Ekkarat Sriden

The Quiksilver Thailand Surf Series 2009 finished up yesterday in spectacular but often testing surfing conditions at beautiful Kata Beach in Phuket Thailand, with this final event culminating in both Island Crown event winners and the overall championship winners of the three-event series.

Over 100 surfers participated in the Island Crown, locals as well as surfers from Australia, Japan, France, South Africa, Indonesia, Hawaii, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Over the course of the three-day event, the surf at Kata Beach varied from 2-3 foot glassy faces to stormy 5-6 foot non-stop windswell, giving the competitors in each division a challenging test of their endurance and skill.

“If I wasn’t in the contest I wouldn’t have paddled out for some of those heats. In all my years of surfing here in Phuket I’ve never surfed in conditions like this. It was really hard work but I’m glad I did it,” said Decha “Day” Sittidej after his heat on Saturday morning. Saturday’s competition was stopped three times when howling winds brought torrents of rain that blasted the beach for several minutes.

On Sunday the weather and the waves made a miraculous turn to produce a sunny and less windy day with more controlled surfing conditions overall. There were still sizeable waves that at low tide made for lots of paddling, but the surfers were up to the challenge and the spectators enjoyed cheering them on from the beach.

On Sunday evening at the end of the three days of competition, everyone gathered by the pool of the Kata Beach Resort for the awards presentation. After enjoying the delicious food and tapping the bountiful supplies of Kingfisher Beer and Jim Beam, as well as other refreshments, the crowd was treated a Quiksilver/Roxy fashion show by the stunning Maxim models.

Having gotten the crowd’s attention, Mr. Chanin “Joob” Aiyarak then took to the stage and begun the awards ceremony, starting with the Island Crown events winners in the Junior, Women’s, Longboard, and finally Men’s Open Division.

Oliver Penmit got his first event series win in the Juniors, Tiffany Riggs from Australia was victorious in the Women’s, Aaron Wright from the USA stole the show in the Longboards, and Jamie Smith claimed his first win at his home break of Kata Beach.

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Charles Martin

Charles Martin (GLP), 18, won the ASP Grade-3 Santa Surf Pro Junior in Tenerife today after defeating fellow finalist Frederico Morais (PRT) in the last Man-on-man battle of the 2009 ASP European Junior tour.

Martin, who ousted recently crowned ASP European Junior Champion Marc Lacomare (FRA) in the Semifinals, confidently led the final bout of the year against Morais to win his second event this season after the ASP Grade-2 contest at Lacanau mid-August, both men securing their ticket for the 2009 ASP World Junior Championships (WJC) after respectively finishing their 2009 campaign ranked No. 2 and 3 on the ASP European Junior ratings.

Martin, who posted a couple of high-seven scores throughout his two heats today to claim the prestigious title, was in excellent form this week in the consistent surf and let his surfing speak to oust defeat unexpected but solid runner-up Frederico Morais with a good 14.00 point heat result.

The 18-year-old rising star, who peaked with an equal 3rd at the WJC in Australia in 2008, was able to display progressive and power-surfing to take out the final event.

“The final wasn’t that great because we macked a few waves,” Martin said. “But overall, it was a great contest with good surf every day and long enough heats. The level was pretty amazing this week since Round 1, and the fast-breaking waves on offer offer a great scoring potential when you get the right one.

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Eisbach Wave in Munich

Thanks to stupid and wrong local media reports (two people died this summer in the Eisbach but swimming not surfing) some politicians want to close down the famous Munich's Eisbach river wave.

Please give your support to prevent the demolition of this unique wave via editing your name to the digital petition list! With your signature at you may prevent the destruction of one of Munich´s most unique attractions.

Join us and save the Munich Eisbach wave! Surfing in Munich has a long tradition and the wave at the Eisbach is famous around the world. And now its destruction is looming on the horizon.

On September 15th, the AZ (German Newspaper) headline read "Secret Plan: Eisbach Wave will be demolished!”

The Newspaper implies with a random listing of incoherent statements a - not existing - direct connection between the ramp (which builds the wave), surfing and the tragic accidents of swimmers drowning in the Eisbach, which always happened some kilometres downstream of the wave. Rather there would be a relation between the accidents and alcohol and/or sunstroke than with the wave. Nevertheless the newspaper states plans of destructing the wave.

The reason for this illogical plan is the tragic drowning of a (not surfing) Australian Student this summer, 1 kilometre downstream of the wave. And the bad PR the city Munich was getting afterwards and thereby the city was forced to remove its promotion of the wave on its own website. The logic seems to be, what’s the use of a wave if you can’t use it for your own marketing purposes, therefore tear down the one-of-a-kind wave on the Eisbach.

Fact is: There has never any surfer drowned at the Eisbach. There are dangerous weirs and undercurrents in the Eisbach, but they are around 1 kilometre downstream of the wave and they are not caused by the wave!

Question is: If a targeted and explicit sign-board (in Germand and English) with an explained warning for swimmers about the dangerous spots (like the sandbank-signs at the ocean) is more useful than a general swimming- and surfing prohibition also on save parts of the Eisbach, which most people are not adhering to anyway.

In addition a detailed sign could be placed at the wave, about the danger of the stones and that everybody is surfing at one`s own risk.

Fact is: Far more people injure themselves while inlineskating, biking on bicycle lanes, skiing or in beer gardens than while surfing on the Eisbach wave or swimming in Eisbach.

Fact is: Surfing on the Eisbach can be dangerous, but just for the surfer himself and only if he is a beginner. And the surfers have a self-management in place which makes sure that beginners are sent to a beginners-wave and most semi-good surfers voluntarily wear a helmet and lifejacket. Additionally the surf community is proactively spreading the information about the dangers of surfing on the wave in the internet as well.

Fact is: Surfers at the Eisbach with their neoprene and surfboard are much better protected against drowning than swimmers. Which is also shown through the fact that when there is a red flag at the beaches of the Atlantic swimming is strictly forbidden, but surfing is allowed.

Fact is: Surfing at the Eisbach has a long-rooted tradition and already started in the Seventies. Therefore the Eisbach is already known all around the world and German travelling surfers get asked about it wherever they go, even Australia, Morocco, Bali.

Fact is: Nearly all the people watching the surfers from the bridge are fascinated from the sport and make compliments and enjoy the performances.

Fact is: Eisbach-Surfing is an ecological equal-zero-emission sport at a natural spot. The possibility for Munich citizens of clean recreation without producing any pollution or noise! Nobody is getting harassed and nobody is complaining about it.

Fact is: Many Munich companies and stores (e.g. surfboard manufacturer, clothing shops, film productions and photograpers) profit of the unique status of the surfing community in Munich.

Fact is: This sport is peaceful and free of charge. Therefore the access to the sport is easy and many young persons love to surf at the Eisbach sometimes even on a daily basis. Hence it would be a shame to close this down-town sport possibility and hinder the surfers in getting physically exhausted during sport rather than putting their energy in drugs and brawls. All surfers are thankful for every day the wave runs and they can challenge themselves and have a good time with friends.

Fact is: It would be a shame if the city which wants to apply for the Olympic Games is so contrasportsmanlike and would destroy this unique phenomenon. Riversurfing is a new and fast growing sport and all around the world the mass appeal is increasing day by day. Munich was one of the trend-setters in this movement and is now risking getting back to the bottom of the league.

Source: Save The Eisbach Wave