- 22 October 2008 | Surfing
Surfing made its first appearance on an Olympic sport calendar of events today, compliments of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the organizing Committee of the Bali Asian Beach Games in Indonesia.
It was fitting that the Open division started the program and the surfing standard didn’t disappoint. Fast and powerful, aerials and floaters entertained the large crowd. The man-on-man final, in one metre waves, was an Indonesian affair with Made Raditya Rondi facing off against Made Widiarta. After a slow start Widiarta eventually got to the lead and wasn’t headed. Third place was Shigenori Suzuki (Japan) with Carlito Nogalo (Philippines) in fourth. Widiarta was mobbed by the crowd as he left the water, a popular win on his home beach.
In a variation of event format, a discipline will be decided each day. The longboards are up tomorrow (Monday), then Women’s shortboard, Men’s Aerial and finally the team event to finish proceedings later in the week.
So far the experiment has been a great success. Surfing athletes competing represent Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam and The Maldives. It is a big achievement for surfing to appear here, with the Philippines only recently forming their national Association and affiliating to their National Olympic Committee and The Maldives and Vietnam surfers being represented in such a major event for the first time. Mohamed Irishad was the highest scorer for the Maldives and Dinh Nguyen Van making the highest wave score for Vietnam. Facing up to the powerhouse Asian surfing nations was a hard but exciting way to enter international competition and great experiences were gained.
The medal presentation will take place at a formal ceremony at the conclusion of the whole program.
As an innovation of the OCA, the Beach Games have brought together seventeen (17) sports, competing for Olympic medals around the Bali locations of Sanur, Nusa Dua, Serangan Island and Kuta Beach. Most sports are new to the Olympic family of sports. Entry is only through National Olympic Committee nomination and within Asia surfing is a new and very underdeveloped sport in terms of organisation, but the OCA see it as a major youth sport and have been willing to give it a chance to shine in its arena.
The beach infrastructure has been managed by the Indonesian Surfing Union national body, judges are all ISA accredited and the ISA appointed Head Judge is Mr Paul Young (Australia). ISA VP Alan Atkins is the ISA Technical Delegate. Contest Director is Mr Tipi Jabrik, supported by Mr Oom Arya and Mr Wayan Pica.
A great contribution “for a better surfing future.”
- 22 October 2008 | Surfing
British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Surfing Championships, sponsored by Ticket to Ride in association with the British Surfing Association (BSA) Inspiring surf conditions provided Britain’s student surfers with the ideal playground to showcase their skills and take-on their peers in a healthy exhibition of sporting rivalry. It was Falmouth and Swansea who had the most reason to celebrate at the end with Falmouth’s Men’s team lifting the Championship trophy and Swansea’s Women’s team taking home the female equivalent.
Entries were phenomenally high this year, which meant the Contest Director was forced to cap entries to 100 woman and 200 men. These figures make the BUCS event the largest British surfing competition with only male and female entrants - only the English Championships attracts a bigger entry, yet includes a whole range of Grommets and Seniors categories - exemplifying just how enthusiastic the British student surfing scene is.
Friday saw perfect conditions roll-in for the competition with stunning sunshine accompanying shoulder to head height waves. Saturday’s smaller waves weren’t quite as challenging but they provided all the power necessary for the contestants to be able to impress the judges. On Sunday, ‘textbook’ Fistral conditions with epic waves greeted a charged set of finals competitors and judges.
In the Woman’s event, both Amy Brock-Morgan of Plymouth B and Jaydean Kerton from Plymouth A won every single heat to make it to the finals. There they met Hannah Dixon of Swansea A and Isabella Burke from Falmouth A for an impressive battle. Following a tightly fought heat, Amy Brock-Morgan emerged victorious with Isabella Burke taking second place, Jaydean Kerton in third and Hannah Dixon in fourth.
In the Men’s final, Falmouth surfers dominated with both Josh Leatherbarrow and Fabian Baker making it to the final where they encountered Rob Webster-Blythe of Cardiff A and Jacob Downs of Plymouth A. At the end of the heat it was Falmouth who succeeded with Josh Leatherbarrow taking first with Fabian Baker coming second and Jacob Downs and Rob Webster-Blythe taking third and fourth respectively.
- 22 October 2008 | Surfing
The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) WQS European title race is heating up as the 2008 Champion will be crowned next Sunday at the end of this year's final event, the Estoril Coast Pro, taking place this week at Carcavelos in Portugal.
After a season of intense action with the biggest leg of consecutive ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5, 6 and 6-Star Prime events ever taking the pro-surfing caravan from England's Cornwall to the Canary Islands including France and Portugal, the 2008 ASP European Champion will raise his trophy this weekend in Portugal during the 2008 ASP Europe Award Ceremony.
Tim Boal (Anglet, FRA), 24, current ratings' No.1 who comfortably leads the pack with six results only and yet one more to add to his end-of the-year total, missed the Canarian leg because of a serious foot injury but will show-up in Portugal to get the minimum 336 points in the Estoril Coast Pro.
Boal, who will not surf his heat though, finishes the year after a fantastic run this summer where he reached the finals of all events he attended between the ASP WQS 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro and ASP WQS 5-Star the Rip Curl Pro Zarautz which he ended up winning finishing his European campaign with an average of 800 points per event.
His win in Zarautz rocketed him to No. 3 on the international ratings awarding him a solid 11888 points' total, enough to guarantee his berth for next year's ASP World Tour.
Boal, who has had his most successful year on tour since he became a full-time WQS touring competitior three years ago, will be watching closely the Estoril Coast Pro as his direct followers Michel Bourez (PYF) and Glenn Hall (IRE) remain in contention for the 2008 prestigious title.
Michel Bourez (Tahiti, PYF), 22, ASP European Champion in 2006 and currently No. 2 on the regional ratings, will have two major goals in the Estoril Coast Pro for both his regional and international runs. Bourez, renowned for his powerful surfing and already seen as Tahiti's next ASP World Tour surfer, needs to reach the Quarterfinals to place 5th or better in Portugal to secure a second regional crown and steal Boal's maiden one.