Clean Water Classic

The 8th annual Clean Water Classic surfing contest will be held Friday, May 15th through Sunday, May 17th 2009 at Westport, Washington. This event is a benefit for the Pacific Northwest chapters of the Surfrider Foundation and, in the past, the event has been awarded the Surfrider Foundation Chapter Event of the Year. Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world's oceans, waves and beaches for all people through conservation, activism, research and education.

Surfrider Foundation has multiple chapters in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Shannon Serrano, Washington State Field Coordinator for the Surfrider Foundation, describes the current work of the Washington Surfrider chapters. "I am very excited to see the chapters involvement in campaigns increase, from plastics to rescue tug out on Neah Bay. And the continued public outreach by chapters to work for beach access, something we would all love to see more of in Washington."

Gus Gates, Oregon Policy Coordinator, describes the work of Surfrider volunteers in Oregon. "Surfrider Foundation volunteers and members in Oregon participate in a myriad of activities from water quality monitoring and beach cleanups, planning for marine reserves and protected areas, facilitating wave energy discussions, to education and outreach on the need to reduce the consumption of single use plastics and their impact on the marine environment."

Proceeds from the Clean Water Classic directly fund Pacific Northwest chapters of the Surfrider Foundation for a variety of campaigns. Shannon recaps what the Washington chapters did with their proceeds from the 2008 event. "We had chapters use the funds to continue their Blue Water Testing efforts and other chapters look towards raising watershed awareness with carpool and busing efforts as well as upkeep of local surf spots."

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Laureus Award Nominees

Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore and Aaron Hadlow have been nominated for the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year.

The winners of the 2009 Laureus World Sports Awards will receive their Awards individually at a series of presentations during May and June.

Laureus and its Partners have made the decision that due to the current economic situation it would be inappropriate to stage a full-scale Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony at this time. Accordingly for this year Laureus will forego its usual spring celebration.

Laureus will monitor the economic situation over the next few months and announce in due course the arrangements for the next Laureus World Sports Awards.

Laureus promotes the use of sport as a tool for social change and celebrates sporting excellence.

PROFILE OF THE NOMINEES

Kelly Slater

Born: February 11, 1972 in
Place of Birth:  Florida, USA
Sport: Surfing

At 36, legendary surfing master Kelly Slater notched his most dominant year yet. Claiming his unprecedented ninth world title in 2008, Slater took first in six of the 10 contests he entered. His 8,832 points this year absolutely dwarfed the 6,780 of his nearest competitor. Slater did not even plan to compete in 2008, giving his rivals a sense of confidence that his later change-of-mind quickly dashed.

Stephanie Gilmore

Born: January 29, 1988
Place of Birth:  New South Wales, Australia
Sport: Surfing

Became the first surfer, male or female, to win the Association of Surfing Professionals world title in their rookie season, in 2007, and this year repeated the achievement.  Her luminous 2008 was highlighted by big wins all over the globe: Peru, Hawaii, Brazil, and Australia. And she barely lost ground when she finished third at the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle at Hossegor, France. Only 20, Gilmore has the potential to dominate women's surfing for the foreseeable future.

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2009 Rip Curls Bells Beach

Classic conditions with stiff offshore winds and solid surf in the four-to-six foot (1.5 – 2 metre) range once again graced Bells Beach today as the Rip Curl Pro presented by Snickers determined the Quarterfinalists, setting up a potential all-time finish for tomorrow.

Event No. 2 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach completed the final four heats of Round 2 this morning as well as the first three heats of Round 3 in excellent conditions at Bells Beach before relocating to nearby Winkipop to accommodate the increase in swell.

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 27, current ASP World No. 1 and past winner of the Rip Curl Pro (2004), continued this season’s devastating form, eliminating Kai Otton (AUS), 29, in Round 3 with an excellent-scoring 9.00 out of a possible 10 for a deep barrel followed by a series of rail-carves.

“That was a tough heat,” Parkinson said. “Probably one of the toughest I have surfed this year because of the elements. That wind was hard. I had one wave that blew me off the back but there are some good waves out there. My 9.00 was more just a little barrel, it was a really hard wave to surf. You are almost just holding on for dear life because of the wind. I guess I live to fight another day."

With reigning nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 37, out of the event as well as perennial ASP World Title challengers Bede Durbidge (AUS), 25, and Taj Burrow (AUS), 30, Parkinson’s bid for an inaugural crown is looking solid, but the talented natural-footer is wary of the season ahead.

“Everyone has talked it up with the hype of Kelly (Slater), Bede (Durbidge) and Taj (Burrow) being knocked out,” Parkinson said. “This isn’t a sprint, it is a marathon so there is no point getting caught up in it. We are still eight events to go and still eight months to go so there is no point in worrying what is happening at this event. Those guys are going to come out more hungry next time.”

Parkinson will face former ASP World Champion C.J. Hobgood (USA), 29, in Quarterfinal 1 when competition resumes.

As the swell increased, event organizers moved competition to nearby Winkipop where competitors reveled in the steeper, walling righthanders on offer.

Jordy Smith (ZAF), 21, took down giant-ing wildcard Owen Wright (AUS), 19, in one of the most exciting encounters of the day. Wright, who defeated defending event champion Slater in Round 2 of competition, looked in-form once again, but Smith’s forehand mastery proved too much for the young Australian.

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