Wayne Bartholomew 

After 10 years of service as President of ASP International, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew (AUS), 54, will be stepping down from the post, effective at the end of March 2009.

“After deep consideration, I have decided not to seek a fifth term as ASP President,” Bartholomew said. “I depart from ASP with nothing but positive feelings. After 36 years in the engine room of the sport, the timing of this decision is of the utmost importance to me. I feel the time is right. I leave at the height of my effectiveness perhaps I could say the height of my popularity in the surfing world.”

Bartholomew has been a central figure in professional surfing for over three decades. As a young Australian, the stylish natural-footer stormed onto the international scene in the 1970’s, dominating lineups and planting the seeds for what would one day become professional surfing.

“Wayne has been the most fitting and articulate ambassador for the sport,” Richard Grellman, Chairman of the ASP Board of Directors, said. “He has always represented ASP with integrity and candor. He is the visionary that started the Tour and then reinvented it again with the Dream Tour. We have a global, respected professional surf tour thanks to Rabbit and owe him a mountain of thanks.”

The original “Coolangatta Kid” punctuated a stunning 12 years as a touring professional surfer with a World Title in 1978 and 8 consecutive years in the top 5. Bartholomew’s 36 years in the sport also saw him collect World Titles in the ASP Masters (1999) and ASP Grand Masters (2003) divisions, serve 11 years as surfer representative on the ASP Board, eight years as the regional representative, four years as CEO/President and finally his decade-long stint as President of ASP International.

“All of my roles and especially my time as President have been a fulfilling and rewarding experience,” Bartholomew said. “I consider it a privilege and an honour to have held this position of great responsibility and to have worked alongside a group of very dedicated and talented individuals.”

A champion of surfers’ rights and in possession of incredible market foresight, Bartholomew orchestrated the transition of professional surfing venues from metropolitan locations with marginal surf to the best waves on the planet, resulting in what is today referred to as the “Dream Tour.”

“I have a deep affinity with professional surfing and my personal journey has run a parallel course with the evolution of the sport,” Bartholomew said. “This leaves me with a feeling of deep satisfaction and I am confident about the future of the sport of professional surfing. Thank you for allowing me to serve the sport in the capacity of ASP President.”

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Roxy Invitational Mozambique 

Roxy South Africa are once again off to Mozambique, to the fabled break of Ponta Do Oro, for the Roxy Invitational 2009. The perfect right hand point break of Ponta will be the arena for the 10 best female surfers in the country to cut loose on the best day during the waiting period 4-11 May 09.

This year there is a new initiative to enable all surfers the possibility of entering the event. Go to the event website and if you think you deserve to be a part of this prestigious crew, then this is your opportunity to state your case and put yourself before the selectors. Entries close 27 February 09.

This is the third year of this successful and popular event, and the 12 open slots are possibly some of the most coveted contest slots in the country. With a R10,000 first prize in the mix, women surfers get themselves into a bit of a frenzy trying to get into the event.

The official Roxy Invitational website will be updated with the invited surfers profiles mid-March 09. The website also offers 2008 event pics, video and event news.

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1500 surfers paddle to save Kirra Point 

The whole focus of today's community Australia Day rally is to raise the issue of the loss of Kirra Point at the highest levels of State Government, namely NSW & Queensland State Governments, who jointly manage the Tweed Sand By-Pass operation together with Gold Coast City Council and Tweed Shire Council to renegotiate the 25 year contract of pumping sand.

The community at large would like to see action on the restoration of Kirra Point considered to be one of the greatest sand bottom point breaks in the world.

After 8 years of pumping and 10 million cubic metres of sand for Gold Coast beaches only 1/8 moves north, the rest has lodged itself at Coolangatta and more so now at Kirra Beach. The sand by-pass operation began in 2001 and while it created the super bank at Snapper Rocks it wiped out Kirra and hasn't performed since the massive supply of sand to the southern end of the gold coast, the beach now resembles the Sahara Desert and has turned off beach goers. The outside reefs have been covered over and the point break is non-existent. 2002 was the last year that Kirra Point was able to host a pro-surfing event.

The campaign for restoring Kirra to all its glory will continue, thanks to the efforts of the Surfrider Foundation and their sub-committee KirraPoint.org to make recommendations and offer solutions to bring Kirra back.

Some of the biggest names in surfing turned out for the biggest rally Kirra has seen since the days when it use to pump perfect waves.

2007 World Champion, Mick Fanning, a life member of the Kirra Surfriders Club spoke about his earlier formulative years competing and free surfing at Kirra Point with his Coolangatta mates, Dean Morrison and Joel Parkinson.

Legendary surfing great Michael Peterson, better known as MP, is still considered the King of Kirra, and reflected on his tube riding sessions in the 70's era. MP took tube riding to a whole new level and he is still highly regarded as probably one of the best that Kirra has ever seen. MP came down to the waters edge to cheer on the paddlers.

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