ISA World Junior Championships 

The surf picked up today, with the south swell making its first solid appearance at the third day of competition of the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Salinas, Ecuador. The left point at La FAE offered super fun four-to-five foot surf all day and Under 18 Girls and Under 16 Boys finished Round two. The Under 18 Boys also faced off on the south end of the beach at the secondary contest area for Round three and for the grueling, “life or death,” repercharge rounds. Today saw some of the highest scores of the event as well as the first eliminations of the contest with 32 surfers exiting the competition.

“We had amazing waves today and so many of these kids really stepped up their game,” said web commentator and 1989 ASP world champion, Martin Potter. “We saw the future of surfing come to Ecuador.”

While all of the powerhouses have all team members still in the contest, 2005 event champions, Hawaii leads with nine surfers still in the main rounds. France and 2003 event champions Brazil are tied with eight a piece, while Australia has seven, the USA six and South Africa five.

The Hawaiians and the USA team went head-to-head in nearly every heat today. The teams have one of the greatest rivalries in surfing since the ISA recognizes Hawaii as its own nation because of the state’s historical contribution to the sport. In the end, Hawaii claimed the victory flag for the day but with all of USA still in contention it remains very much uncertain as to which team will finish higher at the end of the contest.

French Under 18 Girls surfer Canelle Bulard set the pace this morning, posting a combined 17.17 (out of 20), the second highest score of the entire contest. She kicked out early on her first two waves, each scoring under 1.0, but then found her spot on one of the larger sets, scoring an 8.0 as she demolished the wave on her forehand. As if that wasn’t enough, on Bullard’s next wave she posted a 9.17 to put the nail in the coffin.

“The heat was really good and I was able to catch two set waves,” said Bulard. “I felt like I surfed them to my ability. My coach told me where to sit and he was right, the waves came my way. Our team is really strong and working together. Everyone is giving me good advice.”

Last year’s gold medalist and Roxy team rider Laura Enever of Australia posted an impressive 16.66 total points for the win in heat five. Hawaiian Leila Hurst and USA’s Lakey Peterson each had high scores for first and second respectively in heat six, while South African Bianca Buitendag continued her quest for gold with her win in heat seven.

Brazil made a strong showing in the Under 16 division with three of their four surfers taking first. Tahitian Mihimana finished in second in heat two behind Brazil’s Caio Ibelli while the rest of the Tahitians Under 16 teammates were relegated to the repercharges.

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Owen Wright

Margaret River is one of few locations on the ASP World Qualifying Series capable of really challenging professional surfers by delivering powerful large surf and when the surfers arrived today they knew they would be calling up the best of their ocean skills with a solid swell pounding the outer reef at Surfers Point.

The message became clearer even before the opening heat began when veteran Brazilian surfer Paulo Moura signalled to the judging tower by waiving his broken board to hold off on starting the heat and get a new board out to him after his was snapped when paddling to the line up.

The frantic start failed to rattle Moura who went on to impressively win the heat defeating up and coming Hawaiian Mason Ho comfortably on a score line of each surfers top two scoring rides of 13.50 to Ho’s 11.23.

“ That was a tough start to the heat and luckily I was able to get the attention of the tower and get a new board out quickly” said Moura.

“Waves like this test us all and you feel good about your surfing when you win in these conditions.”

Australia’s fastest emerging young surfer Owen Wright, who grew up on NSW’s south coast but has recently relocated to Lennox Head is rapidly establishing himself on the open ASP circuit and this morning toyed with the conditions to notch up another impressive heat win.

With excellent large surf forecast all week,  Wright is optimistic about his chances here.

“It’s big open ocean surf and I definitely like the wave as you have plenty of scope to really put together large power driven moves” said Wright after his heat.

“If it gets bigger as they are predicting I’m fine with that, I’d prefer it bigger than smaller.”

Wright defeated South Africa’s Ricky Basnett who advanced in second place while local favourite Tom Innes was eliminated in third place.

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2009 Pe'ahi World Cup Tow-In Championship 

The Mormaii Pe’ahi World Cup Tow-In Surfing Championship holding period has officially come to a close.  APT directors and Mormaii officials are disappointed that Mother Nature did not produce the anticipated swell to hold this world class tow-in event but are hopeful that next year will bring greater opportunity for everyone involved.

International competitors from Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Hawaii, California and Mexico, would have been given a 48 hour notice to make it to the world’s most famous Tow-in big wave on Maui’s north shore Pe’ahi, aka: JAWS.

APT is proud to announce that Mormaii will be sponsoring this event again next year and both organizations are working towards a long lasting partnership that will benefit the sport of tow-in surfing and its competitors.

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