Estoril Quiksilver Pro

The Estoril Quiksilver Pro, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star event, announced the increase of the event's overall prizepurse from US$ 145 000 to US$ 150 000 with an extra US$ 5000 going for to the 2009 winner who will pocket an unprecedent US$ 25 000, the biggest prizemoney ever awarded on an ASP WQS event in Europe.

The event, which will be the second of this year's ASP WQS European Tour, will be crucial for both ASP WQS international and regional ratings with 2500 ratings' points going to the winner, a significant reward towards a possible end-of-the-year ASP World Tour qualification.

"The comitment and efforts of the organisers to put up such a big event and add a bonus for the winner is great for the sport and its athletes," ASP Europe Manager Julie Audibert said. "After almost a decade of support to the sport of surfing, event organisers at Alfarroba have once again stepped up and the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Europe is grateful for all the work, even more grateful knowing the current global financial context."

The Estoril Quiksilver Pro, which will hold its third edition from April 21 to 26 at Carcavelos renowned beachbreaks, is expected to deliver world class action when the 144 men attending the crucial event paddle out next month. After running the event in late october the last couple of years, event organisers decided to change dates in 2009 to increase the chances of better wave and wind conditions, usualyy favorable at this time of the year.

“The idea behind it was to concentrate a series of international events at the beginning of the season," Estoril Quiksilver Pro contest director Antonio Pdro said. "Moreover, April can also be a better time for waves and wind at Carcavelos, where we will put together the main structure."

The Estoril Quiksilver Pro main venue will be at Carcavelos with a back-up location set-up at Guincho. With several options along Estoril's beautiful surf coast, the 2009 edition promises t live up to its reputation and world class surfing from the Estorl Quiksilver Pro will be webcast live.

Putra Hermawan 

Light winds and pitching 2 foot waves greeted the frothing grommets at Pererenan Beach today for the second stop of the three-stage Rusty Gromfest Series 2009.

Almost 100 kids from all over Bali (and beyond) came out in force to fine-tune their skills, win sick prizes, and bro out with Rusty’s local team of pro surfers. With a stacked heat draw and a long list of alternates, organizers blew the horn at 7:30am to get the first heat underway.

Round 1 kicked off at the ‘Sandbar’ peak rather than the adjacent ‘Canggu Right’ due to the medium tide but this didn’t curb the under 14’s enthusiasm- they were pumped and zipped around the lineup catching waves left, right, and centre! The testing 6-man heats separated the boys from the children as only two surfers would progress into the second round.

On the beach kids were buzzing with excitement and wasted no time making connections with other shredder’s from all over the archipelago. “I’ve made a few new friends already” beamed Mansyur, a 13-year-old surf rat from Sumbawa, “They said when I surf their local breaks they’ll give me waves, but only if I take them to Lakey Peak first!”

In the under 16 division the incoming tide and pulsing swell produced some rippable 3 foot sets that reeled along Canggu’s lava rock shelf. The spotlight was on the Lembongan duo of Agus Frimanto and Putra Hermawan who battled it out last month at the Rusty Gromfest Keramas. Both let loose with a full arsenal of tricks and progressed through heats with consistent, solid performances.

As the midday sun cooked Canggu’s black sand, guest judge and Rusty GM Kane Faint confessed, “The conditions are less than ideal but the groms bought their ‘A’ game and are tearing it to pieces… The weather forecast predicted rain but it seems like the hot surfing scared the clouds away!”

When the under 14 finals took to the water the standard had well and truly heated up, with Komang Angga, Ediana Putra, local favorite Jeron, and the polished Koko Mitsua Antara absolutely going mental! Jeron had won a string of heats leading into the final while Ediana had also impressed the judges in the earlier rounds. These little human’s were throwing buckets upon buckets of spray and in the end Ediana took the title with lightning-fast frontside snaps and superior wave selection. Stoked!

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Billabong XXL 

With only days remaining in the annual event cycle, new entries continue to arrive in record numbers for the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy.  Although California and Hawaii have suffered through an abnormally placid year, the rest of the planet has bridged the gap and then some, providing more than 450 pieces of visual evidence of the mammoth surf on the event website at BillabongXXL.com.

New video clips and still photos continue to arrive in all key categories of the event, including the Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Award, Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Award powered by Honda, Monster Tube Award and Monster Paddle Award.  Also featured are the Surfline Best Overall Performance Award and the Billabong Girl's Performance Award.  In total, over $130,000 in prize money will be awarded in the ninth annual edition of big wave surfing's top event.  The competition is open to all qualified, invited surfers at any surf break around the world over the course of a full year and is based on the photographic evidence.

In a year where many announced big wave contests did not take place due to insufficient swell, another record has been shattered concerning the number of surfing regions represented in the 2009 Billabong XXL Awards.  That list includes legitimate contenders from areas as disparate as Puerto Rico, Mexico, California, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, South Africa, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, Chile, Tahiti, Ireland, Spain, France and the Canary Islands.  Never before has a year of big wave surfing been acted out across a more global stage.

Although there remains only days before the event period concludes with the Vernal (Spring) Equinox on March 20, 2009, the world's big wave elite are still scanning the planet seeking any possible last-minute pulses of swell in locations like Chile, Mexico and Hawaii.  Regardless of any last second upsets, most top riders are already making plans to attend the gala Billabong XXL Awards ceremony on Friday, April 17 at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California.  While the 2000 seats at the Grove are invitation only, the entire evening's activities from Red Carpet arrivals to the final award will be broadcast during a live webcast at www.BillabongXXL.com and televised as a one-hour special on ESPN2 on the evening of May 29, 2009.

New this year is the Verizon Wireless Wipeout Award, an interactive category which will be decided by the public at large.  Surfing fans will have the opportunity to view video clips of five contenders on the event website and text in their vote for what they consider the most spectacular unsuccessful ride of the year.  Nominations in all categories will be announced on or about March 25, 2009.

In addition to all the latest entries in each category, full event details including formats, rules and archives of past XXL years can be seen at the event website at www.BillabongXXL.com.

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