Maya Gabeira 

A mad dash from their homes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Cape Town, South Africa paid off for Maya Gabeira and tow surfing partner Carlos Burle as they rode the biggest waves of the season at the notorious Dungeons break this week.  Photos of the South American pair in action are now among the leading contenders in the Biggest Wave category of the 2010 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy.  The entered images may be viewed at the event website at www.BillabongXXL.com.

Also captured challenging some massive walls at the infamously sharky break were Grant "Twiggy" Baker (Durban, South Africa), Andrew Marr (Cape Town, South Africa) and Greg Long (San Clemente, California, USA).  All three have either won or been finalists in the XXL Awards in recent years.

Gabeira, 22, has already won the Billabong Girls Best Performance Award three years running, but on August 11 she reaffirmed her status as the top female in big wave surfing when she charged down an enormous, bumpy face after being towed in by Burle on a personal watercraft.  The duo arrived in Africa five days ahead of the giant swell in order for Gabeira to obtain her skipper's license to legally operate the jet-powered craft.

According to Gabeira, "My days previous to the big day were the biggest mission ever! The swell came with onshore winds which the waves and ocean bumpy. But in the end of the day everyone had managed to get some bombs and safely finish a day of big surf.

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Local surfers clear first rounds of the Quiksilver Pro Puerto Escondido 

The opening day of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 3-Star Quiksilver Pro Puerto Escondido saw local surfers dominate the early rounds of competition in front of their home crowd, reveling in the early-morning three-to-four foot (1 metre) barreling surf to advance through to the latter rounds.

Surfers competing on the ASP WQS are out to gain the valuable ratings points on offer towards qualification for the 2009 ASP World Tour, with only 15 surfers advancing from the grueling series on to the prestigious ASP Dream Tour each following year. Once qualified, surfers earn the right to battle the world’s finest 45 competitive surfers in an attempt to claim the title of ASP World Champion.

Diego Cadena (Puerto Escondido, MEX) utilized his local knowledge of Playa Zicatela to eliminate current ASP World Tour surfer Timmy Reyes (Huntington Beach, CA), 27, from competition by combining clean barrel-rides with strong finishing maneuvers to claim his Round 1 heat win.

“The conditions in that heat were hard because the current was moving all over the place and you have to move all of the time,” Cadena said. "Finally it cleaned up a little bit and I got that good right. Timmy Reyes got that good left and I was worried about my friend (Christian Corzo) and finally he got that nine and moved to second place, but it wasn’t that easy."

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Felicity Palmateer 

Felicity Palmateer is a WA girl who loves surf and art, and is good at both! Felicity (aka Floss) also sprays custom designs on her own boards - check out how she does it.

Step 1: Draw a creative picture that you would like to spray onto your board. Try not to draw something too hard if this is your first spray.

Step 2: Copy your design onto a strong piece of paper. Make sure your paper is big enough so that it fits onto your board.

Step 3: Once you are happy with your design carefully cut out your design. Remember to only cut out the areas that you want to spray.

Step 4. You can either use double sided tape or normal sticky tape folded in on itself to stick your design down onto your board. Make sure the design sits snugly on your board, you don’t want any overspray.

Step 5. Choose the colour that you would like to spray your design. Don’t forget to shake the spray can before you start spraying.

Step 6. When you start spraying the board, use controlled arm movement and make sure you give your board an even coat of paint. The paint takes about 1⁄2 an hour to 45 minutes to dry or longer depending on the weather temperature.

Step 7. When the spray paint is dry, carefully pull off the paper and remove all the sticky tape.

Step 8. Repeat steps 1 – 7 if you want to add extra colours to your design.

Step 9. Get as creative as you want. Use permanent markers to highlight areas or give them shape. You can add as much detail as you want.

Step 10. I like to add a personal touch to all my boards and here are two I have just finished spraying.

Good luck with your spray job, remember the more that you practice the better you get.