Roxy Pro Gold Coast 

The Roxy Pro Gold Coast presented by LG Mobile recommenced this morning in clean two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at nearby Duranbah Beach with athletes enduring three rounds of competition before deciding the Semifinalists by day’s end.

The opening event of the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour season, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast ran through Rounds 2 and 3 as well as the Quarterfinals today, with dramatic match-ups and barrier-breaking surfing entertaining the thousands on the beach and hundreds of thousands online.

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion, was in sensational form today, besting replacement surfer Megan Abubo (HAW), 31, in Round 3 before ousting compatriot Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 25, in the Quarterfinals.

“It was a great heat with Chelsea (Hedges),” Gilmore said. “There was a lot of energy before we went down to the water and it just felt great. I love surfing with her, but it’s always hard. As I’ve said before, she’s probably the only girl I’ve ever competed against who can throw a 7 or 8 right back in your face at the start of a heat and it really fires me up. Of course, to come out on top is always a bonus.”

Gilmore, who has failed to secure a strong opening result in her two years on the ASP Women’s World Tour, is now into the Semifinals and looks to be the event favorite, securing the day’s high heat total of a 16.83 out of a possible 20 in her Round 3 heat.

“My last big result at home was when I was a wildcard at 17,” Gilmore said. “It’s always a treat to surf at home in front of your friends and family. Now that I’m through to the Semifinals, I’m feeling really good and hopefully, we’ll get to finish at Snapper Rocks.”

Gilmore will face 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie Paige Hareb (NZL), 18, in Semifinal 1 when Roxy Pro Gold Coast competition recommences.

Hareb remains the sole goofy-footer in Roxy Pro competition, having bested veteran Amee Donohoe (AUS), 28, and fellow rookie Bruna Schmitz (BRA), 18, in Round 3 and he Quarterfinals respectively.

“My goal before coming into this was to make the Quarterfinals and I’m through to the Semis now so anything from here is a bonus,” Hareb said. “I’ve got my parents over here which helps me relax. I haven’t even surfed that much, just been cruising, it’s been good.”


Portugal will have seven High Performance Surfing Centers

The Portuguese coastal cities of Peniche, Viana do Castelo, Aveiro, Nazaré, Costa da Caparica, Vila do Bispo and Sintra will have High Performance Surfing Centers (Centro de Alto Rendimento de Surf) in a total expected investment of 5.000.000 euros.

Laurentino Dias, the Portuguese secretary of state for Youth and Sports, has laid the first stone for this ambitious project, in Peniche.

The seven High Performance Surfing Centers will be available and open to all surfers, kitesurfers, windsurfers, bodyboarders and kayaksurfers.

They will be fully equipped with a surfcamp, renewable energy systems, formation and conference rooms, gyms, leisure areas, green fields, medical centers and bedrooms.

«Sports like surfing are gaining momentum and respect. This is an unprecedent investment for the wave sports in Portugal», Laurentino Dias said.

The High Performance Surfing Centers will be mainly located in the South of Portugal, except for the Viana do Castelo unit.

Matosinhos, one of the best northern city surfing spots, is out of the planned High Performance Surfing Centers announced by the Portuguese government.


Troy Mothershead 

In idyllic, postcard conditions at Agnes Water it was Troy Mothershead (USA) and Chelsea Williams (Tweed Heads, NSW) who shone the brightest, taking the inaugural Smarts Concrete Agnes Water Longboard Classic presented by Sandcastles.

Having seen a congregation of the best longboard riders in the world, the final day of Smarts Concrete Agnes Water Longboard Classic presented by Sandcastles did not disappoint, with big scores and great waves on offer.

As the best in the business revelled in the one-metre conditions on Queensland’s famed Discovery Coast, it was Mothershead and Williams who were in a league of their own.

Pitted against a world-class calibre in the final, Mothershead defeated three WLT competitors on his way to the crown – Jared Neal (Coffs Harbour, NSW), Taylor Jensen (USA) and Jackson Close (Currumbin, QLD) – in an entertaining encounter.

“I never ever expected to win,” Mothershead beamed after his win.

“The level of talent in the final was through the roof.”

Having gotten off to a great start in the final, Mothershead held his nerve towards the latter stages, staving off possible comeback’s from all three

“I managed to grab a couple of really solid early waves and my momentum and confidence just grew,” he said.

Having never before seen the beauty and surfing capabilities of the Discovery Coast, Mothershead, a study abroad student, was more than impressed with what he saw.

“This is my first time here,” he stated.

“It’s a beautiful place, that has so much potential, hopefully one day I can come here an score it good.