David Vlug 

David Vlug (Narrabeen, NSW) claimed the opening qualifier Red Bull Junior Surf Masters event of 2009 today, with a commanding performance at Curl Curl.

After a boom inaugural year in 2008, the Red Bull Junior Surf Masters heralded it’s return, back and bigger than ever, with some cracking performances by the Northern Beaches best.

Endorsed by 2007 ASP World Tour Champion Mick Fanning, today it was Vlug who took the spoils of victory. “I’m so stoked with the win,” Vlug said after reveling in the tricky conditions.

Highlighted by rain squalls, heavy gusts and on-shore winds, the day resembled a nightmare on land, but with the best juniors on the Northern Beaches tearing the shifting peaks apart, the crowd was treated to some blistering action in the water.

“The conditions were definitely tough, but they were tough for everyone so there was no advantage out there,” he added modestly, after taking the final with a combined heat total of 7.64 (out of a possible 20).

Defeating Cooper Chapman (North Narrabeen, NSW), Blake Levett (Manly, NSW) and James Lange (Avalon, NSW), who finished second, third and fourth respectively, Vlug was the standout competitor throughout the event.

Racking up the two highest combined heat totals, a 14.26 and 16.24 (out of a possible 20) in the semi-final and quarter final, Vlug was a deserved champion.

“I felt super confident going into the event,” he said with the winner’s medal draped around his neck.

“Having made the Red Bull Junior Surf Masters final last year I am extremely focussed on returning back to that level of competition,” he added. “It’s where I want to be.”

To be held across NSW and QLD this June, July and August, The Red Bull Junior Surf Masters, presented by Mick Fanning, allows tomorrows stars an opportunity to launch their surfing careers, something that Chapman admires about the Series.

“For the younger competitors these events allow us to compare, compete and test ourselves against the older guys,” the 15 year-old said after finishing second.

A series of six qualifying events will take place in various beaches including Curl Curl, Newcastle, Werri Beach, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Bondi with the finals being held in Cronulla.

“I am happy with my result today and am stoked to be going to Cronulla to take on the best from NSW and Queensland.”

With plenty of awesome giveaways for each participant and the total prize pool for the Series is over $45,000; with the first prize being the biggest ever awarded for a junior surf event in Australia, the incentive is there for the next crop.

“It’s a great initiative and one which really encourages the promotion of junior surfing within NSW,” said Surfing NSW CEO, Mark Windon.

Today is a perfect example of the high-standard of talent that resides within NSW and with the backing of Mick Fanning and Red Bull hopefully these event’s will produce the next world champion.”

With the top four surfers from each event (24 surfers in total) invited to battle it out at the Red Bull Junior Surf Masters Trials to be held in Cronulla on Friday, 28th August, the rest of the Series will be intense as next week sees Newcastle playing host.

Red Bull Junior Surf Masters Event Schedule

Event #1 - 20 June, 2009 – Curl Curl Beach
Event #2 - 27-28 June – Newcastle
Event #3 - 11 June – Werri Beach
Event #4 – 22 August – Bondi Beach

Mavericks 

Mavericks Surf Ventures, Inc. (Mavericks) announced today that the upcoming 2009/2010 big-wave season at Mavericks will honor and celebrate the 35th anniversary of Jeff Clark’s first session at the now world-famous break.  In the winter of 1975, then-17 year-old Clark first paddled out to the nautical hazard named after a white haired German Shepherd. 

In a remarkable personal odyssey, Clark then surfed Mavericks completely alone for 15 years before the news media began reporting on the 50-foot waves, house-sized rocks, and bone chilling waters that characterize this treacherous locale. 

From those solitary beginnings, Mavericks has become an international phenomenon.  The annual Mavericks Surf Contest® brings the world’s preeminent big-wave surfers together on 24 hours’ notice, along with tens of thousands of spectators and millions more who watch the action via television broadcast and webcast.  Adding to the drama, the contest is completely dependent on the whim of Mother Nature delivering contest-worthy surf conditions. 

Some years – as happened this past season – she holds back, as if to give the surfers another year to reconsider their perilous intent.  Over the years, the Mavericks prize purse has grown to $150,000, the largest in the history of big-wave surfing competition.  In the 2009/2010 season, the invitees will be competing for this record prize purse, thanks to the support of Moose Guen and Jane Sutherland of MVision Private Equity Advisors, and Barracuda Networks.

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Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning will heat up the 2009 Hang Loose Pro in Brazil

Fresh off the Australian and South Pacific legs of the 2009 ASP World Tour, the world’s best surfers are preparing for ASP Dream Tour Stop No. 4 of 10, the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro in Brazil from June 27 to July 5, 2009, with the Australian ASP World Title contenders leading the charge.

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, current ASP World No. 1, has had an extraordinary start to his 2009 campaign, winning the opening two events of the season before collecting an equal 9th place finish in Tahiti. Despite being the ratings frontrunner, Parkinson has been kept his focus on the present, concentrating on the event at hand.

“I don’t focus on the ASP World Title when I am at an event,” Parkinson said. “I put a lot of time and effort into what I am doing away from the contests so that I am in the best physical, technical and mental shape possible. This way, I come into an event ready, relaxed and with a sense of purpose.”

Although having experienced a range of results in Brazil from as high as 3rd to as low as 17th, Parkinson is entering this season’s competition with renewed vigor, partially stemming from the rescheduling of the event from October in past years to June/July this year.

“I haven’t been as consistent in Brazil as I would have liked,” Parkinson said. “This probably has a bit to do with when the event has fallen in the calendar year in the past, but I know I can do well there and that gives me confidence. Logistically, the rescheduling of the event works out well. We lost the Fiji event this year and are going straight to South Africa afterwards so the travel is much easier to manage. It will be interesting being in Brazil in winter as we are used to the Carnival atmosphere that Brazil creates in October when the sun is shining. This will be a critical event in the year’s point score.”

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