It was an early start on Saturday morning for Irish surfers competing in the Denny Irish Surfing Championships with the first heat in the water at 8.00am at Tullan Strand. With the wave forecast for Sunday looking poor event organisers were eager to complete the event in one day.

The open division saw some great surfing. Standouts in the early rounds included Hugh Galloway (Tramore), Damien Conway (Lahinch), Aron Reid (Sligo), Ronan Oertzen (Belfast) and Nicole Morgan (Bundoran, the only women to compete in the Open). In the semi-finals newcomer Liam Joyce (Dublin) and veteran, David Blount (Tramore) eliminated Hugh Galloway (Tramore) and Kevin Doyle (Tramore) while Cain Kilcullen (Enniscrone) and Fergal Smith (Westport) secured their passes in the final eliminating Owen Murphy (Bundoran) and Ronan Oertzen (Belfast).

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An inspired performance from Durban’s Davey Weare saw him surf to victory against USA’s Austin Ware in excellent surf at Ansteys on the Bluff near Durban. Utilising their Prime-status alternative venue, the contest organisers had little hesitation in choosing Ansteys for the final day of surfing at the Quiksilver Pro Durban.

“Ansteys was always on the radar,” said contest director Matt Wilson of the venue choice for the day. “There’s not much happening at New Pier, or anywhere else on the coast, and we’re seeing some great waves here. The surfers are happy, so it was the right decision to make.” A day of great surfing, big moves and barrel rides ensued, with some explosive match-ups the order of the day.

Josh Kerr from Australia was in the first heat of the day against fellow Australian Shaun Cansdell, and won it convincingly with big turns and some trade-mark airs. “This is a great wave and stoked we moved here,” said Kerr of the new location. “These waves have plenty of push and there’s opportunities for big scores, so it definitely was a good idea to move the event. I got lucky in that heat by catching the good ones, but a win’s a win, so I’ll take it.”

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Romain Laulhe (Anglet, FRA) won the 4-Star rated Vendee Surf Pro in 3 to 5 ft (1.2 to 1.5 meter) waves today, his maiden Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) crown. Laulhe, who defeated runner-up Luke Campbell (AUS) in a 35-minute man-on-man final, controlled the battle with power surfing and flying maneuvers to clinch the crown.

Laulhe, 23, former top ASP Europe Junior surfer, showed great determination and improvment throughout the event to secure his best result to date by taking the win in the Vendee Surf Pro. Laulhe, who posted a solid 15.33 point heat tally (out of possible 20) including an excellent 8.00 point ride to best Campbell’s 14.33 heat score, goes first on the ASP European Pro Surf Tour ratings before the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime event in Scotland.

"I do not realize yet I have won the event," Laulhe said. "I am so stoked to eventually get the win in such a big event and I cannot thank all the support I have had enough. It was a great event and to come out on top makes me feel over the moon."

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