Oakley Pro Junior

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-1 Oakley Pro Junior got underway today at Lacanau in France in consistent but messy three to four foot (1 to 1.2 meter) waves at the central beach and Rounds 1, 2 and 4 heats of Round 3 were completed finishing in a stormy weather.

With all favorites not surfing before Rounds 3 and 4, unknown surfers and locals were able to enjoy their time out before big names start firing tomorrow.

Ormand Rangi (NZL), 20, competing in Europe for the first time this summer, was the most consistent competitor throughout the day getting through three heats and posting the best score of the day, a good 13.80 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) in Round 3.

"I felt better heat after heat", Rangi said. "The wind and the tides didn’t help to surf well but I am happy I managed to do an air on the top of a wave to secure enough points and advance to next round."

Rangi, whose promissing performances in the two recent events make him one serious threat to any surfer, aims at going as far as he can in the ASP Grade-1 Pro Junior event.

Jason Polydor (FRA), 17, last local competitor still in the event, was the crowd’s favorite today and advanced through to Round 3 despite a low 3.60 point heat tally.

"I am very happy with my heat even if my score is very low", Polydor said. "I am used to surfing in these conditions and it can be an advantage on my contenders but it is very hard for everybody to post a high score. This is my first year on the Pro Junior tour and I am here to gain experience."

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Rip Curl Boardmasters

The swell had ped during the night and Day 3 of the Rip Curl Boardmasters in association with Relentless saw twelve heats take place in good three foot (one meter) waves today at Fistral Beach. From the fourty-eight competitors who paddled out for Round 3, twenty-four only remain in contention for the prestigious ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star crown and the winner's valuable 2000 ratings' points.

Pablo Paulino (BRA), 2X and reigning ASP World Junior Champion, closed Round 3 with the highest heat score of the event thus far to defeat Rip Curl team rider Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Eric Rebiere (FRA) and Luke Cheadle (AUS).

"So stoked to get through that one with such big scores", Paulino said. "The waves were fun and I just went for big turns and ended up winning. I hope I can keep things going this way for Round 4 and further."

Paulino, who will face fellow Brazilian surfer Diego Rosa (BRA) and Nic Muscroft (AUS) in Round 4, will be a favorite if the conditions remain the same.

Many different nations will be represented when Round 4 resumes as Europeans, Brazilians, Australians, Kiwis, South Africans and one American managed to advance today. Californian progressive surfer Brett Simpson (USA), currently rated No. 10 on the international stage, was a stand out getting the second highest heat result of the day to get through one more round.

"It was fun and the waves definitely remained good enough to get that round done", Simpson said. "It is probably one of the best events this year with yesterday being excellent and today being good so I am pretty happy."

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Fistral Beach 

The Rip Curl Boardmasters witnessed some of the best waves of the year today at Fistral Beach, Round 2 of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star coming to an end in fantastic five foot (1.5 meter) clean waves. Twenty-four heats were completed and all top seeded surfers started their 2008 Boardmasters campaign in what will be remembered as one of the greatest days of surfing in Europe.

Drew Courtney (AUS), 29, Seed No. 3 in the event and rated No. 8 on the ASP WQS ratings coming to Newquay, was a standout this morning posting an excellent 9.00 point ride (out of possible 10) en route to winning Heat 5 with a solid 16.50 point heat result (out of a possible 20).

"I had a good wave obviously but it did not look it was going to be", Courtney said. "I managed to get a couple of turns and the wave was clean enough. The waves were a bit fat and it is hard to figure out what way the wave is going to break before taking off."

Courtney, who will be attending all upcoming events, is focused on an ASP World Tour qualification for 2009 and will have to string some big results together to secure his spot.

"Things have been good this year but we are a long way from the end of the season", Courtney said. "Plenty of events still to come and everyone can win at this stage."

From former ASP Top 45 member and event winner David Weare (ZAF) to Brazil’s outstanding performer Robson Santos (BRA), including Europe’s Marlon Lipke (DEU) and Patrick Beven’s (FRA) solid results, top seeded competitors took control of Round 2.

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