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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The kings of big wave surfing have been crowned at the eighth annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards in California.  Regarded as the Oscars of big wave surfing, the 2007/08 awards recognize the biggest and heaviest waves ridden and documented over the past twelve months.


2000 surf stoked fans packed the Grove Theater in Anaheim to witness mind-blowing rides from Chile, Europe, South Africa, Australia, Hawaii, Mexico, California and French Polynesia.  In what proved to be one of the best years in big wave surfing history, over 500 images and videos were submitted for judging.  The awards are decided by a panel of 250 surfers, selected surf media and big wave aficionados.

Shane Dorian, 35, of Kona Hawaii, scooped top honors by winning the $50,000 Ride Of The Year Award for a wave conquered at Teahupoo, Tahiti during the swell of the year on November 1st 2007.  After being towed into what shaped up as one of the rides of the session, Dorian dropped to the base of the heaving slab and caught a slight rail, putting him in a near impossible position.  After correcting his mistake in the tube, the natural footer went into a full layback, coming from behind the foam ball to be cartwheeled into the safety of the channel. 

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Surfing history was created on the final day of the Drug Aware Pro Margaret River presented by O’Neill, as two new champions were crowned at Surfers Point. Tom Whitaker (Bronte, NSW) and Paige Hareb (New Zealand) created their own individual pieces of history, both sealing their maiden professional tour victories in style.

Whitaker, a 10-year Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Tour veteran, defeated American Chris Ward (San Celmente, USA), in a one-sided affair – winning 15.67 (out of a possible 20), to Ward’s 6.17, to take home a US$15,000 winner’s cheque and 3,000 points on offer in the 6-Star World Qualifying Series (WQS) event.

The popular 28 year-old pro-surfer, often seen chairing his Aussie mates up the beach on the World Tour, was never in doubt in the Final, after opening with a 6.17 to lead from start to finish.

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