalso currently leads the charge in the hunt for 2009 ASP World Tour Rookie of the Year, and will look to consolidate in the remaining three events this season.

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Earth Wave South Africa

More than 100 surfers rode a wave at the Earthwave beach festival in Muizenberg, Cape Town on Sunday to break the Guinness World Record for the ‘most surfers riding the same wave’.

“We estimated that there were more than 120 surfers on the fifth of the seven waves surfed at Muizenberg during Earthwave,’ said Paul Botha of Kahuna Promotions, the founders of the event that leverages the publicity generated by the world record attempt to promote awareness of climate change and sustainable lifestyles.

“However, the photographic evidence we have so far shows that there were 103 on the same wave, which is enough to overtake the record of 100 set by Earthwave Brazil in Santos last year,” Botha added. “We are still waiting for more images and video footage that we will submit to the Guinness World Record organisation in London to have the record ratified.”

In ideal sunshine conditions, a light offshore breeze and small 0.5 to one metre waves, a total of 443 surfers of all ages and abilities registered to try and bring the record back to Cape Town after Brazil had exceeded the 73 on one wave set at Muizenberg in 2006.

Five times the number in the water lined the beachfront cheering every attempt and urging their champions on as they rode the waves for five seconds before being counted, taking part in a host of fun-filled activities and fund-raising initiatives.

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Mick Fanning

Round 1 of the Billabong Pro Mundaka has been called ON this morning with clean three-to-four foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves on offer at world-class lefthander.

Event No. 8 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Mundaka will be activating the new competition format, featuring man-on-man elimination heats from the outset, with Round 1 commencing at 9:15am.

“We’ve got some really fun, consistent three-foot surf here this morning at Mundaka and we’ll be starting at 9:15am,” Mike Parsons, Billabong Pro Mundaka Contest Director, said. “We’ll be running the new format and we’re monitoring conditions right now to determine if it’s worth running dual-heat format.”

The Billabong Pro Mundaka’s elimination Round 1 features some incredible match-ups, kicking off with Roy Powers (HAW), 28, against Jihad Khodr (BRA), 25.

The event will be web LIVE via http://www.billabongpro.com/mundaka09/

The Billabong Pro Mundaka will host the world’s best surfers from October 5 through 17, 2009.

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