Garut Widiarta

20 year old Garut Widiarta Rip Curl's rider from Bali became the first surfer in history to win a gold medal in the sport of surfing at an Olympic event at Kuta Beach in Bali, Indonesia.

The talented young surfer proudly held up the Indonesian flag as he and silver medalist Raditya Rondi accepted the cheers of the crowd in front of the judging tower.

In an intense 30 minute round of competition in their home break of Kuta Beach, the two cousins fought a pitched battle in the 2 foot low tide surf with Rondi leading for most of the heat, until Widiarta maneuvered into the perfect position to let loose with a couple of amazing aerial displays that had the judges reaching punching some big numbers into their keypads. When the horn blew Widiarta had tallied up a score of 18.50 for his best two waves, leaving Rondi just short with 17.20.
 
10 surfers from 5 countries, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, the Maldives, and Vietnam competed today in the 1st Asian Beach Games men's shortboard surfing event, with Widiarta winning the gold over Raditya Rondi and Shigenori Suzuki from Japan getting the bronze.

This is truly a benchmark for surfing, as it is the first time the sport of surfing has ever been included in an Olympic event.  In addition to the men's shortboard event , there will also be a women's shortboard event, a men's longboard event, an aerial surfing event, and a team event.

Jane Belo

Brazil has once again claimed a win at the Maresia Surf International in Itajai with Jano Belo celebrating his first victory in Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) Tour.

Belo defeated three Brazilians to reach the grand final and did not give any chance to Hawaiian Dustin Barca on the last day of competition and waves of two-to-three foot (1 metre) at Brava Beach.

With the victory, Jano earned US$15,000 and 2,500 points on the ASP WQS, but the champion was not well placed in the rating and moved from 166th place to 91th position, while Hawaiian Dustin Barca entered the zone of qualification for the 2009 ASP World Tour with his second place finish.

"I was looking for a good result so long ago and I only have to thank God for having given me a lot of tranquility to bear all the pressure of a final," Belo said.

"The waves were difficult, the heat was tense, Dustin was surfing too much, I only got hard heats today but now I am very happy and relieved with my result. I offer this title to all my family, my parents, my wife who is always by my side giving me strength and God, who was with me all the time. I gave everything of myself in the final and the good thing is that Brazil is on the top again."

Belo began the last day of Maresia Surf International defeating three Brazilians, the first was Beto Mariano in the Round of 16, then passed through Adilton Mariano in the Quarterfinals and Marcio Farney in the Semifinal. In the grand Final, Jano Belo started with full force and surfed a good wave of 7.50 points (out a possible of 10) and then took a 7.00 score which was replaced by another 7.50 points a few minutes later.

Belo then found a really nice left with a good wall to execute maneuvers, with speed and security Jano finished the wave and receive a 8.10 score of the judges, giving no chance to the Hawaiian.

Barca, who got great barrels on Saturday and Sunday, only surfed a regular wave in the Final and finished with 12.90 points (out a possible of 20) against 15.60 of Jano. Despite the second place, the Hawaiian was happy with the result and will try to confirm his entry into the 2009 ASP World Tour at home, in the final events of the ASP WQS in Hawaii.

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Nic Muscroft

Nic Muscroft (AUS), 26, won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Prime Santa Surf Pro at Lanzarote today in the Canarian archipelago clinching valuable 3000 ratings’ points that rocket him to No. 10 on the international ratings and increases his chances of qualifying for next year’s ASP World Tour. Muscroft, who defeated Oahu’s North Shore former ASP World Junior Champion Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) in wind blown three foot (one meter) waves at the world-class lefthander of San Juan, was impressive throughout the week with his consistency and unstoppable state of mind.

Muscroft, who posted a solid 14.43 point heat tally to best Bacalso’s threatening 14.00 point score (both out of a possible 20), was in good form all week and ended up winning his first event this year in a wave-starved 35-minute final battle where Bacalso was never able to find the 5.60 point ride he needed.

"It was gnarly, probably the gnarliest finish I have ever had," Muscroft said. "It was stressfull for me and I’m sure it was for Kekoa (Bacalso) as well. We had fifteen minutes with no waves right after I got my last one so I could not hope for more. He still had priority so I knew that he would make it if a wave came because he had been surfing so good the whole week."

Muscroft, who surfed seventeen ASP WQS events as well as most ASP World Tour contests thanks to an injury replacement wildcard, eventually sees his efforts pay off with the biggest win of his career to date.

"I feel like I have been surfing good the whole year and been pretty consistent," Muscroft said. "I knew it was more a matter of time before something came through with a big result so it is just amazing. I am over the moon right now."

Muscroft jumps from No. 25 to No. 10, and with three major events only remaining before the end-of-the-year Top 15 is decided and climbs into next year’s ASP World Tour, the Santa Surf Pro champion will be confident in the upcoming event in Portugal.

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