Mick Fanning

Round 1 of the Billabong Pro Mundaka has been called ON this morning with clean three-to-four foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves on offer at world-class lefthander.

Event No. 8 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Mundaka will be activating the new competition format, featuring man-on-man elimination heats from the outset, with Round 1 commencing at 9:15am.

“We’ve got some really fun, consistent three-foot surf here this morning at Mundaka and we’ll be starting at 9:15am,” Mike Parsons, Billabong Pro Mundaka Contest Director, said. “We’ll be running the new format and we’re monitoring conditions right now to determine if it’s worth running dual-heat format.”

The Billabong Pro Mundaka’s elimination Round 1 features some incredible match-ups, kicking off with Roy Powers (HAW), 28, against Jihad Khodr (BRA), 25.

The event will be web LIVE via http://www.billabongpro.com/mundaka09/

The Billabong Pro Mundaka will host the world’s best surfers from October 5 through 17, 2009.


Perth Standlick

Perth Standlick (Bondi, NSW) today capped off a remarkable week of competition, winning the Billabong Pro Junior Bells Beach in big, testing conditions.

Having seen the best junior surfers in Australasia converge on the famed stretch of coast for the final event of the 2009 ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series, the Billabong Pro Junior Bells Beach saw some amazing performances in massive seas.

None more impressive was the actions of Standlick who mastered the three metre waves en-route to his first ever ASP Australasian Pro Junior title.

“I’m over the moon,” an elated Standlick said. “It’s been a long time coming, so I’m going to enjoy this one for some time to come.”

Having had a disjointed year marred through injury and missed contests, Standlick was relieved to have finally achieved his dream.

“It’s been such a crazy year with injury and the like,” he said. “But, to finally win one – it’s amazing!”

Defeating Davey Cathels (North Narrabeen, NSW) in a tightly-fought affair, Standlick accrued a massive 14.50 (out of a possible 20) to Cathels’ 10.25.

Going blow-for-blow, the two combatants put on a great show in front of a gallery of spectators.


West Sumatra

SurfAid speedboat Sibex arrived back in Tuapejat late yesterday with a team of eight people from various government departments following an assessment visit to the East Coast of Siberut – the northernmost Mentawai island.

Reports from the sub-districts of Muara Siberut and Sikabaluan, the areas that were presumed to be worst affected by the September 30 earthquake, are that there is no significant damage of infrastructure. The team said “one or two schools have collapsed and also a church in Malancan village near Sikabaluan”. Many houses have shifted from their foundations but are still habitable.

The three islands to the south of Siberut (Sipora, Pagai Utara, Pagai Selatan) reported no serious damage. One mosque and an elementary school in Sido Makmur village collapsed. A number of goverment buildings in Tuapejat have sustained moderate structural damage. There are no clear reports from many of the more isolated villages.

Mark Loughran from Macaronis Resort on Pagai Utara stated that he “barely felt the quake” and reports that the nearby village of Silabu “is ok”.

There are no reports of deaths or serious injuries across the Mentawai.

A large portion of the population were reported to have evacuated to higher ground following the earthquake. It appears most people have returned to their houses, possibly prompted by incessant rainfall since the earthquake.

People in the villages are traumatised and are reluctant to return to day-to-day livelihood activities such as fishing and going to their fields.

Handphone reception has been inactive since the earthquake. Power in Tuapejat and the subdistrict remains on.