"Maverick's: Everest of the Seas"

Two of Northern California's most famous institutions –- big wave surfing and the wine country -– will merge this month at a unique event in Sonoma County.  The Longboard Vineyards Tasting Room in Healdsburg will reveal its latest surfing-themed wine while hosting the acclaimed photography exhibition "Maverick's: Everest of the Seas," featuring the award-winning images of some of action sports' best lensmen.  The festivities take place during the weekend of October 23-25, 2009.

The highlight of the weekend will be the Friday evening reception featuring the introduction of a new red wine honoring one of California's true big wave legends.  Oded Shakked, a longtime surfer who founded Longboard Vineyards, will be unveiling his latest release, The Peter Mel/Mavericks Cabernet Sauvignon. This signature wine will be blended by not only Shakked but guest vintner, Peter Mel.

Mel, one of the most respected names in big wave surfing, is known as perhaps the most skillful surfer ever to ride Maverick's, the famed spot off the Half Moon Bay. In October of 1998 Mel was towed into what is now considered one of the biggest waves ever ridden.   Mel will make a personal appearance at the Friday night reception along with the featured photographers, surfboard shapers, wine makers and a wide range of Maverick's elite. The reception will begin at 5 P.M. and run until roughly 9 P.M.

Longboard Vineyard has always had a soft spot for surfers. It has gained a reputation a place where you can hang out at a redwood-surfboard bar, or sample one of its award winning wines while kicking back on a comfortable sofa watching surf movies. For this harvest weekend event Shakked has enlisted “Mavericks: Everest of the Seas,” the heralded collection of Mavericks surf photography from Frank Quirarte, Doug Acton, Seth Migdail and Ed Grant.

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Mick Fanning

With the completion of the Billabong Pro Mundaka yesterday, won by Adriano de Souza (BRA), 22, the 2009 ASP World Title race has heated up to a boiling point heading into the last two events on the ASP World Tour: the Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal and the Billabong Pipeline Masters.

Renato Hickel, ASP World Tour Manager, has run the scenarios of what it would take for current ASP World No. 1 Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, to clinch the 2009 ASP World Title at the upcoming event in Portugal:

“At this stage, mathematically, there are 10 surfers in contention for the 2009 ASP World Title, from current ASP World Tour ratings’ leader Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, to current ASP World #10 Damien Hobgood (USA), 30.

For the upcoming Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal these are the scenarios most likely to happen:

If Mick Fanning were to win the upcoming Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal:

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, would need a 9th or better and Adriano de Souza (BRA), 22, would need a 3rd or better to prevent him from clinching the 2009 ASP World Title in Portugal.

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Adriano de Souza

Adriano de Souza (BRA), 22, claimed his inaugural ASP World Tour win today, taking out the Billabong Pro Mundaka, eliminating fellow Finalist Chris Davidson (AUS), 33, in punchy two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at the backup venue of Sopelana.

Stop No. 8 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Mundaka experienced an array of conditions for the event, from clean surf on the opening day at Mundaka to a lengthy seven-day wait before a marathon 24-heat session yesterday, culminating into today’s dramatic finale.

De Souza, who had previously experienced in the ASP World Junior Championships (winning in 2003) and on the ASP World Qualifying Series winning in 2005), was rapt with his inaugural ASP World Tour victory.

“I don’t have words to express how happy I am right now,” De Souza said. “I have been working so hard for this ever since winning the ASP World Junior Championships and the ASP WQS. To finally win here in Mundaka, where the culture is so rich and the people love surfing so much, is an incredible thing. This is the most special day of my life.”

The young Brazilian dominated the crumbling lefthander of Sopelana, racking up an insurmountable 16.40 out of a possible 20 to overtake his Australian opponent, resulting in his history-making win as the first South American to take out the prestigious event win.

“The conditions have been hard for this event but we surfed the best waves that were available to us,” De Souza said. “Davo (Chris Davidson) is such a strong surfer and he has been going after a win for so long. When he beat C.J. (Hobgood) in the Semifinals, I knew it was going to be a battle. I was able to get the better waves today and that’s why I won.”

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