2009 ISA World Junior Championships 

The Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships returned to Playas de la FAE today for the second day of competition. Girls Under 18 made their grand debut, running all 24 heats of round one at the secondary contest site – a right and left beach break south end of the beach. Contest organizers also held the remaining heats of round one and all of round two for Under 18 Boys at the main contest site at the point. The surf was two to three feet in the morning but steadily rose throughout the day to a solid four five feet by the afternoon. Long rides from the outside point to the beach were commonplace.

Tyler Wright opened up the Australian girls’ campaign with an impressive heat win and total combined wave score of 17.16, so far the highest for the Girls Under 18 and the second highest of the entire contest. Australian teammates all followed suit with Laura Enever, Paige Haggerston and Tyler´s sister Kirby Wright taking the first place spot in their respective heats.

“I felt really great out there in my heat today,” said Wright youngest WCT pro event winner in history having won the Layne Beachley classic last year at 14. “I’m having a great time in Ecuador and am enjoying these waves.”

The Japanese Girls Under 18 team came out strong on their first day of competition with three of the team’s four surfers advancing on to the next round. In heat four, Japan’s Nao Omura won over Brazilian Isabela Lima and Venezuelan Rosanny Alvarez. Later in the day, in heat 21, Japan’s Minami Takechi overtook Brazilian Barbara Muller and Ametza Nichols of Barbados for the win.

South African Bianca Buitendag posted a high 15.17 for the win in heat 15, leaving second place Liza Caban of Puerto Rico needing nearly a perfect 10 point ride to take the lead.

Gabi Rowe and Karma Worthington kept the Great Britain team in the main rounds, taking second place in their heats. Many of the team’s Boys Under 18 surfers made it through round one but were unable to advance through round two and must now battle it out in the grueling repercharge rounds.

In the Boys Under 18 division, Chilean team member Guillermo Satt won his heat with Costa Rican Danny Bishko coming in a close second over Tahiti’s Jocelyn Poulou and USA’s Evan Thompson in third and fourth. Thompson was the first USA team member to go down to the repercharge rounds. Yesterday and today, the USA team had the strongest start of all the teams with every single surfer in all three divisions taking first place in their first round.


Mike Losness 

Mike Losness (San Clemente, CA), 28, claimed the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 2-Star Vans Pier Classic pres. by Jack’s Surfboards today over fellow finalists Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 18, who won the Ezekiel pro Junior and finished in second in the men’s event, Hank Gaskell (Hana, HI), 22, and Eric Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 21, in windy two-to-four foot (1 metre) conditions at South Huntington Beach Pier this afternoon.

All surfers competing in the Vans Pier Classic were looking to better their seed towards qualification for the ASP World Tour and ASP Pro Junior surfers were out to kick 2009 off on a good note at their season opener. ASP North American Pro Junior Series competitors look to finish in the top five on the series to qualify for the prestigious Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.

Losness jumped out to an early lead in the Vans Pier Classic Final by dropping an impressive 8.5 out of 10 on his first wave with several crushing backside blasts on a right-hand Huntington wall. He eventually put the nail in the coffin over his fellow finalists when he dropped a back up score of 7.65 out of 10, solidifying the win.

“It was tough to hear out there and I could kind of hear that I had the 8.5,” Losness said. “I knew I needed another good score though because all of the other guys have been surfing so well throughout the entire event. It seemed like Dillon (Perillo) was getting an 8 on every wave, so I knew I needed another score.”

The explosive goofy-footer felt the key to his success at the Vans Pier Classic was partially due his relaxed approach to surfing in the event.

“The waves were not amazing all week, they were kind of small, but still contestableand still fun,” Losness said. “I came up to this event not expecting too much, I had the goal of making the Quarterfinals and once I made that I figured anything after this is good. It’s cool once you set goals for yourself like that, if you don’t tell yourself that you have to win the event, for me, once I set my goal, I usually do better because I’m happy with myself and I can go from there.”

Perillo was in domineering form throughout the event’s entirety and tore his way through to both the ASP WQS and ASP Pro Junior Finals. The up-and-coming Californian made his progressive fins-free turns and air-reverses seem effortless throughout the five-day contest and claimed the Ezekiel Pro Junior and finished runner-up in the Vans Pier Classic. The Ezekiel Pro Junior win sees Perillo atop the ASP North America Pro Junior Series ratings for 2009.

“I’m so stoked to have won the first contest,” Perillo said. “Every heat I just tried to stay focused and do the same thing and I had three heats back-to-back. I just had fun and tried to not get too tired.”

Despite surfing seven heats on the final day of competition, Perillo gave the ASP WQS Final his all and ran out of gas while attempting to overtake eventual Vans Pier Classic champion, Losness.

“Mike pretty much blew us out of the water,” Perillo said. “I was trying to win, but then I was just trying to get second. I was so exhausted, I tried my hardest, but every time I went to do a turn my feet kept slipping.”


Jordy Smith Wins O'Neill Cold Water Classic in Tasmania Australia 

The solid two metre (6ft) waves of Bluffs Reef proved ideal for South African sensation Jordy Smith.(Durban) to win the O’Neill Cold Water Classic in Tasmania today. 

World no.9 Smith defeated world no.5 Damien Hobgood with a total heat score of15.56 to13.17 (combined two wave total out of a possible 20) in the final of the 6 star World Qualifying Series (WQS) earning USD20000 and 2500 WQS points.

Both surfers known for their competitive prowess suffered slow starts in the 35 minute final. With ten minutes remaining Smith locked in a heat-high 8.73 to back up his earlier 6.83 for victory.  Twenty-one year Smith’s free surfing approach key to his victory today with massive snaps and big aerial maneuvers all part of the young guns repertoire.

Smith a clear standout from his opening heat in the week long event overcame a class international field of 192 surfers to claim victory in the inaugural event held in the wild north-west of Tasmania.

Twenty-nine year-old Hobgood held an early lead with a 7.50 but could only lock in a 5.67 as his second scoring ride to be forced to settle for second place. Today’s result once again proving the nine-year world tour veteran is a proven ripper in solid waves despite hailing from the small wave location of Florida.

“I’ve had the greatest time here in Tasmania, it’s been just amazing with such powerful surf and fun people in this remote location” said Smith after his win.

“I always enjoy surfing waves that offer power and here in Tasmania every wave you surf is straight out of the deep southern waters and the power just makes for great surfing, I love it.”

Damien Hobgood was just as impressed with the wilds of North west Tasmania after placing second said “It’s been a special week for me here in Tasmania, so many great waves and just amazing people who have welcomed us here. It’s been an adventure for all of us and I’ve felt like a young kid all week!”

In the semi finals Smith used a lucky last wave to end the dream run of future world-beater Jadson Andre of Brazil.  Twenty-one year Andre - who had earlier eliminated the tournaments top seed of world no.5 C J Hobgood – led for most of the 35-minute match-up until Smith locked in a last-minute 8.27 score to secure a finals berth. Andre eliminated by less than one point on 15.27 to Smith’s total heat tally of 16.10. Andre finished equal third overall claiming USD 5000 and 1875 WQS points.