Ghost ship in Padang Padang

Padang Padang's new resident shipwreck, the Ho Tsai Fa is now off the surfing reef and wedged into the rocks facing the surf break.

Daily physical efforts from Bali-based ROLE Foundation, GUS Foundation, Rip Curl, and a crew of volunteers have been concentrated on the low tides, the only time the ship is safely accessible on dry reef. The good news is most hazardous materials like oil, diesel, and loose bits of boat have been removed and hauled away.

Concerned divers have cleaned the underwater reef of fishing hooks, sharp gaffs, wires, nets, pieces of metal and other dangerous shrapnel from the wreck. The bad news is that the ship's 100 ft+ (33 m+) fiberglass frame could start breaking off at a faster rate with each new swell, further polluting the surrounding areas. Gaping holes are already ripped into the boat's bottom, meaning that any attempts to pull it off the reef would result in the ship sinking like a rock.

The offensive stench of the remaining fish and bait rotting in the ship's hold truly tests one's limits. Other fishy smells come from the crew that jumped to safety, way in advance, while the ship was set on a crash course for Bali. Apparently the ship had broken all contact for about a month before the wreck, its whereabouts and intentions unknown. Police are on the lookout for the crew.

As we know, the ship wrecked on the opening ceremony night for the Rip Curl Cup at Padang Padang late last Friday night, choosing its final berth not far below the judging tower and contest lookout.

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US Open of Surfing

The GO211 LIVE featuring the Honda Women’s U.S. Open of Surfing presented by O’Neill hit the water this morning in glassy two-to-four (1 metre surf. This Association of Surfing Professionals World Qualifying Series 6-Star event played host to some of surfing’s finest female athletes, with top ASP Women’s World Tour and WQS seeds battling it out for the prized Honda U.S. Open of Surfing title.

Today’s competition witnessed ASP Dream Tour surfers Stephanie Gilmore (Tweed Heads, AUS), Sofia Mulanovich (Lima, PER) and Melanie Bartels (Makaha, HI) dominate the field of international competitors vying for the valuable ASP WQS ratings points towards qualification of the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour.

Gilmore and Mulanovich, both former U.S. Open Champions (2007 and 2006 respectively) looked hungry to tack another U.S. Open title on to their list of accomplishments, while Bartels is working feverishly towards her first victory here at the women’s ASP WQS 6-Star event.

Mulanovich issued the day’s highest single-wave score of a near-perfect 9.87 out of a possible 10 for a combination of big forehand hacks and stylish cutbacks in her Round of 48 heat. "There’s a couple of corners on the rights and the surf is really fun and rippable," Mulanovich said.

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Timmy Reyes 

The GO211 LIVE featuring the Honda U.S. Open of Surfing presented by O’Neill completed the Round of 144 today and an international contingent of top talent posted some of the highest scores in event history today, reveling in the glassy three-to-four foot (1 metre) waves on offer at Huntington Beach Pier.

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star event narrowed its field down to 96 competitors today, moving one day closer to crowing this year’s 2008 Honda U.S. Open champion.

The heat of the day was the high-flying shootout between ASP WQS combatants Jadson Andre (Natal, BRA) and Torrey Meister (Kona, HI), both exchanging consecutive near-perfect rides in their Round 2 clash.

Andre earned an impressive score of a 9.23 in the opening seconds of his Round 2 heat with a series of powerful maneuvers to get the round started. The young surfer from Brazil then followed up his excellent score with a perfect 10 out of 10 point ride for punting a massive no-grab frontside air on what looked to be a closeout wave.

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