South Africa's Billabong Junior Series

South Africa’s premier surfing titles for the country’s top 20-and-under performers will be on the line at Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape next week when the Billabong Junior Series champions are crowned in divisions ranging from Pro Junior (U20) for men and women plus Under 16, U14 and U12 boys for the 13th successive year.

The four-day event which runs from Wed-Sat, 23-26 September, will also determine the ASP Africa Pro Junior champions for 2009 and the make-up of the four man and one woman ASP Africa squad invited to the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in Sydney in January – the pinnacle of junior surfing.

With the exception of Davey Brand, the bronze medalist in the U16 division of the ISA World Junior champs earlier this year, who will be representing SA at the International King of the Groms event in France, the crème-de-la-crème of SA’s junior surfing talent will be psyched up to deliver their best performances at Vic Bay.

The talent-laden field in the R75 000 Grade 2 ASP rated Pro Junior men’s event is headed by Casey Grant, 20, winner of the opening Billabong Pro Junior in his home surf of Scottburgh at Easter and the current ASP Africa ratings leader, who is the top seed for the event.

Grant’s chief opposition comes from every surfing centre on the SA coastline including local standout Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay), Kommetjie’s Matt Bromley and Brendon Gibbens, WQS campaigners Klee Strachan (Winkelspruit) and Chad du Toit (Durban), Dale Staples and Nick Godfrey from Cape St Francis, Umhlanga’s Kyle Lane and fellow Scottburgh ripper Haydn MacNicol.

The R18 000 Grade 1 Pro Junior women’s event will be a titanic struggle with Vic Bay local Bianca Buitendag, 16, up against the more experienced Tarryn Chudleigh, 19, from Kommetjie and last year’s ASP Africa rep at the ASP World Junior champs, Sarah Baum, 15, from Athlone Park. Perennial standouts Heidi Palmboom (Bluff), Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbosstrand) and Tanika Hoffman (Kommetjie) have the ability to cause upsets along with the rapidly improving Alice McGregor (East London) and Faye Zoetmulder (Port Elizabeth).



In 2008, American participation in outdoor recreation was marked by encouraging growth in important segments of core outdoor activities as well as continuing, though less dramatic, declines in youth participation, according to a new report, the 2009 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report, released today by The Outdoor Foundation. These trends show the beginning of adjustments in American lifestyles brought about by a challenging economy, shifting demographics and changing times.

"In today's economy, people are returning to simpler lifestyles - the 'less is more' ethic," said Christine Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. "Historically economic downturns have resulted in increased participation in outdoor recreation. Nature-based activities provide fun, affordable recreation and vacation opportunities for individuals and families. In the resurgence of several core outdoor activities in 2008, we hopefully see Americans beginning to reconnect with nature. With the impacts of the obesity and inactivity crisis felt nationwide - particularly among our kids - a return to a healthier outdoor lifestyle is an encouraging development and important trend."

The Outdoor Foundation's 2009 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report is the only detailed study of its kind tracking American participation trends in outdoor recreation. The study is based on an on-line survey capturing responses from over 40,000 Americans ages six and older and covers 114 different activities, making it the largest survey of its type examining participation in sports and outdoor activities.

The report provides important insights into participation in outdoor recreation that are critical to efforts nationwide seeking to understand and reverse the growing inactivity crisis and the growing disconnect with the outdoors among youth and all Americans. Detailed information is included on youth, diversity, and gender - demographics essential to future generations of outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists.


2009 British Senior Championships

The BSA have given the go-ahead for the 2009 British Open Surf Championships sponsored by VW and in association with Quiksilver and Fistral Blu Bar.

This weekend (19th & 20th Sept) will see surfers from across the country converging on Fistral Beach, Newquay, for the opportunity to fight it out for the most prestigious title in the land. Last year surfers made the most of solid 6ft waves in one of the most prestigious contests on British soil.

The 2008 British Open saw some of the best conditions ever witnessed for a contest on British shores with Russell Winter and Joanne Dennison making the most of the waves to ride all the way to the top spots on the podium. WQS surfer Winter celebrated his first British Open Champion title in over 15 years as well as the senior’s top podium placing.