- 19 January 2009 | Surfing
Last Year’s Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) champion Nathaniel Curran (Oxnard, CA), 24, claimed the 2009 ASP WQS 4-Star O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro presented by Ron Jon title today over fellow finalists, Aaron Cormican (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 26, Blake Jones (Melbourne, FL), 20, and Cory Lopez (Laguna Niguel, CA), 31, in peaky two-to-four foot (1 metre) conditions. Curran’s victory at the ASP WQS season opener continues his reign atop the ASP WQS ratings.
The O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro is the first event of the 2009 ASP WQS season, with all of the series’ competitors striving to earn points towards qualification for the prestigious ASP World Tour the following year.
Curran jumped out to an early lead in the Final by issuing several beyond-vertical backhand snaps on the lefthanders down the beach at Sebastian Inlet. The quiet regular-footer’s backside performance earned him a heat total of 15.43 out of 20, which proved to be an unattainable score for his fellow competitors.
“I’m stoked,” Curran said. “I had a couple of weird heats today and the Final clicked for me. I was stoked to be in the Final. All of those guys were ripping. Cormican was doing huge airs and it was a fun heat.”
Curran picked up where he left off last year with a victory at this year’s O’Neill SI Pro. The Californian will not surf another event until his first contest on the ASP World Tour, and was happy to get a few heats under his belt on the ASP WQS before he embarks on his maiden ASP Dream Tour voyage.
“I just wanted to come out here and warm up for the beginning of the year,” Curran said. “I wanted to see how I was feeling. There has been a four month break for me and I didn’t want to go into my first event without doing anything.”
Although Curran’s primary focus will be on his ASP World Tour campaign, the talented Californian still plans on surfing some events on this year’s ASP WQS.
“I’m probably going to do some events and luckily there are a lot of contest at home this year,” Curran said. “It makes it really nice for us, being on the World Tour, so I’m going to see how the first couple events go on the World Tour and go from there.”
- 16 January 2009 | Surfing
Longboarders around Australia welcomed today's news that the Queensland coastal town of Agnes Water will host an inaugural ASP Longboard Qualifying Series event in March 2009.
The Smarts Concrete Agnes Water Classic on March 4th - 6th 2009 will see a host of the best longboarders from Australia and internationally descending on the historic coastal township of Agnes Water. All will be eager to take the crown of this inaugural ASP LQS rated event. The event will host both ASP LQS 1 Star Men's & 1 Star Women's divisions offering over $10,000 in prize money.
Located 1 hour north of Bundaberg, the tiny coastal town of Agnes Water offers superb coastal surroundings, lush tropical vegetation and some of the most stunning beaches in Australia. The location is close to the hamlet of 1770, noted historically as the landing place of explorer Capt. James Cook, who landed here in 1770 before continuing on to discover the Great Barrier Reef, the region is now known as the 'Discovery Coast'. Agnes Water is one of the last coastal areas north of Brisbane to get rideable surf before the Barrier Reef begins. Surf conditions in March/April see the best waves hitting the local points and beaches.
The event now consolidates a stronger series of ASP LQS events in Australia complimenting both the Noosa Festival LQS & Malfunction LQS, Kingscliff N.S.W. with all scheduled in the month of March now creating a bigger Australian longboard tour on the East Coast.
2006 ASP World Longboard Champion, Australia's Josh Constable keenly welcomed the new event today quoting, "It's awesome to see another event on the LQS Tour in Australia, I'm looking forward to making the trip to Agnes Water, it's somewhere I have never visited, and it will be great to compete in a new event location." Constable, who rarely finishes far from the top placings will be a serious contender at Agnes Water in March.
Cheryl Wickes of Discovery Coast Tourism & Commerce said today, "It is fantastic to see the ASP Longboard Qualifying Series coming to Agnes Water, everyone is thrilled at this exciting announcement. Our business community is fully supportive of the event and welcomes national and international board riders to now discover what we, who are privileged enough to live here already know... that Agnes Water has some of the most stunning surf beaches in Queensland.'
- 15 January 2009 | Surfing
The Jamaica Surfing Association’s 2009 contest season will kick off on Saturday 24th 2009 at the Lighthouse Surfing Beach at Plumb Point along the Palisadoes peninsula beginning at 9:00 am.
All of Jamaica’s top surfers are expected to take part in this event as the results from it will set the tone for the annual point’s battle for the title of 2009 National Open Champion and selection for the 2010 National Open Team.
’08 Champ Icah Wilmot who finished strongly last year with 3 wins and 2 second place showings will now be pressed to defend his title by the top challengers. The other four events of the annual 5 event series are spread throughout the year climaxing in December.
Local surfing conditions are very good at this time of year. The regular winter cold fronts which swing off North America out over the Atlantic, send powerful “swells” down into the Caribbean creating high surf conditions along Jamaica’s northeast and southeast coasts the result of which can be observed near Kingston as one drives along the peninsula towards the Norman Manley Airport, or at world famous beaches like “Boston Bay” and “Long Bay” in Portland.
Jamaica’s surfing is now followed closely by the international surfing world and local surfers have now started to attract international sponsorship attention. Local surfers such as 2008 National Open Champ Icah Wilmot has wooed the hearts of sponsors such as INSIGHT Clothing, QUASHI Surfboards, NIXON Watches, REEF footwear and ON-A-MISSION surf accessories who all help to promote his career by using his images in advertising campaigns and facilitating his attendance at numerous international Pro/Am events throughout the region and around the world.
The public is invited to attend the event but please remember your beach towels, umbrellas, water and picnic basket as it will be an all day affair. Below are last year’s series results. Competitors best 4 results were tallied with the fifth event reserved for tie break situations.