Layne Beachley rides biggest wave ever by a female surfer in Australia

On Wednesday 13 May 2009, seven time World Champion and renowned Hawaiian charger, Layne Beachley, rode what all witnesses are calling the best wave ever ridden by a female surfer in Australia.

Coastalwatch editor Ben Horvath said "It was by far the biggest and best day of surf in Sydney so far this year, a lot of Sydney surfers tagged it 'Big Wednesday 2009."

Ms Beachley told Mr Horvath, "It was the best wave I have ever caught. It was an incredible wave, definitely the biggest and best I have ever caught in Australia. I may have had some comparable tubes at Honolua Bay in Hawaii, but "Ours" is so much more intense than even Hawaii."

Horvath said, "The triple sucking reef break, named "Ours" by the Bra Boys, is for experienced big wave surfers only. Located off Cape Solander at the entrance to Botany Bay in sharky waters, the wave breaks over a shallow rock shelf literally metres in front of dry rock.

"It was the best swell to hit Cape Solander since the infamous June 2007 storm swells that grounded the Pasha Bulker." Mr Horvath continued. "It was an incredible day of waves in Sydney yesterday, conditions were flawless. The swell was in the 6-8ft range out of the SSE and winds were light offshore westerly all day. The sun was shining and the water was an unseasonably warm 21 degrees," Mr Horvath said.

Ms Beachley had a late night on Tuesday when she was named co-winner with Sarah Murdoch at The Annual Women In Style Awards evening hosted by InStyle Magazine. Ms Beachley said, "I literally swapped my Alex Perry gown for a wetsuit at dawn." She said, "I was on stage with the bra queen Sarah Murdoch late on Tuesday night, and then I was out charging "Ours" with the Bra Boys at dawn."

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Taj Burrow in the 2009 Billabong Pro Tahiti

The Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui navigated challenging weather patterns today, completing eight heats amidst varying wind and swell conditions.

Stop No. 3 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Tahiti ran the final two heats of Round 1 today before the opening six heats of Round 2 despite putting competition on hold at various points to wait out inclement weather.

“It was definitely a struggle out there today and I wasn’t very happy with what the weather was doing,” Luke Egan, Billabong Pro Contest Director, said. “The winds and swell were shifting quite a bit this morning which was frustrating, but the afternoons have been providing the best windows for running the contest so thankfully we were able to pick off a few heats at the end of the day.”

Despite the challenges faced today, the world’s best surfers logged some excellent performances.

Taj Burrow (AUS), 30, current ASP World No. 7, netted the day’s highest heat total of a 15.33 out of a possible 20, comboing his opponent Marlon Lipke (DEU), 25, with razor-sharp backhand tube sense en route to his Round 2 heat win.

“I actually thought Marlon (Lipke) started out with a really good one and that made me pretty nervous,” Burrow said. “I guess he wasn’t able to get deep enough and didn’t really get the score though. After that, I just had to the ones that let me get in the tube long enough and was able to grab a couple of 7’s so it turned out well for me.”

Despite opening up the season with an equal 3rd, Burrow stumbled at Bells Beach with an equal 17th. The perennial ASP World Title contender will look to rebound in Tahiti, a venue that has historically been difficult for him.

“I’ve had an up and down start to this season,” Burrow said. “Went well on the Gold Coast and was unlucky at Bells and now we’re here at Teahupoo. I haven’t got a result out here in a few years, but I’m staying up the road at Papara with the Riou family and I’ve been putting some time into this event so hopefully it pays off.”

Burrow will face ASP Dream Tour veteran Kieren Perrow (AUS), 32, in Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti

Josh Kerr (AUS), 25, into his second jaunt on the elite ASP World Tour, caused the upset of the day, eliminating current ASP World No. 3 Fred Patacchia (HAW), 27, in the dying moments of their Round 2 bout. After sitting with priority for over 10 minutes, Kerr steamrolled through a backhand double barrel to get the highest single-wave score of the day, an 8.83 out of a possible 10, and come away with the win.

“It was a long wait being patient and there wasn’t really anything coming through,” Kerr said. “I was losing it a bit out there, but thankfully, I had priority when that set came through and the wave I took was the good one. I got the score and am stoked to move through.”

Kerr will battle Michael Campbell (AUS), 35, in Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti.

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SurfAid International SUP Race

The SurfAid International SUP Race is a new 20-mile paddle race which will take place on Saturday 4 July 2009 as part of the renowned charity water sports event, Paddle Round The Pier Beach Festival, in Brighton, UK.

Organisers expect more than 20,000 visitors at this year’s festival which will be held on the weekend of 4 and 5 July, 2009. The festival has been a fundraiser for SurfAid for several years.

There are two classes of entrant for the SurfAid SUP race: up to 12’ 6” stock boards and unlimited class. First prize for each class is £1000 cash.

The race will start at the Paddle Village in Brighton and go to Worthing Pier and back, with both classes running simultaneously. Ekolu Kalama, from Hawaii, won last year’s race over a shortened course.

Paddle Director Dave “Sandals” Samuel said: “This is the biggest endurance race for SUP in Europe so we hope to see many competitors coming from across the globe to compete.”

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