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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Bude Surf Classic 2009

With a favourable surf forecast, and the weather looking good, all looks set for a great Bude Surf Classic which is being held over the weekend of May 16th and 17th.

With over 25 in the new Grommets division already entered and the other divisions filling up, organisers Christian Surfers UK, are not far away from having some divisions full before the weekend.

The highly successful Bude Surf Classic, is run by Christian Surfers UK, in conjunction with Bude Surf Outreach Group and other local sponsors including ‘Outdoor adventure’, ‘North Shore Backpackers’, Fusion Fitness, Felicity Kates, IAMWHY clothing, Relentless, and the Methodist and Elim Church.

The event which this year includes a new Groms division ( U14 Category ) is held at North beach Widemouth bay, North Cornwall, which makes a great venue for the spectators.

The winner of the Men’s Open Division will receive £200 cash, the winner of the Longboard Division will receive £100 cash and all Categories will receive trophies and prizes.

Entry fees range from £10 - £16 (depending on Category) and include a free contest t-shirt. Last year Open surf winner Joss Ash, will be aiming to retain his title.

Registration for all pre-entered contestants will be at 8.30am sharp, with heats getting underway around 9.15am. Entries on the day will only be accepted if there are places available.

As well as the Surf contest the event will also be supporting the work of Surf Relief UK, by holding a raffle throughout the day.

Christian Surfers UK provides the manpower for the event continuing the successful partnership with the Bude Community.

Christian Surfers UK are involved in organising four major surf contests – the next one being the Jesus Surf Classic, Croyde Bay, September 12th –13th 2009, followed by the Jesus Longboard Classic, Polzeath, Cornwall, October 17th – 18th.