Jamie O'Brien

An international cast of surfers were literally on “Cloud 9” today with Typhoon Lupit whipping up epic 1.5-2 metre (6ft plus) waves for the opening day of the Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational at Siargao Island in the Philippines.

Cloud 9 lived up to its hype, serving up a smorgasbord of hollow, tubing waves, as contest organisers opted to run round one heats before completing four sudden-death round two heats to close out the day.

Excellent scores were the norm as surfers from Australia, Bali, Japan, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Africa and the Philippines pushed their tube riding skills to the limit, weaving deep through the bellies of cavernous waves in the tussle for important round three berths. 

Hawaiian hotshot Jamie O’Brien fired a warning shot to his fellow rivals by switch footing his way through a Cloud 9 keg to post the event’s first perfect 10-point ride.

The former pipeline master, who arrived at the out-of-the-way break only a few hours before his opening round heat, showed no signs of jetlag, netting a combined two-wave total of 17.80 to easily beat Australian Cahill Bell Warren (9.83 – Jan Juc, Victoria) and local Philippines surfer Rodolfo Alcala (3.10) in a one-sided affair.

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Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal

Round 1 of the Rip Curl Pro Search is set to commence this morning at 9:30am, with surfers doing battle in the wedging two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves on offer at the backup site of Molhe Leste.

Event No. 9 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Search has endured three, consecutive lay days, and monstrous surf and storms that destroyed the event structure at the primary site of Supertubos, before reaching this morning’s clean conditions at Mohle Leste (in the northern corner of the Supertubos beach).

“We’ll be getting underway this morning at 9:30am at Molhe Leste,” Damien Hardman, Rip Curl Pro Search Contest Director, said. “We’re expecting conditions to improve throughout the day and are looking to run all of Round 1.”

The Rip Curl Pro Search event has elected to activate the new competition format, featuring elimination, man-on-man heats from the outset.

Up first this morning will be Tim Boal (FRA), 26, against Jihad Khodr (BRA), 25, in the opening heat of the Rip Curl Pro Search event.

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BUCS Surf Championships

The BUCS Surfing Championships, in association with Ticket To Ride Worldwide Surfing Adventures, had an incredible 340 surfers compete over three days at Fistral Beach, Cornwall last weekend (16 – 18 October 2009). 

British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) who runs the competition for student surfers partnered with surf adventure company Ticket To Ride, south west legacy trust RELAYS, University College Falmouth, Outgoing.co.uk and the British Surfing Association to offer a weekend of professional surfing and surf culture for competitors and spectators.

The Championships included men’s and women’s individual and team competitions. Swansea University’s women’s team retained its team title and UCP Marjon took the men’s team Championships.

Mark Brian, Head of Sports Programmes at BUCS said: “The BUCS Surfing Championships kicked off the sporting season for BUCS and this year’s event exceeded all our expectations. We had a record number of entries for the event and thanks to smooth organisation from the British Surfing Association we were able to get 340 surfers in the water over the three days.

“Conditions were perfect with great waves and clear weather really enhancing the surf festival atmosphere for the 750 spectators who came out to watch our best student surfers in Cornwall this year.”

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