Marlon Lipke: the German Portuguese

Top seeds Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), Marlon Lipke (DEU), Nicolaus Rupp (DEU) and Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) advanced through to the final day of competition at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Men’s Star Series Cordoama Buondi Pro at the main event site at Praia da Cordoama. Battling through their respective quarter-final encounters each remaining surfer has staked his claim on this year’s Cordoama Buondi Pro title.

Persistently strong cross-shore winds made for another day of tough competition where wave selection played a large role in securing a win. Peaks in the 3-4ft (1-1.2m) range improved slightly as the tide pushed in during the early afternoon session of competition.

Nicolaus Rupp (DEU) advanced in a low scoring however closely fought out clash against junior Basque surfer Marcos San Segundo. It turned out that Rupp’s pre-heat preparation played a big part in him stepping closer to the winner’s podium.

“Marcos is a really good surfer and we have been doing the pro juniors together for a couple of years so I sat up on the cliffs with my coach and watched a good right coming in and I knew with the incoming tide the left would start working so I just positioned myself and I managed to get the two scores I needed to get through and get the win.”

Rupp will face good friend and training partner Gony Zubizarreta in tomorrow’s first semi-final however the 18-year-old is taking it like any other heat and feels that it may be more like one of their many training sessions when the pair hit the water.

“Coming up against Gony is such a good feeling because when I was young I used to come down to Marlon’s (Lipke) house and Gony was always hanging out here and that was ten years ago when I started surfing. Being against him in the semi-final is a great feeling and he is my training partner and we have the same coach and we are actually going training after this event for two weeks to prepare for the pro junior series. I think it is going to be like a normal training session out there tomorrow in the semis as we usually surf alone together and it is man on man heats so it will be interesting.”

Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) continued his approach of building on his scores as the heat progresses to find himself in semi-finals and ready to keep the momentum going for the final day of competition. The 25-year-old from Vigo, Galicia is on a comeback mission after having a slow start to the season. Surfing with speed and showing maturity in his competitive approach the formula is prepared to go all the way at the Cordoama Buondi Pro 2010 edition.

“I felt good out there but it was hard for me to find a good wave and I was really motivated to surf but I couldn’t find a really good wall. The waves are a bit bigger today but with this wind it makes it quite difficult to find a good pocket to hit it really hard.”

“I am stoked to make it,” continued Zubizarreta. “Jose (Ferrreira) is surfing really well and I knew he could do some good turns so he is always a danger because it was a low scoring heat but I am happy to be here in Algarve and I can’t wait until the semi-finals tomorrow.”

Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) will face an in-form and seemingly unstoppable Marlon Lipke (DEU) in semi-final nº2 however the only remaining Portuguese in the event has finals experience here at Cordoama having placed second in last year’s edition.
The quietly spoken 22-year-old will wait until tomorrow and let his surfing do the talking.

Coming home strongly in his heat Fernandes obtained the score he needed with only moments left and felt comfortable during his come-from-behind victory over fellow Portuguese Ruben Gonzalez.

“In the end that left came through and I could do a few good maneuvers and I could make the score. I am very happy to be in the semi-finals and it should be a good heat against Marlon (Lipke).”

Marlon Lipke (DEU) was last but not least to qualify for the semi-finals with a blistering performance scoring a 9.17 out of a possible 10 the highest single score of the event so far. Performing huge carving turns on the high tide left-hand peaks Lipke has firmed as favourite to claim the Cordoama Buondi Pro title.

Lipke felt fine after his 25-minute clash and commented that he has some high quality boards at the moment which are allowing him to link together his turns in a stronger more impressive way and has complete confidence that he will do all he can in his quest for victory.

CORDOAMA BUONDI PRO SEMI-FINAL MATCH-UPS
Heat 1: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) Vs Nicolaus Rupp (DEU)
Heat 2: Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) Vs Marlon Lipke (DEU)

CORDOAMA BUONDI PRO QUARTER FINAL RESULTS
Heat 1: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 11.34 Def. Jose Ferreira (PRT) 9.33
Heat 2: Nicolaus Rupp (DEU) 13.50 Def. Marcos San Segundo (EUK) 8.80
Heat 3: Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) 11.20 Def. Robertson Goncalves (PRT) 10.66
Heat 4: Marlon Lipke (DEU) 16.84 Def. Indar Perez (EUK) 10.04

Dane Piolo: hanging five beers

Local surfer Jock Bahen (Cottesloe) caused a major upset today when he eliminated current World Longboard surfing champion Harley Ingleby (Emerald Beach) during the opening round of the ASP Longboard Qualifying Series.

Being surfed in trying conditions at Iso’s Reef at Cottesloe Beach in Western Australia, Bahen rocked the crowd when he scored the days highest wave score to go from 4th to 1st and push Ingleby into 3rd.

The heat was eventually won by former World Champion Josh Constable (Qld), who looks set to continue his push for a second world title later this year.

The opening heat saw Jared Neal (NSW) comfortably win when he dominated his opponents from the first wave. Former Australian Champion Justin Redmond (Dunsborough) finished 2nd.

Heat 2 was an exciting tussle with Jarryd Foster (Yallingup) going toe to toe with Jackson Close (Qld) from the opening exchange. After a couple of waves were traded between the two Close managed to hold off Foster to finish 2nd behind NSW champion Dane Pioli. Pioli enthralled the crowd with a mixture of modern moves including a well executed 360 and several brilliant noserides including the days longest hang ten.

The final heat saw young gun Mitch Surman (Qld) finish in front of another Queenslander Matt Aldridge with defending Whalebone Classic Champion 4th.

In the Women’s LQS Australian champion Rosie Locke kept West Australian champion Claire Finnucane in 2nd place in the opening heat while, Melissa Combo (NSW) easily dominated the second heat from Jade Foster (Qld).

Results

ASP LQS Men

Heat 1

1st Jared Neal (NSW)
2nd Justin Redman (WA)
3rd Michael Cottier (NSW)
4th Armando Colucci (Venez)

Heat 2

1st Dane Pioli (NSW)
2nd Jackson Close (Qld)
3rd Jarryd Foster (WA)
4th Paul Thompson (WA)

Heat 3

1st Josh Constable (Qld)
2nd Jock Bahen (WA)
3rd Harley Ingleby (NSW)
4th Lindsay Small (WA)

Heat 4

1st Mitch Surman (Qld)
2nd Matt Aldridge (Qld)
3rd Pat McCarthy (WA)
4th Ben Proudfoot (WA)

ASP LQS Women

Heat 1

1st Rosie Locke (Qld)
2nd Claire Finucane (WA)
3rd Michaela Ross (WA)

Heat 2

1st Melissa Combo (NSW)
2nd Jade Foster (Qld)
3rd Rachael Dawe (WA)
4th Claire Norman (NSW)

Jordy Smith: he's Mr Price

Jordy Smith (Dbn), 22, etched his name into the history books today, becoming the third ever South African winner of the ASP 5-Star Mr Price Pro Ballito, simultaneously moving into the No. 1 position on the ASP World Rankings.

Smith defeated South Coast star Casey Grant (Scottburgh) in the Final to claim an emotional victory before his home crowd. Riding high on the shoulders of his friends, some of Durban's finest surfers, as the crowds exploded into cheers of support, Smith was awarded his enormous R121 000 winner's cheque.

"I haven't won an event in front of my home crowd since I was fifteen," Smith said (Smith won the ISA World Junior Games in Durban). "This is just wild! I am so happy right now I don't event know what to say!"

A standout from start to finish, the powerful natural-footer, who stands at an enormous 188 cm tall, used his priority to wait patiently for the better set waves. Unleashing a devastating combination of power carves and fin drifts, Smith posted 7.50 and 6.33 (each out of ten) scores off the bat, putting his opponent into a combination situation (needing a combination of two scoring rides) within the first 13 minutes of the heat.

Grant clawed his way back with an impressive three-second barrel ride to put himself back in contention with a 7.33, but it was not to be for the recently turned 21-year-old. Smith soon replied with a 7.93 for a series of savage on-the-rail carves to seal his victory.

"Casey has been one of the most outstanding surfers of this event and I knew I had to bring my A game against him," Smith said.

Despite creasing his board during the Semifinals, as well as breaking his favourite board during a free surfing session earlier in the week, Smith looked comfortable and in control throughout the week enjoying some of the best surfing conditions the KwaDukuza coastline has to offer.

"I haven't had waves this good for a while, I've been travelling all around the world and it's crazy to say that the best waves in the world are in my back yard," Smith said. "We're so lucky we've had the opportunity to surf here and I'm really happy that a South African won and made the finals."

Advancing into World No. 1 on the ASP World Rankings, Smith's result puts him in a fantastic position heading into the next World Tour stop the Billabong Pro Jeffrey's Bay next week.

"It's great to be at number one but it's a long road ahead," Smith said. "I kind of look at it like boxing, there's 12 rounds and we've only been through four so there's plenty more to go and you have to hang tight."

Standing shoulder to shoulder with his surfing icon, Grant could not have been happier with his runner-up result. While he could hardly afford to buy a cup of coffee this morning, his result today ensured that Grant will fall asleep R68 222 richer tonight.

"I never dreamed I would be up here alongside Jordy," Grant said. "It's such an honour because I have looked up to him my whole life. It's been an amazing day and I can't wait till that prize money comes in! It's been a blessing to be in contention for the title and to win all this money. Words cant even described how stoked I am right now!"

Touted by the international judging panel as the next big talent to come out of South Africa, Grant displayed incredible flair and style throughout the event, recording one of the single highest wave scores of the competition, a 9.33 (out of ten) earlier in the week.

"It's definitely given me a lot of confidence and a lot of people have said to me I better start stepping it up," Grant said. "I think I'll be doing a few more events this year and then hit the Star Tour full time in 2011."

Placing equal fifth today were Royden Bryson (EL) and Klee Strachan (Winkelspruit) both of whom were eliminated during the Semifinals, taking home a respectable R34 112 each.

After an impressive victory over Damien Fahrenfort (Dbn) during the quarterfinals, Bryson proved no match for Smith during their Semifinal. Smith put some tubes to good use, turning the tables against Bryson by rapidly notching up 7.33 and 7.5 scores, forcing Bryson to settle for second.

2008 ASP Africa Pro Junior Champion Klee Strachan found himself at the bitter end of a seesaw battle against Grant, the pair of South Coast surfers going toe-to-toe with almost identical scores. Eventually it was the fast, flashy surfing from Grant that earned him a 7.17 to bump Strachan off the leader's board, sailing into the final.

Fahrenfort secured his win for the biggest aerial manoeuvre while De Vries took home the goods for the most radical manoeuvre. Emslie won the award for the most powerful manoeuvre.

Crowds flocked to Ballito's golden sands as sunshine and blue skies provided an idyllic setting for the final day of South Africa's longest running surfing competition.

Mr Price Pro Final Results:

1. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.43
2. Casey Grant (ZAF) 12.43