Joel Parkinson

With the first stop of the 2009 ASP Dream Tour’s European leg behind them, the world’s best surfers are heading south into Euskadi for the Billabong Pro Mundaka where some of the best sandbars in years provide the perfect setting for potentially some of the best waves ever.

Event No. 8 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Mundaka plays a pivotal part in the surfers’ seasons, with ASP Top 45 members scrounging for requalification points and the hunt for the 2009 ASP World Title still very much alive.

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, current ASP World No. 1 and last year’s event runner-up, reiterated the fact that if the appropriate swell comes, the current sandbar at Mundaka is poised to deliver some of the best waves in years.

“The sand looks incredible and if we get some waves here it’s going to be a really special event,” Parkinson said. “I love coming to Mundaka. The town is really cruisey and I’m able to slip right into the pace of things. I’ve always felt comfortable here and I’m looking forward to a good event.”

Despite seeming to run away with the ASP World Title after blitzing the first half of the 2009 season, Parkinson has stumbled in the last two events, collecting back-to-back equal 17ths in California and France. Even with the slip in performance, the Australian still remains in the ASP World Tour ratings’ lead and will look to rebound at the famed lefthander.


2009 Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic

Today marks the opening of the holding period for the 2009 Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic and Big Wave Paddle In.  The holding period opens today and extends through December 31, 2009.  Organizers will be monitoring the conditions and will give 48 hours notice when the decision to hold the event is made.

As is tradition with big wave contests, the Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic follows an open holding period and traffic light system.  This allows organizers to monitor surf conditions and have the flexibility to hold the event in the best possible conditions.  In Oregon, these conditions occur a couple of times a year and create a massive wave, which has been called one of the best high performance big waves in the world.

This is the fifth year for the Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic.  The event has been held an unprecedented 4 out of 4 years, and organizers are hoping to continue the trend.

“Weather is always unpredictable.  I think we have been lucky for the past few years, but then again, it just shows how consistent this wave breaks up here”, said John Forse, event founder.

Once thought to be a tow in only wave, the 2008 contest proved that people could paddle in at Nelscott.  The paddle in will continue this year with the Liquid Militia Paddle In Exhibition, as well as an additional paddle in element.  This year, the event expands with the addition of a Kingfish award, a combination of tow in and paddle in scores.


Surf Aid

SurfAid has launched an Emergency Response Appeal to help the people of Padang who were hit by a huge earthquake (7.6 on the Richter scale) on Wednesday 30 September.

Our Program Director, Dr David Lange, narrowly escaped death as he fled the Ambacang Hotel, which then collapsed, killing many and trapping others.

Many buildings have been destroyed with people caught underneath the rubble.  There is a report that schoolchildren are still trapped underneath three schools.  One hospital is destroyed and another so badly damaged that staff are working in tents outside. Doctors used car headlights and torches to operate on the injured overnight.