Del Mar

Professional surfer Milton Willis was sentenced to four years in prison, after a drink-and-drive fatal accident killed his 24-year-old passenger in Del Mar, California, USA.

Willis, a tow-in surfer aged 53, pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol.

The accident occurred when he lost control of the Toyota Avalon while driving about 65 mph in a 25-mph zone.

Soon after, the car hit a parked car and smashed into a palm tree.

Kai Otton

The Quiksilver Pro France presented by Orange is back ON with Round 3 heading out into the glassy two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf on offer at Les Bourdaines at 11am.

Event No. 7 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Quiksilver Pro France assessed conditions this morning before determining the activate the world’s best surfers for Round 3 of competition.

“We didn’t expect these conditions today,” Rod Brooks, Quiksilver Pro France Contest Director said. “It’s very clean and very contestable and seeing as how the fore for next week isn’t looking very promising, we’ll be starting Round 3 at 11am this morning. We’ll be closely monitoring the conditions throughout the day and making adjustments accordingly.

Up first this morning will be Bede Durbidge (AUS), 26, up against 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie Nic Muscroft (AUS), 27, in Heat 1 of Round 3.

The Quiksilver Pro France will host the world’s best surfers from September 23 to October 4, 2009.

Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Nic Muscroft (AUS)
Heat 2: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Roy Powers (HAW)
Heat 3: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)
Heat 4: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Phillip MacDonald (AUS)
Heat 5: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Greg Emslie (ZAF)
Heat 6: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Dustin Barca (HAW)
Heat 7: Mick Campbell (AUS) vs. Dean Morrison (AUS)
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Patrick Beven (FRA)
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 11: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 12: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Tim Boal (FRA)
Heat 13: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 14: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 15: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
Heat 16: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)

Nikki Van Dijk

Excellent waves and high scoring performances culminated an outstanding final day to the opening event to the Rip Curl GromSearch 2009/2010 Series presented by SNICKERS at Jan Juc Beach in Victoria.

With a new solid groundswell and clean offshore winds lighting up the entire Surfcoast region Australia’s top 16 year and under surfers were able to unleash all their talents and high scoring performances were the only way to win.

The Blue ribbon Boys and Girls 16 and under finals  were both high scoring with the Boys final getting down to a wave for wave close battle which saw Cronulla’s Connor O’Leary take the win by just 0.25 points ahead of Byron Bay’s Soli Bailey with Tasmania’s Hamish Renwick 3rd and Lennox Head/NSW surfer Nikki Hoskin in 4th.

“So pleased to win the first event of the series, it takes the pressure off by winning this one as I’m now qualified for the national final” said O’Leary after his win.

“It’s my second win on the GromSearch series, I won in Cronulla last year and now I’ll aim to try and win the series for this year” added O’Leary.

The girl’s final saw a dominating performance from Phillip Island’s Nikki Van Dijk who scored the days highest wave score of a 9.2 early in the final to take a massive lead that was never seriously challenged.

Van Dijk is the defending GromSearch Girls 16 international champion and she’s very keen to defend that title next Easter.

“Great to win the first event on the series and I’m looking forward to the final now – I’ll compete in a few more GromSearch events this year but winning today is great as I’m qualified and can relax and concentrate on defending the title next Easter.”

Van Dijk defeated fellow Phillip Island surfer India Payne who found a strong 6 point ride late in final to move into second place ahead of interstate surfers Brodie Doyle (Qld) and Lauren McAleer (NSW).

Soli Bailey’s performance today was exceptional, despite losing the closest final in the 16 Boys, he took a convincing win in the 14 Boys final where he posted two excellent 8 point plus rides to defeat Jake Thompson (NSW), Chris Robertson (NSW) and Kai Hing (Qld).

The Girls 14 and under final saw another great performance from Victorian Phillip Island region surfer Kelly Laity (Sandy Point) who won the final over Indiana Green (NSW).

Twelve and under winners were Jemima Hutchins (Barwon Heads) and Jaemes Young (NSW/Angourie).