Ben Skinner

High drama in the Maldives today as several ASP World Longboard World Title contenders were knocked out while others advanced through Round 2 of the ASP Oxbow World Longboard Tour event in Maldives, completed in good 1.25 meter (3 to 4 feet) surf.

Defending ASP World Longboard Champion, Bonga Perkins (HAW), saw his title defence disappear as a rampaging Ben Skinner (UK) out-manoeuvred and out-surfed the champ.

“Bonga (Perkins) is a legend of our sport and I have absolute respect for the guy but I went in confident of winning today,” Skinner said. “I have defeated him recently and out here I feel really well suited to this wave so I knew I could do it. With five minutes remaining, Bonga required a 7.25 to defeat me and while I held priority for the next wave I knew Bonga could score a 9 point ride easily, I simply focused on holding my position and making certain if a great wave came I was on it and not Bonga – It was the longest 5 minutes of my life and fortunately I won!”

Current ASP World Longboard Tour ratings’ leader Harley Ingelby kept his 2009 ASP World Longboard Title hopes firmly alive today, taking a solid win over fellow Australian Jared Neal.

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Mick Fanning

Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, former ASP World Champion (2007) and current ASP World No. 1, has claimed the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Search at Supertubos in Portugal, defeating fellow Finalist Bede Durbidge (AUS), 26, and cementing his lead in the now two-horse race for the 2009 ASP World Title.

Event No. 9 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Search ran a gamut of conditions and venues ranging from two-foot righthand wedges at Molhe Leste, four-foot offshore lefthanders at Lagido, punchy four-foot peaks at Belgas and death-defying six-to-eight foot barrels at Supertubos yesterday before culminating a dramatic end to competition.

Fanning, who won the inaugural Rip Curl Pro Search at Reunion Island (2005) and was a standout in yesterday’s massive barrels, readjusted to today’s smaller conditions and was dominant in his Final against Durbidge. With conditions deteriorating, Fanning lacerated the punchy wedges on his forehand to net a solid 6.67 and a 6.00 that would prove unbeatable for his opponent.

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Reubyn Ash

The ‘AXL / DOH Pro, this year will be sponsored by Billabong, Santa Cruz, The Realm, Sanuk and Carve Eyewear  With the talent pool of surfers that now compete on the UK Pro Surf Tour the event promises to be bigger and better than previous years. It will be held 31st October to 1st November at Rest Bay Porthcawl. The 6th of 7 UK Pro Tour (UKPST) competitions being held this year.

This is the ninth year the tour has come to Wales, the third time at Porthcawl. Previous years the event has been held at Freshwater Beach in Pembrokeshire and prior to that it has been hosted at Langland Bay and Llanglennith Beach.  This venue offers a fantastic challenge for the surfers, who at this time of year will see some of the best swell coming in from the Atlantic Ocean.

It will attract the top surfers from all over the country including some top international competitors. These include 2008 champion, WQS / WCT Surfer Russell Winter (Newquay), 2008 Tour Champion Ruebin Pearce (S Africa) and the surfer who is pushing the boundaries of contemporary surfing in the UK, Reubyn Ash (Bude) plus many more. They will be joined by the best Welsh surfers around which include: Nathan Phillips (Llantwit), Nick Reid (Swansea) and top local surfer Greg Owen (former Welsh Champion).

Hoping to encourage the development of the sport in Wales the event will also include an Under 16 Boys division.  It will feature future stars of surfing from around the UK, but one of the favourites must be local surfer Max Tucker (Porthcawl) whose knowledge of conditions will give him the edge.

Dave Reed, Director of the UKPST states ”It is great to be going to Porthcawl, we know the venue can get great waves. I would like to thank local company Double Overhead and the surf brands they support for backing this event and securing its future in Porthcawl. At a time when the recession is biting hard it is extremely difficult to put your hand in your pocket, but they are coming forward to support a fantastic sport we all love” adding “There are many talented Welsh surfers that will now have the opportunity to compete at the highest level in Wales”.

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