2009 Azores Islands Pro in Portugal 

Professional surfing history was made today when the first ever ASP sanctioned event got underway on the North Shore of Sao Miguel Island, the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Azores Islands Pro being treated to solid five to six foot (1.5 to 2 meter) waves. Twelve heats were held in the testing surf on offer, the expected north swell hitting the island with power and speed to allow the first twelve heats of Round 1 to run and deliver a promising show before event top seeds get their start tomorrow.

Raoni Monteiro (Saquarema, BRA), 27, a former ASP World Tour surfer, put the show upside down in the final minute of Heat 11, the second-to-last of the day, after posting a near perfect 9.77 point ride on a solid six-foot wave to jump back in the lead and end up winning his encounter ahead of Granger Larsen (HAW). Monteiro, who was stuck in second position for almost the whole heat, was able to get a long righthander and show the ASP judges he had the skills to impress his peers with fantastic surfing.

“I feel I was a bit lucky actually because the peak was shifty and that wave came to me,” Monteiro said. “I got that six-pointer early in the heat and I knew I needed a second ride to finish confidently but I was lost out there. I just sat out there hoping for a good one and it came so I am really happy.”

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Mitch Baker 

As the mercury rose on day two of the Australian Surfmasters Titles so did the high scores and amazing performances as competitors blazed a trail at Lighthouse Beach.

Seeing unseasonably hot weather throughout the mid-north coast, temperatures rose beyond 30 degrees, Lighthouse Beach was the perfect backdrop for the best surfers in Australia.

With over 160 of the best amateur competitors from across the land the Open Men and Women opened up procedures with a dizzying array of surfing.

Brittani Nichol (Cabarita, NSW) was by far the standout of the morning, revelling in the one-metre conditions.

Having been in the USA for the past three weeks on the international competitive surfing merry-go-round, Nichol sent out a warning shot to her counterparts.

“I’ve just arrived home after spending three weeks in California,” she said after racking up the highest total heat score of 16.50 (out of a possible 20).

“I surfed Trestles heaps and had so much fun, but it’s time to refocus and do well here.”

Negotiating the conditions better than any other competitor on day two, Nichol found solace in the southern bank – picking off the right-handers with ease.

“I managed to pick the right waves in my heat, but it’s quite tough with the small swell,” Nichol said.

“There are so many great competitors from around the country so to do well here would be awesome.”

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Marc Lacomare conquers the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Junior at Seignosse 

Marc Lacomare (Hossegor, FRA), 18, has won the ASP Grade-3 Rip Curl Pro Junior at Seignosse in France today after defeating Hawaii’s wunderkind John John Florence (Oahu, HAW), 15, in testing five foot (1.5 meter) waves. Lacomare, who claimed his second event win this afternoon to jump back in the lead on the ASP European Junior ratings, dominated the crucial event by far with several of the competition’s best scores posted en route to victory.

Second to last event counting for the crowning of the regional Under-21 champion, the Rip Curl Pro Junior witnessed world class action with the European contingent suffering Florence’s impressive run who was to be defeated in his last attempt to clain the title by Lacomare.

“That result is just great, especially because it’s at home and I have my friends and family supporting me at the beach,” Lacomare said. “I stuck to my game plan during the final which was to be patient and get the better waves to score well enough and win the thing. John John (Florence is a great surfer and I knew he could get any required score to catch-up with me so I stayed focused until the end.”

At 18-years-old, Lacomare has gone to number one on the ratings and will head to the final event in the Canary Islands confidently having the opportunity to grab his maiden regional crown if he counters his followers’ assaults.

“There is only one event left before the end of the season and I am leading so it is a good position to have,” Lacomare said. “I have a bit of a margen with the rest of the front runners and I will be looking to consolidate my position and win the title this year.”

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