Jordy Smith 

The third day of competition at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP)  O’Neill Cold Water Classic and the event found itself at its third new location where surfing’s big names took to the water.

With conditions easing ever so slightly, contest director Matt Wilson chose Marrawah’s exposed Lighthouse Beach as the spot to finish off the round of 96.

In this isolated northwest corner of Tasmania, the likes of Jordy Smith, Cory Lopez, Ben Dunn, aerial master Josh Kerr, and Damien Hobgood made the most of the powerful beach break.

There are high expectations for the 21-year-old South African surfing phenomenon, Jordy Smith – winner of this ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) tour two years ago.

And he didn’t fail to disappoint, waiting until the second half of his heat to pull out his high scoring waves. “It’s interesting being back on the WQS,” he said, “because you can go through with 5’s… I can’t get away with that on The World Tour,” he said.

This is the first time for Jordy on Australia’s island state, but he is fitting right into the Tasmanian waters,

“I met a few of the locals yesterday evening out in the water. I was asking them how to get back because it was getting pretty dark and we were pretty far from anything,” he said. “They were like, no worries catch a ride with us. It was crazy driving through the night with all the Tasmanian Devils about and stuff. We almost hit something the other day – I would have felt bad. We didn’t though, we stopped and let it cross the road.”

The heat of the day today was a battle of spectacular young talent, with 19-year-old up and coming Australian star, Owen Wright taking it out ahead of Dusty Payne, Lincoln Taylor and Wiggoly Dantas.

It was a pretty close heat,” said Owen who has been appreciating the good conditions made possible by the mobile format of the event. “The first day was incredible – the Bluff is an awesome wave,” he said. “But it’s great it’s mobile. It keeps all the options open and you can get the best waves every day.” 

“I’ve been over to Tasmania before,” he said. “But never to this corner. It’s a nice untouched place - it’s an awesome place to have an event.”


ISA World Junior Championships 

From March 28 to April 5 the waves of the Playa de las FAE in Salinas, Ecuador, will host the greatest junior surfing event in the world: the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.

More than 200 of the best athletes of about 30 different countries will be competing for one of the greatest honors to which a junior surfer can aspire: a podium in an International Surfing Association (ISA) event.

The ISA is the World Governing Authority of Surfing and all its disciplines, recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

The event will crown the world champions in the categories Boys Under 18, Boys Under 16 and Girls Under 18, as well as the World Junior Champion nation, after the results of all its participants have been added.

Each team will be represented by four members in each of the categories therefore, a complete team will be composed of twelve athletes.

ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, commented on this upcoming event: I'm very happy that a major ISA event is going to be held in Ecuador, the host of the 2004 ISA World Surfing Games. It's a great country with warm people, hot waves and weather - for sure a place to spend some extra days before or after the competition.


UK Pro Surf Tour 

The 2009 UK Pro Surf Tour is back, the first event scheduled over the Whitsun Bank holiday weekend, the Saltrock Open comes to Croyde Beach, and if the past events are anything to go by, we could be in for a treat.

The long Whitsun weekend of the 23rd / 24th / 25th May is later in the year for the event and therefore open to more surfers as they return from their winter training.

We will see surfers of all ages and abilities travel to Devon’s most celebrated break, possibly one of the best Beach Breaks in the country, to take part in what has traditionally become one of the most important stops on the tour.  This first tour pit-stop has grown in stature over the years thanks to epic conditions and some heroic performances from the best surfers in the country. 

Saltrock remain proud sponsors of this prominent leg of the tour, which will feature 4 main categories: Men’s Open, Pro-Juniors, Women’s Open and the Groms Tour. The Groms Tour includes 3 categories of its own; an Under-12s Open, an Under-16 Boys and Under-16 Girls.  Saltrock are keen to maintain their support of young surfers and invest in the future of British surfing.

Saltrock has been a prominent part of the North Devon surfing community for over 20 years, and is again proud to be hosting a showcase event in their spiritual home of Croyde.  This event will be the first of a nine event tour which spans the UK and Northern Ireland.
Last year there were many highlights and fantastic displays of contemporary surfing. With surf conditions varying from to two to four feet, the eventual winner of the Open was Mark Harris who narrowly defeated Matt Capel on a count-back. In the Women’s division it was Nicole Morgan who set the standard for the rest of the year, by taking out this event and then going on to win the tour title, only losing one heat in the process.

Relentless Energy drink will also be supporting the event giving £250 for the best Aerial of the contest and providing plenty of refreshment to keep the surfers going.