ASP Mundaka 08 

Contest officials made the 45 minute drive to assess conditions at the back-up site of Sopelana this morning but ultimately decided to call ASP World Tour competition off for the day.

According to Surfline, the official forecaster of the Billabong Pro Mundaka, the Basque region of Spain should pick up building swell throughout the afternoon and conditions will likely be contestable tomorrow.

When Round 1 does commence, local surfer Aritz Aranburu (EUK) will go up against Kai Otton (AUS) and Heitor Alves (BRA) in the first heat of the event. A call on competition status will be made at 8am at Sopelana tomorrow.

For more info visit: www.aspworldtour.com and www.billabongpro.com.

Read more...

ASP Mundaka 2008 

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour wrapped up an exciting week of competition last week at the Quiksilver Pro France, with eight-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL), 36, missing his ninth world title by a loss in the Final to dark horse Adrian Buchan (Avoca Beach, AUS), 26. Slater is not far from the 2008 title however, needing only a ninth place finish at the upcoming Billabong Pro Mundaka to seal the deal. Bobby Martinez (Santa Barbara, CA), 26, Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA) 23, and Damien Hobgood (Satellite Beach, FL) were standout performers in France as well.

Slater’s runner up finish in France marked his sixth Final appearance out of eight events held to date and was the only time he entered a Final and did not come out with a win. The second place result forces Slater to look towards Mundaka to claim this year’s title. The ASP World Tour legend will only need two heat victories to be crowned 2008 ASP World Champion and his first heat will include fellow veteran Taylor Knox (Carlsbad, CA), 37, and event wildcard Reubyn Ash (Bude, GBR), 20.

“In Mundaka for some reason I haven’t had trouble in those wildcard heats but in Brazil I have before,” Slater said. “Taj and Mick haven’t won this year but they’ve both won in Brazil and they’ve gotten seconds and thirds in Mundaka, so those are good contests for those guys. But worse case scenario for me, it will be narrowed down to one guy at the next event.”

Martinez landed a fifth place finish in France, moving him to seventh overall on the ratings. The Santa Barbara native continues to be a dominating force amongst his competitors after his third year on tour and is still motivated to better his seed regardless of Slater’s dominating season.

“For me it’s different,” Martinez said. “I am new to this tour – I am not going to give up, I’m not going to quit just because Kelly won the title. I don’t care; I still want to do my best. People where I come from never had the opportunity to do stuff and I have one so I’m going to take it and run with it as far as I can. As much as people are over it after watching Kelly win all the time, I look at it like there are kids where I come from who have nothing and this is something big for me. I ain’t goin to quit. Kelly won, but for me it’s different. It ain’t over ‘till it’s over for me. I’m here and I’m going to run with it as far as I can.”

Read more...

Thomas Woods 

In hot almost summer like conditions at Jan Juc Beach, talented Gold Coast surfer Thomas Woods and Victoria’s own Nikki Van Dijk (Phillip Island) took convincing wins in the blue ribbon 16 year Boy and Girl divisions of the prestigious Rip Curl GromSearch Series in clean small 0.5m surf.

The win qualifiers both surfers for a position in the Rip Curl GromSearch Australian final which will run at Bells Beach just prior to the Rip Curl Pro World Championship event at Bells Beach next Easter and both have the opportunity to then go on and surf in the GromSearch international final which also runs at Bells during Easter.

Thomas Woods (15 years old) was in awesome form today easily winning his semi final and taking command in the final early when he scored an excellent 8 point ride.

“I can’t believe I’ve finally won , it’s the best result of my life and to qualify for the Australian final is such a relief. I’ll surf the rest of the series with no pressure and just go big and try and win the overall ratings as well” said Woods after his win.

“These events are really hard to win with so many great young surfers competing at each event and to defeat Ryan Callinan (Newcastle) who has surfed so well all week is just a great result for me”

Woods ended the final with a score line of 14.83 for his top two rides to Callinan on 13.80 with NSW surfers Wade Carmichael and Jack Scollard in 3rd and 4th respectively.

Nikki Van Dijk’s excellent junior career took another significant step forward with her win in the Girls division. The 14 year old Phillip Island surfer surfed in both the 14 Girls and the 16 Girls division and while she had to settle for 2nd in the 14’s behind NSW rival Ellie Jean Coffey, Van Dijk dominated the 16 Girls division to take a very easy win and secure her position into the national Rip Curl GromSearch final.

Read more...