Pauline Ado 

Pauline Ado (FRA), 17, has just made ASP history as the first non-Australian female to claim the undisputed ASP Junior World Title, defeating opponent Bethany Hamilton (HAW), 18, in a hard-fought Final at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.

Clean three-to-four foot (1 metre) waves were on offer at Sydney’s legendary North Narrabeen beach today, and after completing Round 3 of the men’s division, the dramatic women’s action commenced with the Quarterfinals before culminating with the crowning of Ado as the newest ASP World Junior Champion.

“I’m speechless,” Ado said. “I am so stoked. This is a dream come true. I can’t believe that I won. When I woke up this morning, I never imagined that this would happen.”

While her opponent Hamilton exhibited patience throughout the day, Ado wasted no time in busying herself on both the lefts and rights in the Final, and although the lead flipped back-and-forth, it was the young Frenchwoman who sealed the deal with a solid 13.43 out of a possible 20.

“I didn’t watch Bethany on her last wave, but I could hear the crowd and the commentators in the background,” Ado said. “I thought she had won, but luckily for me, it wasn’t the case.”

Ado now joins the prestigious ranks of past ASP World Junior Champions Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 22, Nicola Atherton (AUS), 22, and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 18 – all three past champions qualifying for the prestigious ASP Women’s World Tour within one season of claiming the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.

“I have so much confidence now going into 2009,” Ado said. “I really want to do well in the ASP WQS and hopefully qualify for the ASP Women’s World Tour, but for now, I’m just stoked to be ASP World Junior Champion.”

In addition to being crowned ASP World Junior Champion, Ado will also receive a guaranteed seed into the second-to-last seeded round of all ASP WQS events in 2009, giving the young natural-footer a great advantage as she vies for a position on the elite ASP Women’s World Tour in 2010.

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Swiss Surfing Championships 

As always, autumn was a busy time for surfers. And so it was for the SSA. With the first Swiss Surfing Week, the XI Swiss Surfing Championships and the ISA World Surfing Games in Portugal, there was a lot going on.

In collaboration with Wavexperience Surf Travel the SSA combined the annual Swiss Surfing Championships with a week of surf and chill, the Swiss Surfing Week. The Swiss waveriders who made the way to Vieux Boucau Plage were rewarded with 10 days of sunny weather, nice surfing condition and a laid back environment in the surfcamp.

On various trips to Hossegor, they could enjoy the action at the Rip Curl Pro and be present at the almost historical moment, in which Ace Buchan defeated Kelly Slater in the final heat.

At the end of the Swiss Surfing Week competition started at the beaches of Vieux Boucau for the XI Swiss Surfing Championships. Around 50 Swiss surfers came to compete against each other and have a good time. In good waves the event was carried out over the course of two days. Good surfing and action in some close heat was seen. In the end, we had the usual suspect but also some surprises in the upper ranks.

Just after that, the Swiss Surfing Team moved in at the Sudden Rush training house in Peniche. Ten days of preparation preceded the participation of the Swiss delegation at the ISA World Surfing Games in Costa da Caparica, Portugal. The trend of ever increasing level at this event was once again confirmed. But the Swiss did well and came up with a respectable 20th place.

The official results of the Swiss Surfing Championships including the seeding list for next year can be seen online on http://www.waveriding.ch .

SURF OPEN 

1 Marc Walther 1000
2 Vincent Guillemaud 860
3 Mattieu Honegger 730
4 Roland Hauser 670
5 Martin Suter 610
6 Jürg Diemand 583
7 Luc Girardin 555
8 Benedek Sarkany 528
9 Tino Stäheli 500
9 Urs Emmenegger 500
11 Etienne Mauguin 488
11 Phillippe Trawnika 488

Here are the most important dates for the upcoming events next year:

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Mick Fanning

Former ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (Tweed Heads) drove the Kirra Surf Club to victory by posting the top scoring ride during the Final of the Jim Beam Surftag Series, where the club defeated archrivals Snapper Rocks at Duranbah Beach today.

Fanning's world renowned lightening fast forehand snaps earned an incredible 9.9 (out of ten) score for a 25.1 total score which saw Kirra rise to victory with  90.1 ahead of Snapper Rocks B who placed second with 88.0, LeBa (Lennox Head / Ballina) third with 69.2 and Snapper Rocks A fourth with 40.7.

It was an emphatic victory for Kirra who held on until the dying minutes and lying just 0.9 points behind the heat leaders Snapper Rocks B, sealing their victory on the final wave of the heat to win the series and go into the National Finals in Sydney as the Queensland Champions.

"We're ecstatic with our win here today," said Clancy Dawson, Kirra's second highest scorer behind Fanning. "Snapper has so many good surfers and to beat them with two of their teams in the Final is just huge for us."

The Jim Beam Surftag saw 14 clubs compete at Duranbah with a total of three ASP World Tour competitors including Fanning for Kirra and Joel Parkinson and 2009 ASP World Tour qualifier Josh Kerr for Snapper Rocks B.

Despite two elite ASP Men's World Tour competitors in the Snapper team, the 2002 and 2006 Surftag Champions could not hold off the charge from Kirra but will nonetheless advance into the National Final with two strong teams.

"Our objective today was to make the final," said top Snapper Rocks B scorer Shaun Gossman who posted a 22.1 heat total in the Final.

 "Of course we were hoping for a win with two teams in the Final but it was a great Final with excellent surfing and we'll be looking to capitalise on the depth of talent within our teams at the Nationals in March."

The LeBa team put on an impressive overall performance with Adam Melling posting the highest total score of the final a 25.6 that aided the team in taking home their third place finish overall.

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